Developing White Racial Literacy – Revised Edition
Chapter 10: What Makes Racism So Hard for Whites to See?
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WHAT MAKES RACISM SO HARD FOR WHITES TO SEE?
I am white. My neighborhood and town growing up was (pretty much) all white. Therefore race wasn’t discussed much or wasn’t that much of an issue growing up because there really wasn’t any diversity. (ASR)
I mostly lived in all-white neighborhoods. We are all equal, regardless of what we look like, because at the end of the day we are all human. Until we can learn to see our differences as unique characteristics and not defining qualities, it will continue to be an issue. Honestly, I cannot see specifically how my race has shaped my life. I personally see myself as an individual, not a white female in her early 20s. My race exists, but it does not define who I am, it merely adds to the description. (ASR)
The vast majority of whites cannot answer the question “How has race shaped your life?” beyond the most superficial of platitudes. So what makes racism so difficult for whites to see?
The Racist = Bad/Not Racist = Good Binary
In Chapter 2, I introduced the concept of the racist = bad not racist = good binary (see Figure 2) and how it sets whites up to feel personally accused and defensive about the suggestion of any association with racism; we hear these suggestions as unfair accusations that we are fundamentally bad or immoral people. ← 193 | 194 →
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