Expanding the Definition of Privilege: The Concept of Social Privilege
emily_berry_b
Social privilege is defined in the article, "Concept of Social Privilege," as a relationship between privilege and oppression. Privilege meaning a special advantage, granted to an individual, and an entitlement related to a rank system. Oppression being an act of, "imposing on another" (pg. 245). Oppression could also be looked at as "selling out" to the group they originally belong to because they want to gain approval from the other more "privileged" group. Social privilege is the un-fair advantage a group gains by birth right alone. This could be demonstrated by ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disabilities, or religion. These privileged beings, typically white, straight, Americans may or may not be aware of the entitlement given to them due to denial or disinterest. Those who belong to the less privileged parties possess differing cultural values, beliefs, or behaviors that causes them to be looked upon as defiant of the norm. White Americans need to recognize their superiority, find awareness in racism, and reform themselves to create a new non-racist identity.

I agree for the most part with this article although I do believe that the majority of white Americans fall into the "disinterest" category rather then denial. This is because racism today clearly is not as large of an epidemic as earlier on in the 19th century. In American we are continuing to be more inclusive with other ethnicity's when it comes to educational, and career-related opportunities presented. Although there are definitely those who are still very much racist (located mostly south of the country), we have the racism issue a lot more under control in today's society then ever before. Call me one of those "in denial white Americans," but I do not see myself as being any more superior then any other ethnic being that was born and raised in America like myself. I do not depend on the color of my skin to get me a job, or help me do well in school. What I do rely on though is my personality traits, my initiative to get things done, motivation, and the respect and love I possess for all of my friends, family, and new people I meet.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
emily_berry_b
In Peggy McIntosh's article, she describes "White Privilege," as the denials white Americans hold regarding the opportunities/advantages present in their daily lives. Comparable to men's privilege that still exists today, men will not admit that they are over-privileged, but can admit that women are at a lesser privilege then them. Racism appears to put others in that same sort of disadvantage, which is taught to be un-recognizable by the white population. Whites have been conditioned to remain ignorant of the privileges presented because it is just viewed as "the norm." Whites continue to take these daily advantages for granted living in a constant state of oblivion, when the rest of society should be able to share the same advantages without having to think twice, but that is clearly not the case. It is not until whites can recognize this privilege that we can be more aware of other ethnic groups and change our mind-set of this false dominance whites believe they possess.


In order to overcome this issue, whites must began to recognize and feel affected by racism which the majority of white Americana's have proven they do not feel affected because, "they do not see whiteness as a racial identity." Whites must re-train their focus of racism from "individual acts of meanness" to "invisible systems conferring dominance" from birth. Once you understand this, then you can change the way you view racism and see that everyone deserves an equal opportunity and privilege should only be earned by hard work and perseverance regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other factor. As McIntosh states, "the feeling that one belongs within the human circle," should be present upon all American society.

The IWW vs. The KKK + Minutemen Stalk Their Prey
emily_berry_b
The I.W.W. versus The KKK

The I.W.W. or nicknamed "The Wobblies," were an organized group of progressive minded workers who disagreed with the corrupt system of employers from large businesses, and their unfair ways of treating labor workers. The Wobblies made up of a diverse group of people including, white Americans, Japanese, Mexicans, and Filipinos, all fought together regardless of race. These Unions created meetings where they would express their freedom of speech, and exercise their non-violence resistance. Employers, primarily in the upper-class and middle-class stature, were furious about these Unions. The Wobblies were extremely determined, persistent, and courageous through all of the physical and emotional obstacles they encountered. Employers, cops, doctors, lawyers, even priests were breaking up the Union strikes by beating up Wobblie members, throwing them in jail, writing nasty articles in the paper about them, and trying to convince America that these Unions were not patriotic, or Un-American. Even people who were not directly in the Unions, but had bias view toward the progressive side, where heavily punished, such as newspaper journalists. As the rioting continued, the Wobblies did not give in, and held their ground. In 1924, the Ku Klux Klan emerged brutally beating innocent people, breaking up meetings, and attacking the I.W.W. hall.

It really was no surprise at all to me that the wealthy business owners, as well as upper-middle class citizens were the individuals who were the most aggressive, stingy, money-hungry, and self-conscious about a ruined reputation for their businesses. The fact that they treated their labor workers so badly and used them like they were a machine rather than a human, with human emotions, is despicable. Labor workers had no medical help and were hardly allowed breaks when they were the ones, if anyone needed medical attention, should of been them. This also brings up another point that regardless of race, as we have been learning the privileges of race in class, fighting and corruption has caused fights between all types of people in America. In American we are so conscious of black racism due to slavery, which was a horrendous incident, that we forget the events that have occurred between other ethniciy's, such as the Japanese or the Filipinos. Not only other races, The Wobblies consisted of whites who fought white employers, but just the rights of people in general. When it comes down to it, all people are human, REGARDLESS ANYTHING ELSE! Everyone deserves the same opportunities.

I mean, we all have a working body, brain, emotions, feelings, a will, and heart! So come on. Human nature is so greedy and I feel as though the people with the most money tend to be the most greedy, where as people who have hardly anything, are always the ones who are willing to give to others because they have been there, they understand. Individuals with a lot of money, although should be the least concern about giving since they have so much, are so afraid to lose their money because they don't know any other way.

Terrorists on the Border: The Minutemen Stalk Their Prey

The Minutemen are a group, primarily made up of white retirees, middle-class, white-collar, military veterans, former cops, security guards, and other professionals, or once professionals, who are anti-immigrates and nationalists. These groups, tightly knit with the Ku Klux Klan and even Nazi party, are just another extremist group leaning far right. The Minutemen crave attention from the media by voicing their opinions and attempting to gain the governments approval. The Minutemen have designed border patrol groups all along the Mexican border, while claiming to be ALL anti-immigration, they could care less about the Canadian border's seventy-nine points of entry. The mind-set of the Minutemen is the "superior culture" of the native whites. By eliminating the illegal immigrants, and closing the borders all together, they are convincing the government and other activists that their will be a spike in economic growth for the U.S. citizens.

As I stated above from the "I.w.w. versus The KKK" article, the majority of the activists in these extremist groups are mainly made up of middle-class, and blue-collar whites who are completely afraid of any change what so ever happening to their economic stature. This resulting in the degrading of other ethnicity's, when they are the ones who brought in Japanese, Mexicans, and Filipinos in for cheap labor in the first place. Our American government has prov-en to be just as corrupt and condescending, as the motivation and reasoning of the Minutemen. Claiming you are strictly border-patrol, but then attracting media attention in order to make your way to the top and appeal to the government proves how money-hungry we really are. I thought we prided our self on being the land of the free? Prided our self upon diversity? Opportunity? Well if that is so then why are we so careless when it comes to any sharing our resources with other cultures such as medical centers and housing.

"Swat a Jap" + The Anti-Filipino Riots
emily_berry_b
"Swat a Jap"

When the Japanese immigrated to America, they started in Hawaii working on plantations. They gradually started moving in-land where they migrated to the West Coast in areas such as California. Soon enough the Japanese replaced the Chinese working on farms. The Japanese continuously demonstrated their great work-ethic, as well as developing the ability to stand for what they believe it. White American farmers grew resentful of the Japanese workers skill in farming. In May 1905 Korean and Japanese exclusion was organized which resulted in Japanese children being removed from schools and segregated with Chinese children. These exclusion laws made Japanese ineligible for U.S. citizenship and unable to own land. Anti-Japanese groups created organization that would boycott and attack the Japanese. Later on in 1942, when the United States and Japan were on negative terms due to Pearl Harbor, anyone of Japanese-Americans ancestry was taken from the West coast and placed in concentration camps.

It makes me feel extremely ashamed of my race to read these articles. White people have proved themselves over hundreds of years to be unethical and soul-less. Putting Japanese-Americans into concentration camps, African American slavery, Nazi Germany, these are all examples of the idea that White must undermine every other race in order to prove some sort of false superiority. I also do realize though that we have come along way in America from where we were, to where we are now. In this day and age we do not seem to take as extreme of measures as we did back in the 1940's and so on. Although the history still lingers in American life to this day, we pride our self on diversity although look at what it took to get there.


The Anti-Filipino Riots

Mexican and Filipino workers were brought to California after the exclusion of Japanese, due to their cheap labor and hard work ethic. Although the difference between Mexican and Filipino immigrants was the fact that Mexicans could be deported back to their home country where as Filipino's lacked a "mother-country," and the protection they could receive from one. As the article states, the Filipino's were "at the mercy of California's racist legislature and local government." The majority of the Filipino immigrant workers brought to the U.S. were young, single men. This created a large conflict because these young Filipino men were drawn to California's dance scene, and white American women. A "sexual hysteria" was in effect when white American men grew resentful of the Filipino men taking white American women to these dance halls. Fights broke out within the San Francisco area resulting in brutal beatings and even deaths.

I found this article to be very interesting, the fact that white men from "well-to-do families" were that bitter towards interracial dating blow my minds. It is crazy that the idea of a Filipino male just taking a white American female to a dance is looked so down upon. The issues that arose were handled at such an extreme level (fights, riots, etc.) because of the fact that Filipinos could not be deported such as the Mexicans. This effects American life because it shows how racist our country use to be even though to this day we pride our-self on being the most diverse nation. It shows me that we have not always been that way and it took a lot of time, pain, and suffering of other ethnicity's, for us to get to the point where we are now.

White Niggers Have Feelings, Too
emily_berry_b
While the word "Nigger" is socially unacceptable in today's society, the term "Redneck" is used frequently to describe anywhere from someone being poor and white, to ignorant or an alcoholic. When the author researched the two terms and compared the definitions, the term "Redneck" was being used by the writer who wrote the definition where as the term "Nigger" was being quoted by someone else's usage. The racial conflict between blacks and whites proves over and over to be completely contradicting. In "Racial Etiquette," (21) no one is allowed to insult a group with which they do no belong. Although upper-class whites are allowed to degrade "Rednecks" by describing them as poor white trash, "If a black doctor seems embarrassed by a scrotum clutching gangsta rappers and sweat black preacher, he's branded a race traitor and a sellout. But if a white lawyer seems ashamed of ball-scratching hillbillies and sweaty white preachers, it's a perfectly understandable distaste," (22) this was one satirical example of the differences in racial perception. Equality includes all classes, this including the working white class. The author continues to express how people lump whites all into one category of upper-class, blue blooded, country clubbing yuppies. Blacks and working class whites will point the finger at each other when they were not destined to be enemies but manipulated by the upper-class whites. "If the niggers and the rednecks ever joined forces, they'd be unbeatable." (32)

The author then took us through his life obstacles and demonstrated the long line of hard-working, lower-class whites he had stemmed from. His father worked forty hour weeks because no one expected anymore of him, the author followed in the same footsteps of his father although with a different mind set. The perception of racism is an on-going issue in America, it is not only black Americans who come from an ancestry of misused labor, but white Americans endured "a cheap labor pool." (33) This article gave me a new mind-set on the perception of white racism, I never had really pondered on the difference of up-bringing between the working white class and the upper white class. As for all ethnicity's, humanity has struggled in some shape or form and until we stop dwelling in the past, we will not be able to reach our full potential, working in unison in the future.

Deadly Lies
emily_berry_b
There are very drastic views regarding the diversity of public schools, both economical status as well as racial status play a large role. The Brown vs. Board of Education is referred to in the article which was the desegregation of public schools in America. Although schools claim to be desegregated, depending on the area the school is located and the type of students attending the school, there still remains a form of segregation. Schools typically located in "Middle-class" areas prove to offer more extra-curricular activities (dance, theater, sports, etc.), as well as have a different curriculum that would potentially be geared toward students more well-off. Other schools that may be located on the "inner-city" tend to have less outside school activities, as well as a curriculum consisting of strict order, "If you do what I tell you do do, how I tell you to do it, when I tell you to do it," (271) resembling a military type approach. As of right now, our public schools in America are being run by conservative, leaders who have no experience in the educating field, but rather are expertise in managing schools as business. On the other hand, we have the "do your own thing," (271) counterculture that believe in children developing a thirst for knowledge rather then being educated out of fear.

Although both very different approaches, I believe both parties must learn to meet in the middle. Although changes have been made in order to supplement the diversity in public schools such as "open enrollment" and other strategies to create an equal balance, segregation is still present. All that schools and teachers can do in the mean time is create an equal learning opportunity for all students of every ethnicity and economic stature, get to know students and understand their individual needs so that each student can learn in their own unique way. Public schools also must stop treating the school system like an organized business, and more as a place to support children and their learning needs. Finally, developing schools should be built smaller to create a more intimate, comfortable surrounding for students in all areas, regardless of class.

Knowledge Deficit
emily_berry_b
In this article there is a lot of controversy that stirs between whether our up-coming generation is lacking the knowledge that our previous generations possessed. With an emphasis being placed upon popular culture and technology, it is no surprised at all that teenagers and young adults have too many distractions from online net-working sites, to texting, to television. Other sources state that college students are being to heavily worked creating unhealthy habits such as lacking of sleep, social time, and appetite. Students attending high school and college are being ingrained to believe good grades and high scores on test ensure success. Rather then absorbing the material, school work has become an exercise in which just needs to get done instead of being engaged in the material.

In the argument I would definitely have to qualify. For the most part, students are not being over-worked. The majority of the school work students receive is manageable, and I think what gets students into trouble is more of a matter of procrastination then too much work to begin with. If students in high school and college would stay on top of their work and do it as soon as they received it they would be less likely to struggle with the build up. I do not believe our generation is "dumbing down" at a drastic rate more so then the previous generations, I just believe the technology has caused us to lack the communication skills people once had, as well as patience. The technology era has given our teenagers and young adult more computer and graphic skills. Also technology has presented more job opportunities.

How Listening to Students Can Help Schools Improve
emily_berry_b
Smaller schools in comparison to larger schools possess more advantages. Some of these advantages include greater safety, a stronger community, and improved relationships between teachers and students. Larger schools appear to be more disconnected from their students, 26 percent of students felt that their teachers did not know them well enough as oppose to the 92 percent of students who attended smaller schools. Although, larger schools have some positive aspects such as, more offered elective courses, more resources to supplement special education students, as well as foreign exchange students, and finally extracurricular activities, and sports.

When it comes down to it, regardless of the size or population of the school, student-teacher relationships are one of the main keys to ensuring a students motivation and success in their education. When students had the opportunity to voice their own ideas and opinions on what they believed would create a more motivating learning environment they said, organization, patience, passion for the subject, respect, and a sense of firmness where all characteristics a teacher should possess in order to create the ideal learning environment. Although some adults would disagree with the structural criticism received by the students, they need to realize that overall to create a successful educational system they must take the students ideas into consideration as those are really the main focus after all. Why run a school if none of the students are even remotely interested in what the school has to offer, or possess a lack of motivation for themselves and their educational career? Isn't the purpose of school to engage students into learning and growing so they can do great things for our upcoming generation? Overall, our high school students our the future of our world.

As well as personal relationships between adults and students, violence and safety needs to be taken into consideration as a serious matter. Less students are likely to come to school if they feel uncomfortable, or cannot look at school as a safety zone which it should be. Another disadvantage with larger schools is their ability to monitor violent activity or discrimination that may occur with the higher population of students and increase of ethnic diversity. Smaller schools are less likely to have these issue because the majority of the student population is tight-knit with each other. When students were once again asked to voice their opinion on the matter of safety, most students had similar ideas for disciplinary action as those that adults have already. This displays high school students maturity level and gives them more reason to have a say in how the high school system is run.

The last issue to be taken care of is the pressure from adults to students to score high test scores on the state wide tests. These tests are the deciding factor whether a student has the ability to graduate or not, which is extremely unfair. Although these large tests show a good example of how well a student is learning, the individual needs of a students needs to be taken into consideration. Each student is different and although one student may test better then another, that does not necessarily mean they are a better student then maybe that of a student who had test anxiety and cannot concentrate within a limited time setting. A state wide test should be a contributing factor to the decision of a students graduation, but as well as a cumulative grade based upon how well the student participated in class. Less emphasis should be placed on JUST a test.

Overall, there are a variety of contributing factors into the success of a high school student. The size of a school does have some effect on the learning environment of a student. The three main points that need to be stressed to adults working in the educational system should be, teacher-student relationships, safety and violence, and lastly pressure from tests. High school students are maturing young adults that are going to be apart of our futures world and they need to be able to gain the skills of integrity and decision making. The perfect place for them to test these skills is in the school setting where they can make decisions that greatly impact their own educational career. After all, schools are meant to enhance student learning, so why not listen to what they have to voice regarding what will help them find more excitement in coming to school everyday. This may after all result in less drop out rates which is a increasing issue in American schools and life.

Educating or Imprisoning the Spirit: Lessons From Ancient Egypt
emily_berry_b
Public Schools, including low-income schools, have a tendency to brainwash children into becoming "de-humanized robots" due to the strict politics, as well as a curriculum who's main concern regards high test scores and numbers, rather then to actually teach children how to make decisions for themselves. It is a real wonder these children have any integrity left at all?

The authors of the article, Paula and Lisa offer a whole new teaching curriculum that would become effective for any public school's interest. The methods they use in their teaching environment stem from the classical civilization of the Ancient Egyptians, and their Ma'at value system. This system revolves around the concepts of truth, justice, harmony, balance, order, reciprocity, and righteousness. The point of this system was to teach an individual to feel the need to become educated, or want to achieve, as oppose to feeling manipulated into doing something that is suppose to be done. Children in public schools who had not previously experienced this system felt as though school was a prison-like situation where the students were constantly dictated and had no emotional connection with their teachers. The Ma'at system would eliminate this mind set by creating a bonding experience within a class room as well as give students their will to learn. When punishment became an issue, the Ma'at system believed in excluding the student creating the incident by disconnecting them from all classroom activity and discussion.

The Ma'at system was a great system that taught children the necessary skills that would later be used in real life scenarios such as relationships, individual growth, and integrity of a group. This value system should be used in all school settings whether public, private, or home-schooling. If teachers and students could develop a deeper understanding of one another, and why both parties are present, there would be more thirst for knowledge on the students part and more motivation to teach on the teachers part. In American life, education is such a great aspect of future success, a career, and over-all happiness. If the values of the Ma'at system would make a world of difference to the majority of students by giving school a new reputation as a place of comfort, understanding, and the development of decision making.

The Silenced Dialogue pt. 2
emily_berry_b
The remainder of "The Silenced Dialogue," discussed issues including teaching methods and how students interpreted power. Depending on the cultural background of the student, some would agree that the more stern a teacher proved herself to be, the more effective of an educator she is, and therefore with-held more power. An opposing display of power would be the teacher that does not necessarily volatile outburst at her students, but is more soft-spoken and less intimidating. Both are authority figures, but both with-hold power drastically different. The author broke down the differences of the working class as oppose to the middle class saying that a teacher coming from a working class environment is more likely to display authority using personal characteristics to display her power as a teacher, such as proving herself, displaying her work ethic, and how she got to where she is; A teacher coming from a middle class background is more likely to feel they automatically have authority due to their teaching position and therefore the students should just understand their power without it needing to be said. A teacher from a working class environment can be mistaken by students at times for being "rude," while others believe that this teaching style is more effective, and look to their teachers as a sign of respect. A teacher from a middle class environment may be looked upon as indirect, which can conclude to setting their students up for failure, other students may disagree that a teacher more soft-spoken is a better listener, and a more effective authority figure. The common denominator lies in the cultural up-bringing of the students, and how an individual perceives power.

Regardless of teaching styles, the article then began to explain the importance of teachers and students meeting in the middle. Teachers are their because, for the most part, they want to be there. The teachers job is to give the students to basic structure that will be useful for the rest of their working career, as well as teaching them to ability to communicate within a group environment with a variety of different people, from different cultures. The students job is to be susceptible to their learning, listen, participate, and communicate when appropriate. The author struggles to get the point across that all teachers need to be more understanding toward students and be willing to learn about the individuality of each student and their particular learning style, while still maintaining some sort of basic structure. But rather then just the teacher bending over backwards, the student also most put forth some effort to gain an education by simply just listening, communicating, and participating.

Overall, this article finally came together for me and I enjoyed the second part quite a bit more then the first part. The author brought up so many good points and I completely agree with everything she described. She really stressed upon the fact that diversity is what makes our world and educational system what it is, and rather then trying to influence everyone to be the same, support diversity of the students by really hearing where they come from and applying that to teaching methods. This is so important in American life because our country is known as the most diverse country in the world and this is an issue that still is present today. I really do believe most teachers have pursued the teaching career because they really want to teach children and young adults, and ensure their success later on. I can't see any reason why a teacher would become one just to set a student up for failure, there would be no benefit in that, and it would only display a reflection of themselves and their poor teaching methods. All teachers should abide by the concepts this author has portrayed in "The Silenced Dialogue."

?

Log in