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The Color of Privilege
Three Black Men
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Unstated Assumptions
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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: November 5, 1999
E-Mail Curran or Takata.

Diaphanous Privilege

Thread initiated by Michael Planck, CSUDH, Fall 1999
Copyright: November 1999. "Fair Use" encouraged.
Curran and Takata, Part of Teaching Series
Copyright: September 1999. "Fair Use" encouraged.

On November 5, Michael wrote:

Comments on The Summary Lecture on Race, Black Men, and Law

Our class discussion of race, specifically having to do with the African American male and female, brought to my awareness much unresolved pain.  Peggy McIntosh points out, "the likelihood of a 'white guilt'" for benefiting from white privilege. Yet she takes it one step further, that is, "to use my unearned power to distribute power more fairly."  Without our class discussion, the awareness of my own unearned advantage would possibly not have happened.  The "silence surrounding privilege" as McIntosh asserted, contributed to the awareness of distancing my pain and the pain of my fellow Black American's.  The unstated assumption is that the "white master" is still privileged.  With peacemaking as a practice and public discourse as a forum hopefully it's true what Hal Pepinsky said, "I cannot determine what I need to do in any conflict until I have listened to what other parties know and feel about the situation and until these other parties indicate what interests are guiding their response." Yep, that's what happened in class!       

On November 5 jeanne's wrote:

Michael, I think you've done a very good job of bringing both substance and affect to a conscious level. I think that is to some extent what Habermas means by rational discourse, discourse in which we are willing to move aside our ignorant good faith and stretch a little to reach authentic good faith.

For those not in the class, Peggy McIntosh writes on white privilege in Chapter 18 of Mann and Zatz, Images of Color, Images of Crime.