My friend showed me the website, Dosomething.org, which is an action-based website that encourages people to learn about various issues in America and how people can affect change in those issues. Some of the issues include education, disaster response and relief, discrimination, HIV and sexuality, and other such problems. I was very interested in the area of the website dealing with discrimination and was delighted to find that it had an entire section for racial discrimination, of which it presented a headline of “The large majority of racially motivated hate crimes are against African Americans.” This section focuses on terms and facts people should know about discrimination, as well as the background of racism in America towards Blacks.There is a section for “learning” and a section entitled “Act now!” which presents readers with a number of ways they can get take action against this pressing and perpetuated issues if racism. Another section of the cite that I appreciate is that it has an entirely separate section of affirmative action, and it also presents ways of learning about the issue, as well as how people can take action towards raising awareness about the benefits (and needs) for affirmative action. I think this section, as well as the many other sections on the website, present interesting and comprehensive approaches towards conquering these issues. In particular, it makes racial issues, which might not be acknowledged effectively elsewhere, accessible to anyone. I suggest checking it out because it takes an optimistic standpoint about what we become so pessimistic about at the end of almost every one of our classes…”what can we actually do to change what seems so out of our control?” It presents concrete ways in which people can make a difference and shows that even small actions are significant.
Recommended books, articles, or videos.
Where Do We Start?
During our class this Thursday we briefly touched on the impact of both laws and public opinion on human behavior with particular concern to attitudes about racial issues. In Rebecca Kook’s (1998) article The Shifting Status of African Americans in the American Collective Identity, she traces the development of the African-American identity in America through landmark events in our history driven almost entirely by public opinion. As her article makes painfully obvious, most positive progress, unfortunately, has only come in the past 50-60 years. The preceding decades were marred with a series of terrible injustices that were condoned and perpetuated by an American society that was intolerant, ignorant, apathetic and for the most part overtly racist.
Is “Coming Out” beneficial to homosexual black men?
In class we have been heavily discussing stereotypes the past couple of weeks and although we have not limited the scope of our discussion to stigmatized groups, it seems those with the most salient stigmatizations inevitable surface in our discussions. This led me to wonder about people who had more than one stigmatized identity, and more specifically, identities that were in conflict with each other. The group I eventually settled on was homosexual black men. This group interested me because they had two stigmatized identities, but one could be hidden while the other was always present and for the majority of black males, clearly in conflict with the other. I was able to find two solid studies to explore my questions about this double stigmatized group, Good Cake by Tiffany Yvette Christian and Racial Differences in Social Support and Mental Health in Men with HIV Infection by D.G. Ostrow.
Read moreIs “Coming Out” beneficial to homosexual black men?
Modern Racism & “The Color of Fear”
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).
Stereotypes as Energy-Saving Devices
After reading the article Stereotypes as Energy-Saving Devices: A Peek Inside the Cognitive Toolbox, I have thought a lot about how stereotypes are formed. According to the article we stereotype automatically without being conscious of what we are doing. It makes sense that we put people into certain schema’s, we do it with everything else however it is much more problematic to stereotype or put people into a schema than it is for us to look at a desk chair and a couch and say they are both seats.
Is Your Baby Racist? Newsweek Article
After reading Beverly Tatum’s Article, Defining Racism, I remembered a article posted in Newsweek that reminded me of what Tatum is trying to address. Tatum suggests a very bold statement, that every white person is a racist. At first when I heard this it was hard to swallow and think to myself, a white female, that I am in fact a racist. But after looking at Tatum’s definition I realized that indeed I am a racist. Tatum suggests that all White people are racist because they benefit from being white and are given automatic privilege. Now with saying this, it does not mean that all white people are mean and prejudiced against minorities, it just means that we benefit and are therefore racist. So, why is this so important to admit to being racist or accept this title?