Blog numba 5

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"In Esposito's article about Ugly Betty she talks about affirmative action and how "whites" have termed it "reverse discrimination". She explains that reverse discrimination usually occurs when a white individual feels unjustly treated because of the color of their skin. How has this victimized stance of whites further marginalize minority groups?"

The marginalization of minority groups is most definitely exacerbated by this "victimized stance" of whites. "Merit" alone, even in our world today, is not the sole reason for success. Whites have a privilege still, a leg up--and the failure to recognize that, talk about it, and deal with it-- that is what makes things even harder for minorities. Like Melody was explaining in class--just being a minority starts a person off with "negative points". Whites have the rules of which they must operate in society stacked in their own benefit and this does not allow upward mobility in society for many minorities.

Affirmative action and other vehicles instituted to produce equality are there to close the gap between races. However, there is a strong resistance to these policies--many whites deem them "unfair" (taking victimized stance). They justify their white privilege with thoughts that minority individuals are lazy, unmotivated, etc, and that drives discrimination. The idea of "color-blindness" takes effect here--which is the "belief that race should be ignored and that race-conscious practices and policies only foster more racism" (Race and Ethnicity in Society, 78).

Our reality is not that everyone is equal; everyone does not start out with the same opportunities. The access of education and jobs is still inhibited for minority races--BECAUSE of their race--not because of their culture, or "lack of motivation", which is the common perception of whites. Media portrays a different reality--fostering these beliefs, by showing minorities as successful musicians, or athletes we are led to believe opportunity is not based on race.
For many minorities too, they have to conform the way they dress, speak, and express themselves to fit the mold of whites. I would never want to change things about myself, that make me who I am, because it's the only way I can become "successful"--that would never make me happy. Perhaps that's a simplistic way of looking at all of this.
I believe that until privilege is no longer existent, until everyone is born with the same opportunities regardless of race--affirmative action and things like it are necessary.

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I really appreciate your recognition of the white "victim". I believe that this "us" vs. "them" mentality and making racial groups the "other" perpetuates hatred and division in society. When affirmative action was instituted, something had to be done to give people who would not otherwise have the opportunity for higher education the chance. Without legislation making this opportunity more readily available, although it hasn't been perfect, who knows where our culture and racial divisions in education and careers would be without it. We would very likely be living in a world with an even more homogeneous power structure, with less perspective on culture and race and how it exists within society.

I agree with you and Rachel, and I think that affirmative action still has far to go before it makes a real difference. Some white people talk about affirmative action causing "reverse discrimination," yet we still see people getting turned down for jobs based on their (non-white)race.

Great blog post and great discussion here. Keep it up!

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This page contains a single entry by racheloh published on October 8, 2011 1:09 PM.

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