Many white Americans can retell the story of Pilgrims setting sail on the Mayflower and landing at Plymouth Rock. This great story of Jamestown and European settlements along the Atlantic Coast reminds whites of the sacrifices many European colonist took in 1620 to start our great Nation. Nowhere in the story, however, do we whites retell the birth of white supremacy or how racism became part of our American society through the practice of slavery. You see, happening at the same time as this great story was the birth of slavery. The first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown to aid in the production of crops such as tobacco. “White supremacy is a racist ideology based on the assertion that whites are superior to non-whites (Savas, 2014). Simply put, nonwhites became slaves to the white men.
We whites pick up the story again in 1776, when our country declared its independence from Europe and we became the United States of America signified by the signing of the Declaration of Independence. From the signing of this document, the actual definition of a legal citizen, who was allowed to vote, was a white male who owned property. This ...
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...cation where we put ourselves in one of the social categorizations we best see ourselves fitting in. For example, high school students identify themselves within the category of student; find their self-esteem, and group membership within this category.
After categorizing one’s self and then identifying within that category, the third stage is to compare you with other groups. Tajfel and Turner call this stage social comparison. This is how we maintain our self-esteem and membership within a group. The groups we identify with feel inferior by making the other groups seem inferior. In the unraveling process of white privilege, I believe high school students are in one of these three phases of social identity, lost and confused, yet trying to make a huge decision about a career choice that will ultimately affect them and the society in which they be employed.
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