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

The White Center

Nearly everything in the United States is centered around white people and being white.  White people being at the center means that white norms are most commonly accepted while other norms such as African American norms are frowned upon.  Everything is measured against whiteness because it is at the very center of racism and American society as a whole. White people have established that being white is good while being black is not, both consciously and subconsciously.  Close your eyes and imagine the most beautiful man or woman in the world.  What did he/she look like?  Was he/she white?  The … Read more

Being a Black Academic in America

What does it mean to be hypervisible and hyper-invisible at the same time? A recent article in The Chronicle Review details the lives and narratives of several black academics and scholars in America. The article and the outpouring of stories comes after a scandal was revealed involving rich white people bribing many people to get their children accepted into rich white institutions in the country. In an attempt to make space for the voices usually seen as diversity quotas, or affirmative action recipients (by similar white people involved in this scandal), The Chronicle Review asked black academics to speak to … Read more

Silence is a Luxury

The idea of white privilege is a very controversial topic for many, primarily because many white individuals do not acknowledge their race and its meaning, are not aware of the advantages and benefits they receive because of their race, and do not see how their whiteness affects their perception of society. However, white privilege and society have a large intersection because, “when it comes to privilege, it doesn’t matter who we really are. What matters is who other people think we are.” The existing societal norms decide who we are as people and where we are categorized. By being white, … Read more

Implicit Racism: A Harmful Theory?

The other day, I had a very interesting conversation with a student of color, who is a friend of mine about systems of oppression, specifically racism. For anonymity sake, we will call the student Mike. I was telling Mike about my Contemporary Racism class that I am currently taking and was surprised by his reaction to some of the concepts we are learning about. He seemed to have particular discontent with the concept of implicit bias and implicit racism. I explained implicit racism as a form of racism in which the offender does not realize they are being racist, because … Read more

Psychological Parasites

The world is full of hierarchies, organized in distinct categories with distinct characteristics. Hierarchies have a sense of superiority and inferiority between the things being ordered, such as movie ratings. Movies can be rated in different categories, but there is a sense of one movie being better than the other movie, and then better than the next. This can also happen with people. Some experts, such as Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow) say that the hierarchy of people in America happened as soon as the first settlers set foot on American land and kidnapped Africans to build their nation … Read more

Why Excluding Whites from Black Liberation Movements is Counterproductive

Recently, I came across an article on Facebook posted by a fellow like-minded student, which surprised and intrigued me. The article was entitled “White People Have No Place in Black Liberation” and was from RaceBaitr.com, written by Kevin Rigby Jr. and Hari Ziyad. The basic premise of the article was that white people should not be allowed to participate in black liberation movements. Rigby and Ziyad argue that because whiteness is historically and contextually seen as the dominant race, white people will continue to be dominant if their presence is there in a shared space. They claim that it is … Read more