Racial discourse is a process that has notable ramifications for society. However, for individuals that are part of the majority race in a community, the reality of issues such as racial prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping are almost nonexistent. This is because the majority often lives such a privileged racial existence that they do not have to deal with the harsh realities of living life outside of the mainstream. McIntosh (1988) in her examination of this situation argues that this process is one that translates into what is known as white privilege. According to this author, racial discrimination has such a notable impact on the majority that eventually the majority comes to take their status in society for granted. Specifically, this author notes that, “As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage” (White privilege…).
The analysis made by McIntosh describes, what I believe to be, the circumstances that have encompassed most of my life. In an effort to demonstrate this reality, this investigation provides an overview of my own experiences with race in the context of my community.
[...] Unfortunately, because all Hispanics are lumped into the classification of illegal alien and possible terrorist, even those who reside legally in the US face notable discrimination. The media further perpetuates this prejudice and stereotyping by showing whites in positive community and government roles while focusing on Hispanics as criminals and social agitators. In the end, the community and the government do not appear to support minority group interests. Final Thoughts When I look at the texts used in this class, I can see that whites are portrayed as dominant oppressors—both in the context enslaving African Americans and regulating the activities of Native Americans. [...]
[...] Further, after my marriage, I found that may of my coworkers were not as “friendly” to me as they had been in the past. Finally, I found that with the name “Martinez” on my online resume, I got fewer hits from potential employers than when I had Hastings listed as my last name. Thus, for the first time in my life, I began to see what some of my ethically diverse friends had told me about all of my life: I was being discriminated against. [...]
[...] In each of these communities, the population was predominantly white. The most notable difference that I have noted between myself and the community in which I live is political affiliation. I am a Democrat, while most of the citizens and the government is faithful Republicans. Despite this difference, I can honestly say that I did not see much difference between myself and my community. This was the case until I married my now ex- husband, a Hispanic native of Northern California. [...]
[...] Even when the flaws and mistakes do not apply to the individual, the end result is the same: prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping are become critical parts of the daily lives of individuals that do not belong to the racial majority . When placed in this perspective, the true impact of race on society becomes more apparent. Not only are whites afforded more privileges because of their race, it is clear that minorities struggle with issues that cannot be clearly understood by whites. [...]
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