Do you have a family email chain or Thanksgiving invite e-mail? Research shows that Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack* is one of the most effective articles to get people to think about white privilege. Even if you don’t have relatives who explicitly say racist things, we all have work to do and this will get conversations going. Commit to sending a stealthy email!
Do you have white privilege? Use the checklist below to think through benefits you may get from being white…
- I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
- If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of finding housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
- I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
- I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
- I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
- When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
- I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
- I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race (without being called a credit to my race).
- I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser’s shop and find someone who can cut my hair.
- Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.
- I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.
- I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
- I am not afraid if my teenage son wears a hoodie to the gym.
- I can be pretty sure that my children’s teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms.
- I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.
- I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.
- I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
* Fine! We didn’t actually research this. We just think it’s a great article and have found it to be super effective.