Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pre-Reading Questions Week Five

"There is a strange kind of enigma associated with the problem of racism. No one, or almost no one, wishes to see themselves as racist; still racism persists, real and tenacious"--Albert Memmi (quoted in Bonilla-Silva, 1)

Why do you think that racism continues to exist despite the fact that nobody, or very few people, identify as racist? 

Please watch the following video about whether the United States is 'post-racial' after Obama's election:

Why do the commentators think that the election of Obama means that race doesn't matter in the United States anymore? Why does Dr. Apollon argue that the election of Obama doesn't mean that 'racism is dead'?

If you were speaking to one of your friends about our class discussion about white privilege from last week and they said 'Oh, I don't see color, I just see people individually' how would you respond?

What would be your definition of 'diversity'? How does your definition relate to structural privilege? Or social justice?

Consider the following example: At a PTA meeting, parents agree that they want to have a 'culture day' where students all bring food from their respective culture to share with the class. The parents think that this a great way to get students to be more tolerant of other cultures. However, in the same meeting the parents get into a heated argument about whether students who are undocumented (illegal) should get to use the 'free lunch' program that is provided to low-income students. 

Is there a contradiction present here? What do the parents think is the best way to teach children about tolerance? What might this scenario suggest about how we see social justice in this country? 

"...We see that respondents typically define diversity in broad and inclusive terms, but when asked to describe their personal experience with difference, their responses are almost exclusively tied to race". (Bell and Hartmann, 119)

What do you think Bell and Hartmann mean when they say people describe diversity in 'broad and inclusive terms?'. When people say that that something is 'diverse' what are they  usually describing? Does the term 'diverse' become a stand-in for 'racially non-white'?

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