Tuesday, September 20, 2016

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

"White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh directly attacks the issue of White Privilege in America. 

"Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon, I realized that, since hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there are most likely a phenomenon, I realized that, since hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there was most likely a phenomenon of while privilege that was similarly denied and protected" - McIntosh

McIntosh describes White Privilege as a protected phenomenon, and I believe she is right. In the American education system we are taught of the issues of racism, starting at a young age we learn of slavery and how awful the realities of it were. Then we learn about the civil rights movement and the constant battle for equality during the 19th and 20th centuries. Even today there is still a constant struggle for equality because of the unaddressed white privilege in America. Recently the media has turned and attacked white privilege with the recent police shootings. The media claims that police are more likely to target African Americans, and are quicker to jump to violence in order to take care of situations. I have found an article that shows 20 examples of white privilege and the affect it has on law enforcement. http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/white-privilege-and-police/

""White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks" - McIntosh

McIntosh compares white privilege as this knapsack of special provisions, and I feel she couldn't be any more right about it. In this knapsack are special provisions, maps, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks. All these characteristics are the unrecognized advantages of being white. Being white in America gives you an automatic advantage in nearly every aspect of life. Just by being white you have access to more opportunity than the being a minority in America. And unfortunately most White Americans live their entire lives unknowing of the privilege they possess over the minorities in America. They have more access to education, and jobs, these are just some examples of the potential thousands that give White's an advantage in America. This can be connected back to Delpit, she says those in power are unaware, and the people who are not in power are aware of such differences. I think without explanation this is present in today's society. The media has been filled with race issues, the biggest, police brutality. The minorities are aware of the power issue, that is why they are addressing it in the media. 

"I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others' attitudes toward their race." - McIntosh

This quote is taken from a list McIntosh titles "Daily affects of White Privilege". I chose this quote because it falls perfectly in place with Delpit's "SCWAAMP standard". And we elaborated this system of ideas in class. The society today and way of life and its norms, are extremely linear, it was created a long time ago by the white population of America. It was created in favor of the white, straight, Christian American citizen. Today America's population is no longer described in SCWAAMP. America historically has been described as the homogeneous mixture of culture, but it does not elaborate on these ideas by having such a oppressive standard of White Privilege. 

I was able to find a rap song that directly addresses White Privilege, and its written by a white rapper named Macklemore. I think in a way it can be fitting to the situations addressed above. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

U.S.A., Land of Limitations? By Nicholas Kristof

For this article I have chosen the reflection approach. Kristof's article challenges the classic idea of the "American Dream" and the impact of social Darwinism. Recently in my history class we went over the idea of social Darwinism in the dawn of the twentieth century. After learning the idea of social Darwinism I personally thought it was a propagandists movement used by the upper class to help separate and belittle the middle and lower classes of  America.  Even my professor agreed that the idea of social Darwinism wasn't a real scientific study, just a theory. I laughed at the idea, but then I went home and reflected on it. And ended up having several debates on the topic with friends and family members. And this article was the icing on the cake.

I personally thought social Darwinism was a hoax, you here all the "rags to riches" stories, and all the incredible tales of the athletes who made it big. But what about the rest of the people? I thought why not examine myself, and compare it to my friends. My friend group is very close, and money is a topic often talked about, we are comfortable enough with each other to share our economic situations. So I decided to compare myself to my friend "Bob" (I don't want to share his real name), to test Kristof's theory (and also because it had been on my mind for over a week and its a strange coincidence that this article talks about social Darwinism). Bob comes from a wealthy family, his mother works in the Nero Science department at Rhode Island Hospital and his father is a CEO of a popular New England company. Bob grew up wealthy, in a massive home. In high school, Bob had to be financially independent when it came to buying a car, or going out. Bob always drove a nice car, and always bought nice watches. He works for a fancy winery and jut bought a $20,000 car, in cash...

Myself on the other hand, comes from a single income divorced family. I live with my mother fulltime. She works as a legal assistant. The money is okay, but she supports three kids, one being a college student. I also am financially independent when it comes to my own expenses such as a car, my phone, car insurance, etc.. When I bought my first car, it cost $1200 dollars and required me to work two jobs to afford it. I still drive the same car today. I feel I work twice as hard as my friend "Bob" I work more hours at my job, and also landscape on the side. So whats the difference? Where is the American dream? Why am I not driving a sports car? Obviouly I cant prove the theory of social Darwinism, or disprove the American Dream but is the theory of social Darwinism a proven science? I sure hope not, because one day I hope I can make more money than my mom, and support my own family.

The question I bring forward is; Do you feel that you fall subject to the idea of social Darwinism? Do you have any examples that support the idea of social Darwinism? After asking several of my friends if they have any examples of this idea? Two said absolutely and said it is a problem today in America.

Introduction to myself

Hello, my name is Christian Lamothe. I am a sophomore at RIC and a Coventry High School graduate. I am majoring in Secondary Education with a concentration in history. I have always had a passion for history. I work for the Parks and Recreation department in Coventry as a staff member at the Coventry Teen Center during the school year. Over the summer I work for the towns summer camp. During the summer if I'm not working, I can normally be found at the beach or floating in my pool. I have a wide range of hobbies, I love being outdoors and being physically active. I love mountain biking, fishing, playing soccer, and golfing. I also am obsessed with my dogs, Chloe and Daisy, they are polar opposites, but are inseparable.
Me and my best friends

Tubing on Johnson's Pond

My awesome dogs; Chloe and Daisy