Prejudice Discrimination Term Paper

Pages: 3 (997 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Race

Prejudice / Discrimination

White privilege is a reality in the United States society. White privilege (based on skin color) sets Caucasians of European ancestry apart from African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans and other minorities. What are the ramifications of that elite status among the various cultures and subcultures in the U.S. In the article by Peggy McIntosh, she explains that White privilege is not necessarily wide open for everyone to see -- as a contrast between races -- and understand. Instead, white privilege is a "…invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks."

Privilege Doesn't Necessarily Imply Blatant Racism

However, when McIntosh takes the extraordinary step of listing twenty-six "conditions" that a white person can establish that perhaps minorities cannot establish, as least not with the same ease as McIntosh does in her essay. She makes an important distinction as she launches into her essay, beginning with the 26 conditions. These conditions have more to do with McIntosh's skin color -- white juxtaposed with a Latino's brown skin or of an African-American's darker skin -- than contrasts between her socioeconomic situation and that of the other two cultures.

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In other words there may be Latinos (or Blacks) in her work environment who have more money saved or who have a nicer house than she does; but nevertheless her white skin confers dominance over other skin colors. McIntosh openly acknowledges that her white skin is an unearned entitlement which offers her an unearned advantage over others of different skin colors. In other words, having white skin is the same as going into a football game a touchdown ahead before the first kickoff.

Racism and Prejudice -- Deeper Levels of Discrimination

TOPIC: Term Paper on Prejudice Discrimination Assignment

Prejudice, meanwhile, is a far deeper form of racial differentiation than simply having assumed dominance because of having white skin. Author Jeremy Ossman explains that cognitive levels of prejudice are based on ethnocentrism, which is the belief that one's particular culture or racial group better than all other groups and hence they are all inferior. When a person is taking action based on his or her ethnocentrism -- that means being openly and actively doing things and having feelings that are biased against persons of other races. White settlers from Europe killed thousands of Native Americans because they were "heathen savages" (Chapter 4, p. 82).

Ossman explains that when people are treated brutally by their parents while growing up, later in life they may demonstrate displaced aggression -- in other words, they may take out their anger and frustrations (based on "subconscious childhood tensions") on others of different skin colors in the form of scapegoating (84). The brutalized child now needs to be cruel to someone else to take out his rage and a convenient scapegoat is found in the African-American neighbor who plays rap music in the evenings; the racist hates rap music and hates those who enjoy it.

Another possible reason for racism is when a person isn't able to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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