This week in class we were challenged with the task of educating a “typical white male” on how racism is still prevalent today. I was surprised by how difficult this task was, and especially surprised by how blank my mind was when trying to think of what to say. It started making me nervous about my role in society after this class, and how I’m supposed to spread my knowledge to others who embody the same persona that Connie did in class. By the end of class, after many attempts, we were explained the historical root causes of the inequalities that are still present today. Ironically, after years of learning about systematic and institutionalized racism, I thought “well yeah, duh! That makes sense!” However, it became really clear to me that my knowledge was actually quite shallow and I didn’t understand either of those concepts in depth. Although I’m a little more confident now that I’ve learned more, I can’t deny that I’m still insecure about changing the privileged white minds of America.
As we discussed aversive racism, a concept that I had learned about prior to this course, I also started feeling a little insecure. I think that when I had learned about it in the past, I just took it as fact; something that white people do, rather than applying it to my life. It made me ponder through different events and scenarios from my past. When have I acted aversively racist? Have I changed since learning about these concepts? I believe I have, since I’ve been recognizing other’s acts of aversive racism much more. Does anyone else feel that they have been noticing this more?