Cory Weinburg, writing for Inside Higher Ed, has also stated that the concept of white privilege is frequently misinterpreted by non-academics because it is an academic concept that has been recently been brought into the mainstream. Academics interviewed by Weinburg, who have been otherwise studying white privilege undisturbed for decades, have been taken aback with the seemingly-sudden hostility from right-wing critics since 2014.
Lets be clear about the term "white privilege." We should start by acknowledging that there may be a distinction between the
and the common use as we often hear it used today. And lets be honest, the common use concept of "white privilege" will have many different interpretations depending on who you ask. So lets try to split our analysis up into two threads:
Best case: How a proponent of the existence and significant impact of the phenomenon of white privilege, say a "liberal" or "progressive", would intelligently support the idea. Describe the phenomenon in detail with examples, how accepting the idea would impact us, and what we should do to fight it.
Worst case:How someone opposed to the idea of "white privilege" describing a meaningful social phenomenon, say a "conservative," would intelligently challenge the idea. Whether it exists and in what form, where the idea and the people that support it go wrong, how it can negatively impact us, and what we should do to challenge it.
According to Peggy McIntosh, whites in Western societies enjoy advantages that non-whites do not experience, as "an invisible package of unearned assets". White privilege denotes both obvious and less obvious passive advantages that white people may not recognize they have, which distinguishes it from overt bias or prejudice. These include cultural affirmations of one's own worth; presumed greater social status; and freedom to move, buy, work, play, and speak freely. The effects can be seen in professional, educational, and personal contexts. The concept of white privilege also implies the right to assume the universality of one's own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal.
It refers to the hegemonic structures, practices, and ideologies that reproduce whites' privileged status. In this scenario, whites do not necessarily intend to hurt people of color, but because they are unaware of their white-skin privilege, and because they accrue social and economic benefits by maintaining the status quo, they inevitably do."