« Change...How? | Main | Gender as a supply and demand notion »

Social class

There was one part of yesterday's video "People LIke Us" that really stood out for me, it was the segment on African Americans in the middle class. I thought it was a great segment but at the same time it really frustrated me. It was frustrating to hear some of the comments that African Americans received for being in the middle class or upper class, comments like "boogie" or "washed up." What are comments like those suppose to be saying. Are they saying that African Americans or pretending to be someone that their not? Do African Americans not belong to the middle and upper classes? Are those classes strictly reserved for whites? Our society should be at the point where we congratulate African Americans for making the advances that they have made. Instead, we criticize them for it. Comments like "Boogie" or "washed up" imply that African Americans have forgotten where they've come from or their roots. I don't think that is the case for African Americans in upper classes.

Comments like the ones from above show how race still plays a large factor in today's society and class. There is still a definite racial barrier. There are many people who have a mentality that certain classes belong to certain races. Our society shouldn't be structured like this; we shouldn't be looking at race when looking at class status. However, comments like "Boogie" and "washed up" do the exact opposite. They make African Americans who belong to upper classes question whether they have forgotten who they are or if they are acting the way they should be, whatever that means. Is it really terrible for African Americans to strive for a better life for themselves and their families? Absolutely not. So, why they continue to get comments like "Boogie" and "washed up" baffles me.

Comments

I agree with your opinion about the middle class black community. The idea that being poor is something “natural? about a person based on their skin color is the issue. The naturalizing of an idea gives it rational to be discriminated against, because if something by nature is different, than it can also be seen as subordinate. I do not agree with the comment about “we shouldn't be looking at race when looking at class status,? because of how deeply class and race are related in our society. It is true that neither can be completely defined by the other, but they help to illustrate each other. It is important to look at race and class to determine what structures of oppression are enacted at the time. Thus with that point it is important to look at all of the social structures of oppression to determine the level of equality among people. I find that the boogie comments towards the black middle class shows that at least part of the black community feels that to be poor is a natural part of being black. This demonstrates the economic gap felt by the black community. In conclusion I would say that all of the structures of oppression should be considered when looking at any one structure of oppression.

Black people condemning other black people for trying to live better lives is what I touched on in my reflection of the movie. It is really sad that some black people truly believe that our place in society is at the bottom of the social hierarchy. I understand how the concept has evolved over history, but come on now. Like you mentioned, we should be congratulating and uplifting one another, not trying to pull each other down.