I have never felt that I was privileged to be white, however, I suppose that could be because as McIntosh states whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege After reading McIntoshs list of the daily effects of white privilege I now understand these privileges and can put myself into the shoes of other non-white individuals to see how they would perceive me as a privileged white woman. I have never thought of myself as being privileged, or better in any way that those that I come in contact with.
The concept of white privilege does not deny my individual hardships that Ive dealt with throughout life. Hardships can be circumstantial, they can be something we are born with, or even something that we cause on our own. These circumstances are for the most part out of our control. Some hardships are related to race, and those who havent experienced those particular race-related hardships, I now suppose are white. In most ways conferred dominance and the fact that whites have been labeled as superior in any way is the exact opposite of the way I feel about myself, and the way I view others in my daily life.
After reading McIntoshs article, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, I suppose that I do see some advantages that I may have just always taken for granted. The one that may seem silly, but Ive always wondered about is: why do they only make white flesh colored band aids? I t seems like a no brainer to me to make them in all flesh tones. In my school community which consists of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students I struggle to pick out white privileges. I do not feel that any of our teaching staff or administrators see themselves as dominant over any other race or culture within our school community.
I suppose that the fact that our school principal, secretary, and most teachers are white would portray dominance within our race. The majority of our staff speak English, however we do have several bilingual teachers and staff members. In the classroom environment, other than our bilingual classrooms the population of white students is greater than that of any other race. As a teacher I am committed to equality and treating all of my students fairly and as equals in our classroom community.
I do not think that 7 and 8 year old white students see themselves as dominant of more important than any other classmate. I can, however see how a Black, Hispanic, or students of other cultural background would feel at times to be the minority. I think that this feeling, however is taught to them at home, or somewhat of a learned feeling of identity. In my school community we do our best to incorporate other cultural history into our curriculum by designing lessons that educate our students about important people in our history from a variety of cultures.
The majority of our schools population is comprised of white and Hispanic students. I think that as a whole we could do a better job at integrating more of the Hispanic culture into our schools curriculum. After reading this article I now find myself more aware of the white privilege that I do hold, and am definitely going to work toward building my daily classroom routines and lessons to include a wider variety of cultures and discuss current events around the globe that my students can relate to.