Understanding White Privilege by Frances Kendall, Chps. 1 & 2

See on Scoop.itCommunity Village Daily

“It is important to note that in the United States, while any racial group might view itself as superior, only the white group has the power to institutionalize that belief into laws, policies, practices, and culture and to subordinate other groups based on that institutional held power (page 21-22).”


“If we do not work to change ourselves and our systems, we continue to be complicit in the oppressions of others whether we mean to or not (page 23).”

There is a cost to not keeping race and white privilege as a regular part of conversation as we loose a critical lens through which we can interpret situations.

We must know about ourselves before we can learn fully about others.”

Kendall spends some time reflecting on the financial benefits of a “racial contract”. Clothes manufactured mostly by people of color globally at low wages, and loss of jobs by people in the lower classes of the US, many of whom are people of color, because of the offshoring of jobs are but two examples.

Kendall goes on to discuss the emotional costs for whites to ignore the negative impact that our white supremacy has on the rest of the world. Ultimately, we can only survive by anesthetizing ourselves. “I think that most of us who are white don’t even know that we’re not whole. We feel like something is missing, but we’re not sure what. Some sense of ourselves as whole human beings is not there, because for us to be whole and present every day means that we have to re-member ourselves, and that is painful (page 38).”

“I wonder what would it be like to feel that all others are as valuable as ourselves? What if we believed in the humanness of each person? What if we understood that each of us is connected to all others – that if others aren’t able to thrive, we aren’t either? (page 40)””

See on mwolske.wordpress.com

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