Tatum V - Tianbao Li (Tom)

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In this very last part of the book, Tatum is doing call for action that we should take continually effort to break the silence of racism and suggestions for doing that. What she means is that we should be able to talk about this issue with others productively in various occasions. Like she said, talking about racism can raise people's consciousness about the issue. However, Tatum also realized that it is hard for us to get started to start the conversation, same for her students.

Then the author discussed why people fear to talk about racism. According to her, people are afraid to come down to the topics about racism because they think it may offend people of color around. The reason why people fear is because they have limited experience with people of color. Besides, many people in color also have this fear to talk about racism even whey are offended. Tatum thinks this is because the fear would keep silence with their fears of isolation, discomfort and rejection.

In this chapter, Tatum hope everyone to have the courage to speak up, and break the silence of the topics of racism and she believes it will make a huge difference because of the numbers of people who want to make a change.


Have you ever being silence towards topics about racism, or actual conducts of racism, what was your thinking? Can you now? What are you going to start one after reading this chapter?

Tatum Part Five and Discussion Questions

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The final portion of Tatum's book, entitled "Breaking the Silence" deals with the steps that need to be taken in embracing a culture in which cross-racial dialog is performed and encouraged. Tatum opens the chapter arguing as much as some may lament how race is brought up too often, for her it is not frequent enough. Racial violence is a prevalent issue within the United States, and stems from a larger problem people are unwilling to discuss out of fear. Fear of judgment from other racial groups for being ignorant to the totality of their struggles and fear of misrepresenting their interests. Tatum argues that to not address racial issues is at the detriment of society as a whole in which much human potential is squandered and stifles individual growth and development. It is our duty to find the courage to speak up and realize that there are others out in the world right doing exactly this. We can use these role models to guide us and affect the lives of people within our own sphere of influence. All it takes is perseverance and hope to curb the long-term proposition of combating racism.

This particular entry in Tatum's book was brief but inspiring. I really enjoy how tackles the proposition of breaking the silence with the due understanding of what makes such a thing so difficult. I think lots of people, particularly white people, really cannot handle how uncomfortable their ignorance of other cultures and other races makes them. How can we facilitate a sort of racial enlightenment among the masses of the United States? Are there any initiatives you guys know of that help work toward this goal? What sort of things can you do to promote education within your own circles? I think it's important to utilize the connections to particular culture and racial groups we have through our friends, and to approach the subject as openly and unawkwardly as possible. I have found the Indian, Black, and Latino members of my social circle to be more than willing to eliminate uncertainty when the subject of race is approached in this way.

Part Five- Tatum- Discussion Questions- Kaitlyn Joyce

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The last chapter of Beverly Tatum's book is trying to emphasize the importance of breaking boundaries and talking through issues that trouble you. More simply progress cannot be made unless we step up and challenge one another. Much like the steps South Africa took in their reparations trials, in which they explained the feelings and motives behind their race tribulations, opening the a channel of discussion allowed a mutual understanding between races to develop. The open dialogue aired all of the hidden emotions and negative connotations, which then, forced them to deal with the true issues at hand.

Furthermore she explains that the reason people do not step forward is fear. The social anxieties that accompany discussing race politics cause many people to recoil in fear of judge and annexation from their family, community or friend group. People fear that they will offend or be mistaken in proclaiming their beliefs. In addition, Tatum explains that this silence between races has a larger cost than speaking your mind. The reasoning behind this is that by not approaching the situation openly, one can create an environment in which no change happens. In openly speaking with someone about your racial beliefs, you will break down your preconceived notions and create a level of empathy. Moreover, in challenging each other you are not only educating one another, but you are also asserting societies dominant and respected belief, the acceptance of all races, which in turn will make people align with common ideal because they fear of being a social pariah.

Lastly, Tatum encourages her audience to figure out a way to handle and express your own beliefs. She suggest that you should either by finding a role model or just to be courageous. Acting through these two mediums will help encourage you to step up and create change. Furthermore, she urges you to work within your immediate circle of influence and branch out from there. By doing this you can hone in your true values before you assert them on more judging audiences.

In conclusion, all of Tatum's advice is really important to take into consideration. It is a powerful perspective and approach to solving a deep seed issue within our society. But more importantly it is critical to question yourself and how you will take this task on. Who will you approach first? How will you handle criticism? Will it be ok if my unpopular beliefs are something I feel strongly about? What can I say? How will I get the true feelings of another person out? All of these questions are important solely because they make you take a stride to break downs barriers and it makes think about all the ways a conversation could go and how you will learn from it.

Tatum: Part V

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In this section Tatum speaks about how we need to actively talk about racism and take it head on. She believe that not speaking about racism stifles our society's growth and development (pg. 200). To break the silence Tatum tells her readers to find courage to talk about racial issues, because everyone has the opportunity to make a change.

I believe this section is the most important section of the book, because it identifies the problem and creates a solution of how we should address racism. I also believe talking about this issue is valuable because there is power in knowledge. The more we understand about racism the more power we have to put an end to it.

Tatum part V & DQ

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Part V of Tatum's book talks about the need to encourage more discussion and dialogue about race in the US. I really like that Tatum started the chapter saying that people often think or say that we talk too much about racism, because I think it is true that we talk about race, but not enough in a beneficial way or a way that matters. I think we talk about race is a negative or problematic way rather than looking at it as something we can work on Nd use as an asset to how we communicate and identify. Race has become a topic of conflict and something people argue about or avoid, so I like that Tatum mentioned this misconception of the way and amount we talk about race. Se says people are held back by fear, but they should be driven because the silence may avoid a direct conflict but is bad because it avoids the issue f race and therefor nothing gets accomplished.

The most interesting part of this chapter for me was the explanation of the consequences for whites when we are silent about race. She acknowledges that the effects on whites are different than for blacks, but still damaging. I think she makes a great point when she says that whites are "encouraged by their culture of silence to disconnect from their racial experiences" (201). I think is is interesting because I think as a white person I recognize that my race doesn't always necessarily think about their experiences as "racial experiences". Even with the diversity in America today, white has been so normalized over time that I think when it comes to intercultural racial interactions it is the "minority" races that are seen as the cultural group or the ones having the racial experiences. I also think it is important that she notes that youth nowadays are often silenced by their parents because the older generations are not quite sure of how to respond. I think this is absolutely true. Kids and younger generations are becoming more aware of race because the country is becoming more diverse and children are more innocent and less influenced so early in life and recognize race in a different way. It is so important for parents to learn how to talk to their kids rather than silence them so that they grow up and talk to each other and understand at race is okay to talk about, especially white kids so we can change their prospective and see themselves as having a role in intercultural communication. Tatum explains that this will help to avoid chronic discomfort, which is a state I think we are in right now.

DQ: Do you think we are experiencing silence on racial issues or just talking about race in the wrong way?

Tatum Part V- Elyse Provo

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In this section of the book Tatum points out the necessity of dialogue between races. She explains they psychological cost of silence saying that it "alienates us not only from others but also from ourselves and our own experience" (p. 200). She discusses that its necessary that we continually break the silence about racism whenever we can. This dialogue must be meaningful and productive in order to raise consciousness and lead to effective action of social change. The ABC's are way of affirming identity, building community, and cultivating leadership. A stands for "Affirming identity", which refers to the idea that students need to see themselves reflected in the environment around them. B stands for "building community", which highlights the importance of creating a sense of belonging to a larger, shared campus community. C stands for "cultivating leadership", which refers to the fact that leadership in the 21st century requires not only the ability to think critically and speak and write effectively but also the ability to interact effectively with others in a pluralistic context. Lastly, I think a good note to take away from this is like she said, focus on your own sphere of influence; you cant fix everything but some things are within your control.

DQ: What steps can you take to implement the ABC's and influence your sphere?

Tatum V

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Part V of Tatum, Breaking the Silence, discusses just that - how to break the silence, why it is necessary, and the benefits to be achieved from it. Tatum outlines a method in which to open dialogue and productively confront racism using the "ABC's": A is affirming identity, B is building community, and C is cultivating leadership. By using this method we can challenge racism with the hope for improved human potential. I do think that it is easy to get caught up in the idea that since their is no longer a system slavery, the United States is hardly a racist nation. It seems to me that this is the easy way out of delving into a deeper, everlasting conversation about race. And, too, I think it may be especially for white people to get caught up in this as we may not necessarily be directly experiencing racism due to the fact that being white indicates a membership of the dominant group. However, when we truly take the time to look around our world and critically observe we can see a lot of what we do not want.

First, we see that we're wrong - that there is indeed racism ever present (I mean, all you have to do is read a few of the other classmate's blog posts to see how they have experienced this first hand - on the UMN campus). Second, it is just plain ugly - the world is a lot of things and one of those things is cruel, unfair, and unjust. We see that our idea of a picture perfect society is dismantled in .2 seconds. Third, we can also see that there is, in fact, a great need to begin talking about this. And, as Tatum argues, not "just talking" about it, but engaging in meaningful, compassionate, and honest dialogue. I think it is possible to talk about racism without actually talking about the reality of racism; a barrier that must be overcome.

DQ: Has there been a time when you were afraid of and as a result, did not actively speaking up against racism? Has there been a time when you did speak up? How did it make you feel? How did the situation/circumstance alter? Is there a way to become unafraid?


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This section of Tatum's book the author discusses the need to open a dialogue in regards to racism everyday. She discusses how racism is and is not talked about and the need to speak out about racism to raise awareness and facilitate change. The need to active tackle race issues and not sweep them under the rug is an integral part of changing racism and ultimately overcoming it, diversity is not enough and being an ally should entail confronting racism when it occurs. She also describes how unchallenged racism is a determent to human potential. Also is discussed her "ABC's" to opening dialogue and productively confronting racism, the A is affirming identity, the B is building community and the C is cultivating leadership. These steps are all important to opening a dialogue and to confront racism as it occurs and facilitate social change which is everyone's responsibility.
I agree with Tatum's assessment that simply being an "ally" is not enough and that it is up to every person to confront racism head on to create meaningful change. Racism still occurs and without people speaking up and breaking their silence due to fear of confrontation of the issues it will continue to persist. I think that even making someone double think their stance on race issues can bring about positive change and eventually stop racism from occurring.

In the last section of the book - Breaking he Silence, it is, I believe, the most effective in encouraging and motivating the audience to face the problem of racism in the United States. In the beginning of the section, Dr. Tatum mentions that some people believe there is lots of voice about race and racism in the society. Oppositely, she considers there is not enough since most of the people, especially the ethic minority group, would keep silence with their fears of isolation, discomfort and rejection. Not even discussing the topic of racism, they would rarely mention the word- racism. It does not only disturb the individual to connect with outsides, but it also blocks his way to recognize himself. It, meanwhile, provides a way for racism to threaten the society continuously.
Through whole section, Dr. Tatum wants to spirit all the minorities' motivation to put an end to their fear, silences and inactions. She reminds all the audiences that everyone would have a sphere of influence. Only we can find out our courage by identifying our strength, we would start saying. Each of us gets power to influence our society with our words, actions and rights. There is no reason for inaction and keeping silence until all people can be treated fairly in the world. Lastly, she believes that the meaningful dialogue can gain or consciousness, and lead effective action for changing the society.

How do we encourage the people to put an end to their fear, and start the conversation about racism? How can a meaningful conservation change our society?

Tatum part V Entry Aram Namkung

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Tatum emphasizes the importance of having meaningful conversation about racial discrimination as well as other race-related issues in part V Breaking the Silence. While I was reading partV, I looked back on myself. How did I behave when it comes to the moment "breaking the silence"? Can I really say that I was willing to express myself to other people despite there might be offensive reactions on my comments? There have been some moments when I had to be honest about myself about race-related issues since I came to the United States.
Last semester, I was in a team project for my communication class, and the other members were all White Americans, except me. And one day we talked about racism in this country. They said they do not really experience racial discrimination. They have been exposed to race-related issues on television and newspaper, but they have not seen that racism actually happening in person. They were all saying that America has been in progress to overcome racism, and education makes people think in better way now. In fact, I experienced racism in this country, and I can say that I felt racism in the flesh. This is because I actually experienced it in school , shopping mall and library, like really ordinary places. For example, I was using computer at Wilson library, and one man approached me. He asked me to come over to his seat, so I thought he needed help. When I came to his computer, there was Asian porn displaying on the screen. I felt so angry, but it was threatening too. I did not really know how to react, so I just ran out. I told it to someone at the dest a while later, but it was after he already had left. And the library did not really do anything after that. I knew there is nothing much they can do, but I still felt unsafe.
And it was even more hurting that I felt like no one really cares about it. Therefore, I kind of started to feel like most people in here do not care about this thing. Well, most of the time students seemed like so understanding and thoughtful about race-related issues during the class discussion, but they do not in practice. Why? because it is not their business? So, I could not tell my group mates that I think there are race-related issues, going on the campus. My fears kept me in silence.
Tatum's book allowed me to think deeply about breaking the silence again. I know that it is important to try to have meaningful conversation, but there remains fear of ignorance at the same time. However, I realized that such double standards are dangerous. It does not mean that I failed to honestly put my opinion out there when the system failed. Blaming the system cannot excuse me for keeping silence about such important issue. Therefore, I will keep trying to have meaningful conversation from now on.

DQ: Why Tatum emphasizes on having meaningful conversation? And why do you think people have fear in opening the meaningful conversation? Why does the author call this a "survival issue"?

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