What’s your nationality? Oh you’re Polish…

“What’s your nationality? Oh you’re Polish…”.

When I was a kid, I was always embarrassed to say that I was Polish. While growing up, being polish was always looked down upon when I told people, including my friends. Even today sometimes there is judgement and hesitation when I say that I am Polish.  I have even gotten into the habit of saying, “I’m Italian and Polish”,  putting Polish second when I am majority Polish.  The more I learn and grow, I get more and more offended when people judge that I am Polish. I am no longer ashamed but I embrace what I am and defend the culture.

Even though I have experienced some aspects of judgement and discrimination, I do recognize my white privilege.  However, Peggy McIntosh made me realize the privileges I have that I never give any recognition to. The statements “I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time” and “Whether I checks, credit cards, or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability” are sentences that really stuck out to me.  I am used to constantly being surrounded by people that look like me, with a few exceptions. So when I see the diversity I am surrounded by on campus, I appreciate it. The other sentence involves me being able to buy things freely without being looked at suspiciously.  This is a thought I never considered.  Nobody thinks that I am unreliable with my money, because I am white.

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