Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh
White Privilege to a Broke Person by Gina Crosley- Corcoran
All Lives Matter by Kevin Roose
and referenced Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol
What I love about FNED is that we get to explore a variety of topics heard from a spread of voices from all different cultures, races, and social classes. I enjoyed this weeks selections because we hear from a middle class white feminist exploring her advantages and disadvantages in American society, a lower class white woman discussing lack of privilege based on economic status, and a man's point of view on the how were discuss the "Black Lives Matter" movement.
"As my racial group has been made confident, comfortable, and obvious, other racial groups were being made un-confident, uncomfortable and alienated" - Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by McIntosh
I chose this quote from McIntosh's piece "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" because it clarifies how in American culture white people are subliminally taught to ignore their privileges. This quote highlights how in our society there are certain standards or ideals which define what our society views as beautiful. As a white person I can be assured that when I turn on a tv, look to the faces of my leaders and people in power I can take comfort in the fact that people of my race will be represented. As a white woman there is comfort in the fact that my body type and skin tone are similar to those represented in the media represented by princesses, pop culture figures, ect. The same comforts do not apply for people of other races who speak other languages and do not conform to the mold of the power of culture in America. Because they do not conform to the dominant population there are less accommodations to make them feel comfortable.
The idea that some people are worth more focus than other people gets re-discussed by Kevin Roose who says;
"If we do not pay as much attention to certain peoples deaths as we do others then we do NOT treat all lives as if they matter equally."In relation to what McIntosh explores about privilege this quote solidifies the basis that our dominant society only wants to hear news relating to themselves. Roose outlines the difference in saying "all lives matter" in response to the civil rights "All Black Lives Matter" campaign. I've discovered that even in the best of interests stating that all lives matter in response to the BLM campaign only takes away the importance of discussing how important black lives are. This quote spoke to me because it couldn't be more realistic, there are many people who die every single day but the only people who we mourn as a society are those who our society idolized. I read more "news" on social media that discusses pop culture and who's who than I care to admit. This is reflected on all the news which is selected to be exploited. Selected by people who focus more on connecting with their audience's interests than it does on what the most important news is. If we can't talk about all peoples problems equally than how do we begin creating a fair and equal society???
"Middle class, educated people assume that anyone can achieve their goals if they work hard enough" - White Privilege to a Broke Person by Crosley- Corcoran
I personally related to this article because I would consider myself to be apart of the lower economic class, and there have been a few times when discussing the dominant ideology theory where it hits me like a ton of bricks that I am privileged based on my ethnic(or lack of) background and geographic location. Although being apart of the lower working class means that there are privileges that I am handicapped from. Jonathan Kozol agrees that demographics create a lack of opportunity, which in return keeps people in their economic state. This becomes an infinite cycle that only a percentage of people escape from. But it is possible, and I am a strong believer that your life is what you make of it and with some luck and a whole lot of hard dedicated work it is possible to be more than a percentage.
- If you didn't get the chance to read White Privilege to a Broke Person by Gina Crosley- Corcoran you should check it out. It's a quick and to the point read which I feel like rounded the selections off nicely.
- Also I think that the "All Lives Matter" article was a really great choice for material which intrigued me to hear more voices on the topic... Here is Brown Blaze talking about the civil movement.