John Foster 's book, White Race Discourse, scrutinizes and deconstructs the manner in which many American Caucasians go about discussing, or rather, avoid discussing race relations in the United States. Through the means of face-to-face interviews, Foster gets insight into the minds of a sample of college students in a way that cannot be accomplished through a written survey. Recording inflections, pauses, and by guiding the interview, Foster catches many contradictions and discovers patterns seen through every interviewee. Analyzing the interviews, Foster develops a cohesive image of the White Race Discourse, and how it is affecting the country. One fundamental feature of this discourse it that it has become extremely bureaucratized. As if by some unspoken law, there is a feeling that any discussion on race relations is scripted, and that you can expect the conversation to go one way (Foster 660). With many of the interviewees, the conversation followed a path of acknowledging a problem, then saying things need to get better, and then diminishing the true impact of oppression in America. One prominent sociologist, George Ritzer, has called this phenomena 'McDonaldization ' (Foster 668). He equates many young white peoples speech pattern with the predictable nature of a trip to McDonalds. As with a McDonald order, White Race Discourse appears to have been streamlined for efficiency and to please the audience. While McDonalds does this by immediately asking for your order,
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Throughout American history, relationships between racial and ethnic groups have been marked by antagonism, inequality, and violence. In today’s complex and fast-paced society, historians, social theorists and anthropologists have been known to devote significant amounts of time examining and interrogating not only the interior climate of the institutions that shape human behavior and personalities, but also relations between race and culture. It is difficult to tolerate the notion; America has won its victory over racism. Even though many maintain America is a “color blind nation,” racism and racial conflict remain to be prevalent in the social fabric of American institutions. As a result, one may question if issues and challenges
Racial Formation in the United States by Michael Omi and Howard Winant made me readjust my understanding of race by definition and consider it as a new phenomenon. Through, Omi and Winant fulfilled their purpose of providing an account of how concepts of race are created and transformed, how they become the focus of political conflict, and how they shape and permeate both identities and institutions. I always considered race to be physical characteristic by the complexion of ones’ skin tone and the physical attributes, such as bone structure, hair texture, and facial form. I knew race to be a segregating factor, however I never considered the meaning of race as concept or signification of identity that refers to different types of human bodies, to the perceived corporal and phenotypic makers of difference and the meanings and social practices that are ascribed to these differences, in which in turn create the oppressing dominations of racialization, racial profiling, and racism. (p.111). Again connecting themes from the previous readings, my westernized influences are in a direct correlation to how to the idea of how I see race and the template it has set for the rather automatic patterns of inequalities, marginalization, and difference. I never realized how ubiquitous and evolving race is within the United States.
In recent years, there has been increased discussion about the treatment of minorities in the U.S. While there have been numerous laws passed that protect their freedoms, many Americans maintain a negative mindset toward other ethnicities. Due to people’s reservations, our country has been unable to make substantial progress toward equality. In The Nation’s article, “The Truth About Race in America: It’s Getting Worse, Not Better,” by Gary Younge, the author utilizes factual information, historical allusions, and related quotes to effectively contend that race relations are worsening within the United States.
Racial diversity is something that is often discussed on college campuses. As a student who self-identifies as a minority in more ways than one I often feel like I have a pretty good understanding of the subject of racism and race. However, often times when these issue are discussed I learn something new; this was the case when reading the articles this week. This week’s articles examined the issue of race from different perspectives. This allowed me to re-examine the issue in a fuller manner; it also allowed me to question some of my own notions that I hadn’t really challenged before.
The article “The Great White Way” by Debra J. Dickerson attempts to show her readers that “Race is an arbitrary system for establishing hierarchy and privilege” (68) in America. In her article, Dickerson questions how “whiteness” leads America in our culture and society and how all the other races are defined in America. She also explains how history has divided whites from non-whites in America. The intended audience that Dickerson’s essay gravitated towards are political or liberal Americans. In her article “The Great White Way”. Debra J. Dickerson powerfully argues that race is an overall way to establish social classes and who and what get special privileges because of their certain race or skin color. Dickerson argues that “Race is
Wise’s examination of the inconspicuous character of racism 2.0 dovetails fittingly with our course’s recurring theme of institutionalized racism. In class lectures we have defined institutionalized racism as the discriminatory practices that have become regularized and routinized by state agencies, organizations, industries, or anywhere else in society. Although such practices might not be intentionally racist, they end up being racist nevertheless as consequence of the systematized and unspoken biases that have become increasingly convoluted and entrenched within society over time. It also doesn’t help white people to recognize these discriminatory practices considering they have been unconsciously tailored to be consistent with white perspective and mentality. In her article, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Peggy McIntosh examines not only how white folks often consider themselves to be a normative figure within society, but also how they are carefully taught not to recognize the advantages they gain from the disadvantages that impair people of color. In the article, McIntosh acknowledges the reality of her own white privilege and expresses, “In my class and place, I did not see myself as a racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth” (McIntosh 4). In fact, even if white folks do not believe themselves to
Traditional historiographies of whiteness in the United States emphasize the critical examination and reorganization of the persistent racial discrimination constructed from the problem of white identity. Lipsitz investigates the racialized structure of contemporary America and unveils
At the start of this semester we discuss an issue that has poisoned the dynamic of society in the United States since the beginning, white supremacy. For centuries, members of the white community have simply used the color of their skin to attain and remain in power. In my opinion, those that use their white privilege to partake in white supremacy are the only ones who benefit from this poison. White supremacy continues to be fueled in the United States, and plays just as big of a factor in today’s world as it did many years ago. There is no retaliation for uproars or
The election of Barack Obama as the 56th president of the United States raised many hopes that the “Black struggles” was finally over. For conservatives, Obama victory reassured their beliefs that there was no longer such thing as racism and that every American had equal rights and opportunity to pursue the American dream. While many people have come to believe that all races have equal rights in America, Tim Wise argues in his documentary “White Like Me” that not only does racism and unconscious racial bias still exist, but that also White Americans are unable to simply relate to the variety of forms racism and inequality Blacks experience. This is mainly because of the privileges they get as the “default.” While Wise explores the variety forms of racism and inequality today such as unconscious racism, Black poverty, unemployment, inadequate education system, and prison system, the articles by the New York Times Editorial Board, the Human Rights Watch (HRW), and Adam Liptak further explore some the disparities in the criminal justice system. Ana Swanson points out in her article, “The Stubborn Persistence of Black-White Inequality, 50 Years after Selma” that while the “U.S. has made big strides towards equal rights,” significant gaps still remains between the two races. With the Supreme Court striking down a “portion of the Voting Rights Act that stopped discriminatory voting laws from going into effect in areas of the country with histories of disenfranchisement,” civil
White Fragility is an essay by Robin DiAngelo that critiques the inner workings of how white majority population poorly converse and interacts with the racial social construct that resides in modern American culture. Not privileged with the opportunity to ignore racial tensions, blacks are ready to discuss the disadvantages they face daily in America’s white privileged culture. DiAngelo states that since whites have not had been forced to develop a mode of conversing about racial inequalities in black culture; therefore whites become uncomfortable, evasive, and angry. Because of evasive language when triggers such as “suggesting that a white person’s viewpoint comes from a racialized frame of reference”, the construct of white supremacy is
There is an extricable relationship between race, capitalism, and property and how it perpetuates the notion of whiteness through the exploitation of “others”. Property is a relationship of a person and an object; slaves were considered as objects. Race is constructed from white workers’ ideology of whiteness and labor wage. Racism has been long constructed through the production of race and its relations to property, and we can see it through the notion of capitalism and the idea of whiteness.
In American society, race and racial issues are viewed in a black and white manner. The media portrays matters of race in the simplest terms without taking intersectionality into account. Social class, economic factors, and historical factors impact how racial issues are regarded and handled in specific geographic locations. John Hartigan demonstrates this in his book, Racial Situations: Class Predicaments of Whiteness of Detroit, which describes the dynamics of three local communities: Briggs, Cork Town, and Warrendale. Hartigan examines how white identity varies in these three neighborhoods due to other social factors. Comparing how these local communities respond to race versus the media’s response shows how categorizing people into monolithic groups based only on race is a tactic that ignores the real issues and delays finding solutions.
In this paper, I will be reviewing Robert Jensen’s “The Heart of Whiteness. Confronting Race, Racism, and White privilege”, along with developing a critical analysis of this work. I will be comparing my analysis with the opinions of others that have reviewed this book along with utilizing concepts from James W. Neulieps textbook, Intercultural Communication.
Furthermore, the researchers divide white racial consciousness into two: achieved and unachieved. A person who has achieved white racial consciousness has explored and developed some sort of belief system when it comes to racial issues. Conversely, those with unachieved white racial consciousness have not grasped their own racial identity and its link to other minority groups, which may stem from either intentionally avoiding dialogue surrounding race or depending on family members to form an ideology. In his book Faces at the Bottom of the Well, Bell argues that this relatively loose grasp of white racial identity creates an environment that serves a significant detriment to advancing racial progress in the country, as “few white people are able to identify with blacks as a group –the essential prerequisite for feeling empathy with, rather than aversion from, blacks’ self-inflicted suffering” (Bell, 4).
Although some individuals may wish or even naively claim that we live in a post-racial society, the reality in twenty first century America is that individual and institutional racism continues to take a horrible toll on young people of color, who are at greater risk of race-based violence, unjust criminalization, as well as economic, political and educational discrimination. The powerful advantages that come from being born white are immeasurable and painfully real. It is critical that white individuals recognize the depth of their privilege, but doing nothing more than that can appear self-congratulatory, and as an attempt to exempt them from responsibility. An example of one writer’s over-simplification of white privilege can be found