I’ve been teaching Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? for years now. In my opinion, whatever people think about the book, she’s very clear in her position, no? Do you agree or disagree with Tatum? What do you agree or disagree with? Will our society ever be free of this kind of racial anixety?
It may be impossible for our society to break free from racial anxiety because too many times we allow the “dominant group” to take advantage of us, mentally. In her book, Tatum states in chapter four that “academically successful black students also need a strategy to find acceptance among their white classmates.” Students try to get away from anything that represents black culture to not be ridiculed by blacks as well as whites. Why do we have to dispel anything that is black about us? Why can’t we accept that we are just as good as the white, if not better? We are able to do the same things that they do and excel under pressure and oppression. Too often we allow the whites to dictate our actions and outcomes in life. They make us believe that in order to be right we have to be right and we fall for it like fools. When we become successful we have to move out of the black neighborhoods to show that we are moving up in life...to “better things”….into a white community. What is wrong with the black community? Why can’t we remain among our people and build our community….our culture? We should start appreciating ourselves and abilities; that way others can respect us a people.
I agree with Tatum. She opened my eyes of how I viewed school especially when I was in middle school and high school (both were all-girl catholic schools); going from an all-black class to being a “minority” in my class. I definitely related to her points. She did a great job of pointing out that America has a problem which it doesn’t want to fully address it. Racism is the reason why we all here, this is what the country is built on. I don’t believe everyone is ready to fully speak on it. We are still struggling from the color-blindness, pretending that we have overcome racism because many of these laws (Civil Rights Act, Voting Act, “Affirmative Action” were passed, that is just the surface. We can’t just accept what is given to us, not everything is true. I don’t know when our society will be free of this kind of racial anxiety; we still have a battle to fight for. Schools aren’t on the top of the agenda of every state and prisons get more funding than education. Until we have a revolution, things will stay the same.
I enjoyed reading Tatum’s book because it shields light on how racism affects a child’s development. Throughout the book, Tatum is very firm in her position and her perspective on racism. I find that her definition of racism as "a system of advantage based on race” to be problematic and not globally encompassing. Her definition mainly applies in the context of North America but not in other parts of the world. Besides her definition, I find that her theories and perspectives to be very insightful especially in regards to children. She dedicates a big portion of the book focusing on children (racial identity development) and the effect race relations have on kids. In addition, she offers solutions and tools to deal with children when they are going through different stage of identity development. I do not think that our society will ever be free of racial anxiety because talking about race makes people feel uncomfortable period. When people engaged in any racial discussions, people tend to either be offensive or under attack. It’s hard for people to be neutral about the race topic because everyone has different experiences, beliefs and perspectives.
This chapter was eye opening. I enjoyed Tatums take on one word that we have grow accustomed to using when someone "does not like" an opposite race. She did not settle for the obvious when defining the word racism. At first I was not sure where she was taking her definition although once explained I can say I agree with her outlook and educated opinion on the word and action of racism. Being a women of color I see and have experienced what Tatum is sharing. Racial bigotry and the use of racial slurs such as nigger,darkie, nappy headed negro ect.. is not something that I have used towards me everyday. However more often then not their is an underlying racial tension in the environments I find myself in. Before I would question myself am I racists am I am harboring hatred towards white people, am I angry at white people, but this article gave me clarity. It has given me enlightenment and has allowed me to accept and identify what I was not able to understand. The automatic position of power and self entitlement. Now that I am able to understand that it's not me, but a true systematic struggle in today's world I actually feel a weight has been lifted I do believe one day we can move past the automatic advancement of a singular race. It may not be during my lifetime, but their is a clear cultural shift taking place.
I personally agree with Beverly Daniel Tatum because she I s very clear in all the points in the book, I feel that there are still places in the where racism exist in some places. I think that we should all educate our children at an early age and those are still racist about the history of our country so we can break the prolongation of their kids to become racist like their parents. We live in a global society where right now where we have to deal with people from different ethnicities and races whether we like it or not, therefore we should stop thinking about us but rather educate ourselves about different cultures. I agree with Tatum when she says that “all white people, intentionally or unintentionally, do benefit from racism” (Tatum, pag 11). I think that up to this day in the United States being white can give you more benefits that being from other races. One great example and still on until this day is the housing problem among African American and people from other races that they cannot get a house in the primarily white neighborhood. I do not think that our society will be free from this kind of racial anxiety because there are still going to be people somewhere that are not going to see everyone as equal in society because they may think that if we give the same right to everyone, there will be less for them. One good example is illegal immigrants in the U.S; most people in the U.S disagree with illegal immigrants and think they should be spell of the country because if we give them citizenship they take ‘JOBS’ away from
I do agree with Tatum and her view on whites having an advantage could certainly be true. In class Professor Bernard gave an instance of 2 people applying for a job one black and one white and how the majority of the time the white person has the advantage of being hired. I have found this to be true because at my place of employment I have noticed that the majority of the employees are white. I do not support this nor believe that it is fair. In regards to the system of advantage which Tatum refers to blacks not benefiting from being racist against whites, and that blacks are not racist, I would have to disagree. The reason being that I do not think that it would be fair to say that all blacks are not racist. Its like saying that all whites are racist. I have been criticized myself on being a white female in the city of NY on a few different occasions for something as simple as walking down the street minding my business. I think racism exists and occurs on many different levels. I believe if we all work to educate people and we can get better with racism however unfortunately it will still exist in our society.
I agree with most of the arguments developped by Tatum. The fact that she uses a definition of racism based on the advantages of one group over another demonstrate that she wants to highlight the cause(s) of racism.Furthermore she think that it is not easy for a member of the dominant group (white) not to support this inequalities since he or she is the beneficiary. However, i don't agree with her when she said only whites are racists, because one can define racism as a system of prejudices and stereotyping. In that sens we can encounter . Today, no one can deny that racism brings anxiety, that's why we need to come up with real solutions. I think the best ways to lessen racial tension is through education, both in school and at home. Parrents should be able and willing to present openly this issue to their children; also schools should include programms where student should openly talk about the issue. The fact that shools in the united states are being more multi ethnics and diverse make me think that we can promote social change to lessen the issue of racism and probably overcome it in the future.
First off, I love that Tatum explains the context in her book extends to all races. Just like Tatum, I have come across people who don't believe racism still exists and yes, they were white! And I didn't understand where this point of view would come from, didn't they learn anything from history? I'm not starting out with racism towards minorities but white people are racist towards each other. Don't they remember racism against the Irish in New York and the separation of different "whites" (German, Italians, Irish, British, Dutch) in the cities. And as someone eluded to in class, the Holocaust, Antisemitism goes centuries back and being Jewish isn't an ethnicity or race it's a religion. Which goes to the point that racism will not end. Sure, the whites are the dominating power because they gain such a high standing from it, even in countries such as China where they are a minority (I abhor that we all try to achieve the "white standard of beauty"), but the truth is we all are subject to using racism because humans have a need to categorize each other. Tatum even explains that not all whites have the same benefits from racism because there are dominating identities. Like a gay white male is held in less regard than a straight white male. And Tatum even refers to the difficulties of being a single black, lesbian mother because you are held in less regard then a straight, black mother and definitely below single white parents. The whole system is unfair. Tatum discusses a lot of important topics such as inner oppression where because of this racism and discrimination certain people oppress themselves because they feel undeserving just because of their cultural identity. The only thing anyone can do is "man-up" and prove the oppressors wrong and improve yourself because oppressors can demean you but you have to remember it's your quality of life and self-respect at stake. And referring to the human need to categorize each other (human discriminate against other humans, its not just a white or black things) I have been discriminated against by other races, my mother has too, I'm sure all of us have. I want to specify it to Asian racism...Asians discriminate against each other all the time. In China, if your not pale skins that means you're a lesser Asian. Outsiders think this is solely because we want to conform to the "white standard of beauty" but it's also a class thing. Pale skin meant you stayed indoors and were pampered and didn't work a day in your life whereas tan skins meant you were poor and a low-life. And also, the Chinese don't see a lot of black people (sorry)I mean China is quickly becoming capitalist and there is a large international population but the common Chinese people aren't exposed to integration much. And when they do (I mentioned this to Prof. Bernard) it's like Jim Crowe time. I'm not exactly sure why it's like that, sadly it can probably be attributed to white power and influence. I partially think it's because people are genuinely just afraid of things, people who are different and will treat them as such, but it doesn't explain why white people are treated so well in foreign places.
Tatum is absolutely clear about her beliefs, she even makes a point of stating that she places communication above agreement: "Even if you don't like the definition of racism I am using...our conversation can continue-despite our disagreement." Which I think is an excellent point. I agree with Tatum that racism still exists. She wastes no time providing strong evidence for her thesis: affirmative action debates, hate crimes, housing discrimination, and images of people of color in the media. These undeniable points alone affirm the fact. There is a strong connection between omitted information and prejudice, so I'm glad she mentioned it in the piece. I believe it is a lot harder for someone to harbor prejudice towards a group of people if the history, stories, and general culture of that group is known. I wish she could have spent a little more time developing this idea because I believe it is integral to understanding racism. I also thought her ideas about active and passive racism were illuminating. The line "When we claim to be free of prejudice, perhaps what we are really saying is that we are not hate-mongers" illustrated a concept I hadn't considered before. She went on to make an effective metaphor about a conveyor belt. That we're all on it and whoever isn't actively being anti-racist is some degree of racist. It's hard to swallow but harder to argue with. In the end, I have a really hard time finding fault with anything Tatum proposes. I cannot say whether we'll ever be free of this racial anxiety. Nothing is guaranteed, it took a lot of work and suffering of millions to get where we are today. One major obstacle in further progress is passive racism and apathy, which I think could potentially be bigger obstacles than active racism.
I think that Tatum is very clear in her position that being white has a systematic advantage . In addition, this advantage for the white race continues to be strongly supported in many (especially corporate institutions) today. As in the old saying "if it aint broke, don't fix it", well I now wonder that if I were white, would I struggle with my white identity or would I join in the struggle in trying to dismantle the racial paradigm that exists in this country. At any rate, I totally agree with this concept of a white system of advantage as Tatum described, and it also makes perfect sense that blacks aren't racists in this context due to the fact that they have no system of advantage institutionally or anywhere else for that matter. I don't think that America's issues regarding race will ever dissolve because unfortunately, the history of this country which includes slavery and many other post dehumanizing treatment of blacks will forever be ingrained in the minds of many. In addition, there continues to be so many subtleties and subliminal messages that serve as constant reminders of all of the past atrocities and current inequalities that make it difficult for it all to be washed way because black people continue to face these inequalities each day. I do hope that through education, will be able to promote social change. As far as the disppearance of racial anxiety is concerned, I will try to educate my children as much as possible in order to avoid this anxiety; however, if one is constantly teaching our children to be able recognize, and if neccesary combact against racial prejudice, I wonder if my children will just take it all in or be negatively influenced by this huge blithe that this country has created and thus have a sense of fear. I loved it when things seemed so pure and safe for my children and now as parents, we must unveil the ugly truth about America, all of society's idiosyncrasies that they must be on the look out for, and of course, that first encounter when they discover one day that they are black and things may seem very different depending on the circumstance.
The points Tatum makes in Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? are valid and supported by great evidence. There are a few ideas that she talks about that I do agree, one being the idea of the white privilege. Of course, it is the not the first time I’ve heard of white privilege being a student, however, the examples Tatum provides in her book does help in clearly stating what one may consider white privilege. For example an article by Peggy McIntosh addresses her personal benefits of being white. I personally do not believe that many whites analyze what privileges that may be given, simply because many may feel as if they deserve them. It’s just something to make you think. Do I have this because of my color or because I really do deserve it? Another idea of Tatum that lead me to think would have to be that colored people are not racist but in reality is racial bigotry. This is statement is supported by the fact that colored people do not benefit from being racist against whites, which falls under the idea of “the system of advantage based on race”. I personally do not completely agree with this idea because it makes colored people the victims and whites the criminals. I do understand in many ways some colored people to believe they are victims and have no benefits for being colored. However, times have changed. Today we live in a society that is slowly acknowledging the wrongs colored people faced in history and in ways trying to make it right. Yes, there will always be those few ignorant people in the country that will given colored people reason to believe they are still victims, but I am a strong believer of building a foundation for yourself and if treating others as you would want to be treated. I know this viewpoint is idealistic but it gives hope that one day our country can be above racism. It will not be completely removed but people will have more understanding about race and how every person no matter what race they are human beings and deserve the same as the next.
With reading Tatum's view on racism I feel she gets it right with school. I do feel that school is a unfortunate medium where this has to happen. There is no way i see a school existing without having to take on the task of educating the students without them thinking about racial difference. But it also isn't the student's fault, the problem is as long as hate is an emotion, whatever the hate is for is relative. In a perfect world, hate wouldn't be a word. So all we can do is try to educate, but it must be delicately explained. But we also shouldn't over-educate to confuse. The anxiety will never stop, its been too ingrained into history, unfortunately you cant change history. You can only try to correctly educate about it. But thats the future, so we can only hope for the best.
Welcome-1019 I strongly agree with Tatum’s reading. From the section “Defining Racism” she clearly demonstrates and gives strong examples on what are some causes of racism. The statement given on Tatum that I mostly agree with is where she stated, “though I would not describe three-year-olds as prejudiced, the stereotypes to which they have been exposed become the foundation for the adult prejudices so many of us have”. I believe most of us will agree with Tatum. She went on to say “sometime the assumptions we make about others come not from what we have been told or what we have seen on television or in books, but rather from what we have not be told”. Those two statements set the tone for other discussions and belief on why racism still exists and may not be easily eliminated.
In reading "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria" I agree with most of what Tatum writes about. I understand that her definition of racism is a systematical oppression of a certain race but I still have a hard time accepting that only whites can be racist. I think that is because when I hear the term racism I think more of prejudice or stereotyping. I do agree with Tatum that there is a "white privilege" in the US society. Although there are instances of the race card being played too often there are times when it is valid. I do not think that the world will ever be free from some sort of racial anxiety. Whether its Black, White, Hispanic or Asian, some people just refuse to integrate with other races and cultures and might feel like they are superior to others in some ways. I think the best way to help lessen racial tension is for each individual to present these problem to their kids instead of ignoring it. People think that sweeping the problem under the carpet will solve it but in reality the problem needs to be confronted head on. Racism has to be stopped in the household before it can seep into the values of society as a whole.
In my opinion, racism is will never go away, no matter how hard people try to fight for it end. As stated above in previous with previous bloggers, it is something that has been around for a VERY long time. People will be racist to anyone no matter what they look like, what they believe in, etc. People from the same culture are even prejudice against each other.l am half Puerto Rican and i see how hispanic people can be so prejudice against other hispanic cultures. Sometimes I'm at a lost for words because we share almost the same culture as other hispanics, why be so racist? I have also seen how other people of color make fun African or Jamaican cultures, and as I stated above sometimes I'm confused. If we make fun, judge and acted racist towards each other, how can racism ever end? A lot of times people don't believe I live in the projects because I don't act "ghetto" and it frustrates me because people think that you have to act a certain way because you come from a certain neighborhood. We cannot chose were we come from, in my opinion we need to embrace our cultures and just forget the ignorant people that are out there in the world, and just show them the beautiful things our different cultures have to offer.
i argee with Tatum white people always had advantages over black people since the time of history. White people always had a better opportunties with education housing and good jobs, I also agree with her on the fact that people would say that they do not have a racism bone in their body because I am one of those people. I was brought up that it is only one race and that is the human race. So my views on this topic will be to a minimum but after reading Tatum's book i see that the society still has a lot of racism issues that are hidden and surface when people are in the situation that requires them to show that they have dominance over different groups of people.
I believe that in order to be free of racial anxiety, we have to be free from stereotypes. Past, present, in our society, people still look at others not with their own view, but with a standardized view based on stereotypes. And this often leads them to form prejudices and even RACISM. I agree that, “prejudice is a preconceived judgment or opinion, usually based on limited information” Tatum points out. People often judge others before they even see them or talk to them and most of these judgments cause them to be biased. We often stereotype people whom we do not know much about. Also we tend to evaluate other people based on their race, appearances: how they look and what they are wearing, and this causes us to make assumptions about that person. Tatum mentions “limited information” implicitly it means that people see all that is in this world from a standardized view, but not from their own creative and broad view, and this often lets them divide this world, in a simple way(prejudice). Regardless of race, each individual should not have stereotypes about people who have different appearance, races, culture but instead, understand that every individual has their own personality and originality and try to respect them, that change society as a whole.
I agree with Tatum's position that not only does racism and prejudice has to be viewed on two separate scales, but we must also become more aware of the subliminal messages written in today's society. In order for a nation, a society to move forward, we must look back to the past and understand that the sacrifices that were made by other must not be forgotten. Will society ever be free from racial anxiety, I cannot answer that question, however I can say that seeing that we were able to overcome some very significant racial hurdles, such as electing the first "Black" United States President I would like to believe that one day we can all live in unity like Dr. Martin Luther King believed we would as one race, the "Human Race"...
I agree with Tatum that children must deal with racial identity at a very early age. Whether the child is introduce to the question of identity by a peer or by an adult, the message can be very profound depending on the delivery of the question, statement or action regarding race. Sometimes a child is gently guided along the road of racial identity such as the way that Tatum handled her sons’ inquiries and sometimes a child is forced onto the road without the direction of a supportive adult and must wait for her head to stop spinning in order to find her way back. One of my most profound memories is that of my first day of school as a young girl in elementary school, when a little white boy quickly moved his chair in disgust when I sat down next to him. I don’t remember my teacher’s response to the boy telling me that he didn’t want to sit next to me because he didn’t want my color to rub off on him, but I do remember going home and rubbing my father’s arm to see if the color would come off. For me, it was fortunate that my parents could explain the boy’s reaction without making it about racism but about ignorance. Their reaction served as a buffer for all the other comments and actions that I would have to deal with later on in life. I don’t recall whether my seat was changed or not, but as Tatum stated, it is only those things that we deem as important for which we reserve a place in our memories. I am optimistic and believe that society can someday be free of this kind of racial anxiety. It is the unknown that frightens most people and creates misunderstandings and prejudices. I agree with Tatum that racial identity is a process and is always evolving and as a result change will take place as more people are exposed to the type of courses, workshops, seminars and readings that allow them to view the world from the other guy’s eyes.
I totally agree with Tatum and think she brings up very valid points in her book regarding racism. The part that stuck out to me most was the section on " Racsim" A System of Advantage Based on Race". While she goes into great detail about racism and the example of the "White feminist scholar" who blatantly wrote a book about the privileges she receievd because of being white was mind blogging to me. Now I am not a person who believes that racism no longer exists because I see it and hear it everyday. But it was was amazing to see that a "white" person wrote a book to inform people of that fact that thier are treated differently and have more advantages over other races because of their "dominate race". Because for what ever reason they do not already know this fact. I don't think that our society ever be free of this kind of racial anixety, because for what ever reason people do not see the need for change and are not making the strides to implement change so that our society can change. I totally agree that change is definitely something that is based on a individual and can only become great with many individuals having a like need for change, but the way that today's society is which makes people theink of themselves and not others, we can not be rid of this racial anixety. If it was the issue that more people need to be aware of this issue than maybe I can say that a change is possible but people are aware and are afraid to do anything about it. Just like in class yesterday when people were saying that wouldn't speak to certain people in their neighborhood in fear that something bad may happen to them if they get involved, this is a clear and normal repsonse to why things have stayed the same in so many neighborhoods that need help to change and become a better place to live, but people are afraid to speak up for the right things, that they feel are not important. But let it be something of their interest they have no issues in speaking up about that, but shouldn't this be a issue of interest that is worth talking and standing up about. In my opinion yes it is, but I am only one person and can not make a huge change such as this one to our society ny myself,their needs to be more people with the same like mind as mine for a real change to occur.
I agree with Tatum, for the main fact that I went to a public school and in my elementary school I stuck next to all of the black students. Why? simply because they looked like me. And being a 6 or 7 year old you feel more safe. I remember we made up a small click to sort of have each others back when ever something went down. It wasnt until my parents took me traveling to other places in the US and Carribean that I realized that it is alright to sit next to people that do not look like you. My parents always wanted my brother and I to have an open mind so by JHS i had friends from all over the place white black latino/a. I do not think our society will ever be free from this racial anxiety. There is something in out minds that is triggered whenever something poses a threat to us and we feel as if we are being targeted. This does not matter the race. If I am in Long Island driving and I know its a white area, I get afraid if I will be pulled over and beat. I was in Georgia one year with my older cousin and he said he was stopped once and searched excessively by police. and he is 6' 8" so you can only imagine the fear. But the oppressor also reacts to the fear of the oppressed. In example John Lynch, his whole philosophy came off of the fact that you had to put the 'nigger' in his place by beating him over and over and if anything lynch him to set an example. This I believe was started by racial anxiety, where blacks posed a threat to the slave master and to keep the oppressive foot on their throat he oppressed. We can think of numerous times that we have seen it happen in our modern day society. i.e.Henry Gates Jr.when he was stopped in front of his own house. The police probably thought a nigger can not afford to live here and that this old mad was trying to stick up this house. I do not see racial anxiety getting any better but just staying the same.
JonesT-3010 In our reading on race, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” Tatum stands strong in her convictions and I strongly agree with most of what she states. The definition of prejudice is a preconception without information and what Tatum agrees on how David Wellman defines racism – as “a system of advantage based on race”. Are distinctly different; many supporting examples are given. Maybe if slavery never happened, prejudice would not be a fundamental part of the society we live in today. Although no fault of our own that most of us lives it, one way or another, does not excuse us from being responsible for positive change. However, whites feel about racism; they all benefit from it, their climb up the social ladder has been paved by their skin color. A black person can reach there, but not without that “black tax.” (The evidence that blacks have to work twice as hard be twice as smart etc.). What I love and most agree with is how she expresses her position on the language she chooses to use to have the necessary discussions on racism. We can agree that race and ethnic categories are “social construction”. Although the term may not be “politically correct”, outdated and limiting, the categories; black (Negroid) and white (Caucasoid) is what we were given and cannot just be erased from these discussion. I do not think in my time our society will be free of racial anxiety, but a change is going to come with the generations coming up, they are less tolerant of racial injustice and are more adamant about not being defined or limited by any “social boundaries”. From Hip Hop, to” inter-racial” marriages we see change.
In “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria”, Tatum makes a clear distinction of the meanings prejudice and racism. Prejudice, she writes, is a preconceived judgment or opinion, usually based on misinformation about others. She uses David Wellman’s definition for racism, which he considers to me a system of advantage based on race, which is a very comprehensible way to put it. Race, if you were to consider it as differences in pigment, is artificial in my opinion. Would it make sense to say that the word race and species can be used interchangeably? For then, I would only consider there to be one race, which is the human race. I am aware that this notion of racism is something that man has created to somehow justify the unjust classifications as to who is superior and who is inferior; a social hierarchy that has placed Whites at the very top, and all other ethnic groups directly beneath them. So of course, those that are considered “superior” will reap the benefits of this system which only happen to be White people, she phrases that White Privilege. She mentions that if a Caucasian person were to be called racist, they would feel like “low-life scum” simply because they themselves had not acted on any hate crimes toward Blacks, or any other group. I know from experience, witnessing this on the news and in everyday life that White people are quick to reject the word racist, and claim that they despise racism, and how despicable and unfair it is, but they are never so eager to sacrifice the actual advantages that they’ve received with racism in place, and sometimes aren’t completely aware of those advantages. For example, the video that we watched in class “Shopping While Black”, there were plenty of White people witnessing the Black woman being mistreated in the clothing store, but only the Black man spoke up. Why is that? Because for him, he feels as though it is his duty, he is a part of the group that is being targeted in the retail store. White people surrounding the event freely and shamelessly shop without saying anything because, one, they have the advantage in doing so without getting questioned as to whether they’ve stolen anything, and two, they do not feel it is their duty. As long as it does not effect their shopping, they do not see being their problem, but only the burden of Black people. That’s where “active racism” and “passive racism” come into play, and I am so glad she cleared that up. All of those White shoppers were “passively racist”. Even the woman who broke down in tears was in denial, she repeated “I can’t believe what you’re about to say… Oh my, I think you’re saying what I think you are saying”. Instead of having a stronger stance against the woman who was testing her, she completely wimped out, because even she is guilty of White Privilege, and though she knows it to be wrong, she does not want to acknowledge its existence. It is possible for society to get over these racial stigmas; but first, it must be remedied with the younger generation, not as an adult, to prevent future prejudices. Adults, people of all ethnic groups, need to stop throwing things under the rug and must be more outspoken and a lot more active in point out racial injustices. People need to be a lot more like the man in the retail store times 10.
Dr. Tatum is very clear on her standpoint on the topic of race and racism. For the most part, I think she hit the nail on the head. Her definition of racism in today's society is appealing and very relevant. Dr. Tatum describes racism as a set of economical advantages set up to benefit White people. This definition counteract the the belief that many White people have, who feel that racism is a thing of past. Racism is the present, it just went from being blatant to more subtle, and from aggressive to more passive, hence the reason why many might think that racism doesn't exist anymore. But yes it does. I particularly like the topic of the term "Black". What does it really mean in our society? Is it even a race or part of an identity? Black in our society is used to describe anyone of darker skin color and an experience. The Black experience in America is like one of none other. Many decades of oppression based on false inclinations has led our country into this direction where anyone of "Black" skin color is treated unequally. Whether it be from job housing discrimination, to the number "Black" people incarcerated. "Black" is not a race, its a classification and social construct. I view the term "Black" as something that we need as a group to cope with racism and something that is used against us, just knowing that we are so much more than "Black", and we all are apart of the humanrace.
Tatum’s position is very clear and concise. I like the way she lays out her points and breaks them down into steps that keep on building. I like the way she taught her sons about being Black in America from a young age and it was all age appropriate. As a parent I definitely identified with that schooling aspect. For our black young men, they need that strong foundation from home to build on that confidence to be prepared to face the world that puts them in a negative status before their even born. It’s important for our girls as well, but there is a different monster of racism that the boys will experience. I have to say that I agree with her position for the most part, again I didn’t quite understand her identifying herself as a light skin African American woman. I remember thinking immediately after reading it, “Why did she identify herself as light skinned?” It’s not something that is a normal description among the Black race, unless the person is trying to create some type of hierarchy. The ”light is right” complex without really being aware of how she identified herself is just another aspect taught by the oppressor in the Black community. With all that she wrote about the oppressed and the oppressor, I walked away feeling like Tatum’s description of herself was along the lines of the oppressed identity. I appreciate the fact that she talks about the other side of the spectrum, the white race that is absolutely appalled by the actions of their ancestors. I never really took the time to think about what they have gone through and how insulting it is too them to be called a racist. When Tatum talks about the privileges of being white and the fact that although there are whites that don’t consider themselves racist, they’re not jumping up to change the invisible rules that have been established because they benefit so much from this unwritten system. I whole heartedly agree with that position, because although we see now what has happened and continues to happen, it will have to take a complete demolition of society to undo what was done. I see specs of this being done in the hip hop culture, this millennial generation, white and black is writing their own rules. Just as I have witnessed that my experience was different than my parent’s upbringing, I see my children’s generation coming up with their own set of rules, for good and bad. One thing that will never change is the foundation given to the child from the home. Without a foundation, you’re setting your child up for failure. In Tatum’s “Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?” she discusses the safety that these children feel coming up starting in middle school. I completely identified with this from my own experience, although growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood, I knew from very young that you stay with your own culture, because there was a direct threat that if you walked into their neighborhood you would be chased and possibly hurt, that was just the way it was. I always listened to my father’s stories growing up in that same neighborhood and his experience of course was something much more intense, but when my generation came up we were more rebellious to say we are going to walk in your neighborhood in numbers and we challenged it, and with every generation that comes along it gets more and more diluted but the racism is hidden on other levels today. My daughter started middle school, and she experienced the blatant change that occurs immediately at the middle school level between white and black children. In elementary school, she and her white girlfriend were very close. In the summer they had to go to their new middle school to take their pictures for the school i.d.’s. When my daughter saw her little white friend she was so excited and was ready for the embrace that they normally have when seeing each other after the summer, but the little girl didn’t even speak. She looked at my daughter like she wasn’t even there. This is something that I knew would brew and I couldn’t protect my child from that moment. I talked to my daughter about friendship and how it can change, I wanted to protect her from the talk of racism in that moment, but by reading Tatum’s approach it made me realize that now is the time to prepare her for what she needs to be aware of when it happens. I could identify with Tatum the way she talked to her sons because I prepared my son at a much younger age because he was a black man coming up in this world, he needed to know. My daughters experience will be different, but all the same she needs to be equipped. Although in that moment, her little friend didn’t know that she was practicing racism, but that’s what Tatum talks about, the privilege and feeling superior. In that moment I didn’t make it about race. I talked to her about the new friends she made and when they got inside the building, my daughters former friend felt alone because all the new kids from the school came rushing to my daughter and they were all black little girls. It’s about cultural identity and the feeling of being safe to be who you are in your own skin.
Tatum insists that the human race through social construct has separated its own people into other categories in order to oppress those who are at a disadvantage. Resulting in the many different ethnic identities that are now in place. I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic yet I have always found it difficult to identify myself as being Dominican. Yes, that is my country of origin but it does not define who I am. My family is very diverse; I am of African, European and Asian descent. No one is truly Dominican; those who were truly native to the Dominican Republic were wiped out long before I was born. And the same can be said about many who label themselves as Hispanic or Latino. Despite what country we were born in or what group we relate ourselves with we are still one race, the human race. In order to end oppression we have to end the categories that oppress us.
Dr. Tatum discusses so many valid points in relation to racial identity, and she conveys her ideas with clarity and depth of understanding. I certainly agree with Tatum on the accuracy of David Wellman’s definition of racism as a “system of advantage based on race”. And, although an altogether unapologetic assertion, I also agree with Tatum’s argument that Black people simply cannot be racist on the basis of that very definition - in other words, there is no systemic advantage to support this condition. I love her analogy between the ongoing cycle of racism and a moving airport walkway (very eloquent and visual - a great teaching aid), and I equally agree that all White people benefit from racism to some degree. As Tatum notes, White people do pay a dangerous price for “White privilege”. I would add that entitlement and pride are the snares of privilege, and the latter eventually leads to a fall. As could be observed in the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11th, White Americans, heretofore unaccustomed to knowing or caring how they were perceived by others (a luxury African Americans have never shared), were shocked and confused, and very much detached from reality concerning anti-American sentiment around the world. A further cost of White privilege is the inherent “burden” the dominant group assumes in order to maintain and protect their privileged status. It can result in mental dysfunction in the form of intense fear, emotional anxiety and distress. Tim Wise, a White American anti-racist activist and writer, speaks to these issues in depth in a 2007 lecture to an audience at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusettes, entitled, “White Privilege: Racism, White Denial & The Cost of Inequality”. (Here is a link: http://vimeo.com/7908057.) I believe that within the U.S. the system of capitalism has been perverted by racism for so long that we can expect to see its fallout for many, many years to come. However, I also believe that the discussions we have today, as well as the positive actions we commit to, certainly help to facilitate the eventual change that is to come.
Bowen-3010 Tatum says that there is no more “active racism,” but I believe some “active racism” is still present today. She also claims that racism is about power and I believe that is true. Most importantly, racism is about economic power and oppressing people who do not have full economic power. Like I brought up in class today, Willie Lynch a British slave owner, created a “system” on how to control a slave. He first begins by telling slave owners their problems of their slaves are running away and revolting makes them lose profit and gain damaged property. Tatum’s claim of racism being about power is proven when Lynch states, “I HAVE A FULL PROOF METHOD FOR CONTROLLING YOUR BLACK SLAVES... IT WILL CONTROL THE SLAVES FOR AT LEAST 300 HUNDREDS YEARS.” (If you go on to read the article you’ll see that this method did work). Also for Tatum to say that Blacks aren’t racist is completely false. Blacks are extremely racist against other blacks. For instance, I had a black female general manager at my old store and you felt the difference in how she treated her black employees compared to her white employees. Blacks in power are afraid to show favoritism to other blacks, even if the person may just be better qualified in what they do.
I agreed with Tatum when she said that even though we have the task of resisting our own oppression, it doesn’t relieve us of acknowledging our own oppression of others and the advantages we receive because of certain things. For example, being heterosexual, an able-bodied person or class privilege. I also agreed when she brought up Jean Baker Millers writing about dominance and how subordinates are well informed about them. I agree because in the media especially you see a lot more white faces on television, magazines, etc and products targeted for that racial group. You see fewer people of color and a lot of society are brainwashed into thinking the dominant or white perspective of what and who is beautiful. I do not believe that our society will ever be free or racial anxiety because there is so much passive racism that I think black people as a society has gotten used to it. They have a more “this is how things are” than “I should make a change or we as a people should make a change” mentality. I doubt we can ever unite like the black people did 60 years ago and make a change. The youth today are so unaware of their history or just ignorant to all the work that got them to where they are today that making a solid effort is irrelevant to them.
I agree with many of the points that Tatum brought across in this piece. What I agreed with most is that black people are still oppressed in society today but I don’t think that everyone is oppressed against their choice. In my opinion black people are no longer aware that they are struggling or that they aren’t living to their true potential. Over the years they have become accustom to the lifestyle, they grow up in. I believe that black people stop excepting more and started settling for less. In the past many black people started off with government assistance and worked their way off but today they begin to depend on it. They are no longer independent, just more dependent on the government which is the way the always be racial anxiety because black people no longer fight against it. It seems as though they don’t believe it’s an issue anymore.
Morris- 3010 To a great extent, I agree with Tatum and how she pens her thoughts about race. One of the things that I agree with the most is her section called Racism: For Whites Only? She touches on the question of whether or not people of color can be racist. Using Wellman’s definition of racism as a “system of advantage”, her response to that question is true; people of color aren’t at any advantage when it comes to racism. People of color are not racist but racially prejudice. Prejudice as Tatum puts it “is a preconceived judgment or opinion, usually based on limited information.” Arguably, it could be said that the race that experience the full brunt of our prejudice are Whites. An interesting thing, I think. Due to the history of oppression, slavery and discrimination, it feels like that it is our closest option for retribution of all that had happened in the past. In the case of other races, I think our prejudice is more likely born out of what we get and understand from the media and imprecise images portrayed by others. We lack the first hand experience of getting to know these other races. It is hard to say if our society will be free from this racial anxiety. I think we have made some progress in alleviating the feeling but it is still present. Our society has for so long been structured on this type of racial anxiety and it could be the very thing that has helped sustain the American society. Someone has to be at the bottom to bear the load so that those at the top can be comfortable. However, I think as people of color we can make a change by changing the state of our relationship with the other races especially with Whites. We shouldn’t be afraid to challenge and speak out against the status quo and if we want to make this change, it has to start from amongst ourselves. We should try to get rid of the negative views people have of people of color and start to learn how to cooperate with each other. We can’t devalue our ability of making a change within our society.
As a Black woman who was born and has lived in the “melting pot” - the New York City Metropolitan area (which includes Long Island and Westchester County) all of my life, I have had the benefit of interacting and building relationships with people from all walks of life. I have not experienced blatant racism directed at me, however I am sure that I have been a victim of passive racism. The Webster Dictionary has two definitions of racism (paraphrased): 1. Prejudice plus power, 2. The belief that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Beverly Tatum defines racism as a system of advantages based on race, in the U.S. that would be referred to as “White privilege” because Whites are the dominant race. The first definition is aligned with Tatum’s theory, however the second definition leaves room for argument. I personally believe that Blacks can and are racist because I have encountered racist Blacks and thus have severed ties to those relationships due to that fact. I used to be friends with a Black woman who had hatred from Latinos/as and for fellow Blacks - Africans. Her and I would have arguments because she didn’t want to acknowledge her African roots because she thought it was beneath her and she would say some really ignorant and cruel things about Latinos/as. She as a Black woman thought she was above others. It is not only about possession of the power but also about how people would behave if they obtained power. I bounce back and forth between the five stages of racial identity that Tatum discusses – Preencounter, Encounter, Immersion/Emersion and Internalization-Commitment. I grew up in a Black neighborhood in Yonkers, NY, when I was home I only interacted with Blacks and while at school it was a mix but mostly white. I found myself being the only Black person in advanced classes at times and I was also one of the Blacks who did not sit at the “Black table”. I went through the stage as a teenager of wishing I was White because my White friends lived in the beautiful neighborhoods with ponds in front of their homes and I lived on a block where there was an occasional shooting here and there and overall I just felt that they had it easier. At this point in my life in my late twenties, I would say I am going through the Immersion/ Emersion phase in the sense that I have embraced my Black American heritage and culture. I know that being Black is absolutely beautiful aspect of my being. The way in which I personally differ is that I am embracing my Black experience without excluding Whites and other races from my life. We as a society are a long way from overcoming and moving past racism. Like one of our classmates mentioned - "until Black communities begin to love, respect and uplift each other how can we expect others to". Like the saying goes “ if you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you”. Change is possible but we are far from it.
Bip 3010 I would like to add more to what she also ponders on. Hence the title name, when it comes to religion, ethnics, ethics, race, and color, as a child from my experiences, you will find children self identifying themselves based on those attributes. I also, believe this is innate behavior. Why i say this is because children do have a mind of their own. It's virtuous to say that whether this is an urban or suburban environment, these separation of race, color and behaviors are identified within the way these children create it to be. Tatum does have a good method of identifying how racial starts. But, I also it is a systematic approach that Tatum view it as. If you look at it on a demographic view, racial profiling or discrimination, starts at an early stage of life. They won't know this because children normally interact with people among their society. So if you're white in a urban location being that there is about 10% white, and the rest are color, you will see that those 10% being the variable would built some kind of unique ways to stand out and also to try and fit in society. I do believe racial identity will always be an issue because in every society whether you are predominately Asians, African-American, or Latinos, there will be some kind of segregated distinction among those who live in that community. We just can't fix a problem that's been around for centuries, but i know accepting race is key to keep benevolence in societies.
“Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria” was very interesting book to read. Although, I do not agree with everything the author wrote in her book. She does have a very clear position on her beliefs. She states her opinions firmly and she fully supports all of them with examples from her personal life. In the first part of the book, the author explains what racism is. I agree with her redefinition of racism which “ is a system of advantage based on race”. I think the way we develop our identities is based on our personal experience. Tatum states that a lot of people are unaware of racism in their society. Many people link themselves with people from the same racial group. I agree that we all have prejudices, because we are misinformed about other people. I also like the way she explained racial differences to her children. Talking about race makes people uncomfortable. Her way of explaining the society’s color language makes it easy enough for kids to understand. Maybe one day our society will be free of racial anxiety, but we have to take steps toward educating the next generation.
I disagree with Tatum's writing in” Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria”, for many reasons first and for most I believe that a country like America is too diverse to pick a race to sit next too. I feel as if we have integrated into a society that accepts other religions and races. Don’t get me wrong sometimes it is more comfortable to be next to someone who is your race but I don’t believe that this is what people do on purpose. Tatum also makes us understand David Wellman “system of advantage based on race” where a certain race will get more advantages based on their race; this does not make any sense to me either. Now I know I have been disagreeing with Tatum a lot and not really backing up my reason behind it, but that’s because , my father is Indian and his religion is Hindu but my mother is Italian and catholic. So with 9/11 right around the corner and me having my father genes which makes me look Arabic, I have been on both sides of the boat. I have been racially profiled but that does not mean that I am more comfortable with being with people that are Indian, half my cusions are white and I feel as if I am as equal as them. And people may think that me disagree with Tatum’s writing, makes me look like I haven’t been discriminated against but I have been and I still don’t feel as if I am unequal to anyone or any race. I feel like this day and age people just understand race, they know it’s wrong to choose someone or give them an advantage based on race. From a individual that has seen both side I feel as if we are educated enough and I feel that people have more open minds to the situation of race.
I do agree that racism is embedded in us from early childhood through the images that are presented by society. its very real in the example that was illustrated in the book where children are asked to draw an Indian and they did so by drawing someone with feathers and spears. As far as the advantages system of advantage based on race, I do believe "white"people do have some advantages but I also believe that so do blacks and hispanics or "minorities". for example for some employment opportunities some employers would rather hire a hispanic because they might know Spanish as opposed to a white person that might not know another language. A different example is I've heard a white person say that it is not fair that sometimes Mexicans get the labor jobs over the white man because they provide cheaper labor. Even though as a hispanic, we think that it is not an advantage because its a labor job and not a more prestige position. so you see you can form many different opinions depending on who its coming from.
Tatum makes strong and clear arguments concerning her position and supports them with good reasoning. None of her arguments is new or original (so far). However, the value in reading her book is it hits perspectives from different angles and helps the reader to think more closely about things that appear 'obvious' but are not. I always knew about 'White Privilege' but didn't know exactly how it played out in real and practical terms. She does an excellent job of explaining and giving examples of how this thing works. By selecting good examples, such as the passage from McIntosh, I am better able to understand and articulate what 'white privilege' is. She is a clear writer and able to dissipate ambiguity in what she means by defining terms such as 'racism' and 'people of color' with accuracy. I don't have to guess what she means, she speaks my language. I appreciate that and is a strong reason why I support her views. Do I agree her? I have to give her the benefit of the doubt because she did her research. She is the expert, she is scholar and I am but a student. It would be presumptuous of me to disagree with my limited knowledge (or prejudice). Will our society be free of racism? I guess this is why I am taking the class, to delve into these issues. Again, I don't have enough knowledge to say 'yes' or 'no'. But from a historical perspective, America was built on racism and I don't see it changing to a significant degree anytime soon. And after reading the articles, it made me more pessimistic than before. Previously, only to a small extent, I kind of leaned towards the theory that racism was a 'natural thing'. Now, I more strongly leaining towards the theory that racism is 'designed'. Thus, if it is designed, I think it may be harder to overcome?!
Yes, I feel that tatum is very clear in her position. I agree that there exists in our society a large amount of racism and the world at large. It's like a mass manipulation has been achieved by social segregation, as well as, alot of forced assimilation. It even feels that no matter how much we conform to the rules of this society we will never be fully accepted by the powers that be. There is simply to much profit to be made from keeping people suspicious and tense toward eachother, not to mention, the "white privilege". This privilege is very much present in day to day affairs and is deeply underlying even in our unconscious. The fact that this racist society was built to oppress people of color in the first place makes it feel somewhat impossible to imagine it is ever changing, at least to me. I have friends of all nationalities. Some are black,white , and latino. It is one thing for white people to recognize this privilege but it makes me wonder would they ever want to change it for the better of society as a whole or just leave things the way they are because it keeps their lives easy. It forces me to ask myself the question that if we had a black privilege would I really want things to change? Over time I feel that racial tensions have eased. They have signicantly changed especially with our pop culture which I think is a strong factor that glues alot of us together but I truly feel that we will never be completely free of racial anxiety because whether we want to face it or not we all have our own issues with race and even if we mask them we are just lying to ourselves. Also, there is to much to be gained by the powers that be by keeping the people seperated by petty differences. We are ruled by divide and conquer and then shoved together with invisible walls that show themselves in our race relations with eachother but maybe I am wrong. I love all nationalities because I truly believe in the beauty of humanity before race.
What I agreed most in Tatum’s writing is she brings up David Wellman defines racism as a”system of advantage based on race”. Examples of how Whites got advantages because of their racial issues totally supported that based on race, a specific racial group benefits from things that other racial groups do not. Co responsively it will be like students who are doing good on their academic will get better chance than those who did not do as good as them. Tatum also added that a relative definition of racism which is commonly used by antiracist educators and consultants is “prejudice plus power”. I agreed with this as if Whites benefits more since they are Whites, then because of this, people think that Whites are relatively more powerful than other people of colors. Therefore, Whites got more advantages in many different categories. In addition, I believe that such kind of racial anxiety will still be going on in our society. This is because I think racism is not something that just pop up in our society; it’s been a problem for years. Our next generation is affecting by us and by the current society, defining different racial groups is already a thing that is to be prejudiced by first impressions. We cannot just ignore these problems although many kids nowadays didn’t define own self as a specific racial group, but still if they don’t learn about it, they will still be classify into racial groups by their physical appearances. Therefore, if we really want our society to be free of this kind of racism anxiety, education to our next generation is what we have to do right now.
I disagree with POON-1019 because it sounds that you are hopeful that if we make a change now, racism can eventually be history but in my opinion no matter how much change their is in our childrens cartoons or images that are presented to them from young there will always be that one person that will point out that something is being targeted at Latinos or African Americans because some use racism as a crutch. I believe that if the "minorities" don't stop "oh they have a Black person as the unintelligent man in that movie because its suppose to represent all blacks" as if there is a hidden agenda then racism anxiety will never end.