Holding the Smog-Breathers Accountable

My mom was born in South Africa, and when I was in the fifth grade, everybody asked why I was not black. I remember thinking how ignorant these kids were, and wondering why they thought everybody born in Africa was automatically a person of color. There were times where I felt bullied, and I was uncertain about my identity. Here I was being told that I should be black, when the color of my skin was white. As a child, I did not see why there was so much importance placed on the color of ones skin. My mom always … Read more

Stark Realizations

With the presidential election coming up on Tuesday, the next four years of policy are being decided.  Looking back at the campaigns leading up to this point, the rhetoric surrounding race has been interesting.  Much of the things said about race have been problematic, but prior to this semester I would not have understood why.  This semester of classes, with contemporary racism and multicultural psychology has been very eye-opening for me.  Coming from a predominately white town in New Jersey.  I grew up hearing jokes from my classmates about how my high school’s football team was going to lose because … Read more

Offensive Graffiti at Our College

I learned last week that we had an incident at our school with someone writing an anti-Semitic and sexist comment in one of our dorms.  I had a conversation with the Dean of Student Life about it. The RA and Head Resident Assistant were apparently alerted that the comment that was written on or near the door of a student.  The comment was taken down within four to five hours after being written. Campus Safety has been unable to identify who wrote this comment, because apparently their cameras don’t face the correct way to be able to identify the person. I have a … Read more

The Concept of White-Washing

“I have nothing against Black people. My coworker is Black and he speaks and dresses very well. He acts White. It’s the ones that walk around with their boxers out that I don’t like.” We’ve all heard someone say something like this at some point. One of my best friend’s Dad used to make comments like this all the time, and while it always made me somewhat uncomfortable, I never understood the extent of just how horrible that was. The article we read this week by Sue (2010) mentions this in the section about the false image of America as … Read more

Microaggressions & Gaslighting: Is There a Difference?

Dr. Derald Wing Sue defines microaggressions as, “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership” (Sue, 2010). Sue divides the different types of microaggressions into three main categories – microinsults, microassaults, and microinvalidations. While microassaults tend to be conscious, microinsults and microinvalidations are usually unconscious discriminatory acts or verbalizations. While all microaggressions are detrimental to the well-beings of members of minority groups, microinvalidations are thought to be the most damaging because they deny and negate the very real experiences of the oppressed (Sue, 2010). Microinvalidations are usually used by dominant group members to … Read more

Directorial Racial Choices and their Implications

I grew up in a mostly-white suburban town.  However, I was a part of the musical Once On This Island multiple times.  The premise of this musical is that there is a peasant girl (who was traditionally played by a black, female actor) who falls in love with a rich man (traditionally played by a white, male actor). The entire show centers around how these two very different worlds are not allowed to associate and talk to each other, and definitely not fall in love.  She winds up sacrificing herself for him essentially. In the two productions that I participated in, all … Read more