ECS 110 Final Project
Here is the link to my final project for ECS 110. I chose to do white privilege as it effects the everyday lives of others and myself. This topic impacted my life the most as I had very little knowledge about white privilege before this class. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1RDkI7RXd4
POSTED ON MARCH 15, 2019
Race, a rather risky word to use as it poses assumptions upon someones visual/physical differences. Very little is mentioned about race, as it conceives the idea that if you refer to it, it’s against Peoples of Colour in a negative way. If you don’t see colour you are not a racist, a common rebuttal used to explore the idea that racism doesn’t exist. The assumptions posed about race is that white is the norm, that it’s not a colour, that everyone else is different and not them.
As I continue to learn within the ECS 110 class, a normative narrative of whiteness/race is the idea of being colourblind. That if colour is not seen the world can be equal and grow to be a better place. These rebuttals are commonly seen and impact socialization from the moment we are born.
Growing up I was always told to ignore the skin color of Peoples of Colour, hiding myself from the culture and ever-growing problem of racism, reading my piece on whiteness I noticed myself hiding, being colourblind to my own community, “Their culture and identities never struck me before until I witnessed their traditional celebration”, I was socialized this way along with others within the class, Christina writes, “My mother had genuinely apologized to this gentleman that was seated at the table across the isle from ours…The reason his teeth stood out as dominantly as they did was because of his skin colour”, her mother was seen as apologetic to a Person of Colour, due to the shock of his skin tone to her children. Hiding the discomfort of knowing their realization may have appeared to upset the rebuttal of ignoring colour, this is also seen within Dayle’s story, “‘Mom! What’s all over that lady’s skin!?’ With no answer to my question and on two wheels and a prayer, that chariot I was riding in pulled a quick 180 and was out of that isle faster than you could blink”, her mother unsure of how to approach the subject and runs to the safety of a clear isle. Many don’t notice this narrative, thinking that it’s the proper way to live, that racism wouldn’t exist if everyone would see each other as equal and not by their skin colour, socializing their children to this belief, continuing the circle of racism within society.
As many grow up, they are socialized into thinking that hiding from the colour of people will prevent racist tendencies. Seen within Emily. H’s piece, she chose to use the colour of someone’s skin to gain friendship, “I come to the realization that she is probably the coolest little girl I have ever met. She warms up to me quickly, giving me lots of gently high fives and showing me all of her new stuffed animals”. Emily’s story shows that embracing race can help understand and grow, even a young age. Stories that are written from a hidden perspective allow those who are willing to engage to be silenced. As many believe the normative narrative is the correct way to pursue areas of life, the voice of those that are disrupting the narrative are found to be incorrect and only worsening racism.
Within our class reading of “Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism”, Dr. Robin DiAngelo talks of how white fragility often impacts our lives, “Our socialization renders us racially illiterate. When you add a lack of humility to that illiteracy (because we don’t know what we don’t know), you get the break-down we so often see when trying to engage white people in meaningful conversations about race” (DiAngelo, 2017). His understanding is that white fragility makes us unable to listen to the ideas and accept new concepts within the conversation of race. Emily’s story shows how her experience allowed her to confront the idea of race and grow a meaningful relationship.
Tim Wise, an author and educator, performed a commencement speech at the Grinnell College in 2003, he pressed DiAngelo’s ideas as he spoke about race, “And for whites, wondering where we fit in this struggle for racial equity and justice, I say to you that we must learn to listen, to follow, to be allies in the truest sense of the word; to challenge this society even when, and especially when, it provides to us unearned privileges because of our skin color, our history…”(Wise, 2003), pushing for those to talk about race and accept it. To not hide from race, even if our privilege allows us to do so. To disrupt the normative narrative of being colourblind to race and hiding from these identities.
DiAngelo, R. (2017). Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism. Huffington Post. Retrieved from: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/good-men-project/why-its-so-hard-to-talk-to-white-people-about-racism_b_7183710.html
Wise, T. (2003). Cleaning up the Funk: Commencement Speech at Grinnell College, 2003. Tim Wise. Retrieved from: http://www.timwise.org/2003/05/cleaning-up-the-funk-commencement-speech-at-grinnell-college-2003/
POSTED ON FEBRUARY 27, 2019
Reading Response 2:
The quote implies that being white also implies being racist, through our readings white identity can be examined through structural and systemic racism. Structurally and systemically, many who are successful in their lives are white. Controlling the eligibility of race within their departments, this could include housing, jobs, healthcare, etc. Regardless of the qualifications, white people often have the final say within the matter. This is from the socialization as a child, being taught that whites have control.
As a white member of society, the idea of whiteness is usually defended as innocent, this is due to the common rebuttals of; rejecting the structural power, invalidating oppression with oversensitivity, using guilt, “I have a friend who is a person of Color”, “People of Color are just as racist”, etc. These defenses are white fragility, unable to be confronted about their privilege or supremacy.
I felt slightly uncomfortable at the beginning of disrupting the normative narrative, but as The Globe and Mail article had stated, “The solution to white fragility, she says, is to build up stamina; just as with exercise, that involves doing the painful task over and over again until you get better”, the more you tackle the topic of white privilege, supremacy, and fragility, the greater chance of a solution. As we tackle these topics in more detail the discomfort and confusion begin to fade and a better understanding is reached.
POSTED ON FEBRUARY 15, 2019
Writing the Self 4: Beauty
It started with a paintbrush, the soft bristles brushing my young face. 12 years old and I had already found my passion; makeup. I sat perched on my mom’s bed, watching her brushes swipe gently across her face, a long slim but puffy brush graced across her eye. Dipping into another darker brown color she placed it on the corner, dragging the brush across her eye in an almost blending motion.
I begged my mom for weeks to buy me some of my own makeup to play with, hoping to get this little palette with small shadows of blue, pink, grey, and transition browns. It was the week after school started when my mom came to my room with a small surprise. Wrapped in a small bundle of paper there sat the palette.
Picking up my small brushes I began to make small strokes of blue eyeshadow on my eye, hoping to blend it in. I was ecstatic, my first time applying makeup as a young girl. I knew it was a gender stereotype to wear makeup but there was something about it that overjoyed me.
To this day I still practice makeup, hoping someday I’ll be able to grow in the practice.
POSTED ON FEBRUARY 8, 2019
Writing the Self 3: The Youthful Cashier
April 27th, 2010; that was the day my life had changed from a relying daughter to a working-class member of society. I was 11 years old, barely 5 feet tall, short brown hair and innocent green eyes.
My dad picked me up from school that day, I was nervous knowing it was my first day at a job with no working experience. Pulling up to the large red brick building, a bright yellow door in the back alley for staff, I walked in squinting as my eyes adjusted to the lights inside the building. Cleaning supplies, light bulbs, paint, and more lined the back walls and floors. The next door opening to the back room where there sat some of my new coworkers. Red shirts and smiles greeted me as I ventured further into the store. More supplies lined the walls, carts sitting in the corner and a sink sat parallel. Stairs leading to a basement and some leading to a small office. Further down were the isles upon isles of hardware and home supplies lining shelf after shelf, neatly tucked in a corner by the front door was the cash register.
It was a quiet day, the sounds of co-workers merely laughing and talking about their personal lives. Every so often the door alarm beeping that someone had entered the store, allowing myself to ask if they need assistance, or at least as much as an 11-year-old could provide.
This was it I thought, this was the moment I officially would begin to make money and contribute to the working society. I worked 2 hours that day, going home excited to start my next shift days from now.
POSTED ON JANUARY 28, 2019
Writing the Self 2: The Dress of Colors
The school building was huge, red brick walls lined the outside and long narrow white walls lined the inside. There were red bells all over the school, used to signal the end of class and recess. The outside had a concrete pad used for the children to play four-square and hopscotch. Behind the concrete laid playground equipment surrounding the large hill and soccer fields. Inside hung pictures of students all who had attended in the past. The gym was large, caged fans hanging above the student’s heads and a climbing wall on the left side of the gym. A large stage was parallel to the doors, equipment lining the back and curtains swaying with the fans.
It was a warm day outside, approximately 18 degrees with a slight breeze. The typical September weather before the cold set in. I was 9 years old and going into grade 3, the exciting year before moving to a bigger school. The school was hosting an assembly today, allowing the school students and staff to join together. Walking into the gym we were seated lowest grade to highest grade, there was a large drum sat in the middle in the gym surrounded by men.
The drum began to emit noises as the men began to strike it, slowly there entered women and men in these beautiful colored pieces, feathers and shawls of ribbon draping over them. Their feet moved to the beat, their bodies swirling. I was mesmerized, goosebumps covered my body and I could not stop wondering about these dancers.
I later learned that this dance was called a Powwow, performed by Indigenous people who were from the local area. Their culture and identities never struck me before until I witnessed their traditional celebration. Moments before had me relying on that everyone was the same, but now that light was shed on the Indigenous culture, I saw everyone as different, opening my eyes to new perspectives.
POSTED ON JANUARY 13, 2019
Writing the Self 1: The Winter Breeze
Cold, crisp air brushed across my face the moment I stepped off the bus. It was dark out although it was only 5 o’clock. The dark sky shone with brightness as the city lights reflected into the night. A blanket of fresh soft snow covered the ground, changing colours as the lights flickered in colourful patterns. Chairs lined the ice, allowing an audience to form. The sharp sounds of swishing across the ice as skates hit. Taking a deep breath of the cool air, I grabbed my skates and trudged through the light clouds laying upon the ground.
I began skating, swishing along the ice, hearing the laughters of others as people were dancing around the frozen ground. The sound of thumps reaching my ears as I watched a new skater learn their way around the ice, falling. Music softly played in the background, calmingly.
This park was my favorite. Located in the middle of downtown Regina, the park was surrounded by large buildings and zooming cars. The bare trees that ran along the outside with a few scattered within the park and the dancing lights off the shed that stood at the corner of the ice, provided those with a place of warmth. A sense of calmness engulfed me, allowing all my stresses and pressures to escape. Stepping off the ice and into the comfortable arms of a chair, a large wailing noise could be heard from the distance. “Fire trucks?” I thought to myself.
Wading through the curious gathered people, I approach a steaming jug of hot chocolate resting just behind the chairs. As the noise faded the resting crowd moved back to the frozen ground, beginning their trials again.
Lost within the noise of skates hitting the ice and the dancing lights, I peered into the faces of those around me. Their large smiles and laughter echoing across the bare trees and skyscrapers that towered above, shooting into the lost night sky. A sense of homeliness engulfed me as the light air swept across my face, dancing in patterns of soft movements — reminiscing my love for Canada.
Tip: By clicking on the red text, you will be redirected to sources used!