In addition to the privileges conferred on whites in the labor market, in shopping and financial transactions, in the housing market, and many other social situations, whites also receive privileges in politics. In borrowing from McIntosh, I have
developed a list of privileges given to Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race. Feel free to comment and add more.
1. Mitt Romney is able to talk to and over a moderator of his own race about his plan for the economy during the 2012 Presidential Debate. His reaction will not be interpreted as being from "the angry white guy." He is also able to appeal to both a live and broadcast audience largely of his own race.
2. Mitt Romney’s citizenship and birth certificate have not yet been scrutinized in the media. He does not have to spend time and resources on his campaign to convince voters he is American.
3. Mitt Romney is not regularly portrayed in political cartoons as a monkey or native to another country.
4. Mitt Romney’s family does not have to constantly worry about how "white" or "normal" they appear to the public.
5. When Mitt Romney seeks to appeal to low-income voters, he does not have to fear being associated with negative stereotypes of welfare. A recent study found that, compared to the broader population, people with "racial resentments" were much more responsive to negative ads linking Obama to welfare.
6. Mitt Romney does not have to worry about whether or not the public disproves of his dog because of racial resentment. Researchers examined what would happen when they "showed respondents a picture of a Portuguese Water Dog and told half it was Ted Kennedy’s dog and the other half it was Obama’s dog." They found that "when respondents with higher levels of racial resentment heard it was Obama’s dog, they were more likely to disapprove of it.”
7. Mitt Romney does not have to speak eloquently or intelligently at all times to be taken seriously.
8. Mitt Romney does not have to constantly worry that every political move he makes will be attributed to his race.
9. Mitt Romney is not setting the precedent for the image of his entire race in a position of political power while simultaneously taking the heat for and trying to fix the mistakes of his successive white oppressors.
10. Mitt Romney can afford to speak about or avoid the topic of race if it is brought up in a debate without drawing attention to himself.
Elizabeth Dickson is a student at Ohio Wesleyan University, where she is double-majoring in Psychology and Sociology.