White Like Me Analysis

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Tim Wise’s book White Like Me provides a picture of what it is like to be white in America. A main topic covered in White Like Me is white privilege. On pages 24 and 25 Wise illustrates what white privilege is and shares his opinion regarding how to address white privilege in society today. Wise’s plan for addressing white privilege is one not of guilt, but of responsibility, a difference Wise highlights. The concept of feeling guilty for white privilege lacks reason because white privilege is something built up through generations and its existence is not of any one person’s fault. Guilt would just be detrimental to the possibility of making progress in this field. Responsibility, on the other hand, is a perfectly logical action to take when…show more content…
Moynihan, born to a broken family in the great depression era, entered politics and developed to become an important political figure in the labor department during the 1960’s. The principal belief of Moynihan was that unemployment was destructive to the potential social mobility of the poor, a lynchpin of the American dream. Once the civil rights movement gained momentum, Moynihan gained interest on how his theory affects black families specifically and began to research this topic. The results of his research showed just how devastating the effects of three hundred of years of slavery and institutionalized racism were on black families and how much worse off they were than white families in general. These findings led Moynihan to draft and publish a government report titled “The Negro Family.” “The Negro Family” illustrated how debilitating the present society was for black families but offered no possible policies to address the problem, something very peculiar for a government report. The reason for the lack of policies is stated by Moynihan, “It would have got in the way of the attention-arousing argument that a crisis was coming and that family stability was the best measure of success or failure in dealing with it.” (The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, “Lower-class Behavior in our Cities is Shaking Them Apart”) President Johnson had…show more content…
The article includes the tale of a small town near Chicago, North Lawndale. North Lawndale was a Jewish community up to the mid 1960’s when it began to integrate black people into the community. The Jewish people there were happy to see the neighborhood integrate but many others were not. Those that were not happy to see the neighborhood integrate started buying properties up and selling tem to black families at a substantial upcharge. Not only was the price of the home much higher than the value of the home, the way in which the black families were forced to buy their homes was by something called on contract. On contract was a “predatory agreement that combined all the responsibilities of homeownership with all the disadvantages of renting—while offering the benefits of neither” (The Case for Reparations, So That’s Just One of My Losses”) and left many families unable to pay the mortgages. The end results of this discrimination were debilitating to the community of North Lawndale, which is now a majority black neighborhood and a ghetto. This story may not initially sound like one of white privilege but it is when you consider the fact that white people have not historically had to face situations like this one in North Lawndale and therefore their neighborhoods have not met the same type
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