Megan Simmons. Begnal. English 104. 27 January 2017. Identifying

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Megan Simmons
Begnal
English 104
27 January 2017
Identifying as “White” in the Trump Age
Jose Antonio Vargas states, “Until we unpack ‘whiteness’ as a social construct…we cannot have a real, more honest conversation about race and racism…In this era of #BlackLivesMatter, at a time when Latinos are the largest minority group and Asians are the fastest growing racial and immigrant group, exploring and questioning ‘white privilege’ is essential” (qtd. in Craven). Having a discussion about what “whiteness” means today and how it came about is so important because in the past, other races have had their worth based off of what “whiteness” was worth. This topic has been avoided because it questions the majority in power and it brings out the
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It means being and living and experiencing the world as an individual and not having to think about your race” (Painter). I played on the playground with kids of all color and assumed we were all equal. As I grew older, I noticed more examples of oppression that people of color had to face. In my middle school, more “colored” kids got accused of acting out and more had to get free and reduced lunch than white kids. In my high school, there were less “colored” students in my advanced classes and more white kids were considered the “popular” kids. I learned in my history classes throughout all my life about the terrible examples of slavery, segregation, and the Holocaust, all perpetrated by white people. The more I saw examples of white supremacy in real life and what I read in history books, the more I became ashamed to be called “white.” As a white person, I do not experience oppression with that part of my identity. I just experience assumptions and stereotypes based off other parts of my identity, like for being blonde and being assumed to be stupid, or for being a woman and others assuming me to be weak. None of those assumptions and the treatment that comes with it is as comparable to what colored people face and have had to face. I cannot truly relate to what people of color go through and that is the problem with the greater part of society today. In America, the majority of power lies with white people and since they don’t know

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