This video was a nice compliment to the episodes of “Race: The Power of Illusion” that we watched as well as the discussions we’ve been having in class. It touched on many of the same concepts such as the racism that is subtly written in many of our country’s historical documents, the differences in opportunity presented based on race, and the idea of becoming a “colorblind” society. I enjoyed learning about race from Tim Wise’s perspective. As a white male who grew up socializing and coexisting with races other than his own, he offers powerful insight from personal experience. He is honest and passionate about what it means to be a white male in America and he admits that he is not proud or comfortable with how racism is treated in our country historically and today.
One of the points made in this video that resonated with me most was the idea that white is the “default”. If you are white in America, you are the baseline/norm and therefore, don’t need to think as much how you go about actions every day. I have thought a lot about this concept in the pass and I agree, as a white woman, I will never understand the level of privilege I have. The amount of privilege I have solely because of the color of my skin is incomprehensible to me. Personally, I try to acknowledge and recognize how lucky I am every day; however, this video drew attention to little advantages to being white such as not being profiled and having the freedom to walk around without poor preconceived judgement based on race. This video opened my eyes to the fact that I will never be able to walk in someone else’s shoes. As hard as I try to understand what life is like for other races, I will never fully understand what it means to be them.
Another topic the video mentions is implicit bias. This is a concept that has always interested me because it addresses the subconscious bias we all carry that we can’t control. The fact that both white and black people show preference for other white people and view them as “good” is discouraging. Implicit bias is sad, but it draws attention to the reality of how we all think about race. Social standings and norms about race are engraved in our brains because of history and societal norms. What can we do to change the way we think about race? As I said in past blog posts, knowledge is power and I hope that will the knowledge we are all collecting in this class we will become more capable of celebrating our differences and looking at diversity as a good thing, rather than remaining ignorant and naive to the reality of race in our country.