Race and White Privilege
Some Definitions of Racism
• Cultural racism: Images, actions, and messages that “affirm the assumed superiority of
Whites...
Racism: How Does It Operate?
A. It is transmitted culturally, via music, movies, television,
advertising, education, and c...
Racism: How Does It Operate?
An example of the cultural
transmission of racism: A 2008
Vogue magazine cover, figuring
LeBr...
Racism: How Does It Operate?
B. Individual transmission
•How do family members speak of other races?
•How do other student...
Forms of Racism
Internalized racism: members of stereotyped group develop/follow
categorizations. In other words, one “buy...
Racism vs. Prejudice
Prejudice: a preconceived judgment or opinion, usually
based on limited information (Tatum, 1997)
A. ...
White Privilege
What Is It?
Unearned benefits, rights, and advantages that one receives because of
one’s race
How Does It ...
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Race and white privilege

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Race and white privilege

  1. 1. Race and White Privilege
  2. 2. Some Definitions of Racism • Cultural racism: Images, actions, and messages that “affirm the assumed superiority of Whites and the assumed inferiority of people of color” (Beverly Daniel Tatum, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race. New York: Basic Books, 1997, p. 6). • “The essential feature of racism is not hostility or misperception, but rather the defense of a system from which advantage is derived on the basis of race” (David Wellman, Portraits of White Racism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977, p. 210) • “Racism cannot be fully explained as an expression of prejudice alone…[it is] not only a personal ideology based on racial prejudice, but a system involving cultural messages and institutional policies and practices” (Tatum 1997, p. 7. Original emphasis.) • The key defining characteristic of racism is POWER (Tatum 1997, p. 10 and elsewhere).
  3. 3. Racism: How Does It Operate? A. It is transmitted culturally, via music, movies, television, advertising, education, and consumerism. • For example, in movies and TV, Arab-American men are typically figured as taxi drivers and gas station operators or, at worst, religious extremists. Arab-American women are figured as submissive and oppressed. • Black men are figured primarily as rappers, athletes, or criminals
  4. 4. Racism: How Does It Operate? An example of the cultural transmission of racism: A 2008 Vogue magazine cover, figuring LeBron James in a King-Kong- like pose with a white model, which draws from a long history of hypersexualization of black men and their threat to white women’s purity. See also < http://jezebel.com/368655/is-vogues-lebron-kong-cover-offensive >
  5. 5. Racism: How Does It Operate? B. Individual transmission •How do family members speak of other races? •How do other students or co-workers “joke” or make use of racial stereotypes? C.What has NOT been said, what people have NOT been exposed to •What representations of people of color are still missing in the media? •How many times have affirming or positive messages been sent to you about people of color?
  6. 6. Forms of Racism Internalized racism: members of stereotyped group develop/follow categorizations. In other words, one “buys into” the stereotype and then fulfills it. Institutional racism: various patterns of racism perpetuated by our institutions; how do institutions create situations where racial groups have fewer resources and options? This is what McIntosh calls “invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance.” Intra-racism: racism within a culture, where privilege is given based on “levels” of blackness (i.e. light-skinned over dark- skinned).
  7. 7. Racism vs. Prejudice Prejudice: a preconceived judgment or opinion, usually based on limited information (Tatum, 1997) A. Prejudice is transmitted in the same ways as racism. B. Prejudice is distinguished from racism because prejudice does not confer power or privilege, especially in the long- term sense. C. Anyone can be prejudiced, but people of color cannot be racist (except for intra-racism), because their prejudice does not confer social and political power or privilege on them.
  8. 8. White Privilege What Is It? Unearned benefits, rights, and advantages that one receives because of one’s race How Does It Work? • Because it’s invisible to those who enjoy it, white privilege grants white people permission to ignore race and thus oppress others. • It is enjoyed and experienced, most often, unconsciously. Why Is It Useful (to Whites)? It reinforces theory of meritocracy, which is the idea that good things happen to those who deserve it, work hard, “play by the rules,” etc.
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