Monday, October 24, 2011

Talking Points #6

Tim Wise Interview and Brown vs. Board of Education

     The interview of Tim Wise, the website on Brown vs. Board of Education and the article from The New York times all have one common topic - racism.  The article Separate and Unequal discusses the problems that minorities face in the classroom - de facto segregation which is segregation that occurs due to patterns in residential settlement and learning environments that are smothered by poverty.  The website Separate is Not Equal gives information on Brown vs. Board of Education, the troubles in overcoming segregation and the achievements towards equality that our country has made. The interview of Tim Wise discusses his book Between Barack and a Hard Place and goes into detail points that he made through his writing.
     Many of the points made by Tim Wise made me think of previous readings that we have done.  The first being Peggy McIntosh's "White Privilege" which states that white people are often oblivious to their "white privilege."  McIntosh as one point in her article states "As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage."  Tim Wise says in his interview that there are many African Americans who are just as intelligent and well spoken as Barack Obama but they may not present themselves in that same way that he does thereby putting those other African Americans at a disadvantage because Americans have put Obama, in their minds, in a separate category than they put "stereotypical" African Americans.  Relating to the quote from McIntosh's article is something that Time Wise said, "The proof of racial equity will be the day that people of color can be as mediocre as white folks and still get hired," - the people of America would never have this sort of mindset with a white president and their fellow white citizens.
     Another article that we read which really stuck out to me was a combination of Delpit's and Johnson's articles.  Delpit says that there are cultural patterns which tend to show up across racial and socioeconomic communities and that they have a strong impact on the teaching and learning that goes on in the classroom.  Brown vs. Board of Education was a huge step towards embracing and preserving these differences but then helping to merge schools that were segregated.  Johnson's point about the "luxury of obliviousness" really connected to the polls of Americans that Tim Wise spoke about.  White people are rarely aware of the privileges they have and relating to Delpit, they are the least willing to acknowledge it's existence.  A combination of polls found that African Americans are perceived by white people as generally less intelligent, more aggressive, and prone to criminality.  Another poll taken in the early 2000's found that 75% of whites who answered yes to this said that they perceived that African Americans just wanted to live on welfare and not work.  This is appalling when in actuality 1 out of every 7 African Americans receive any kind of public assistance.
     In class I would like to bring up one of the things that Tim Wise said in his interview, "To pretend or to act as though we are heading towards this post racial place would be no more logical than to say that Pakistan was headed to a post sexist place because Benazir Bhutto happened to be elected head of state there in 1988." What do people think of this?

1 comment:

yanii said...

wow i really like what you wrote and how you connected it to other texts that we already read.