Tag Archives: White

Dear fellow bloggers,

article-0-1AE9E648000005DC-23_634x423“Admit that you do not know what you do not know, and then listen to the people who do.” I don’t know about you, but I have a VERY hard time admitting stuff that I don’t know. But Tim Wise does have a  good point, how can we as a country fix all the wrong circulating when we wont even admit that there is anything wrong to fix?

This year’s Bridging the Gap event was about income inequality through the prism of race. As Wise said, we won’t have to have this conversation anymore when a woman of color, particularly a working class queer woman of color, can give the same speech he did and be taken just as seriously as he was.

I have to admit when I heard   Wise would be speaking, I thought to myself, what is this white, 40-something-year-old man going to tell me about racism and inequality? But I went there with an open mind and I’m glad I did, because everything he said was not only true, but  was extremely eye-opening.

Wise said ‘the problem is that if you don’t take the class, you never know.’ If you never take a geometry class, you will never know geometry. So the issue here is that the members of the dominant group never had to take the class. Take me: I’m a 21-year old white female from a middle class family. I grew up in a predominantly white town. Honestly, from kindergarten to my senior year of high school, I probably knew about 15 African American kids. I never had to take the class. I don’t know what it’s like to not be in the dominant group. I don’t know anywhere near the inequality that some people live through every day, and exactly as  Wise said, they don’t teach us this stuff in school.

The only inequality I knew from the time I was born until high school was when the boys’ football team wouldn’t let me play with them, even though I was light years better than 80 percent of the team. Yeah, I was upset and felt not good enough, but that doesn’t come close to what some people are dealing with on a day to day basis, and it’s sad that some people are completely oblivious to this.

One of Wise’s points particularly  stuck with me: Cheerleading  for your country is NOWHERE near the same as CARING for it. So to quote Wise one last time:

“When white folks ask black folks ‘When are ya’ll going to get over slavery?’ I don’t know maybe when ya’ll get over the Fourth of July. Because that shit happened a long time ago. We did not break away from the British last Tuesday; that is some really old stuff. And acting as if something that happened over 230 years ago is something still worth talking about every single year, see we like to remember the stuff that makes us feel good, we just don’t want to deal with the ugly.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Wise was right, and smart, and exactly as his name says, wise. I learned a lot listening to him speak, and I’m ready for that day to come when that queer working class woman of color gives her speech. I’ll be there with my notebook and voice recorder. Will you?

Xoxo,

Your friendly neighborhood white kid living in Snapchat Nation

We choose not to give up

By Krystal Copeland

It’s the responsibility of those who know the truth to educate and teach those that don’t. If it wasn’t for Tim Wise, how engaged would everyone from all backgrounds be to listen to someone speak about racism? It’s fascinating to hear a white man be an advocate for minorities. Not only is he a great speaker but he offers something out of the ordinary that grabs folks attention.

We see how history repeats itself, so it’s really hard to expect change. And  Wise touched on how we could expect change, but it must involve the assistance of those who are privileged and those of European descent known as white folks.

There are white people who are programed to think a certain way. And they come from decent living conditions and nonetheless grow up being a member of the dominant group. So as a result, they don’t have to think about or even be aware of some important stuff.

So if growth involves change and change involves letting go, then how can we build off that? As we’ve been taught throughout this whole semester and have heard Wise discuss, growth can be messy. Changing people’s viewpoints and getting folks out of their comfort zone can be extremely hard.

As with the Black Lives Matter movement, the fact that you have white people out there protesting with blacks proves  we can unite as one. We all are human beings and race is what disconnects us and wealth is what classifies us. We can’t afford to waste any more time being a divided nation.

The bigger problem is wealth and income inequality. Allowing companies like Walmart to pay workers pocket change while the Walton family makes infinity times their workers is just plain disrespectful. As Wise said “the economy is predicated on low wages.” The problem is not the Mexicans or blacks are taking  jobs; it’s the greed of these CEOs.

We have to challenge these people in power. 

We’ve learned that there’s a balance when people earn low incomes because those are the ones who help support the economy. Just think if we all were wealthy there’s the possibility of an unbalanced economy. But my question is why should people have to live in poverty and why can’t we all be equally educated. I believe the fair thing to do is to give everyone equal opportunity and not to be judged based on your skin color or lack of education.

We can’t keep allowing racism to continue. And we can’t allow those in power to keep manipulating are minds. We will continue to be a “Snap Chat” nation as  Wise calls it if we don’t put an end to what’s holding us back. Poverty doesn’t have to exist. That’s why it’s up to us come together as one and fight for change. And we can’t give up.