White Like Me
Page 1: The meaning of the first chapters title “Born to Belonging” is that quite literally whites won’t be questioned about whether they deserve to be here, living in this condition. They won’t be questioned about how they got such wealth and it is easy for them to get this wealth. For example, his grandfather Jacob with his good work ethics was able to come upon success. His success sees normal. However, there are many people of color who have good or better work ethics than Jacob and still they are not recognized or reach success because they aren’t “Born to Belonging”. Also it is easier for those of the white complexion to eventually become part of the white society and eventually belong.
Page 1: What James Baldwin is trying to say is this. Literally, it means that White people write history and make it seem all positive. Their descendents believe this and are unable to change it because this is all they are fed. It can also be seen in the idea of racism and class. The whites tell us that the United States is fair and that there is no more racism going around. They tell us that all races are equal and everyone has a fair chance. And because that is all that the white people feed the white people that is all they know. But when they are confronted with it, it is hard for them to change because they believe that what they know is real.
Page 2-3: Tim Wise’s main theme/subject is the fact that white people are literally as his title claims born to belonging in the United States. He is explaining about his life and how he was born to be accepted into the society that we live in even when he isn’t high class. He is saying that even if he wasn’t rich, heterosexual, or male he would still be in a better position because he was white.
Page 3-4: Tim’s response to the fact that white people are diverse is this. Yes they are diverse. All people are different. They all had different experiences and they have all lived different lives. However, they are all placed in the same level because of their whiteness. He compares white people to snowflakes. All the snowflakes are different, however they all have the same experiencing of landing. So even if all white people live differently they all are still placed above the people of color and have benefits given to them that are similar.
Page 5-6: Wise’s ancestor Ephraim McLean became a landowner with his move to America. Before that they had lived in Scotland as a prosperous clan who lost all they had in the military defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie. The McLeans would gather and then move to America. In America Ephraim gained twelve thousand acres of land in Nashville and North Carolina. They, in Tim’s idea, gained more money by “surveying the land”, relieving the soldiers, and cheating the natives. Page 7-8: In page 7 wise explains about how his Jewish ancestor, Jacob, worked extremely hard, putting in 18 hours of work a day and literally just pushing as hard as he can in order to make his have a chance to live. He was even able to send his son to a university and make the living space for his children at least comfortable. They have also established a successful liquor business. However, Wise says that even though Jacob worked hard he was able to succeed this much and this easily (well it wasn’t easy) not only because of his hard work but also because of his whiteness. There were surely other people of color who worked hard and even harder than Jacob but because of their color they could not conform and be seen as white while Jacob could.
Page 9: The difference is this. The first experience of racial others is the experience or event in which a white person meets or sees a person of color for the first time in real life. Either their first encounter with someone of different race or their first realization that there were people of other races. The first experience of race is the actual experience in seeing that race makes a difference. By the mere...
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