I thought I understood racism well enough. Since early childhood I’ve learned from parents and teachers that racism is a sense of racial superiority, a way of making judgments about people based on their skin color before you get to know them, and a cause of hate crimes and foul language. I think I’m not racist, and as a white woman I’m not likely to be the victim of racism, so I usually think racism has nothing to do with my life. But I’m uncomfortable with the idea of race because what I’ve learned about race is contradictory. I’m taught that people of different races are equal, but I see that they live separately. I’m told that they should get along, but the past and the present reveal that they don’t. I’m a product of political correctness that at best gives me a list of things not to say, and at worst makes me want to pretend that race doesn’t exist, but that does not give me a thorough understanding of how to think about race or how to see my role in a society in which race matters.
Kozol, Tatum, and Delpit made me confront my discomfort and guided me through the thorny terrain of thinking about race. They’ve made me think more about my own identity as part of racial and socio-economic groups. They’ve given me some tools that seem more effective than rhetoric about equality to help me to recognize and overcome prejudices that I’ve always pretended I didn’t have. They’ve taught me that racism and classism are not evident only in isolated discriminatory acts, but that they pervade American institutions, including the one upon which our hopes of creating a truly equal society most firmly rests, public education. They’ve made me aware of the effects of white privilege and e...
... middle of paper ...
...a firm understanding of racial dynamics in my classroom and know what I want to teach my students about race and how to go about that so that I don’t accidentally teach them the wrong things. As an active tax-paying citizen, I want to support tax reform that will equalize the disparities in public education and other public institutions that should serve all Americans. As an individual, I search myself for biases, try to be aware of the way others perceive me, and make it a goal to take risks to breach gaps between racial and class groups. This commitment to open learning should help me through the many processes that remain – as I try to develop my stance on other thorny issues like affirmative action, as I form new relationships with people, and as I acknowledge my starting place as a white woman in racist America when I make choices about how to lead my life.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- White privilege is an underlying basis of advantages from which white people are able to benefit. Whether these benefits are known or understood by the white people who hold them, these advantages provide a cycle of greater opportunity. A person who is privileged on the sole basis of his or her skin tone is allowed the peace of mind that is ignorance. This ignorance allows the personal and individual effects of racism do not directly affect those who are white. McInstosh came to the realization that she “had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage,” (McIntosh 1).... [tags: Racism, Black people, Race, Human skin color]
911 words (2.6 pages)
- In this day and age there are a plethora of problems in our society. A lot of the problems in America are constantly geared towards race and privilege. Privilege is a specified advantage towards something that is given to certain people or groups. A lot of the hype in today’s society is because of how heaps of people have privilege, more privilege, or lack of privilege over others. This is specifically geared toward Caucasian people and in some cases, people with money. Privilege is all around, but do we really recognize or question our privilege.... [tags: Race, Racism, Caucasian race, White people]
795 words (2.3 pages)
- What is privilege. This is an exceptional right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people. Privilege can be defined if one person or a group of people has one or more right or value that others people or set of people are deprived of just because of the groups they belong to or for whom they are, or rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do. Right to privilege doesn’t control one’s results, but this is absolutely a benefit that makes it more likely that whatever endowment, ability, and aspirations a person or group with privilege has will result in something positive for them.... [tags: Black people, White people, Race, South Africa]
1302 words (3.7 pages)
- Many white Americans are living with the fear that they didn't really deserve their success, and that maybe luck and privilege had more to do with it, than brains and hard work. There are numerous reasons for the widespread discrimination at all levels, but the main reason for the existence of discrimination is a privilege to certain groups of people, and widespread social prejudice towards certain groups of people. Differences between people have always existed, but they gain in importance only when are different importance given to certain differences, so it creates privileges.... [tags: White Privilege, Reality or Myth?]
1845 words (5.3 pages)
- The term “White Privilege” has been a term that’s been used a lot not only by me but by a lot of individuals around me. It’s such a controversial word that has a long history. Whenever I hear this word used against someone else who is white that individual usually denies that they have white privilege at all and usually end up telling me about how they make the same amount as me and everyone else or they make less than other people who are also white. They bring up how there are poor whites and how they work for everything they have.... [tags: Racism, Race, Race]
1152 words (3.3 pages)
- The idea of white privilege states that due to an ongoing racial hierarchy in the country, white people benefit from a set of advantages and immunities on a daily basis that other races do not benefit from. In this article, McIntosh lists reasons she believes she benefits from white privilege on a daily basis along with comparing the idea of white privilege with male privilege. While her list is lengthy, there are multiple reasons throughout the piece that lead me to disagree with her reasoning.... [tags: Racism, Race, Race, Black people]
1412 words (4 pages)
- Christian Rosado Tracy Peterchak SOC 102 19 July 2014 The Privileged and the Not The concept of race has no biological merit and is a concept that was invented to oppress the minority group. Historically, this can be seen when studying early European settlement into America when the settlers came in contact with the natives of the land. Based on their darker skin color, and their difference in culture, they were quickly singled out as different and subjugated to torture because they were “savages” and not “civilized”.... [tags: Racism, Race, White people, Race]
1475 words (4.2 pages)
- White Privilege The belief that white privilege never existed or that it is no longer a problem is skewed by the selective use facts to support this claim. How do we address this problem. We must define the what is is to be privileged, acknowledge the problem and identify a means to fix it. "The idea of privilege- that some people benefit from unearned,and largely unacknowledged, advantages, even when those advantages aren 't discriminatory."(Rothman, 2015) "Race privilege refers to the advantages that people receive because of the color of their skin."(Simpson, 2015) The problem is that those with privilege do not see the problem.... [tags: Race, Black people, White people]
1040 words (3 pages)
- White privilege are privileges that are given to white people who they do not earn, it 's an asset they get; on daily basis just because of their skin color.; White. Peggy McIntosh describes the white privilege as "an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, code-books, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks (McIntosh 1988, p175).” I believe that the white privilege is the same as racism because the word white privilege itself explains it. It is privilege given and offered towards only the white people.... [tags: Racism, Race, White people, Colored]
829 words (2.4 pages)
- "Why can 't black people just work harder?" Hard work results in success, and black people are in many cases looked at as less successful than white people. Therefore, that means that black people simply work less hard than white people. This is the perspective that many privileged white people may have when discussing the issue of white privilege. They fail to realize that white privilege plays a significant role in what opportunities someone might have. In Princeton University student, Tal Fortgang 's essay, "Checking My Privilege: Character as the Basis of Privilege", he criticizes those who tell him to "Check your privilege".... [tags: White people, Black people, Racism, Race]
1281 words (3.7 pages)
- Exploring Freedom in Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward
- The Language and Uses of Religion in George Balcombe
- Analysis of The Great Illusion, by Norman Angell
- Culture as a Process in Levine's Highbrow, Lowbrow
- World Renunciation in Indian Religious Traditions
- The Emergence and Africanization of Catholic Christianity in the Kongo