Segregation has caused problems in our society for many years due to the deficiency in awareness of race and color. In the article “The White Fight” by Mark R. Warren, he talks about how despite remarkable progress made to combat racial and social injustice, we are far from living in a society where we can call everyone equal. Decades ago, many white and black Americans rose up to defend the rights of all people and the desegregation of society when Rosa Parks was arrested for sitting in the front of a bus in a “white mans” seat. Today, although we have seen miraculous progress of solving this issue, we are not quite there yet. “Nearly 40 percent of all black and Hispanic students will fail to graduate high school this year, double the rate for white students.”(Warren, pg1) 40 percent of all black and Latino students is almost half of the school populations in this country, which can cause increasing inequality in wealth and educational matters. If we increased the state and federal budgets for school programs to help minority youths, then this gap would eventually depreciate and black, Latinos and other minorities can finally have the same opportunities as their counterparts. “More than 30 percent of blacks and Hispanics live in poverty compared to 13 percent of whites.”(Warren, pg1) If we pick up some expenses for lower budget communities it would help them focus more on school then how to provide dinner for their families that night. We live in such a caste-driven society that it is hard to provide change to communities in poverty due to high levels of greediness and self-indulgence.” Today, the south, which saw the most intervention, is the most integrated region for black students, and by 2011, the percentage of black students in majority white schools was 23.2 percent — slightly lower than it was in 1968.”(Childress, pg2) If the percentage of black students in majority white schools is lower in 2011 than it was in 1968, then we are lacking the consideration of a serious problem. If black and Hispanic students were challenged with more demanding schoolwork, and better suited teachers, then their placement tests would be up and they would be more integrated in top high schools around the country. We have to take action in order to maintain progress when it comes to race and fairness in school otherwise we will continue to migrate away from equal rights of students and essentially our world.
Childress, Sarah. "Report: School Segregation Is Back, 60 Years After “Brown”." PBS. PBS, 15 May 2014. Web. 25 Oct. 2014. (Online)
Warren, Mark R. "White Fight." The American Prospect. Prospect.org, 09 Mar. 2011. Web. 25 Oct. 2014. (Reader)
I found The Top 10 Most Startling Facts About People of Color and Criminal Justice in the United States to be a huge eye-opener. its amazing to notice how so many laws within our criminal justice system seem to coincide with each other with one main goal at focus. the focus seems to be to oppress people of color while allowing leniency and empowerment to those of privilege. "In light of these disparities, it is imperative that criminal-justice reform evolves as the civil rights movement of the 21st century." (Kerby p.2) this particular article states that because people of color have a hugely disproportionate number of encounters with police officers than white individuals, obviously because of racial profiling. this inequality further results in the reason prison populations are made up of 60% blacks. "according to the Human Rights Watch, people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but they have higher rate arrests" (Kerby p. 4) CNN news described an obvious case of racial profiling and harassment against a black tech student in Manhattan, New York a year ago in October. In the online article it states that the young man went to a luxurious Barney's clothing store where he purchased a belt. when leaving he was stopped and ultimately arrested by two undercover officers who detained and interrogated him about his questioned identity and possibly stolen debit card. (both of which were completely legit) "Palillo recently received a call from another man who said he experienced a similar incident at Barneys -- an injustice that appears to happen too often, Palillo said."You really hate to think that in today's day and age that people are still being judged by the color of their skin," he said."(Windsor, CNN.com)
Kerby, Sophia "A look at the Racial Disparities Inherent in Our Nation's Criminal Justice System" American progress.org. March 13, 2012 (the reader)
Winsor, Morgan "CNN Justice" cnn.com October 25, 2013
In "White Fight," Mark Warren expresses, “A deeper common humanity comes not by avoiding the discussion of our differences but by acknowledging them” (21). The only way to achieve equity amongst all racial lines, there must be collaboration amongst everyone. In order to do this, white people are standing against racial discrimination by getting involved in the community and acknowledging that systems of oppressions do exist. Something that Tim Wise talks about in his book, Speaking Treason is that white people do not seem to acknowledge their privilege, just by their appearance they already have an advantage that people of color do not have. What I like about "White Fight" is that a course of discussion is being taught to college students, especially whites who grew up in predominantly white communities. They are being exposed to diversified communities in these universities, and are influenced by different ideas, therefore this builds onto their perspective and their view of the world. This is encouraging their activism and work towards community-building.
I found a scholarly article that Warren wrote himself, called “Communities and Schools: A New View of Urban Education,” that relates to the previous article. He addresses three key elements to reform the educational system, and that is: a service approach (community schools), development approach (community sponsorships of new charter schools), and organizing approach (school-community organizing). The educational system is in trouble, especially in areas of high concentrated poverty. In order to get a successful education, getting equitable treatment from teachers is the first step, then getting a political agenda in which addresses these issues of racism and poverty, instead of neglecting these communities. Warren argues that “Community-development organizations work directly to support the social and economic health of families and communities (qtd. in Briggs & Mueller, 1997). There is no use to reform schools, if there is no power structure within the community to compensate the effects of power and racism. Warren emphasizes how forming community-based organizations is important in addressing the issues within a community. Multiracial collaboration is a necessity to fight racial discrimination, and by acknowledging that systemic racism is still prevalent in communities of color are the first steps in combating racial inequity.
A current event I found intriguing, which I pulled out of tolerance.org, was this Webinar that Michelle Alexander is hosting for Oct. 29, 2014. She encourages teachers and students to engage in issues of social and racial justice. In her webinar, participants will be introduced to the content of Teaching The New Jim Crow, a guide inspired by Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. It introduces tools and strategies for educators to teach about racial justice. It also allows students to engage in activities that’ll prompt them for collective action for change. This will definitely build onto the concept of community-organizing in schools and will create these spaces of activism amongst the youth.
Warren, R. Mark. “Communities and Schools: A New View of Urban Education Reform.” Harvard Educational Review. Vol. 75, No. 2 (2005): Web. 27 Oct 2014.
Warren, Mark R. “White Fight.” The American Prospect. 09 Mar. 2011. Article. 27 Oct. 2014.
Alexander, Michelle. “Second Webinar with Michelle Alexander.” Teaching Tolerance. Blog. 22 Oct 2014.
There have been many community organizations throughout history, which include the Vietnam War protests, the civil rights movement, and currently the Hong Kong democracy protests. “Before these protests began, activists admitted the movement was unlikely to sway China, but Public protests play an important role in Hong Kong. Locals have free speech and the right to protest, even though they cannot directly elect their government.”(BBC pg. 1) It is very inconspicuous when considering verbalizing your opinions if you are an advocate for change for the people who are oppressed and do not share the same privileges as others. The point of these movements is to bring a voice to people who feel they have been oppressed throughout the years and deserve fair treatment in every aspect of live. The article “Organization Is the Weapon of the Oppressed”, gave me a better understanding in the strength of numbers and how civilian organizing causes provide people with more equal opportunities in life. Although this article does not solely base success off of organizing large masses of people without a specific leader or leaders, it gives me a sense of how organization come into play. “Many organizations or people are using vigils, marches, rallies, and demonstrations as spaces for emotional release.”(Nangwaya, pg. 3) Although organization plays a large role in combating inequality, the use of emotion will only go so far as to change the way people are being treated. If people base their organizing solely on emotion they are sure to create no change within their society. People must approach these types of situations with logical and political avenues towards change in order to help people view their cause as a serious one. “ Emotional responses to material forces of oppression are insufficient for the job at hand. We must employ reason and emotion in a methodical, disciplined and planned manner that is backed by the vision in an organizational or social movement context.” (Nangwaya, pg. 3) If people do not employ reason in a serious situation that is advocating for change, then I do not see a large chance of success in their efforts. Recently at De Anza, I was able to witness an organized protest against sexual assault on campus. I was amazed at how many people showed up to support and advocate on behalf of victims. It helps when you have a specific voice in your cause because people tend to remember better when they have a face and a compelling story. As clichéd as this sounds, the underlying factor is in order to see change we must be the change.
BBC, News. "Why Is Hong Kong Protesting?" BBC News. BBC, 18 Oct. 2014. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.
Nangwaya, Ajamu. "Organization Is the Weapon of the Oppressed." Dissident Voice RSS. N.p., 19 Aug. 2014. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.
In the article, “The Top Ten Most Startling Facts About People of Color and Criminal Justice in the United States,” there were several themes which stood out. Immediately, I noticed that racism was the primary topic. Each of the ten facts emphasizes injustice. For example, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime, a fact which is ridiculously disproportionate to the amount of white men who go to prison. Another broad yet clear theme is injustice: “Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders.” This piece of information comes from gathering plenty of data, and therefore represents a huge example of injustice. This is directly exemplified in the article, “The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests,” by Jesse Wegman. Here Wegman demonstrates a current topic that directly relates to the facts presented about the people of color and the criminal justice system. Wegman explains, “Whites and blacks use marijuana at roughly the same rates; on average, however, blacks are 3.7 times more likely than whites to be arrested for possession,” (Wegman, 1). This is simply not okay and must be further investigated. Lastly, youth is a theme of this article as well. One fact states, “African American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentences as an adult.” Youth are definitely affected by the injustices of our criminal justice system. According to the Child Trends Data Bank, there are stark racial disparities among incarcerated youth. Overall, this article lays out the facts without any interpretation. This is extremely significant because there is no reasonable or valid argument that can counter these facts.
"The Top 10 Most Startling Facts About People of Color and Criminal Justice in the United States." Name. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2014.
Wegman, Jesse. "The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests." N.p., 28 July 2014. Web. 5 Nov. 2014.
"Young Adults in Jail or Prison." Child Trends. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2014.
To many Americans, privilege is a constricted term that applies only to certain groups of people. In the article “white Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”, Peggy Mclntosh describes a society in which the problems we see on the surface barely scratch the real issues at hand. “I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible system conferring dominance on my group.”(Mclntosh pg.1) there are so many levels of racism but some people are only taught to see it on an individual level. If we continue to focus on individual acts of racism, we will never change the whole picture and will fail to change our society. If minorities who are being judged on an individual level seem to think this is the only form of racism, they are wrong and should learn more about the problems as a whole that society faces. “In recent years, it seems as though more unarmed young black men are shot by local police who believe they are doing their duty and whose actions are for the most part within established law.” (Yancy, Zack, pg.2) Blacks and Latinos are subjected to more severe punishments within our criminal justice system. This unfair treatment of Blacks and Latinos sometimes results in death by excessive police force. Even though these unfortunate shootings are a result of stereotypical laws and policies broadly enforces by our police force, we essentially sanction their approval and give the police too much power in certain situations. “My schooling gave my no training in seeing myself as an oppressor, as an unfairly advantaged person or as a participant in a damaged culture.”(Mclntosh pg.3) While racism and inequality is important to teach people at a young age, we cannot do this without changing our educational system. Education plays such a large role in the importance of how we can change our society and if we just learn to educate its people through programs and courses aimed at race and equality, we can positively change society.
McIntosh, Peggy. "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh." White
Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2014.
Yancy, George, and Naomi Zack. "What 'White Privilege' Really Means." Opinionator What White Privilege Really Means Comments. N.p., 5 Nov. 2014. Web. 09 Nov. 2014.
In Peggy McIntosh’s article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” she discusses how each of us views racism differently through the lens of our previous experiences. A major theme examined was denial. I found this particularly interesting because it relates to topics other than just racism. McIntosh also brings up sexism and how men are almost never willing to admit they are “over privileged.” She relates the two forms of oppression by explaining, “I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege,” (McIntosh, 1). I certainly agree with this statement because of my past experiences and upbringing. I can attest to the fact that whites are taught to not focus on the issues of racism in our society. Denial is a huge factor for why racism still exists today; humans are almost never willing to admit they are “over privileged,” just as the author claims. Another theme is systematic oppression. It is extremely important to recognize the difference between systematic oppression and independent acts of mistreatment. McIntosh explains, “I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group,” (McIntosh, 2). Clearly, racism is a form of systematic oppression because when an individual act of mistreatment takes place, the perpetrator’s acts on behalf of a larger group of people. As the author admits, we are often times taught to brush off these acts of mistreatment and claim they are simply occurrences that do not reflect upon the views of an entire group. A third key theme in the article is responsibility. Racism affects everyone. Those who have the privilege in society today especially have an obligation to teach others and educate those who still deny the privileges they have. Tim Wise, in a speech entitled, “A Political Ideology,” explains how white people clearly do have a responsibility to do just this. At the beginning of his speech he tells the audience, “I.. fit the aesthetic that is needed... in order to come in and give this talk. Nothing that I am going to say tonight originated in my head... almost every single thing that I am going to share this evening is wisdom that has been shared with me.. by people of color... Privilege bestows upon me the advantage [to share it], and so as a matter of responsibility and accountability I have to own that upfront,” (Wise). Here Wise explains why he is giving the speech, despite the fact that he not likely not the best writer, thinker, or speaker on the topic of racism. In McIntosh’s article she questions, “What will we do with such knowledge?” (McIntosh, 4). Each of has has the responsibility to fight racism, regardless of our past experiences and level of privilege.
"A Political Ideology Tim Wise White Privilege." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
McIntosh, Peggy. "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
Wise, Tim. "Exploring the Depths of White Racist Socialism." N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
White racism has been around since the beginning of our nation and long before that as well. In the article “Exploring the Depths of White Racist Socialization”, Tim Wise explains the need for awareness in the sense of racial mindfulness being absent although we tend to have pro-equality views and opinions. “Furthermore, all whites, irrespective of their liberal attitudes, “tolerance” for others, and decent voting records, have to address the internalized beliefs about white superiority from which we all suffer.”(Wise, pg.1) There is hardly anyone who is unaffected or completely innocent when it comes to white racist socialization and domestication of racism and inequality. Although there are plenty of people who believe they are pro-equality and have no problem admitting to it, there is always going to be a problem because people fail to see issues against race and fairness. “Even when individuals point out their own experiences of racism, people find ways to frame the experience as anything but racist.”(Henderson, pg.1) When people experience racism they try to act sympathetic towards the situation whether they try to rationalize, or denounce the issue. People are still neglectful to certain issues revolving around race, partially due to society’s view on race and how they try to super-impose outlooks on certain things. “Fact is “nigger” is still the first word on most white peoples minds when they see a black man being taken off to jail on the evening news.”(Wise, pg.2) Although this is a pretty extreme circumstance in California due to us being so diversified and accepting of different races, I do see Wise’s point. In the mid-west and the eastern states, I can see how racially driven situations like this are due to people being so segregated. I find it hard to believe how people are still living in the 1930s in terms of negligence because of how accepting we are in California. Tim Wise has opened my eyes through this article because of how noticeably realistic he speaks about race, especially because he lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Henderson, Danielle. "We're Not a 'post-racial' Society. We're the 'innocent until Proven Racist' Society." The Guardian. The Guardian, 10 Aug. 2014. Web. 14 Nov. 2014.
Wise, Tim. "Exploring the Depths of White Racist Socialization." Exploring the Depths of White Racist Socialization (n.d.): n. pag. Nypolisci. Web. 14 Nov. 2014.
What do you think of when you hear the word police? From a young age, we are taught that police officers are the good guys/women you can turn to when you are in trouble. Although there are many police officers that are only doing their job, there are also many instances where police brutality collides with the ethic and moral view we are supposed to perceive them to have. Monica M. Moll’s article, “Improving American Police Ethics Training: Focusing on Social Contract Theory and Constitutional Principles”, addresses these issues that we are currently facing in our society that revolve around ethics and morals as well as excessive force by police officers. “A popular debate within police ethics literature centers around the question of whether corruption and misconduct are the result of rotten apples or a rotten barrel”. (Moll, pg.3) The problem that Moll is addressing in this quote has to do with individual police officers and society as a whole. I think the phrase “rotten Barrel” sums up society and how it influences police brutality in a way where we can all see its effects. Sure, there may be some “rotten” police officers in the bunch, but my opinion is that society mostly is to blame for the way police officers stigmatize people of different races. If it was not for stereotypes, this world would be fairer in terms of equality but due to societal views, we see people in different ways. “Multiple lawsuits alleging wrongful death, excessive force, illegal searches and racial profiling incidents involving Gonzales have resulted in $3.6 million paid by the city in settlement money. Law enforcement experts say he fits the profile of the “bad apple” minority in OPD that is responsible for most of the allegations of brutality that plague its relationship with the city’s communities of color.” (Winston, pg1) Although the Oakland police department blames the use of deadly force solely on an individual from the department, there should be partial blame towards the department as a whole. A way to combat police brutality is to institute mandatory ethics courses and also passing more restricted laws on how we hire our police officers. “Improved ethics training may begin to repair the rotten barrel over time, but rotten apples can be avoided if police agencies devote a great deal of effort on the front end by carefully selecting individuals of god character.”(Moll, pg.2) If we were to institute policies towards ending police brutality, the relationship between police departments, officers, and the community, would all benefit. It is important to realize the good that police officers do in terms of responding to high rick situations and putting their lives on the line for us, but as long as they excessively use their power to harass and even abuse the law abiding citizens of this country, we can not move forward in this relationship between police officer and citizen.
Moll, Monica M. "Improving American Police Ethics Training: Focusing on Social Contract Theory and Constitutional Principles." Improving American Police Ethics Training: Focusing on Social Contract Theory and Constitutional Principles (n.d.): n. pag. Fourm on Public Policy. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
Winston, Ali. "Deadly Secrets: How California Law Shields Oakland Police Violence - COLORLINES." RSS. Colorlines, 17 Aug. 2011. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.