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

“To Be White is to Be Racist”

The amount of white people who are too engulfed in their white privilege to see the prevalence of racism is frightening. Whether that racism is on a blatant, subtle, individualized or institutionalized level, it’s there, and people need to start realizing it so that we can work towards decreasing it. Just the other day I opened up Facebook to see that someone had posted a news article about a high school teacher in Norman, Oklahoma teaching his students about racism. He captioned this post, “Lol this is a joke. I would’ve punched that teacher right in the jaw.” Based on … Read more

Institutional Racism on college campuses: I, too, am Harvard The article above was introduced to me recently by one of my friends. While I was going to write about something different this week, this article captured me. Entitled “I, too, am Harvard” you see a preview of a photo project from 21 students of color who attend Harvard university. Each is holding a black dry erase board which dons a common phrase that they often hear and has in some way effected them. Thinking about what we have been talking about in class I realized how much of the quotes I heard, or been through. While I … Read more

Planet of the Apes or the Obamas?

Recently in the opinions section of a Belgian Newspaper, one article, said to have been submitted from Russian President Vladimir Putin, shows the Obamas depicted as apes. On the picture it says, “First Black President, starts selling weed.” I thought this was a really interesting thing to bring up because it related to the Eberhardt studies that we looked at in class relating Blacks to Apes. Many people make the implicit association of blacks to apes and this cartoon is just reinforcing that stereotype. One person commented on the cartoon saying, “This was in the satire portion of the newspaper, it … Read more