October 14, 2008
How America came about is fascinating, and learning about immigration, rights, laws, and racism makes learning more beneficial. It helps you to understand why we, as a nation, are they way we are today, and why we will continue to be stuck in our ways. According to James Barrett and David Roediger, “The Story of Americanization is vital and compelling, but it took place in a nation also obsessed by race…the process of “becoming white” and “becoming American” were connected at every turn (36).” One of the most controversial topics is white privilege and discrimination. Segregation within school systems has been a dominant problem in the past and will always continue to be. Being privileged is a something that individuals should be conscious of due to their past and understand that it is a privilege to be white rather than to be discriminated against. Becoming conscious of one’s own white privilege is the first step to understand the deeper meaning of racism and discrimination.
My intentions of writing this paper were to describe a situation in which I was conscious of my own white privilege. White privilege was always on my side until high school where I felt as though I was discriminated against as being a petite, white girl, from upper-class Allendale leaving me to been seen as an easy target. While at my locker one day during lunch, I was approached by two of the black students (one male and one female) and a Latino girl, and they tried to convince me something hurtful was written about me in the bathroom. Being that I am not the type to care, get involved, or respond, I turned to walk away. The Latino girl proceeded to grab my hair causing me to turn and face her and she punched me square in the face. After several minutes of back and forth wrestling and punches, the fight was broken up my teachers. It turns out that there was nothing written about me, they were just trying to get me into
Cited: Barrett, James E., and David Roediger. 2005. How White People Became White. Pg. 35-40 in White Privilege: Essential Reading on the Other Side of Racism, 2nd Ed., Paula S. Rothenberg, Ed. New York: Worth Publishers. Glenn, Evelyn, Nakano. "Citizenship: Universalism and Exclusion." Pg. 18-55 in Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor. Cambridge: Harvard. Massey, Douglas S. "How Space Gets Raced." Rethinking the Color Line. By Charles A. Gallagher. 3rd Ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2007. 225. McIntosh, Peggy. 1997 "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work in Women 's Studies." Pg. 290-99 in Critical White Studies: Looking Behind the Mirror. Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic, Eds. Philadephia: Temple University Press. Takaki, Ronald T. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. New York, NY: Back Bay, 1994. 108.