Please read the instructions below for your discussion post. Then post two discussion comments: (1) Respond to someone else’s comment; (2) Post your own comment. If you are first to post, check back later to respond to someone else. Please be sure to write enough to fully address the discussion topic. For full credit, your comment must have at least ten (10) complete sentences, and your response to someone else must have at least five (5) complete sentences.Week 7 discussion: White privilegeRead what is pasted below as well as the racial injustice timeline and the freedom and slavery article.Post a discussion comment about racial/ethnic privilege that answers some or all of the following questions: Why do people of color today often perceive themselves to be socially disadvantaged, as compared to whites? What is “whiteness” and what is “white privilege” (or white advantage)? What does it mean to say that white privilege is a “blind spot” (something invisible) for whites, but something quite visible and obvious to people of color? How is whiteness analogous to right-handedness, and blackness analogous to lefthandedness?[Hint: The readings above don’t mention white privilege. But they are extremely useful for developing your understanding of this important concept in the U.S. and also global context.]Week 7 handoutCh 11 Race and Ethnicity; Ch 12 Gender, Sex, and SexualityContinuing the Test 2 material, we discuss two additional topics studied by sociologists: race and gender. First, we’ll address race.Just like democracy in Ohio, race is real. We treat it as an important aspect of our identity and society. However, this importance (meaning, significance) is arbitrary. That is, “race” categorizes people by one set of physical features (skin color, hair type) rather than another possible set (height, weight, head shape, ear size). In this sense, race is purely conventional: a phenomenon of the social world, not the natural world. Race is a social construction that reflects differences of power among social groups.“Race” (in Spanish, “la raza”) is an old word in English that originally meant “type” or “family group.” The scientific consensus since the mid-1900s is that human racial groups feature more intra-group variation than inter-group variation. That is, racists argue that some races are better than others in terms of criteria of human excellence (intelligence, caring/empathy, courage, perseverance, creativity, etc). By contrast, evolutionary biologists agree with anti-racism: the “white” racial group varies more within itself (e.g., intelligence) than it does with the “black” group. Likewise, the Native American group varies more within itself (e.g., creativity) than it does with the “white” group. Racial differences are due to society (reflections of power and culture differences), not nature.Sociologists distinguish between “race” and “ethnicity.” Race: “classification of humans into groups based on physical traits, ancestry, genetics or social relations.” By contrast, “[a]n ethnic group or ethnicity is a category of people who identify (Links to an external site.) with each other, usually on the basis of a presumed common genealogy or ancestry or on similarities such as common language (Links to an external site.) or dialect (Links to an external site.), history (Links to an external site.), society (Links to an external site.), culture (Links to an external site.) or nation (Links to an external site.). Ethnicity is often used synonymously with the term nation (Links to an external site.), particularly in cases of ethnic nationalism (Links to an external site.), and is separate from but related to the concept of races (Links to an external site.).” For instance, Mexican society is composed of the following racial groups: indigenous (Native Americans), mestizo (combined indigenous and white), and white (European descent). However, Mexicans or Mexican-Americans in the U.S. are described as Hispanic (or Mexican, or Latina/o), which is an ethnic category.The human evolutionary story is fascinating. The current scientific consensus is that many human-like (hominid) species evolved and went extinct between some 2 million to 10,000 years ago. Our species, homo sapiens, first appeared in East Africa 250-300,000 years ago. There were several migrations out of Africa, and all non-Africans today are descended from a single migration group of perhaps 100 individuals that left around 80,000 years ago. The physical racial differences we see today (hair type, eye type, skin color) are probably due to different human groups living in different climates (e.g., amount of sun exposure) for tens of thousands of years. There are many documentaries online and on YouTube, if you want to learn more about the history and biology of human origins.(1) A History of Racial Injustice (1970-present). Read the racial injustice timeline (under “Syllabus,” this week). We’re familiar with U.S. racial injustice (e.g., slavery, Jim Crow, race riots and lynchings) prior to the 1950s-60s. In those decades, important federal legislation and judicial rulings occurred dealing with civil rights of all citizens, regardless of race or ethnicity. However, we often forget that the Jim Crow system, in which whites exercised racial domination over people of color, was largely informal, not formal. That is, it was perfectly legal for African Americans to vote after 1870 (Fifteenth Amendment). However, whites used a variety of political tactics ranging from literacy tests to terrorism (individual lynchings; racial massacres such as Elaine, Arkansas, 1919) that successfully prevented most blacks from exercising this right. Moreover, civil rights legislation had already been passed a century prior to 1965:“The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. Arguably one of the most consequential amendments to this day, the amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by the states of the defeated Confederacy, which were forced to ratify it in order to regain representation in Congress.”In sum, laws are important, but racial injustice does not simply end when laws change. The timeline provides many examples of racial injustice from 1970 to the present day.(2) Freedom and Slavery: The Central Paradox of American History. Read the newspaper article (under “Syllabus,” this week). This year, 2019, marks the 400th anniversary of African slave labor in North America. European enslavement of Africans and Native Americans in the Caribbean and Central and South America dates back another century to the early 1500s. The new republics of the 1700-1800s (e.g., U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Colombia) proclaimed freedom for whites, but most retained black slavery until the late 1800s (US: 1863, Brazil: 1888).
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