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☐ Maintain an academic tone, using appropriate course vocabulary, proper punctuation and grammar☐ Edit your entry carefully so there are (few to) no typos, misspellings, or grammatical errors☐ Respond to all parts of the prompt☐ Engage the sociological imagination drawing connections between the unit readings, discussions, and themes and your social location and experiences☐ Move beyond the most obvious writing points, building off but not simply repeating what we have discussed in lecture and section. In other words, be creative.To answer this prompt: ☐ To begin your essay, write a paragraph summarizing color-blind racism and explain how it may create a challenge for students learning about race and racism. In your discussion, cite Bonilla-Silva, paraphrase in your own words and if you use quotes, use only very, very short quotes (include page numbers).☐ Next, write a paragraph summarizing white fragility and explain how it may create a challenge for some white students learning about race and racism. In your discussion, cite DiAngelo, paraphrase in your own words and if you use quotes, use only very, very short quotes (include page numbers).☐ Next, write a paragraph summarizing racial battle fatigue and microagressions and explain how it may create a challenge for some students of color in a classroom discussing race and racism. In your discussion, cite Embrick et al., paraphrase in your own words and if you use quotes, use only very, very short quotes (include page numbers). Note: The three paragraphs above should extend in length to 1.5 to 2 pages.Then, write a paragraph discussing and identifying one strategy a student should employ when learning about race and racism that addresses a concrete and specific challenge related to color-blind racism. Explain how that challenge could be overcome through a specific, concrete plausible strategy. Be creative and detailed.☐ Next, write a paragraph discussing and identifying one strategy a student should employ when learning about race and racism that addresses a concrete and specific challenge related to white fragility. Explain how that challenge could be overcome through a specific, concrete plausible strategy. Be creative and detailed.☐ Next, write a paragraph discussing and identifying one strategy a student should employ when learning about race and racism that addresses a concrete and specific challenge related to racial battle fatigue and microaggressions. Explain how that challenge could be overcome through a specific, concrete plausible strategy. Be creative and detailed.Note: The three paragraphs above should extend in length to 1.5 to 2 pages.☐ Include a works cited or bibliography in whatever format you prefer (e.g., APA, ASA, MLA).I already wrote the paper but it needs to be rewritten!this is the response i got from my prof…. “Your three strategies were basically the same: to learn about racism (at school). However, this is too vague. Based on your writing, I am not quite sure about how this would actually work in practice. The specificity we are looking for in this assignment is, for example, how technically the continuation of conversation could be possible? Through what kind of topics, teaching materials, discussion format, games, exercises, i.e, pedagogical skills, in what kind of courses you are suggesting?” Can you please rewrite it?
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WeiWei Gao
Sociology 1010
Sociological Imagination Journal #3
Color-blind racism refers to the situation where the behaviors and actions exhibited by
whites seems to support racism but in the pretend to live in a society where racial privileges are
completely eliminated. The blacks have been the most affected minority group in the United
States and have experienced the impact of racial discrimination. Today, the blacks’ stills
continue to suffer in silence as racial discrimination still exists in American society. Even though
whites have agreed to change their behaviors and actions towards the blacks in the United
States, they still promote racism by treating blacks poorly (Bonilla-Silva, 2006 p.3). Racism,
therefore, continues to be a challenge since the whites pretend to have changed their attitudes
towards it yet they act and behave in ways that promote it in the society. Students learning race
and racism will have a lot of challenges due to the confusion that exists in society. The
government of the United States says it has almost eliminated the problem of racism yet the
whites continue to discriminate the blacks who are the minority in the society. The blacks
continue to be treated unfairly due to their skin color. This occurs through discrimination in the
workplace, schools as well as in various places in the society. The existence of color-blind
racism in the U.S. brings a lot of confusion in the society. This makes it hard for students to
grasp concepts on racism.
Whites Fragility is when whites feel discomfort or tend to be defensive when the topic of
racial inequality comes up. Whites pretend to be against racism yet it continues to divide the
society in the United States. The whites are the key perpetrators of racism in the United States
yet they pretend to have changed their attitudes towards other races in the society. The whites
fail to acknowledge themselves as racists since they believe people who are racists are bad and
racism entails conscious dislike. This way, no white wants to be associated with racism in the
United States (DiAngelo, 2018 p.1). This leads them to be defensive. The continued pretense
and hypocriticism in society poses a great challenge to white students studying race and racism.
WeiWei Gao
Sociology 1010
It makes it hard for them to understand what racism really entails hence lowering their chances
to fully comprehend the subject. This poses a great challenge to the students taking race and
racism in school. The society where the white students live seems to be going against what they
portray to fight and this creates confusion in the society. In order for the white students to fully
understand the issue of race and racism in the American society, their families where they come
from must stop pretending to be against racism yet they perpetuate it in the society. This way,
students will be able to get a better understanding of the concepts in race and racism.
People that go through stress because they are a minority experience racial battle
fatigue. Racial battle fatigue is when a person suffers emotionally and psychologically because
they are seen and treated differently. This is usually caused by the microaggression they
experience. Microaggressions are when minorities are looked down on either intentionally or
unintentionally. For example, when blacks achieve something, the whites would do microoffenses, which would “minimize the social importance of black achievement” the blacks would
feel useless and unable (Embrick, Domínguez & Karsak, 2017 p.196). Racial battle fatigue and
microaggressions explain the major problems that bring about racism in the United States. Lack
of emphasizes on the structural solutions to racism has contributed significantly to the problems
being faced in American society. This brings confusion to students of color who takes courses
on race and racism in their school. The whites seem to have changed their attitude towards the
blacks and other races in the United States yet they continue to promote racism through their
actions. As such, understanding the concepts of race and racism becomes hard for students in
this course.
One of the strategies that can be applied by students learning about race and racism in
the society to solve the challenge they face as a result of color-blind racism is focusing on the
concepts taught in class rather than what they see in the society. This strategy will help prevent
contradiction to the students especially to the white students. The whites who are good at
pretending to be against racism yet they are the ones perpetrating it creates a bad image to
WeiWei Gao
Sociology 1010
their children and creates confusion. Through the students focusing on the concepts they get
from the books and class, they will be able to fully understand the various topics on the topic.
For all these reasons, the strategy will greatly help solve the challenges faced by students as a
result of color-blind racism.
To solve the challenge brought about by white fragility to white students taking race and
racism in school, embracing practicality in whatever they learn about will greatly help solve the
problem. Through students practicing what they learn in schools, they will be able to enjoy and
comprehend various concepts they learn in schools effectively. This way, the challenges
brought about by the white fragility will be solved effectively. The practicality of lessons learned
in schools will also help in solving the problem of racism in society. This way, racism will be
eliminated completely from American society. The problem of poor comprehension of the
concepts learned about racism in schools by the whites comes as a result of a pretense of the
whites in the society as they go against the expectations of the white students. As such, use of
a strategy that entails putting into practice whatever is learned in classes will make students
gain a lot from the class hence lead to a better understanding of the various concepts learned.
The challenges brought to students taking race and racism in school by the racial battle
fatigue and microaggressions can be solved through adopting the right strategy in teaching race
and racism in schools. One of the strategies that should be used in solving this challenge is
using the concepts learned in class to solve problems faced in society. This strategy will entail
students understanding the concepts in the class effectively in order to identify the problems
being faced and solve them effectively. This way, students will be able to understand the
concepts learned in class effectively. Prior to taking any class, students will have identified the
problem they intend to solve from the concepts they get from the class. This strategy will greatly
help the challenges brought to them by racial battle fatigue and microaggressions while taking
race and racism course. The strategy will be very effective when applied by the students
because the students are the future of the society we live in.
WeiWei Gao
Sociology 1010
Works Cited:
DiAngelo, Robin, Dr. “White fragility and the rules of engagement”
Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. Racism Without Racists: Color-blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial
Inequality in America. Fourth edition. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2014.
Embrick, D., Domínguez, S. and Karsak, B. More than Just Insults: Rethinking Sociology’s Contribution to
Scholarship on Racial Microaggressions.
White Fragility and the Rules of Engagement
BY DR. ROBIN DIANGELO
How to engage in the necessary dialogue and self-reflection that can lead to structural change.
–––
I am white. I write and teach about what it means to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless, yet
remains deeply divided by race. A fundamental but very challenging part of my work is moving white people
from an individual understanding of racism—i.e. only some people are racist and those people are bad—to a
structural understanding. A structural understanding recognizes racism as a default system that
institutionalizes an unequal distribution of resources and power between white people and people of color. This
system is historic, taken for granted, deeply embedded, and it works to the benefit of whites.
The two most effective beliefs that prevent us (whites) from seeing racism as a system are:
1. that racists are bad people and
2. that racism is conscious dislike;
if we are well-intended and do not consciously dislike people of color, we cannot be racist. This is why it is so
common for white people to cite their friends and family members as evidence of their lack of racism. However,
when you understand racism as a system of structured relations into which we are all socialized, you
understand that intentions are irrelevant. And when you understand how socialization works, you understand
that much of racial bias is unconscious. Negative messages about people of color circulate all around us.
While having friends of color is better than not having them, it doesn’t change the overall system or prevent
racism from surfacing in our relationships. The societal default is white superiority and we are fed a steady diet
of it 24/7. To not actively seek to interrupt racism is to internalize and accept it.
As part of my work I teach, lead and participate in affinity groups, facilitate workshops, and mentor other whites
on recognizing and interrupting racism in our lives. As a facilitator, I am in a position to give white people
feedback on how their unintentional racism is manifesting. This has allowed me to repeatedly observe several
common patterns of response. The most common by far is outrage:
How dare you suggest that I could have said or done something racist!
Given the dominant conceptualization of racism as individual acts of cruelty, it follows that only terrible people
who don’t like people of color can commit it. While this conceptualization is misinformed, it functions beautifully
to protect racism by making it impossible to engage in the necessary dialogue and self-reflection that can lead
to change.
Outrage is often followed by righteous indignation about the manner in which the feedback was given. I have
discovered (as I am sure have countless people of color) that there is apparently an unspoken set of rules for
how to give white people feedback on racism.
The Rules of Engagement
After years of working with my fellow whites, I have found that the only way to give feedback correctly is not to
give it at all. Thus, the first rule is cardinal:
1. Do not give me feedback on my racism under any circumstances.
If you break the cardinal rule:
2. Proper tone is crucial – feedback must be given calmly. If there is any emotion in the feedback,
the feedback is invalid and does not have to be considered.
1
3. There must be trust between us. You must trust that I am in no way racist before you can give me
feedback on my racism.
4. Our relationship must be issue-free – If there are issues between us, you cannot give me
feedback on racism.
5. Feedback must be given immediately, otherwise it will be discounted because it was not given
sooner.
6. You must give feedback privately, regardless of whether the incident occurred in front of other
people. To give feedback in front of anyone else—even those involved in the situation—is to commit a
serious social transgression. The feedback is thus invalid.
7. You must be as indirect as possible. To be direct is to be insensitive and will invalidate the
feedback and require repair.
8. As a white person I must feel completely safe during any discussion of race. Giving me any
feedback on my racism will cause me to feel unsafe, so you will need to rebuild my trust by never giving
me feedback again. Point of clarification: when I say “safe” what I really mean is “comfortable.”
9. Giving me feedback on my racial privilege invalidates the form of oppression that I
experience (i.e. classism, sexism, heterosexism). We will then need to focus on how you oppressed
me.
10. You must focus on my intentions, which cancel out the impact of my behavior.
11. To suggest my behavior had a racist impact is to have misunderstood me. You will need to
allow me to explain until you can acknowledge that it was your misunderstanding.
These rules are rooted in white fragility.
♦◊♦
Their contradictions are irrelevant; their function is to obscure racism and protect white dominance and they do
so very effectively. Yet from an understanding of racism as a system of unequal institutional power, we need to
ask ourselves where these rules come from and who they serve.
Many of us actively working to interrupt racism continually hear complaints about the “gotcha” culture of white
anti-racism. There is a stereotype that we are looking for every incident we can find so we can spring out, point
our fingers, and shout, “You’re a racist!” While certainly there are white people who arrogantly set themselves
apart from other whites by acting in this way, in my experience over 20 years this is not the norm. It is far more
common for sincere white people to agonize over when and how to give feedback to a fellow white person,
given the ubiquitousness of white fragility. White fragility works to punish the person giving feedback and
essentially bully them back into silence. It also maintains white solidarity—the tacit agreement that we will
protect white privilege and not hold each other accountable for our racism. When the person giving the
feedback is a person of color, the charge is “playing the race card” and the consequences of white fragility are
much more penalizing.
Racism is the norm rather than an aberration. Feedback is key to our ability to recognize and repair our
inevitable and often unaware collusion.
In recognition of this, I follow these guidelines:
1. How, where, and when you give me feedback is irrelevant – it is the feedback I want and need.
Understanding that it is hard to give, I will take it any way I can get it. From my position of social, cultural,
2
and institutional white power and privilege, I am perfectly safe and I can handle it. If I cannot handle it, it’s
on me to build my racial stamina.
2. Thank you.
The above guidelines rest on the understanding that there is no face to save and the jig is up; I know that I
have blind spots and unconscious investments in white superiority. My investments are reinforced every day in
mainstream society. I did not set this system up but it does unfairly benefit me and I am responsible for
interrupting it. I need to work hard to recognize it myself, but I can’t do it alone. This understanding leads me to
gratitude when others help me.
In my workshops, I often ask the people of color,
“How often have you given white people feedback on our unaware yet inevitable racism and had that
go well for you?”
Eye-rolling, head-shaking, and outright laughter follow, along with the general consensus of never. I then ask,
“What would it be like if you could simply give us feedback, have us graciously receive it, reflect, and
work to change the behavior?”
Recently a man of color sighed and said,
“It would be revolutionary.”
I ask my fellow whites to consider the profundity of that response. Revolutionary that we would receive, reflect,
and work to change the behavior. On the one hand, it points to how difficult and fragile we are. But on the other
hand, how simple taking responsibility for our racism can be.
3
More than Just Insults: Rethinking Sociology’s
Contribution to Scholarship on Racial Microaggressions*
David G. Embrick, University of Connecticut
Silvia Domınguez and Baran Karsak, Northeastern University
Our goal with this special issue is to expand currently untapped ideas about racial
microaggressions from a sociological point of view. As noted, research on this issue
comes largely out of psychiatry, psychology, and education—disciplines that tend to
place less emphasis on structural and institutional causes of racism. There is a need for
more sociologically guided research to examine how subtle, covert, and non-apparent
forms of racism affect minorities physiologically, psychologically, and emotionally—and
how these micronooses can best be understood in a larger context of structural racism.
Examination of racial microaggressions from a sociological point of view promises additional insight to help understand the complexities of contemporary race and racism in
America and abroad.
Introduction
A consensus among social scientists is that racism operates in the United
States differently today compared to the pre-Civil Rights era. However, the
ways researchers interpret these differences vary considerably. For some scholars, changes in our legal system and the Civil Rights Movement have produced
a society in which race no longer matters (D’Souza 1995). For others, perceived racial discrepancies can be better explained by genetic differences (Herrnstein and Murray 1994; Sarich and Miele 2004), class (West 1994; Wilson
1978) or even culture (Sowell 1994). Despite positive changes in the legal system since the Civil Rights era, many critical race experts contend that racial
practices and mechanisms (see Hughey, Embrick, and Doane 2015) that work
to keep blacks and other minorities subordinate have become covert, subtle,
and ambiguous (Bonilla-Silva 1997; Bonilla-Silva and Lewis 2000; Smith
1995). Race scholars have labeled these subtle insults (verbal, visual or nonapparent) directed toward racial/ethnic minorities as racial microaggressions
(e.g., Solorzano et al. 2000; Sue et al. 2007; Sue 2010; Smith, Allen, and Danley 2007) and have begun to measure their everyday impact on people of color
living in the United States.
Sociological Inquiry, Vol. 87, No. 2, April 2017, 193–206
© 2017 Alpha Kappa Delta: The International Sociology Honor Society
DOI: 10.1111/soin.12184
194
DAVID G. EMBRICK ET AL.
Limitations of Research on Micro-Contexts of Racism
As sociologists, we understand that social inequality (Ridgeway 2014) and
racial inequality (Bonilla-Silva 1997; Essed 1990, 1991) are structured, reproduced, and challenged at all levels—micro, meso, and macro—of our everyday
lives. Scholars interested in understanding race and racism in major U.S. institutions point to the micro-contexts of work (Embrick 2011; Vallas 2003),
schools (Blau 2004; Brantlinger 2003; Lareau 2003; Lewis and Diamond
2015), family (Dalmage 2003), or religious institutions (Emerson 2001), to
name just a few examples, to investigate the interactional and contextually
grounded processes of inequality, its reproduction, and mechanisms of change
(Hughey, Embrick, and Doane 2015; see also Hedstr€om and Ylikoski 2010). In
many of these studies, while scholars might be interested in what happens at
the individual or small group level, they are also interested in understanding
such phenomena as connected to larger social forces.
Yet, in the arena of racial microaggressions, the research has been mostly
limited, both theoretically and empirically, to an understanding of the phenomenon as individual or psychological acts of discrimination. This is understandable given that the study of microaggressions, particularly racial
microaggressions, has been dominated by psychologists, psychiatrists, and educational psychologists. In those fields, one can find myriad studies ranging from
how individuals interpret racial slights directed toward themselves, to coping
strategies employed by racial minorities to address the stressors that result from
everyday racial microaggressions. Overwhelmingly, the data demonstrate how
everyday racial microaggressions have dramatic effects on physical and mental
health. The cumulative effects of racial microaggressions are staggering and life
altering. But we still do not know much about the structural conditions that
promote racial microaggressions and foster hosti …
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