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Cultural Groups

            Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation are three particular cultural groups in American society that contain a vast amount of unearned privileges, as well as unearned disadvantages. A White male heterosexual, such as myself receives many unearned privileges and advantages throughout the American culture. The book "Understanding discrimination and prejudice" by Scott Plous suggests the many problems associated with racism and prejudice, and the need to change them throughout the American society and culture.
             The cultural group concerning the race of an individual in American society has a great affect on all aspects of our lives. As my race is white, I experience many unearned advantages, in comparison to a person of color. One particular example I experienced of my "advantages" occurred in a small smoke shop by my house in Long Island. There have been many times that I asked the owner for cash in exchange for coins. However, as I was shopping there one day I witnessed an event that was extremely prejudiced. An individual of African American descent had walked in the store and asked the owner to exchange coins for cash. To my surprise the owner rejected this mans request, and actually suggested that he should go to the bank. As it was a Sunday and the banks were closed, the man of African American descent became very agitated with this comment. I almost saw a fight develop right before my eyes, however the owner eventually gave him the cash he was asking for and the dispute was settled. This experience was shocking to me as it definitely pertains to a feature in my invisible knapsack as Peggy Mcintosh describes. Another relative advantage is that my hometown is predominantly white by a huge margin. As this is a good example of white privilege, people of color are suffering just as much as we are benefiting.
             In addition the cultural group regarding the gender of a person in America impacts everybody significantly.

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