The Blurred Line Between Old-Fashioned and Modern Racism

When we were first learning about the differences between old-fashioned, modern, and aversive racism, the definitions made sense to me. I saw that there were differences between the three, each different speeds at which we move down the moving sidewalk of privilege. But now I’m a little less certain about the differences between old-fashioned and modern racism. I agree that in practice they’re different, but I’m less sure that within the person harboring these prejudices, the sentiments are different. Many people once believed (probably not long ago) that we lived in a post-racial society and that those racists that do … Read more

Social Stigma Against Black Men and Mental Health

After engaging in an onstage rant and ending his concert prematurely, it was reported in November that rapper Kanye West had suffered a “nervous breakdown.” After going on a lengthy tirade about a personal conflict with Jay-Z and Beyoncé, West warned, “Get ready to have a field day press, ‘cause the show’s over,” dropped the microphone, and walked offstage. While the rapper’s antics have become rather commonplace and even expected, something was different this time. This time was different because he was immediately admitted to a hospital – reportedly for a psychiatric evaluation – thus, bringing about a nationwide conversation … Read more

Is History Something to Sing About?

This past week was the premier of the live re-creation of “Hairspray” on TV. The movie revolves around a mother, daughter pair that go through their typical ups and downs during the ‘60s. In addition, it revolves around a TV show that stars students, primarily white except for one day a month which is titled Negro day. The movie tackles the ‘60s and the difficulties between whites and blacks and the acceptance of those of color as being apart of society just as much as white individuals. I have seen the movie hundreds of times, and have memorized every song; … Read more

Racism and Tornados

In a couple of days, I will graduate from learning about racism. I will complete the course with the choice of continuing to stay informed or not. I can run on the moving sidewalk, stand still, or forget about it all together. I will no longer be graded on the quality of my newfound knowledge, but the true evaluation will be how I use it to make a difference. A letter grade in a course is meaningless if I choose to stay silent in situations where my words will matter. I am more aware of my salient identities than I … Read more

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

Doing Race

Were you aware that you “do race” each and every day? Four years ago, I would have maintained a colorblind stance. Quite frankly, up until a couple months ago, I was colorblind. I believed noticing race meant I was racist and because this is the ultimate fear of White Americans, I chose to remain silent, and, in a sense, ignorant. Today, I confidently admit I was very mistaken. Noticing race is imperative. Looking back, I was feeding into the societal norm of colorblindness. I am sure you have all heard someone say at one point or another, “I am not … Read more