Majority Privileges

privilege.jpgIdentity and Privilege: Understanding White Privilege is a book that has made us think a lot about our own privileges and power as white people. Like the author says, white people don’t often realize how much we take for granted, how easy it is to overlook what it means to be white. We basically assume, for example, that the people we read about in books or magazines are white, unless their race is stated clearly or their picture is right there or they are famous and already known by us. Being white in the USA is like being fish in water, we don’t notice the water because it is just so “normal” and taken for granted.

This book also makes us think about hearing privileges in the Deaf community. There are many parallels in the power relationships between Black/white people and Deaf/hearing people. Just like many job announcements state “qualified minority candidates are encouraged to apply”, so do some announcements state “qualified Deaf candidates are encouraged to apply”. You never see a job announcement stating “qualified white candidates are encouraged to apply”. White people are assumed to be qualified, while minorities and Deaf people seem to be assumed not to be qualified. We see “qualified women candidates” but not “qualified men candidates”. What is this all about??!!!

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