White Like Me

The White Like Me video is a documentary on the history of race and privilege in the United States driven by Tim Wise, a white man from Nashville Tennessee who wrote the book White Like Me. Time Wise was exposed to diversity from an early age as his parents thought it beneficial for their son to not be raised in an all-white community as they were. Other than discussing Tim’s personal journey with both advocating for minorities and realizing his privilege, this documentary discusses how race and privilege continues to be used to discriminate.

There was a lot of information that resonated with me in this documentary, being a white woman born and raised in an all-white town.  I would like to think that I am an inclusive and accepting person, however regardless of my personal beliefs and how I treat the people around me I will always have privilege.  This privilege is something that I have always been aware of to an extent, but I am also fully aware that I will never really know how privileged I am as I will never be in the minority.  In the documentary Tim Wise talked about the book and later film Black Like Me which I thought was a very interested but also ignorant way for the white population to approach the concept of race.  However, there is a point in noting the effort for the white man to try and understand what it would be like to be black during that time period.  When discussing this film Tim Wise says how the film attempted to understand racism by momentarily occupying blackness but poses the opposite perspective on the subject asking what is it like to be white.  Just as the students in the film struggled to answer this question, I too do not know how I would answer.  It is a power realization that it is difficult for me to answer that question because I am part of the dominant group.

My lasting thoughts after watching this documentary is about the implicit racial bias.  It is hard to wrap my head around that fact that the beliefs and words of some powerful white men in history have become so rooted in society that humans have an automatic reaction to race around them.  I wonder if the connotation of white as good and black as bad would even be present if it were not due to the construct of race.

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