What White People Don’t Get

This week I listened to a Politically Re-Active podcast entitled: Shaun King on Controversy, Color, and Kaepernick. Shaun King is a civil rights activist who mainly uses social media to discuss race relations. During the podcast, the hosts of the podcasts ask King about whether he thinks there is hope for improvement regarding police brutality in America. King tells them he is hopeful, but unfortunately racism in America is getting worse. King states how during President Obama’s term, hate groups around the country increased significantly. He also explained how drastically the numbers of police related deaths and incarcerations have gone … Read more

Trump’s Racist Tweets

Sadly, my main source of news these past few weeks has been Twitter. If you’ve played around with Twitter, you know that it is intended to grab audience attention with short statements and hashtags. After scrolling through my own feed, I’ve just begun to browse hashtags that are “trending”, meaning lots of people are using them in their own posts. Today, I was struck by one hashtag in specific- “PABPOTUS”. At first glance, I was uninterested. After grazing over the remaining hashtags, though, I realized that I knew what all of them meant except for this one, in specific. As … Read more

The Whitewashing of Psychology

We all have been exposed and influenced to the whitewashing of psychology, whether we’re a part of the professional academic discourse or not. Psychology theories and practices often times inform political policies to educational interventions that impact everyone in their daily lives. Here at Muhlenberg, psychology students learn about these theories and methods but we also are aware of the current field’s limitations. A significant flaw in the field is lack or representation of people of color in research as well as a lack of multicultural backgrounds involved in the development of theories. Psychology both in literature as well as … Read more

Mythbusters: Mass Incarceration

For most of the 20th century the prison population in the United States remained below 300,000 prisoners. By the year 2000 the population rose to over one million prisoners. When numerically compared to other western nations, the US prison population rises to the top. The racial disproportion in prison populations is unmistakable; African American men make up 39% of the prison population though they represent less than 12% of the total adult male population. (Bobo and Thomson, 2010). The heavy presence of incarceration in the United Sates might seem to reflect high crime rates and a successful police force, where … Read more

“The history of America is too big for one building.”

“The history of America is too big for one building.” – Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Recently, I had a conversation about the variety of museums in my hometown of Capitol Hill and about the wonderful exhibits surrounding the Washington Mall. The person I spoke with had recently visited, they shared, and they loved it. But they didn’t visit the African American museum because they didn’t like the idea. Why? Because, “I mean, we don’t have a museum for White people,” they contested. “The rest of the museums are diverse,” they said; … Read more

Civil What?

Our high schools just aren’t pulling their weight when it comes to teaching about the Civil War and the role of slavery in shaping American society. A report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center on February 1st found that only 8 percent of high school seniors can identify slavery as the central cause of the Civil War. Not only that, but two-thirds of high school seniors were unaware that it took a constitutional amendment to formally end slavery, and fewer than 1 in 4 students can correctly identify how provisions in the Constitution gave advantages to slaveholders. Educators all … Read more

Mythbusters: Christopher Columbus

“History is written by the victors,” Winston Churchill said. Another way to understand this power to define reality is through the construction of master narratives. A master narrative is majority-constructed script that specifies and controls how social processes are contextualized. An example of a master narrative that is perpetuated by our education system is one about the “discovery” of America by Christopher Columbus. When the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria landed on Plymouth Rock in 1492, America was already settled with indigenous tribes. These tribes had a different worldview than the Europeans who came to their land. Journal … Read more