Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Between Barack and a Hard Place" Tim Wise

Whenever we do these blogposts, I always tend to write about the things I disagreed with. Its just that much more interesting...

"We are nowhere closer to a post racial society".
Although I agree that we still do not live in a society where skin color is not a factor, I think saying that we are "nowhere" closer is a bit exaggerated. Attitudes have changed drastically since Brown vs. Board of Education, and compared to that time, many new opportunities have been open to blacks. In fact, in the eyes of the law black people have all the same opportunities as white people. And that is all that is meant by "equality". Equality is never truly equal, because people cant ever all be equal. All "equality" promises to provide is equal opportunity, and we have certainly achieved that in this country. And like I already said, attitudes have come a long way as well. Racist attitudes have definitely went down, and I think its really reflected in our class discussions. Everyone in our class has favorable attitudes towards people of color, and in my experience its been like that everywhere - at my school, on TV, etc.

Tim Wise also said that the standards for a black president are very high, while the standards for white presidents are rather low. As if any of our presidents have been idiots...He mentioned a bunch of times about how Bush is an idiot. He was definitely playing of the popular opinion that Bush is an idiot. Bush graduated from Yale University and the Harvard Business school. Maybe he didn't turn out to be a great president (circumstances, mistakes) but he is certainly a good businessman. He is definitely just as well qualified as Barack Obama. And that was Tim Wise's best example of an "idiot president". Yes, its true that a black person must be very well qualified to be the president. But so does a white person. And please don't bring up the past, with different standards, and tell me that George Washington barely finished grade school.

The "stereotype argument" was a little "circular" in my opinion. I am sure that Tim Wise would agree that most black people are still not "equal" with white people (in regards to living standards, salaries etc). In fact, proving how black people are still worse of than white people is Tim Wise's entire agenda. If it wasn't true, Tim Wise would not have written his book. However, In the polls, when white people were asked whether they think that most blacks are poorer and less educated and answered yes, Tim Wise was astonished at the negative stereotypes Americans harbor towards blacks! Of course, blacks are less educated. Proving that blacks are stuck in bad schools is the whole point of this class. And I do no judge the people who think that poverty is due to laziness. Like I already said, this country does, by law, offer all the same opportunities to everyone. Most people just don't go as far to examine the complicated intangible factors as to why blacks might be poorer when answering these polls. Stereotypes exist for a reason. They exist because they are often true. And these "negative stereotypes" are really not all that negative when you look at it this way.

And here is a really interesting article about an Asian American about pushing diversity too far. Its kind of the opinion that I hold, but if I wrote this article, I would definitely be judged for being oblivious, or even racist. So its nice that it actually comes from the mouth of a minority student.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you Yana, I support all your comments! Tim Wise has a lot to say and they are all on generalizations and stereotypes. I listened to his 1 hour long lecture before pro. Bogad posted our assignment last Saturday and he is so dramatic. There are certainly pooints he is making but he pushes it way too far.