“Thank You, Officer:” The Everyday Privilege of Whiteness

Metathesis

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me when I first became aware of my white privilege. Caught somewhat off-balance by the question, I answered that I would need to give it some thought in order to respond to this inquiry with the complexity and deliberation that it deserved. However, try as I might, I could not for the life of me think of a single, particular moment in which I became aware of my white privilege.

What I found most disconcerting about this exchange was the fact that I could not actually think of a singularincident that produced an enhanced awareness. For an academic who remains committed to political and social justice, this was a startling realization, and I spent many an hour scouring my memory for that elusive momentthat I could point to where this consciousness first became viscerally present to me.

Well, as it…

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