White Like Me

I think the video was effective at starting the conversation about white privilege. I believe that our nation has made substantial progress in eliminating some aspects of racism and discrimination, but we still have a long way to go. We have made advancements since times when our country only gave citizenship to “free white people”, yet racism, explicit or implicit, still occurs on a daily basis.  For example, Tim Wise, an antiracist educator, even questioned the qualification of black piolets as he boarded a plane. He recalls thinking “oh God, can these two guys really fly this plane?”.  Even though he quickly corrected himself, he has been conditioned by society into assuming that people of color are less qualified.  I have experienced a similar situation when I had surgery on my foot a few years ago. The orthopedic surgeon that performed the surgery was black, and I did not think any of it. However, on the day of my surgery when I was wheeled into the operating room, I was surprised that the entire surgical team was black. The surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and all the nurses were black. I did not explicitly think that as medical professionals they were underqualified to perform their jobs, but I was surprised at the fact that the entire surgical team was black. If the entire surgical team were white, I would not have noticed anything.  Again, this is an example of implicit racial biases, which can have detrimental effects, especially in the work place.

As we have discussed in class, the video also mentioned the concept of colorblindness by stating that “by keeping issues of discrimination under wraps intensifies racism”.  Because our society is not colorblind, we cannot simply ignore the fact that such racism and discrimination occurs. We also cannot ignore the fact that white privilege continues to create segregation within our society. The video mentioned that whiteness is not something white people think about and that we do not spend a lot of time thinking about how we fit in. I think it would be beneficial to have a conversation with our peers about how being of a minority status on the university’s campus effects them. I would like to gain a better understanding of what effects this has in the classroom, and hopefully learn some ways to mitigate the situation.

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