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The privileges of a racist system
The privileges of a racist system
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"The thing that's really slick about whiteness, if you will, is that most of the benefits can be obtained without ever doing anything personally... There are a whole set of assumptions that flow from being white, just like there are a whole set of benefits that flow from being male—you know, being a man doesn't mean that you have antipathy toward women, but if society is patriarchal, which a lot of people say it is, it means that the way resources are distributed in society benefits men.

In that sense, men are not innocent, even though they may not personally have antipathy toward women. In the same way, in that sense, whites are not innocent. They're given the spoils of a racist system, even if they're not personally racist."

About the Author

  • john a. powell (spelled without capital letters) is a renowned social justice advocate. He leads the UC Berkeley Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion, Professor of Law and Professor of African...

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