Backpack with text white privilege unpack het invisible knapsack

White Privilege: Unpacking the invisible Knapsack

Equity Task Force Member Juliann Brunzell served 33 years in law enforcement and saw firsthand the workings of the Criminal Justice system, including its imperfections, both intended and unintended. “From a liberal-leaning upbringing to a conservative career environment, working in law enforcement presented personal challenges. I was able to bear witness to both the good and the unforgivable. When asked, other than my experiences in policing, what may have been other influencers in my decision to serve on the Equity Task Force?  Easy.  It was an essay:

In 1988, American scholar Peggy MacIntosh wrote, “White Privilege:  Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack“.  It covers 50 examples, or hidden benefits, of the privilege white people experience in everyday life through an “invisible package of unearned assets”.

  • I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection. 
  • I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color. 
  • I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race. 
  • I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed. 

Written 32 years ago, the aha moments still resonate and confirm the teachings taught to me by my folks.  I continue to push to stay alert with my daily internal briefings, lessons, and check ins with the work needed to right the ship.”  –Juliann