The material we had to look through this week was really interesting. Civil rights issues have plagued our country since its founding. As we all know, great strides were made toward closing the racial gap in the 1950s and '60s, but as the video and article showed, much more must be done. The materials from this week raised many issues, some of which we have discussed at length over the course of this semester, which is why I opted to focus on these connections in this week's blog post.
Connection #1 -
I first noticed how much the Tim Wise video, as well as the New York Times article, were related to Johnson's article. In Privilege, Power, and Difference, Allan G. Johnson put a great deal of emphasis on the fact that the privilege of one person or group comes at the expense of another. Johnson explained how it is much easier for those who are privileged to put their heads into the sand and ignore that a problem even exists because they don't feel the direct side effects of that problem. In a similar fashion, Tim Wise explained in the video from this week that, while overt forms of racism (Racism 1.0, as he calls it) are nearly nonexistent, an underlying and equally as dangerous form of racism (Racism 2.0) still rears its ugly head every single day in our nation. Just as Johnson's issues surrounding privilege were easy to ignore, Racism 2.0 can often go unnoticed, which is the characteristic Tim Wise finds so dangerous to the fabric of our society. Racism has always been an issue that white people have downplayed. Wise explained how in 1962, nine of ten white American adults stated that African-American children had the same opportunities as white children. Both Johnson and Wise both agree that we cannot continue to deal with these types of issues in the manners in which we have been. We must address issues regarding undeserved privilege head-on.
Connection #2 -
I also think the Tim Wise video related to Delpit and the culture of power. Tim Wise discusses the danger that lies within making the assumption that in order for African-Americans to achieve success on the same scale as whites, they must act in accordance with President Obama. While initially this notion may seem to reject Delpit's culture of power theory, I think it teaches a valuable lesson that will further the success of the black community far more than teaching young African Americans to follow what Obama does (or did) to a T. Tim Wise explains that the proper thing to teach minorities is that they should strive to reach the point where racial divides do not exist and are not even thought twice about. Wise explains that that is true equality and power. While Obama's life may seem like a great guide for young African Americans to follow in order to break down racial barriers, true equality will only be achieved when a black person who "went to Indiana State or Michigan" has a serious chance at becoming president. Tim Wise teaches the true keys to power for young African Americans.
Connection #3 -
The final connection I made is between the NY Times article from this week and the Rodriguez article. Rodriguez attributed his success to the fact that he was forced to speak English at home, not just in school. As Rodriguez became more proficient in English, he began interacting with other students and his teachers. In other words, he became more integrated within the culture of power. This shows that the more one is immersed within the culture of power the more successful they will be. The NY Times article calls for a similar type of immersion into Delpit's culture of power. The article explains how minority students would benefit greatly by being placed within schools with "higher privileged" students. In other words, by being exposed to the culture of power on a daily basis, the racial gap that exists within our country would naturally close and issues of racism would eventually cease to exist.
Tim Wise Documentary on Youtube!