Privilege and Faces

Mcintosh’s Knapsack article was an interesting read for me. Like the article states, we are taught not to recognize white privilege even though we come to the realization that we do have a privilege. Reading the 26 conditions she listed really opened my eyes to how much of a unearned privilege we have as we do not worry about what some people say for we are confident in our skin, ethnicity, etc. I feel that everyone should have an equal chance regardless of his or her race or gender. White privilege has been so enamored into our society that we forget to think about how we may been seen to those around us.

As a white heterosexual male, I understood that I did have an unearned privilege, which I am honestly very grateful for. It doesn’t however make how I pursue my life goals any different. I feel that my privilege does affect my view on genocide and the refugee issues associate with it. I am thankful that I live in a country where I am safe from the hatred and corruptness that is found in third world country that experience genocide.  I feel that my privilege helps disassociate myself with those countries because I have not experienced anything as bad as what they have experience so I find that it could be hard to relate to underprivileged people. This doesn’t mean though that I do not want to help them. We are both humans and we both have the right to live in a place of safety.

After reading the Faces of Whiteness article, I tried to choose which face I felt I most associated with towards genocide and refugee issues. It was much more difficult than I thought it would be as I could agree with most of the five categories. I feel at this current moment though, that I relate most to the Intellectualizer face. I have always been the guy that has to know everything about a tv show, game, etc. once I become invested in it. Studying genocide has always been a foreign topic to me until I began to research more about it, which I now find it to be interesting in its own way. I am still baffled on some of the cruel hatred that I have read about. Also learning about refugee issues, I found out information that I had not known before.

I feel that the Intellectualizer face suits me for I find genocide and refugee issues to be an interesting topic, yet I know how dangerous and harmful going into a situation like that could entail. I want to keep my distance from the field, being very thankful that I am not being persecuted or killed. This face may imply that I am all bark and no bite, not wanting to actually put a stop to those oppressed by a major group. I feel that pursuing to know all of this information may misinterpret my own thoughts and feelings of the subject of genocide and refugee issues.

Honestly, I want to be able say that I would take the Missionary face and be able to assert myself into people’s lives by helping them with their desires, but I am not sure if I am ready for that.  I feel a mixture of the Missionary and the Intellectualizer face would be an effective mask of how people could associate themselves with these topics. The whole article really opened my eyes to how privileged my thoughts could be and the implications that contribute to the face I put on concerning genocide and refugee issues.  

-Joshua

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