Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Memoir of a Polish-American Cleaning Woman & "White Privilege"
Polish and other Bohunk-Americans are in a bind. We are Bieganski the Brute, but we are also classified as "white," and as enjoying "white privilege." It's a particularly vicious bind, very well described by Mary Grabar in her essay, "Yes, We Are Bitter."
Recently I published "Green Vase" about my experiences as a cleaning woman, like thousands of other Polish and other Bohunk American cleaning women. In the essay, I describe being falsely accused of stealing something.
Jennifer Swift-Kramer, my fellow professor, mentioned to me that my experience defies Politically Correct guidelines. Poor but white. A cleaning woman. Accused of stealing. This can't happen -- whites enjoy "White Privilege" and are never accused of stealing at the workplace; only "people of color" are. Check out Peggy McIntosh's essay "The Invisible Knapsack."
And please read "Green Vase" here.