How Much Do I Expect of You?

In class on Tuesday, we talked about the consequences of stereotype threats on certain individuals. In our society, we have many stereotypes that we use every second to help us better understand our surroundings. We use these in every setting, including school. We believe that Asians are smart, men are better at math than Women, and Black students will fall behind. Are these true? Maybe in some cases. Definitely not in all cases. But just knowing that this is a stereotype that people are aware of causes great anxiety. A Black student may sit down for a test and think “People expect me to do poorly because I am Black.” As a result of “stereotype threat,” studies have shown that they will do poorly. In class we talked about whether or not it is best for a professor or teacher to talk to this student about stereotype threat.

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Telling People I’m a Racist

We are talking about racism in another class I am taking this semester as well as this one. The other day the professor asked us if anyone in the class considered themselves to be racist. I raised my hand because of the Tatum article we all read at the beginning of this class. As soon as I raised my hand I wished I hadn’t. No one else in the class had put their hands in the air (not that I expected them to) but I felt so embarrassed for admitting to them that I was a racist. I tried to explain why and I spoke about the Tatum article so I do not think anyone in the class considered me to be extremely prejudiced but I felt like I allowed twenty-five (0r so) people to see a part of me that I would rather keep hidden.

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IAT

I found the Implicit Associations Test to be extremely frustrating. It was aggravating knowing which letter I was supposed to press and actually getting my fingers to press the correct letter. I found myself yelling at the computer and at myself when I would press the wrong letter. I also had a hard time remembering what categories corresponded with “e” or “i” and there were times I didn’t mean to press a button but my fingers did it for me. It made me feel somewhat helpless. I couldn’t control how I answered the questions even though I really do not dislike black people.

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Modern Racism & “The Color of Fear”

The Color of Fear video clip

The link that I posted is from the documentary “The Color of Fear.” I remember watching this in Multicultural Psychology last year, and after we read and discussed the Nelson chapter (Old-Fashioned versus Modern Racism) this is one of the first things that came to mind. In class we discussed modern racism as the conflicting feeling of negative attitudes towards blacks and feeling that racism is wrong. Other components of modern racism are the ideas that racism is over as well as the idea of meritocracy (the idea that someone is either succeeding or failing based on their own personal merit).

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Identifying with Race

I have been thinking a lot about how silly the concept of being colorblind within society really is. I am currently enrolled in Multicultural psychology and we have been discussing racial identity models. Race is part of the individual’s identity and everyone understands and related to their race and ethnicity on different levels. Not only is racism structurally embedded within our society; it is also what defines the individual.

The understanding one might have of their own identity, separates the individual from others and therefore contributing to racism. If race and ethnicity is a crucial part of ones identity, in order for one to define themselves from others is also critical. The individual defines them self by comparing and contrasting, observing others and their behaviors. When comparisons are made is it possible to make these distinctions without personal biases?

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