The Social Construction of Whiteness and Race in America A comment was made in a blog post early on in the year about whiteness in American that bugged me. It’s a topic that came up a few times throughout the semester in and outside of class. Granted, this topic is based on a single blog post but a collection of comment and statements that were made on specific blogs and during class sessions. This topic I fin extremely important mainly because I felt as though there was some confusion around the topic being white. Understandably if you’re white in America I think it’s easy to forget exactly how privileged you are. Nonetheless, it forced me to want to talk about white privilege in America, explain the meaning of “paradox of privilege”, and explain why it is possible to be privileged without feeling privileged. I also want to drive into where whiteness came from and why it’s still around today. Tim Wise’s (anti American racism activist) use of these words “we” and the implications; how/why he defines certain words for groups that are oppressed. I will incorporate Wise’s discussion on whiteness within the context of Frye’s cage metaphor. Describing why a macroscopic view is so essential to understanding the structure of oppression. The paradox of privilege, one can essentially describe this as a gift being bestowed on someone just for being (or perceived as being) white. Wise explains that if one were to be end to take any perks that make our lives easier for granted to the point that we don’t even know they’re there. Even when a person(s) is completely unaware that he/she is privileged it isn’t keenly felt in the way the areas where we lack privilege are. This usually leads to why it is possible to be privileged without feeling... ... middle of paper ... ...osed), where money saved through discrimination also adds to the profits. Overall I wanted to try and negate some of the rhetoric that seemed to pelage the earlier semester when reading House on Mango Street and woman warrior. The term being white or becoming why I don’t feel was dove into enough, or used informatively from classmate. This wasn’t something that I got the chance to blog about but it was a topic that was brought up a few times throughout some comment on blogs. Work Citied Tim Wise. Page 18 Paragraph 18 White Privilege: Third edition, 2007 Barnett and Roediger. How white people become white. Page 36 Para 4. White Privilege: Third edition, 2007 Barnett and Roediger. How white people become white. Page 36 Para 2. White Privilege: Third edition, 2007 Michael S. Kimmel. Privilege: A reader. Page 29 Michael S. Kimmel. Privilege: A reader. Page 16
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Ogbu, John. "Collective Identity and the Burden of "Acting White" in Black History, Community, and Education." The Urban Review (March 2004): 1-35.
If I had to identify with one of the authors, I would identify more with Curtis Linton, who is white and grew up in a predominantly homogenous community (Park Ridge, Illinois...
In this society that we are living in, I took into account that after reading the article “White Privilege: Unpacking the invisible Knapsack”, we truly aren’t free. Racism is taken upon society, Peggy states in this article situations in which white people have advantages over other racial groups without realizing it. In Peggy’s eyes it has been a learning experience that’s been taught to her, and realizing her racial boundaries. Peggy has stated, “I see a pattern running through the m...
In her 16 January 2016 The Washington Post editorial, “What is White Privilege?”, Christine Emba asserts white privilege is a societal advantage inherent in people who are white, irrespective of their “wealth, gender, or other factors.” According to Emba, white privilege makes life smoother and is an entity that is hidden or unknown until the privilege is taken away. Although racism is still a rampant issue in society today, white privilege is a concept created by the progressive left in order to brand whites as a scapegoat for issues and adversities that non-whites face. This concept of privilege ultimately causes further dissension between whites and non-whites.
This power keeps the behavior of the oppressed well within the set guidelines of the oppressor (Freire, 2000, pg. 47). Critical Race Theory outlines this system of oppression as it relates to white and non-white races. By using the critical race theory coupled with the system of oppression described by Freire (2000), I propose that within the system of oppression, the oppressor must keep its own members in line with the prescribed guidelines by reinforcing the social norms from birth. Freire (2000) suggest that the interest of the oppressors lie in “changing the consciousness of the oppressed not the system” (pg.34). Identifying as white, therefore, starts at birth when members of the white class work to reinforce social norms that began with our founding fathers at Plymouth Rock. This long history of white privilege was taught to me and I continue to teach it to my children. As an educator of white affluent high school students, I believe we provide college and career counseling based on this white privilege system of oppression as well. Here, I journey even closer to unraveling the myth of white privilege as I encounter the intersection of an affluent white student choosing a career after high
However, this general knowledge is not apparent to White people. Similar to microaggressions, John F. Dovidio discusses the concept of aversion racism, “a subtle, often unintentional form of bias that characterizes many White Americans who possess strong egalitarian values and who believe that they are nonprejudiced” (90). Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and Sue both demonstrate from their research that Whites do not comprehend the impact of their unconscious biases. These biases towards students of colour in a white-based post-secondary school environment can result in stress and weak interracial relationships. This is an issue since the significance of these everyday actions are not fully recognized and acknowledged. I will elaborate on a variety of examples, specifically the influence of the peers, and
Barón-Fritts, Amanda. "Alter(Ing) Identities: On Becoming The Other." The Black Scholar 34.1 (2004): 34-39. Sociological Collection. Web. 8 May 2014.
In chapter 5 of Images of color, images of crime author Peggy McIntosh refers to White privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that can count on cashing in each day, but about which 'meant' to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks. It is apparent that white people receive unearned advantages and benefits that are not accessible to people of color. In fact, how can someone even question that the fact that people of color are treated differently than Whites, when African Americans constitute a significant portion of individuals who are incarcerated today. Here is an example of an experience that I had a few years ago that made me realize that I was treated differently because I was not white. I worked at the Ymca for about three years at a summer camp, which was predominantly white. I loved working there, but I kept to myself because I was treated differently from my co-workers. In fact, the white individuals that I worked with would constantly ma...
In her article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” Peggy McIntosh writes about the privilege white individuals get without noticing it. McIntosh talks about how whites are taught to not recognize their privilege. McIntosh having a background in Women’s Studies, she also talks about how men have more privileges than women, yet they rarely recognize it. In the article McIntosh claims that “After I realized the extent to which men work from a base of unacknowledged privilege, I understood that much of their oppressiveness was unconscious.”
Temporary inequality exists as a means of “improving” a subordinate to the level of a dominant. After the period of inequality is over, the two view each other as equals. The other form of inequality, permanent inequality, exists solely because of an ascription of inferiority to a subordinate that is inherent and unchangeable. Unlike temporary inequality, there is no possibility of improvement for the subordinate; they are, in the eyes of the dominant, inferior and impossible to “fix.” The dominants, who view themselves naturally superior to the subordinates, begin to take advantage of the subordinates. “Out of the total range of human possibilities, the activities most highly valued in any particular culture will tend to be enclosed within the domain of the dominant group; less valued functions are relegated to the subordinates” (Rothenberg, 112). Moreover, the subordinates, who by this point are under the total control of the dominant group, may begin to internalize the value of the dominants. “[Subordinates’] incapacities are ascribed to innate defects or deficiencies of mind or body…More importantly, subordinates themselves can come to find it difficult to believe in their own ability” (112). This theory of domination and subordination are clearly mirrored in race relations in the United States. Whites, who are the dominant group, make all of the fallacious errors involved in race-based thinking; they are prone to, like Miller describes, hoarding superior roles in society and practicing systematic cruelty towards the subordinates due to their sincere belief that the subordinates are inherently incapable of rising to the level of the dominant. This internalized belief on the part of the dominants, that the subordinates
I agree with the points McIntosh makes throughout the article. I especially liked that she pointed out the difference between being a woman and being a woman of color in America. As a woman of color, you are not only oppressed for your gender but for the color of your skin too. As a minority, I have been in those uncomfortable positions of being the only person of my race in a room or feeling like I don’t belong in a group due to your race. I have also dealt with individuals being surprised that I speak English so well or asking me where I’m “really” from. These are things that white individuals don’t really experience. Although Mclntosh focused on the privilege that comes with the color of your skin, the invisible knapsack can manifest itself in other terms as well. For example, religion, age, and sexual