Real Talk about White Privilege

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posted on Mar, 30 2007 @ 01:44 PM
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Oh yeah, I quit. I didn't want to, because I liked the job. The kids didn't want to see me go, either...




posted on Mar, 30 2007 @ 01:56 PM
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That's an odd story truth.

Every legitimate job that I have had has required that I sign a paper outlining terms of employment, including salary.

Not saying that I don't believe you, just odd is all.





[edit on 30-3-2007 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Mar, 30 2007 @ 02:02 PM
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Phoenix, I did sign forms like those you speak of. The lady kept them all, though.

And, it wasn't a typical job per se; it was a work study job.



posted on Mar, 30 2007 @ 02:19 PM
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Well, at least you quit.

Besides the obvious, did you learn anything else from that experience?

Will you ever open your own business?



posted on Mar, 30 2007 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by phoenixhasrisin
Well, at least you quit.

Besides the obvious, did you learn anything else from that experience?

Will you ever open your own business?


Besides the obvious, not really. I've made it a POINT to document pay before I work with every job ever since, though.

Looking at the success of Dame Dash and Russell Simmons, I'd like to do that one day. I'd probably set up shop in Atlanta.



posted on Mar, 30 2007 @ 04:01 PM
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Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
So, what next? OP, what would you like to see the individuals participating in this thread do?
...
What next?


I find it very interesting that the OP (that's original poster in case it's not clear) is apparently not willing to answer this simple yet IMPORTANT post...

Shall we discuss what to do next or shall we continue to wallow in the ugliness?

phoenix, I LOVE your signature video!



posted on Mar, 30 2007 @ 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by truthseeka

Besides the obvious, not really. I've made it a POINT to document pay before I work with every job ever since, though.

Looking at the success of Dame Dash and Russell Simmons, I'd like to do that one day. I'd probably set up shop in Atlanta.


I read about your experience. And I know it was probably hard, I am so glad that you quit. I am also glad that you were able to learn from it and move on to better avenues in terms of persuing your dreams. Now that's the important thing here.


I realize that it is usually experiences like the one you had that causes us to open our eyes about the world. And once you do, you can never go back again. It's sad, but a fact of life for a lot of non-white people who have to work with white privilege and its social costs.

It is things like what you discussed that make white privilege so visible that people can't hide behind the rhetoric. They will have to be forced to "see" it and not "deny" that it happens.


But it seems that even after this, some do not like to "see" it and would rather dance around in order to avoid discussing it.



[edit on 30-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 30 2007 @ 06:52 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I read about your experience. And I know it was probably hard, I am so glad that you quit. I am also glad that you were able to learn from it and move on to better avenues in terms of persuing your dreams. Now that's the important thing here.
[edit on 30-3-2007 by ceci2006]


Thanks for your support. But, real talk, leaving the job was about as bad as being shafted for my skin color. It was an after-school program for kids in grades K-5.

The little tykes get attached to you QUICK at that job. I remember missing a day once, and the next day I went in, some of the kids were like, "where were you yesterday?" And often, when the program ended for the day, they'd be like "are you coming back tomorrow?"

Ah...those kids.
It was nice to be a part of that program for at least some time. Hell, many of the kids would have no one at home when school ended, so the program provided a positive outlet for them until their parents got home. Consider this: the school was RIGHT across the street from the hood. I LITERALLY saw people slang down the street from the school.:shk: And, most of the kids lived in said hood...

But hey...it is what it is...



posted on Mar, 30 2007 @ 09:13 PM
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It's sad, but a fact of life for a lot of non-white people who have to work with white privilege and its social costs.

Truth a bad thing happened to you. What was done was illegal. What was done to you,imho, had nothing to do with white privilege and everything to do with outright discrimination. You said you were involved with a work-study program. I would bet the work-study program was in conjunction with your institution of higher learning. Unless this institution is a private school they use govt funding. If they use govt funding they are subject to eeo laws. If they are proved to discriminate they lose funding.
www.eeoc.gov...
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), it is illegal to discriminate in any aspect of employment, including:

hiring and firing;
compensation, assignment, or classification of employees;
transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall;
job advertisements;
recruitment;
testing;
use of company facilities;
training and apprenticeship programs;
fringe benefits;
pay, retirement plans, and disability leave; or
other terms and conditions of employment.
Discriminatory practices under these laws also include:

harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age;
retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices;
employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities; and
denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability. Title VII also prohibits discrimination because of participation in schools or places of worship associated with a particular racial, ethnic, or religious group.
Employers are required to post notices to all employees advising them of their rights under the laws EEOC enforces and their right to be free from retaliation. Such notices must be accessible, as needed, to persons with visual or other disabilities that affect reading

Also in these protection laws.....
The Civil Rights Act of 1991
The Civil Rights Act of 1991 made major changes in the federal laws against employment discrimination enforced by EEOC. Enacted in part to reverse several Supreme Court decisions that limited the rights of persons protected by these laws, the Act also provides additional protections. The Act authorizes compensatory and punitive damages in cases of intentional discrimination, and provides for obtaining attorneys' fees and the possibility of jury trials. It also directs the EEOC to expand its technical assistance and outreach activities.

If you signed papers saying you were to be paid one wage and were paid another you have the right to sue. People always leave a paper trail all one has to do is follow up on it.

Do you consider discrimination to be white privilege?



posted on Mar, 30 2007 @ 10:02 PM
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After thinking about it, you're correct. I did say that an opinion can be afforded to white privilege.

So for white privilege to go away people will have to not have differing opinions?



However, I'd like to clarify that when this is being done, I truly think that some whites don't use their conscience and opt for oblviousness when dealing with issues of race. This also relates to not taking everything into context. If they did, you wouldn't have some of the patronising answers that one gets on race-relations discussions and threads.

Like I said earlier freedom is speech is for all even the ignorant people.
I would rather people were direct and forward with their opinions. When people hide behind political correctness you don't really know how they stand on issues; all you know is they are afraid to offend someone.
en.wikipedia.org...





After all, it is a privilege for white persons to not think about their color or their race all the time because their heritage, upbringing and race is validated constantly in society. Subsequently, they have the luxury to not "see" race.

Earlier in this thread I told you I chose not to see color. I did not provide enough information for you and you have interpreted this as you have seen fit. How about I tell you what I ment when I typed those words. I treat people,no matter the color, as individuals. I have been around enough people to know that bad people come in all shades of color. To assume anything about someone before you know them is ignorant, and generally, in my experience,you will be proven wrong.



And some other whites can read these phrases and silently do nothing about them.

From what I have read in this thread, this being my first exposure to you,Truth, and others, you handle yourselves just fine. If you want me to jump into your arguements I will be happy to; I hadn't before because you two have done well as far as I can read.




Observations of the behaviors of white people during race-related discussions.

Well played





But, white people especially--because of their privilege--treat their language differently because their behavior--due to color--is given a pass.

A pass by who? You and others have blasted anyone who makes comments you deem inappropriate. No one gets a pass here.




So what about shouting, "Fire!" in a crowded building? Is that also a First Amendment right?

You well know it is not,but to compare that to voicing opinions is like apples to oranges.




You seem to think that we have an equal society now. We don't.

You are right that is why we have laws in place if it was we would not need the laws. The problem we have now,imho, is making these laws work for all.



No. You're thinking of the "myth of meritocracy" again. People can earn all the merits in the world. This is especially the case when it comes down to having the merit of having one's opinion taken seriously. But that doesn't stop the descrepancy in treatment afforded to speech. And it doesn't account for the sense of respect and responsbility afforded to it.

So you don't think people are going to have differing opinions of what is fair?



posted on Mar, 31 2007 @ 02:20 AM
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Originally posted by shooterbrody

So for white privilege to go away people will have to not have differing opinions?


No. That's not what I meant. It is fine that people have differing opinions. However, I just tend to think that white privilege "colors" how individuals "see" aspects of society. For example, two people can make two different assessments of the same thing. One individual who benefits from white privilege might not "see" the disparity that occurs in a social institution while another who doesn't benefit from white privilege "sees" that disparity.

As a result, when discussions like this happen, a social outlook that has been influenced by entitlement from white privilege may not have the sensitivity of viewing aspects of social injustice because he or she may not have had to think about this before.

If white privilege were to go away tomorrow, people will still have their opinions. But, due to how one was raised and treated in society they will tend to look at society differently. That's all.

My argument is that even if "white privilege" colors a point of view, that does not leave out respect, responsibility and conscience. I just think that people who have benefitted from white privilege do not adequately demonstrate a sense of connection or identification with those who haven't benefitted from the system. And it comes out in their language and actions.



Like I said earlier freedom is speech is for all even the ignorant people.


I'm not arguing against freedom of speech. If that was solely the case, I am all for it.

What I am concerned about is the notion of conscience and empathy. People can say all they want. But if they don't have a sense of conscience or empathy when saying it, then what does freedom of speech truly mean? After all, it is a right that should be respected because words do have power in this society. And for people to wield them, they ought to at least have common sense enough to be concerned about how their words affect other people--especially those different than themselves.


I would rather people were direct and forward with their opinions.


So do I. It cuts through the crap, so to speak. Why pussyfoot around when you can just say what's on your mind? But even when being plain speaking, one must have the good sense to think about their words.


When people hide behind political correctness you don't really know how they stand on issues; all you know is they are afraid to offend someone.


You're correct. But of course, when empathy and conscience come into play, I think that you don't need to hide behind political correctness. If one feels connected to their fellow human being, then they can usually discuss what's on their mind without all the fancy rhetoric. Again here, conscience and empathy are of note when dealing with this as well.


Earlier in this thread I told you I chose not to see color. I did not provide enough information for you and you have interpreted this as you have seen fit. How about I tell you what I ment when I typed those words. I treat people,no matter the color, as individuals.


I understand that. I thank you for doing so. But, here's where there is a difference of thought. Sometimes, it is not enough to think of people as individuals. I surmise that sometimes people are so caught up on treating each other as individuals because it has been ingrained in us as Americans to do so through the Puritan Work Ethic and the myths of Horatio Algiers. Rugged individualism isn't everything.

There are countries that believe in interconnectedness. Most Asian countries believe in community that extends across generations. Africans believe in community that extends across generations. Even cultures, such as the Native American Nations, think in this pattern. In the mindset of connectedness, we're tied to one another. We work together in order to see a better society. As a result of that connectiveness, we empathize with one another.

In America, we don't think this way. Instead, we're raised to compete against each other. And in that way, we see each other as individuals and as competitors. That is why (in correspondence with my other thread about "victims"), there is a deep psychopathy that exists in the United States. We've been fostered on ego-centric behavior. In fact, America celebrates coolness, indifference, lack of empathy and ego-centricity ("anti-victimist" language falls on these lines). I think that this type of thinking discourages empathy and conscience. In fact, we've even lauded aspects of work along these lines (sports, corporations, politics) and ridiculed occupations that sponsor connectedness (social work, teaching, humanities, art). It's one of the reasons why psychopaths are more prevalent in societies like America than anywhere else. We encourage these anti-social behaviors that allow them to fit in without being noticed (if they are successful at it, I mean).

So, it's not so simple to just see people as "individuals". And from dealing with these discussions, white people always discuss "individualism". I don't know if it is hard for a white person to see themselves as part of a larger community or not. But, it becomes a problem when this is inserted into discussions about race.


I have been around enough people to know that bad people come in all shades of color. To assume anything about someone before you know them is ignorant, and generally, in my experience,you will be proven wrong.


You're right. It is an ignorant behavior. But, that doesn't discount the prevalence in behaviors that come out from discussions like these. My take on this is that despite the fact that individuals are different, they are still socially engineered to say and do certain things do to outer influences in society. That's why it is so easy sometimes to track what someone might say in a race-related discussion.

And furthermore, that is why I believe that generalizations (if made in good faith and not in malice) are helpful to gauge what a group of people might do. But like Harlem Hottie said earlier in the thread, certain cultures (and races) are socialized to think of themselves as a community while others do not. And from the point of view of a person of color like myself, I see people as individuals coming from a larger community. Is that right or wrong? It depends on how you're influenced.



More in the second part. Thanks for such an insightful read on my comments. I've enjoyed this so far.





[edit on 31-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 31 2007 @ 03:07 AM
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Originally quoted by shooterbrody

From what I have read in this thread, this being my first exposure to you,Truth, and others, you handle yourselves just fine. If you want me to jump into your arguements I will be happy to; I hadn't before because you two have done well as far as I can read.


Hey, thank you for saying that.
I appreciate your words. And I respect you for saying that.

But, I'm sorry to say that most times, people don't have the courage to speak up in times in which the mob mentality takes over. On some of my experiences on the board (especially when they have to do with controversial topics), people just stand by and watch. For the most part, they join in the grilling because it is sadistic and "fun" to see someone go down. This is doubly so for matters about race. That's why I brought up the "Good German" syndrome. It provides an excellent example of a large group of people who stood by and watched while the worst atrocities were being committed.

It takes brave people to stand up and do things that are right. That is why Duzey's example at the start of this thread is so noteworthy. She had the guts when a lot of people didn't to speak her mind about this topic. She also had the conscience to call out the endeavors of the others at the beginning of the thread. She didn't stand by and watch everything go down. It is one of the many reasons why I respect and like her. She has a beautiful soul and a big heart.

And I wish that people, in the same vein, would speak their heart and the conscience in topics like these.

Yes, we are human beings. But, that's not enough when there is a discussion about social disparity in society. People have to stop beating around the bush and face the music. And they have to stop throwing everything but the kitchen sink and focus on this aspect as it is.

That's all I want. If there is "real talk" to be had about white privilege, don't be glib about it. Don't attack the messenger. Don't attack the message. Just talk about it and deal with as a real aspect in society because it happens. Nothing more.




Well played







A pass by who? You and others have blasted anyone who makes comments you deem inappropriate. No one gets a pass here.


This is far different than just comments. This is a factor in society.

White people get a pass all the time for their behavior and words from other white people. That's why white privilege is a factor in society. White people receive "unearned benefits" because of birth and skin color. And they make comments all the time on this board and in RL that others have given them a pass on--overtly or covertly.

Truthseeka, myself and others decided to discuss this aspect by shining a light on it. If we didn't say anything, white people especially wouldn't think any differently. Unless, there was a white person who was aware of social disparity, displays an identification with persons of color and is sensitive to others to call others of their race out on those comments.

Those who don't know or don't care about the effect of what they say would let the pernicious comments pass by them with nary a glance. And, if they don't "see" the effect these phrases and actions have on a non-white person, then they probably wouldn't consider it--due to the factor of anti-social encouragement in American society. If there isn't empathy or a conscience tied to comments and actions, then what do you expect might happen the next time a person says, "Go back to Africa" to other like-minded individuals? You'd simply think that would be just the expression of one's opinion. But to those who are sensitive and connected to others, they would not let those words rest on their conscience because they actively know that such a phrase is used in order to hurt other individuals.

That's the difference.






You well know it is not,but to compare that to voicing opinions is like apples to oranges.


Not entirely. Someone could shout, "Fire!" in a crowded building and cause a disturbance. But that person could think that shouting such a think is merely an expression of opinion. And they would be a sick individual if they continue to think that this is an expression of an opinion even though people were trampled upon in the process of exiting the building.

That is why the mere expression of one's opinion just doesn't cut it without empathy, insight or conscience. You have to think deeply about what you say sometimes.




You are right that is why we have laws in place if it was we would not need the laws. The problem we have now,imho, is making these laws work for all.


That is correct. But when we have politicians and other civic leaders (who benefit from white privilege) who have no empathy for making the laws work for all, what do you think might happen? The same disparities still happen because they would not "see" what is happening and would actively work to keep the system in place. The system of "white privilege" isn't simply created because of laws. It is an entire set of social institutions, practices, norms, cultural beliefs and values that work to enforce the disparities that are occuring in society.

That's why it isn't as simple as you make it out to be. White privilege is a very complex system that affects us all beyond that of laws. There has to be other ways to dismantle the system that works in part with legalities.



So you don't think people are going to have differing opinions of what is fair?


How can people have opinions that reflect fairness if they aren't schooled in empathy, respect, conscience and ethics?

And if such persons do not feel interconnected with others in their society, what makes you think they would even know about notions of fairness if it has to do with others who are different from themselves?


[edit on 31-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 11:03 AM
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So...Chissler.

Are you still confused?



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 11:19 AM
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I do understand what truthseeka and ceci say about white privilege on many accounts and It can be seen without looking too hard. I have not read through all thirty nine pages so forgive me if this question has already been asked. I want to know what you mean when you say "white" people? Just the american "white" or would an irishman,german,russian or finnish person also be labled "white" to fit in the white privilege discussion? I find it hard to put people into colors rather than their ethnicity.



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by I See You
I do understand what truthseeka and ceci say about white privilege on many accounts and It can be seen without looking too hard. I have not read through all thirty nine pages so forgive me if this question has already been asked. I want to know what you mean when you say "white" people? Just the american "white" or would an irishman,german,russian or finnish person also be labled "white" to fit in the white privilege discussion? I find it hard to put people into colors rather than their ethnicity.


In this thread, I'm discussing American white people. I feel you on the color-coding, if you will, but hey, it's part of the American way. Not unlike apartheid South Africa.

At the same time, I have no ethnicity. Not that I TRULY don't have one; I mean that I can't ask any of my relatives about my African ethnicity, due to slavery.

I'm sure my slave ancestors were happy about this, though.



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 12:19 PM
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Do you consider yourself african-american or american? I believe that if you're born in america regardless of the color of your skin that you're an american not african-american. To me, labeling as such african-american,asian-american etc. is just adding to the issue of separation amongst americans. I would be german-irish-italian-polish american but I consider myself just american.



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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My nationality may be American, but I don't truly feel like an American. This is because of things like white privilege and discrimination. Not to mention that me being anti-Bush regime and anti-NWO makes me anti-American.


Seriously, though, W.E.B. DuBois has an excellent quote that speaks on this duality that most black Americans feel. I'll try to find it.

And, you're right about the divisions aspect. But, what do you do when you don't feel like you're totally included in the country you reside in?



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by truthseeka
But, what do you do when you don't feel like you're totally included in the country you reside in?


How many of us do you think really feel like a part of what's going on in this country right now? How many of us do you think back Bush and his war and the NWO?

What do you do? You be who you are, you live your life to the best of your ability and you make the best of what you have. That's what we all do. You're no more or less an American than I am because of the color of your skin.

Do you think having the same skin color s the president really means anything???


As an aside, If so, wouldn't Obama make a great president?
Then we could ALL feel like we "belong".

But no, man. I don't feel like I "belong" any more than you do.


Tea

posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 12:46 PM
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what do you do when you don't feel like you're totally included in the country you reside in?

You are responsible for your thoughts, your feelings, your actions. Lay this wreath where it belongs - at your door. No one can make you feel anything without your consent.

Your self-pity keeps you anchored in the past. Other people have nothing to do with your insecurity.

Take responsibility for yourself. If you don't like how you feel, then change your attitude.

[edit on 4/1/2007 by Tea]



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 03:17 PM
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Thank you, I See You, for your observations. I am a little busy today, but I wanted to take some time to briefly answer your questions.





Originally posted by I See You

I do understand what truthseeka and ceci say about white privilege on many accounts and It can be seen without looking too hard.


Thank you for simply admitting that fact without ridicule, derision and attacking the messenger.




I have not read through all thirty nine pages so forgive me if this question has already been asked. I want to know what you mean when you say "white" people? Just the american "white" or would an irishman,german,russian or finnish person also be labled "white" to fit in the white privilege discussion? I find it hard to put people into colors rather than their ethnicity.


This is a discussion about race. And since the "colors" afforded to race is a societal and political construct (and not a biological one), the designation of "whiteness" is being used instead of ethnicity.

It would be rather different if it were "white ethnic privilege". Then, we would have to entertain the Irish, Russian, German, etc. heritage when discussing this phenomenon in society.

I tend to think the reason why some members of the dominant culture find it hard to put people into "colors" is because they haven't had to deal with the aspect of "race" in the same pattern as people of color. When you've been socialized not to think about your race on a daily basis, why would you start now? When your race has been validated in society by simply sight, institution, laws and social values and norms, you may not be socially geared to attribute your race to anything.

People of color have always had to deal with these aspects because our color has been put forth in every societal institution, social norm, value and cultural belief. We have been made to "see" our color because there aren't as many examples in dominant culture that demonstrate the complete validation of our races as whites do.

Due to this constant validation in society, "whiteness" is rendered "invsibile"--hence the "invisible knapsack" of white privlege. Hence, when you have the luxury of not thinking of your race, then it would be perfectly natural to consider ethnicity.

However, one's race is made painfully clear when it has to do with "social disparity" and who benefits as a result of it.




Do you consider yourself african-american or american?


Both.



I believe that if you're born in america regardless of the color of your skin that you're an american not african-american.


That's nice to solely think about being American, but society has not given people of color (let alone Black people) the luxury of being "Americans". History has designated for us these catagories due to prejudice, laws, social norms, values, beliefs systems and other aspects of society because of whiteness. Our race has been made "painfully aware to us through a prevalence of actions, legalities, values, socio-cultural norms and language indicating that we're "not Americans".

And it is quite interesting to think that when people of color assert their race, that white people want to work towards "rendering" our color invisible too--as a way to avoid discussing the painful issues that construct society.



To me, labeling as such african-american,asian-american etc. is just adding to the issue of separation amongst americans. I would be german-irish-italian-polish american but I consider myself just american.


Of course you would, if your race was constantly validated in society. But, the "separation" talk is still connected with the notion of "color-blindness". Through studying it and seeing patterns of this langugage through race-related talk, I find that members of the dominant culture are socialized to believe that since they don't "see" race (through this constant validation), then others must think like they do.

However, this same belief system also has liabilities because of this constant privilege of not being able to "see" race:

1)There isn't a sense of community or culture.

2)There is an inability to construct a sense of "whiteness" in society.

3)And, it is very hard to articulate how "whiteness" fits into society due to this concept of invisibility.

It makes perfect sense then to just see yourself as American and seeing this designations as a part of "segregation". When you start articulating how to speak about your "color", then you would have to entertain the ugly truths that such "invisibility" conveys. Furthermore, the political rhetoric attached to "not seeing a color" and "finding that it renders "separation" is predicated on the belief that everyone must assimilate toward a society based on the belief systems of white people.

For communities of color, this is not an easy thing. And because this notion of whiteness has caused divisions in our communities (based on 'colorism', 'white privilege' and other social concepts extending toward legalities), whiteness means that we too have to "render" our heritage and race "invisible" in order to assmiliate into larger society. And this has been the cause of a lot of identity issues--afforded to the color bar. And people of color who have "assimilated" are appreciated by white people because they simply adopt "their culture" and "their ways."

To me, such a statement reflects cultural and racial superiority. Not only that, to not accept "division" and "separation" see to reflect the notion that our cultures and heritage is not good enough to acknowledge in the larger society, therefore we must ignore our pasts and color to be more like white people so they can "accept us" for what we're not instead of who we are.


So you see, not "seeing yourself as anything" is not the simplest, nor the easiest thing to do--especially when it has to do with being American.

In a society as complex as ours, you just "can't" render yourself simply American when societal disparities communicate the lack of disrespect and empathy the dominant culture has for one's heritage and race.

[edit on 1-4-2007 by ceci2006]





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