Whiteness as Social Capital

Recently I was listening to an episode of the podcast About Race, a podcast where 3 hosts discuss current race issues in an open way. One of the hosts mentioned that black assimilation to white culture as a solution to race disparity is problematic.  They looked at a specific study that showed that black people who moved to white middle-class neighborhoods before they were twelve had a “compound interest of awesomeness” where they were more likely to succeed academically and financially. When citing the reason for this success, the researchers used code words to talk about white culture. This language … Read more

Can a White Person be a Good Ally?

After stumbling upon Macklemore’s “White Privilege II,” I was excited to hear what he had to say. It felt like a direct application of the concepts that we had been learning in Contemporary Racism. The song directly references protest slogans from the Black Lives Matter Movement, police brutality, the double standard of hip-hop, and (of course) white privilege. He goes as far as to call himself out for the base of his fame from—and the history surrounding—cultural appropriation of Black music. Hell, he even goes as far as to include a Black artist, so that must mean he is doing … Read more

Protesting #101

On April 13th, Muhlenberg College participated in a nationwide day of action against racism and student debt by participating in the #MillionStudentMarch. This movement is a united demand for education as a human right. The movement seeks to gain 1) tuition-free public college, 2) cancellation of all student debt, 3) a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers, and 4) divestment from private prisons by all colleges and universities. Our Contemporary Racism class thought that it would be a good idea to actually take part in something that hits close to home for many of us in the classroom. It … Read more

An Outside Perspective on the Million Student March

On Friday, Muhlenberg participated in the Million Student March. The Million Student March is an event held at colleges to demand tuition-free public college, cancellation of all student debt, a $15/hour minimum wage for all campus workers, and divestment from private prisons. As a class, we were informed of the protest and its goals, and then headed over to take part, as a sort of exercise in allyship. There, the student organizing the protest gave us an explanation of their goals, explained the petitions on the table, and encouraged us to make signs. All in all, it felt like a … Read more

Why Excluding Whites from Black Liberation Movements is Counterproductive

Recently, I came across an article on Facebook posted by a fellow like-minded student, which surprised and intrigued me. The article was entitled “White People Have No Place in Black Liberation” and was from RaceBaitr.com, written by Kevin Rigby Jr. and Hari Ziyad. The basic premise of the article was that white people should not be allowed to participate in black liberation movements. Rigby and Ziyad argue that because whiteness is historically and contextually seen as the dominant race, white people will continue to be dominant if their presence is there in a shared space. They claim that it is … Read more