internal and attitudinal dimensions we will discuss below.

internal and attitudinal dimensions we will discuss below.

Privilege has the following invisible internal and attitudinal effects:

The belief that your group has the right to its position The internalization of messages of your group’s superiority The lack of humility that results from your limited knowledge of the minoritized group The invisibility of your privilege to you

Many educators use Peggy McIntosh’s (1989) seminal “invisible knapsack” article to explain privilege. In this article, McIntosh lists 46 privileges she takes for granted on a daily basis because she is White. McIntosh’s privilege inventory is useful for revealing the invisibility of White privilege for many White people and captures some of the important layers of internal and attitudinal effects of privilege. In the story of the three-eyed people above, we can see the following internal and attitudinal elements of privilege playing out:

The privileged group feels comfortable invading the space of minoritized persons. The privileged group feels qualified to represent the experiences of minoritized persons. Members of the privileged group see themselves as superior and believe that the minoritized person could and should be “fixed” or otherwise assimilate to be like them. The privileged group prefers to live segregated from the minoritized group.

The belief that your group has the right to its position. Ideology is a powerful way to support the dominant group’s position. There are several key interrelated ideologies that rationalize the concentration of dominant group members at the top of society and their right to rule.

One is the ideology of meritocracy. Meritocracy is the belief that people’s achievements are based solely on their own efforts, abilities, or merits. Meritocracy posits that social positionality doesn’t matter and that the son of a day-laborer has as much chance of “making it” as the son of Bill Gates or the daughter of Donald Trump, as long as they work hard. Canada and the United States are presented in dominant culture as meritocratic systems. From this perspective, those who do not succeed are simply not as capable or don’t try as hard as those who do.

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