Privilege is the relative benefit that a group enjoys as a result of the discrimination or oppression of other groups. When we think about racism and discrimination, we often envision acts of deliberate meanness or quantifiable oppression of a disadvantaged group – hurtful words, tasteless jokes, deliberate exclusion from work or school, acts of violence, and so on – but it can just as easily take the form of privileges given to members of a more advantaged group. Unlike other forms of discrimination, these advantages may go unquestioned and even unnoticed for a variety of reasons:
Silence and denial are the primary ways that privilege goes unchecked in our society. In her now famous 1988 essay, Peggy McIntosh likens privilege to “an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was meant to remain oblivious.”  In the following section we have applied McIntosh’s list of the benefits of privilege to being a media consumer. We have also broadened the scope of her original criticism to apply more generally to members of any privileged group. McIntosh’s original text applies the notion of privilege to every day life and offers a great deal of insight into how discrimination operates in a way that is often unseen.
 McIntosh, Peggy. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Peace and Freedom Magazine, July/August, pp. 10-12: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Philadelphia. 1989
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