Racism is not the question anymore. I do think it is white privilege. We live in a world where overt racism has been denounced, but white people have not relinquished the privileges they have gained through time. There are so many it is mind boggling. Anything that a white person can do strictly because there are more of them is a privilege. The questions that come to mind, though, are could we remove them, and should we?
Personally I don’t think it is possible to remove all white privileges without removing our majority status. Some of the privileges Mclntosh mention come to mind, such as knowing that when I go somewhere I will be amongst the majority. Others such as the Affirmative Action privilege of not being questioned about my abilities because I am a white person are also entirely based on the majority status of white people since that was one reason for the creation of Affirmative Action.
To my second question of should we remove them, I find the answer more difficult to address than previously thought. As a white person I am loath to gain the worries that occur amongst other races. I refer to a movie I watched some time ago called Something New. In the movie a black business woman dates her white gardener and expresses, among other things, the difficulties of reaching a high level in her business while being black. It is difficult enough as a woman to reach high levels in business nevertheless getting past the unfair disqualification of being black. That is only one among many privileges granted in a Fanon’s racialized post-colonial country. I think it fair to grant equal rights to those who merit them, but that is much too simple a response for real life. It begs the question of who decides merit? A white person? That’s just another privilege. It also brings up that it is more difficult for minorities to express their merit because of the situations that they have been entrenched in from years of white dominance. How could they possibly be granted equal opportunity?
It is so easy for a white person to accept that it is too difficult to answer and become cynical and move on about with their white privileges, (again a privilege we have is to ignore that we are privileged and continue to reap the benefits) but I think it may be like everything else and need time to evolve.