Attempting to be racially colorblind is the “epitome” of white privilege, according to a panel discussion held at Viterbo University on Tuesday night.
“Saying that you’re colorblind, or that you are race blind, or you just see people for people and not whatever color they are is the epitome of white privilege,” said Alyssa Gostonczik, the intern and employer relations coordinator at Viterbo and one of the panelists at the 90-minute event.
“It means that you are denying hundreds of years of oppression to a group and then expecting them to be on the same level as you are, or saying things like, ‘Well, you can anything, you just need to try harder,’ or ‘Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you got this,’ when that individual is not even close to being on the same playing field as their white counterpart is,” Gostonczik said.
“As long as good people keep doing nothing, racism is going to continue,” she added.
During the panel, called “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” the six participants traded stories about how they have personally experienced white privilege in their lives. (The “Invisible Knapsack” refers to a term coined by feminist Wellesley Professor Peggy McIntosh to describe the tools of “unconscious oppression” whites carry with them at all times.)
Yet while the panel was primarily focused on white privilege, Gostonczik quickly moved on to other types of privilege enjoyed by more fortunate citizens.
She argued “socioeconomic privilege” allows wealthy people access to health care, education, and the ability to take an unpaid internship to better one’s job prospects. If one has socioeconomic privilege, Gostonczik said, their parents likely went to college, meaning they are also expected to do so.
Read the rest at: Christian privilege