Filed under: race, Think About It | Tags: education, New York, Plessy, race, school, segregation, Students
In America, race and class are inextricably linked. Whether by chance, or more likely, by purpose, that is the reality that we must live with. Most of the children who attend New York’s Lower Laboratory School for Gifted Education and Straus School, and their parents, know this all too well.
Straus and Lower Lab inhabit the same building in New York’s Upper East Side—P.S. 198—yet the two schools couldn’t be more different. The only thing they share is the building. While they utilize the same halls and bathrooms, the two schools never interact, even during lunch or recess. There’s an even more striking area they don’t share—the front door. Lower Lab, along with its student and teachers, gets to use the front door while the Straus students are forced to go around the side of the building to use the back door.
In Steven Thrasher’s article, “Inside a Divided Upper East Side Public School,” published in New York’s Village Voice, he describes the scene at P.S. 198 by saying, “If you’re a white student and you arrive at the public elementary school building on 95th Street and Third Avenue, you’ll probably walk through the front door. If you’re a black student, you’ll probably come in through the back.” (more…)
Filed under: race, Think About It | Tags: adoption, black, children, family, race, soceity, white
Adoption is not something to be entered into haphazardly. One must consider all the possible outcomes, occurrences, and obstacles that may arise. This is even more true when a family (or individual) is considering a transracial adoption (when the race of the adopted child is different from that of one or both adoptive parents).
This is not a new issue in the United States. Transracial adoptions nearly stopped for 20 years, from the early 70s to the 90s, when they were condemned as “cultural genocide” by the National Black Social Workers Association (NBSWA). In 1994, after the Metzenbaum Multiethnic Placement Act (which banned any agency receiving federal funds from interfering with adoptions based on race or nationality) was passed, we saw a significant rise in these adoptions. This act, as well as the Interethnic Adoption Provisions amendment, were designed to eliminate racial discriminations within the adoption system. (1) (more…)
Does race matter? It’s a question that was brought to me the other day. And in the midst of all that’s going on in America — the first black President in the White House, politicians remarking that black people were better off during slavery, celebrities using inappropriate and racially charged words — it’s a question that’s not out of place. So, does race matter?
I’m torn. Part of me wants to say that, no, race doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. After all, race is a socially constructed concept with no real, inherently biological traits to distinguish any one person from any other person. Race is a category based on the society of which we’re a part at any given time. Race has changed over time, and indeed will continue to change as society itself changes. In other words, ultimately, it means nothing. (more…)
Filed under: race, Relationships | Tags: dating, interracial relationships, marriage, men, race, women
Last week I talked about how interracial dating can go wrong by citing a certain website that is designed exclusively for those desiring only interracial relationships. I noted how this can allow people to develop unhealthy, racially-based fetishes. Since then, some have brought up the question of whether or not interracial dating is Biblical. This argument is not only easily dismantled, but in fact, racist in and of itself.
In order to properly talk about interracial relationships, we must define what race is. The best definition I have found comes from Dr. Mikhail Lyubansky, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Illinois. He defines race as a “classification of human beings into politically motivated socially constructed categories based on arbitrary phenotypical combinations.” In other words, there is no lasting, biological condition such as race (other than, of course, the human race) — it’s strictly based on societal norms at a given place and time.
Using that definition, we understand that interracial relationships involve two individuals who don’t have similar phenotypical features (in terms of race, we often think of skin tone, bone structure, and hair texture). (more…)
Filed under: race, Think About It | Tags: BET, black on black crime, peggy mcintosh, race, television, tim wise, white privilege
I received a FB message today entitled “Another Racist question…”. The message was from a white gentleman, in his 50s (or perhaps late 40s) who lives in the suburbs with his family, and holds down a well paying job. He said:“I know you like to ask difficult questions to see the answers you get… Here’s one for you that I was asked during the Christmas break. How many Blacks would be upset if there was a “WET” [Since he references BET, I’m under the assumption that WET means “White Entertainment Television”] TV channel? No one is complaining that there’s a “BET” channel. Guaranteed that everyone would get upset if the shoe was on the other foot!”
Honestly, my first thought was, “Aww, bless his heart. He doesn’t understand that every channel EXCEPT BET is “WET” (as he put it).” Then I thought: The reason he doesn’t know is because he’s grossly unaware of White Privilege and the role that it plays in his life.
In Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking Invisible Knapsack,” she creates a list of the daily effects of White Privilege. Number six on the list reads: “I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.” Perfect example.
After pondering how to approach the topic, I responded: (more…)
Filed under: Mind Flush, My Life..., Relationships, Think About It | Tags: black, culture, dating, interracial relations, love, marriage, race, slavery, white
I read a highly intriguing article today entitled: Black Women: White Men Are Not Looking To Wife Most Of You. I always love reading articles from people who I don’t agree with because it pushes and expands my knowledge. It forces me to think about what I believe and why. Below is my response to the article.
I am a white man & I’m attracted to black women. I’m also attracted to white women, Latino women, and occasionally an Asian woman. I’m not into black women because it’s some sort of fetish or because I want to “relive the days of slavery.” It just happens that a lot of the characteristics and qualities I desire in women, are encompassed in those whose have an African American ancestry. (more…)