Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wrapping up Racism

White Privilege...
I feel that White Privilege can be a very sensitive topic, especially for white people. No one would like being "accused" of having societal privileges over non-white people. At first, I thought that white privilege is not real--everyone is always treated equally. But, after my racism research on white privilege and after reading Peggy McIntosh's article, I started to reconsider my thoughts. In her article, Peggy listed the every-day things she notices that make her more privileged than her African American co-workers. Simple things such as African Americans "not being able to participate in conversations" and their ideas "not being heard within a group of people" I feel, really get categorized in "White privilege."

However, it is not fair when it is assumed that white people don't experience "racism" or have it "easy" in their lives. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg are a few examples of white people that have worked their way to success. It is not fair to say that they only achieved a whole lot and are successful merely because of their skin color. Peggy's article opened my eyes up to something I did not know. There have been situations where my family and I have felt if we were white, we would be treated differently. For example, one day my mom and I went to Macy's and my mom needed assistance to find her size. She asked the lady working there and that lady (white) talked very rudely to us. The saleswoman told us "Well, I have a million things to do, it should be around somewhere and if it isn't then we don't have it." At first, I only thought that she may be having a bad day or maybe even treated EVERYONE like that. However, when two white women came to ask for the location of sweaters, that saleswoman politely told them where it is, and even guided them there.

Growing up, I always thought that Martin Luther King Jr solved the world's predicament of prejudice and racism by his "I Have a Dream Speech" in 1963. I WAS WRONG.

Before we started the racism presentations, I had no clue what Colorism was. I was so shocked to find out what it was after Nandhini's presentation. I could relate to everything she said, of how it is considered "rich" to have fair skin in Indian culture. My aunt always tells me not to go out in the sun as much because I can get dark. Furthermore, seeing the commercials that are viewed in India of how to get fairer skin, and how to lighten your skin tone by two shades really disgusts me. I view this the same as media encouraging girls to eat less and lose weight.

Colorism also affects people of the African American race. I have sometimes wondered how African Americans would get treated differently if their skin color was not dark. I know it's weird to think about, but I wonder the differences the same person would face with dark skin, versus with white skin. I don't think it is right to judge someone based on their skin color. Not only that, it is not right to say a certain skin color is better than another. Branching off a little bit, I think nowadays, most people only judge someone based on their looks--not on their personality or hospitality. People are only concerned with getting more clothes, trying to "look better", etc, instead of trying to improve their personality and showing more love to people. Does this show that as a society, we care more about looks, skin colors, beauty, etc rather than our nature and personalities?

Overall, it really opened up my mind and I realized that there are so many issues out there that is going on.