Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America (Critical America)
Stephanie M. Wildman
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Affirmative action remains a hotly contested issue on our political landscape, yet the institutionalized systems of privilege which uphold the status quo remain unchallenged. Many Americans who advocate a merit-based, race-free worldview do not acknowledge the systems of privilege which benefit them. For example, many Americans rely on a social and sometimes even financial inheritance from previous generations. This inheritance, unlikely to be forthcoming if one's ancestors were slaves, privileges whiteness, maleness, and heterosexuality.
In this important volume, scholars positioned differently with respect to white privilege examine how privilege of all forms manifests itself and how we can, and must, be aware of invisible privilege in our daily lives. Individual chapters focus on language, the workplace, the implications of comparing racism and sexism, race-based housing privilege, the dream of diversity and the cycle of exclusion, the rule of law and invisible systems of privilege, and the power of law to transform society.
cars to the value of exercise. They do not even need to speak: the idea implicitly conveyed is that if you buy this product, this woman, or one like her, will be attracted to you, as she is to the man in the ad. Women are a commodity like any other, except that they do not cost anything. In one beer commercial a group of men say, “It just doesn’t get any better than this.” They then find a crate of lobster in the river, the Swedish bikini team lands in the area and starts gyrating, and, finally,
where it belongs. Analyzing systems of privilege could give a new direction and energy to jurisprudence about inequality. Chapter 1, written in cooperation with Adrienne D. Davis, begins with an examination of the language we use to discuss discrimination and subordination, rendering privilege invisible. The chapter then describes the forms of privilege and stresses the importance of examining privilege as well as oppression. Chapter 2 takes the analysis of privilege into the workplace, a
achieving faculty diversity. But what happens when there is a position and a “qualified applicant” who is a minority or female? Are other excuses used to keep this person from being appointed to the job? A Story about Progress “You just have to be patient, Jessica,” said Richard, one of her white liberal faculty colleagues. “Progress is slow at a school this small. We’ve hired six women and minorities in fifteen years and five white men. They get one spot, we get one spot. Why is that so
of his heritage. His call to immigration was a serious violation of that unwritten law. Yet the lawyer, the bridge between the Old World and the New, loved him. In the world viewed from the bridge, heterosexuality is privileged and strict gender roles are observed. The economic reality of class drives much of the unwritten code of the immigrants. Whiteness remains privileged as the default assumption, but color is made an issue in terms of blondness (Eddie calls Rodolpho “Dane” as a taunt in
(quoting Kimberlè Crenshaw: “The Democrats’ neutral fact-finding position left Anita Hill swinging in the wind”). 13. Shatz, supra note 12, at 8. The metaphoric use of “lynching” should not be allowed to undermine the brutal, historic reality of lynching. 14. Id. 15. Letter from Alice Walker to PEOPLE, Dec. 2, 1991, at 5: Black women around the country are sharing a rich chuckle at Virginia Thomas’s assertion that she believes ‘Anita Hill was probably in love with [her] husband.’ The