" The ease of not being aware of privilege is an aspect of privilege itself, what some call “the luxury of obliviousness” (or in philosophy, “epistemic privilege”). Awareness requires effort and commitment. Being able to command the attention of lower-status individuals without having to give it in return is a key aspect of privilege. African Americans for example, have to pay close attention to whites and white culture and get to know them well enough to avoid displeasing them, since whites control jobs, schools, government, the police, and most other resources and sources of power. White privilege gives little reason to pay attention to African Americans or how white privilege affects them.
In other words, as James Baldwin put it “To be white in America means not having to think about it.” We could say the same thing about maleness or any other basis for privilege. So strong is the sense of entitlement behind this luxury that males, whites, and others can feel put upon in the face of even the mildest invitation to pay attention to issues of privilege. “We shouldn’t have to look at this stuff,” they seem to say. “It isn’t fair.” "