Friday, October 3, 2014

White Privilege

By: Dominique McCoy
 Have you ever wondered how much your skin color can make a difference in your life? Maybe your skin color can be very beneficial for you in life general. Unfortunately skin color, race, and ethnicity can make you seem less than human.  In others eyes your skin color is only seen and not the real person you are. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races?
 White Privilege: “I have come to see white privilege as an invisible knapsack a package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious – Peggy McIntosh.
 Faculty, staff, and students of Florissant Valley Community College gathered together to discuss the true feelings they have inside about different races.  The topics discussed where very interesting and informative. Some felt that racism is a huge factor in the way that the United States operates. 
 An African – American woman from Columbia, MO expressed her feelings about her moving to St. Louis for the first time. In Columbia she said that her community didn’t see color as an issue while growing up.  She felt the total opposite once she moved to St. Louis. Race is very obvious to her and that bothers her.
 One young black male gave us a simple look into his everyday life.  He has dreadlocks and looks like a threat to some. But he added that he’s an honor student at UMSL but his skin color has a different perspective on other people.
A white and black woman came into the same position while at shopping stores. They were both watched while shopping peacefully by themselves. Sometimes it’s not just a black or white stereotype. Maybe they were both judged and looked upon for others reasons and not just skin color.
 Julie Copp who’s a professor here at Florissant Valley Community College put the event together. Copp also gave her thoughts about the situation.  Copp says “I believe that white privilege exists that I have it and my unearned skin privilege in my 16 year journey I have been unpacking my invisible knap sack as my awareness has increased”. There was incident in which a Caucasian male called an African – American woman a nigress while at a grocery store. The man thought that he had not said anything that was offensive. But the woman quickly voiced her views about using that term. But who was wrong and who was right was a question asked by Copp’s former professor?
The discussion was a huge success as far as people involved and the people who voiced their opinion. Some even asked if this event could happen again. Even though we had a lot of views about people’s everyday life, will the racial wall ever be broken down?  Or will others still be privileged amongst others?
 Copp is also hosting another White Privilege discussion on the Forest Park Community College campus on October 17, 2014. In the spring semester there will be a new class titled Ethnicity & Race on Tuesdays and Thursday from 9:30 – 10:45.

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