WHITE PRIVILEGE & ANTI-RACISM IN THE FUNNIES (Participation)

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Respond to the following:
How would you relate the comic strip above to your reading of Zinn and BS?

UNDERSTANDING WHITE PRIVILEGE

The image above is one of many anti-racism cartoons  by Barry Deutsch.

What’s interesting about the cartoon above is the irony in white Americans’ perception that they are somehow not participants in racism.  If we were to take the white male in this cartoon as representative of the “white race” and the black male as representative of the “black race”, we can see that whites have made their success as a race by standing on the backs of slaves…and this is a fact.  Slaves built much of our government, our economy, our way of life.  We whites milked millions of dollars (and perhaps more) off of the backs of slaves who were free labor for this country for hundreds of years, allowing white families to live in privilege, educate generations of their children in higher learning and accumulate enormous profits from the labor of their slaves, who obviously received no pay.

Not only that, but many families of color are still coping with the generations of abuse, discrimination and poverty that black Americans suffered at the hands of whites.

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Those scars don’t heal as quickly as some would like to believe.  They are scars of inequality in education, scars of violence and abuse, scars of economic redlining and inadequate healthcare, of job insecurity and discrimination.  Generational poverty prevents numerous families of color from sending their children to college because of low incomes, limited access to mentors and community leaders and discriminatory blockades put up by whites who prefer to keep their communities and schools mono-racial and hoard money to their own neighborhoods.

For whites to say that they play no part in racism, simply because they are “nice” to people of color is as ridiculous as saying that racism no longer exists because we have a black president.

We all play a part in racism, ALL OF US.  And the only way to deconstruct the role we play is to take action AGAINST racism each and every day.  It’s not enough to say “equality,” we need to MAKE IT HAPPEN.

*The articles is taken from
http://www.biculturalfamilia.com/white-privilege-anti-racism-in-the-funnies/

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37 thoughts on “WHITE PRIVILEGE & ANTI-RACISM IN THE FUNNIES (Participation)

  1. I would relate to this comic being the white person with all the benefits from racism. I believe since early colonization of the U.S. has already been established mainly by whites it is easy and okay to say white have benefited from this. Since oppertunity is scarce around the world and America is a prime example of a place of segregation in the business world, then why are people even coming here? Instead, they could have better odds in there own country and eventually become economically stable as a whole.

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    1. I agree with Robert Monroe that there is a definite advantage to being “white” in the USA.

      In regards to immigration, maybe people come because the media still displays the USA as a “place of opportunity for all” and enables a “dreams come true here!” persona for foreigners to follow, value, and view. The media has done that for years, and with most of the world in war, maybe the people are desperate for a place of “equality” and, from lack of experience, have no idea of the new racism that exists today.

      Maybe some ARE aware, and still take the risk of living in a place that allows questioning/judgement of their opportunities/choices, VS being forced to accept oppressive life styles by their government. If they resists, they are most likely killed for their resistance, and made examples of in their own society to not question the government, or face severe consequences.

      For some, maybe its a matter of choosing the “lesser of two evils.” Instead of being beheaded in an “honor killing” for marrying a man on her free will, a Middle-Eastern woman might immigrate to the US to marry him and face the social stigma of her culture as being “Middle-Eastern,” instead of being butchered.

      Some move for the excitement! Adventure! Education! A few exchange students move to the US and fall in love with the less oppressive government (despite its flaws), and choose to stay. This corresponds with the examples above.

      There are lots of reasons for people to move to the USA, and though we don’t know them all, maybe there are reasons they come besides of the persona of America. Their government may not allow them to”become economically stable” and, out of fear or lack of education, they don’t try to resist. At least in America, they have the hope of at least establishing themselves and securing what resources, no matter how little, there are available to help them become established in the US society.

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    2. People come here to find opportunities of making money. Money, money, and more money. My “step-father” who is from Gambia would always say, “I miss Africa, I was a veterinarian ya know, but this place has more money that is available to me.” There is some segregation in the business world but you know where there is less segregated jobs? Primarily in the medical field, there is a high demand for Nurses and Nursing Assistants. The pay is not bad either. A lot of people who migrate here also start off at fast food jobs or any odd job and save enough money to bring their family here. After they sustain enough money i tend to see small businesses rise. i have seen, smoke shops, copy & print shops, 7-11’s, mechanic shops, computer shops, and restaurants owned and operated by people who migrated from different
      countries. you have to remember Washington, at least the “West side” as some people call it, is pretty diverse.

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  2. Reading Zinn and Bonilla-Silva, the history of white privilege is becoming ever-clearer. Even reading the comic strip now, I feel myself accepting the existence of “white privilege” and its advantages. I also find myself, however, with equally as defensive thoughts. This includes, “This isn’t my fault. My ancestors did this, not me. Why should I be blamed for a flawed system I took no part in developing?”

    As we all learn and grow, however, we take the responsibility, involuntarily or voluntarily, by the pressures of our society to become involved in our culture. In order to change the system, we must accept the system and its history of being built on “the backs of slaves” and inequality. As the older generations pass, worldlier, more educated young people become the adults in a newly developing world. With the rise in power, we can hope that our generations (and future generations) will continue developing interracial relationships and improve a system built on flaws and segregation. Without action, however, these “hopes” are nothing but words to excuse the inaction of people who are knowingly, or unknowingly, comfortable with their advantages in society.

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    1. That being said, what actions could people of rising power implement into society to gain camaraderie of “races” as a whole? How much would that cost? What strategies would need to be implemented? So many questions…

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  3. I agree with the concept of white ancestors building the success of the United States off of slaves backs. I can also accept that there are white privileges that are hard to obtain from a minority perspective. Unfortunately, that’s life. As a minority I worked with what was available to me and didn’t blame anyone for it. I come from a single parent home. I have lived in the suburbs as a child and quickly fallen into the hands of section 8 and food assistance by 11. I have been through the system and racially profiled by cops multiple times. It’s not right and the pressures to do wrong are high because of an environment that promotes violence, slanging, gang banging and stealing. But, that is not an excuse to do wrong and not perform above what society views me as. Sure, my family and the people around me were backed into a corner because the privileged took over the good soil and the most profitable areas. This doesn’t mean I should always blame what white society has done to minorities. This to me is the plan of the government. Keep people of color depressed, keep our hopes and dreams contained to only escape through entertainment (sports, music, movies, etc..). We live in a place where it’s easy to blame and criticize compared to acting and taking chances. I understand there are not alot of mentors, teachers, and parents that can help the children of the future to succeed in life but if there is a will then there is a way. I am living proof. I am just getting really bored of this concept of always blaming white people. why not take initiative and do something. Racism is alive and well but that doesn’t dictate our decisions. There will always be barriers in whatever we pursue.

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    1. I completely agree with you Anthony, we need to stop the blame game and actually do something about racism today.We need to remember that “race”, is not real, but society makes it real so the change has to come from us. We need to come to a time when we can actually celebrate other ethnic groups and live in harmony.

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      1. Lorena, I feel like slowly, our country is getting there. Looking at posts like these make me feel like i’m looking into the past. It is not like this everywhere, admittedly it definitely still occurs. But I believe that times are changing, and we all know it is not as bad as it used to be.

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  4. Being a white person, I relate to the comic strip in a beneficial way. The comic strip couldn’t be anymore true. Some white people may not be racists but they will still benefit from things that are in favor of their race and against other races. I do believe that racism is a two way street though. Blacks get discriminated against and as well as white people. Every race does! I feel as if Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is somewhat against the white people and is trying to blame everything on us.

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      1. Might be truth… But look back to my country, white people can easily “outearn” a lot common Chinese becasue they speaks English… And somehow white male seems to be very popluar among the Chinese females (which inevitably casued a lot indignation of Chinese male and “discriminate” white foreigners) Wonder how that happens…

        I just didn’t quite get what exactly should we do to stop this; it feels like we’ve been learning about and “blaming” about white since this began but no solution yet found.

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  5. I believe when Obama became president many people thought it was the end of racism. That was not the case. Like mentioned above, the scars of inequality in education, scars of violence and abuse, scars of economic redlining and inadequate healthcare, of job insecurity and discrimination just run too deep. The fact that whites still are benefiting, that to me is demonstrating that nothing is changing. There no use in blaming white people. We must accept that racism still exist and stop arguing about inequality and take action and find a solution.

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    1. i agree with this because people were like ” hey we can all become friendly and get past the idea of color because if a black man can be president that will solve everything” but that was wrong even when he became President he had threats against him by groups saying they were about to kill him so nothing changed. A change of skin color in the white may have made a little impact but racial discrimination was still abroad in the ways of our own government who is mostly white. Whites are still taking credit and still are laughing behind the judicial system living it up. maybe a little has changed but not a lot.

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  6. I can say that in the past whites did get there success off of the backs of slaves but I would have to disagree for the most when it comes to success now days. When I was little my family was not doing very well financially but we worked hard, we didn’t rely on others. I think that’s why people believe these sorts of things because are government is always out helping people or people are always asking for help. I believe that if you want something you work for it. This guys articles make it seem like every white person has befitted from being white and I know for a fact that that’s not true.

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  7. White Americans did pretty much take the credit for blacks and what they invented or did that helped society but that was because they knew that even the black American could do as much as the white American. They thought that was offensive and racially absurd for it to be that way. But in now success if you look into sports predominately in sports back then whites dominated sporting events but as blacks got into it like now the elite athletes are African American and still to this day whites criticize that they have some type of gene or aspect of their body that makes them better in athletics? i think not. We cannot rely on any man to do the work for us or we would be controlled as a nation and who wants a dictatorship? If you want it go take it and claim it. Honestly whites have mooched off of blacks for years but the whites don’t want to be held accountable for such a thing because they don’t want to sound like their helpless and its prideful of what white Americans have been doing for years.

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    1. I like how you brought up the idea that whites believe there to be a specific thing that makes africans faster, stronger, more athletic. I also believe not, i believe it is because that they strive and give everything they have to better themselves and one of those ways is sports and fitness. Especially as soon as slavery started to die down, i believe they wanted to give it everything they had to show that they are just as good, they can compete in every way possible.

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  8. In agreement with Isaiah, during the slavery period, the whites did take all the credit and invention that the blacks had to offer.The whites saw the blacks as a threat, so there fore they tried to deprive them from anything that will make them superior than the whites. My opinion on this “white privilege” topic is that yes if we go up and come down, white people will always have a privilege over other race. It’s just something that no one can control just like how the law cannot stop discrimination. I mean like the cartoon on the cover of the syllabus illustrated, “it’s not her fault that she was born white”. It’s just how things are and we as a nation can either let it be or stop the inequality. My questions to this is that what if being born black “color” was a privilege, what different will that make?

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  9. The cartoon relates especially to Bonilla-Silva’s book because Bonilla-Silva talks a lot about how people think racism can be stopped so easily. White people have always had an advantage, even from the early days, and blacks have always been targeted. However, it’s not like any one person chooses to be black or white or Asian; they’re just born that way. They can’t help it.

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    1. I Strongly!! disagree for an example some people have made bad decisions in life and learned from them and moved on and bettered them selves.

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  10. This cartoon relates very well with Bonilla-Silva’s theory and arguments that white people believe that racism is a thing of the past and that colored people now live in a better equal world. Bonilla-Silva’s interview gives an inside view into how white people view colored people as lazy because they are not financially stable compared to white people and not as always highly educated. They support these statements arguing that they don’t have any motivation, lazy work ethics and believe opportunities should be handed to them. What these white people fail to acknowledge is that racism takes place everyday in the lives of blacks and other minorities. They face discrimination in the work place, applying for loans and in school. However, some white people believe that this discrimination isn’t as cruel before, so they should be grateful.

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  11. I agree with Isaiahs’ statement because many people believe that due to the fact that America has a black president, we now live in a racist free world. However, that isn’t the reality for many black people and minorities living in the United States.Even congressman have voiced their opinion about their dislike of our black president. Our society still practices racism hidden behind unequal practices like in the work field or in school.

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  12. I stand by Robert Monroe,

    I believe that whites do in deed have a unfair advantage in America, but its the way its always been and probably (but hopefully not) always will be. Ever since early civilization in America whites have always thought less an treated the African Americans with disrespect for really no reason. On top of this Whites made millions and millions and millions of dollars off the blacks and I return didn’t pay them a nickel. Very sad that this was the way it was and how blacks today still have unfair rights. I do believe though that since America is the land of the free and home of the brave I do see why so many non-white individuals come to America. I believe they all come her for obviously the best place to start a family and become wealthy, although blacks have a slight disadvantage, it really is still there best shot at becoming successful and taking care of their family in the best way they are able to.

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  13. I would agree that in the US being white gives a person an advantage. Whites have been the dominant race in the US from the beginning and have the advantage in society. Black Americans have not had equality long enough to overcome the many years of racism and inequality. Today there is still evidence of inequality that I believe stems from the country’s long history of racial inequality.

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  14. I would say to these cartoons as very true, and I say this because leading all the way back to colombus there was a form of racism when he made the Indians teach him the ways of the land and how to make it grow and prosper and they didn’t benefit from it in any way possible, and as time when on when the African Americans became enslaved we did the same thing, they helped a lot with our country to get it the way that it is, and for us to treat them the way that we did is extremely racist, im not saying that white people are bad or that they were the complete or total cause of racism now and back then, but the did play a big part in the promotion of racism through the years and how other people of different colors were treated.

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  15. I also agree with Isaiah, he said that just because we live in a world where the President is African American that we now live in a racist free world, but anyone who thinks that is extremely wrong because racism has always existed and I have a feeling it will always be around no matter how hard we try to ignore the fact that it even exists.

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  16. Reverse racism is discrimination against the dominant racial group in a society, and I believe reverse racism is very real. I say this because I have heard it before, a white person talking bad about a person of a different race because they “do it too” or because “they started it”.
    Claiming there is racism within your own racism to justify your actions of racism… There is a problematic idea that white people could actually be a victim of racism too? White’s are the dominant group, how is it that people can really try and justify their racist actions on the idea that they are a victim too? And i do believe that racism is institutional, but there is interpersonal racism happening commonly too. As a white female, I think I have the right to speak and say that we do not, and should not ever, have the right to reverse the idea of racism over to us.

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  17. I understand the concept of reverse racism and how the white male in the comic uses the phrase to not aid help to the black male after he just used him. However i don’t believe the comic used or portrayed it very well. yes the white male used him to get where he wanted to go but as soon as the black male wanted help getting up as well he said no. That is not “reverse racism” by aiding help that is either the white male being arrogant or being a racist there is no “reverse racism” by helping him up. With that said I think that is exactly what the comic is trying to portray which is that reverse racism and the concept of it is ridiculous and absurd. Whites undoubtedly created success of the suppression of the blacks there is no debate there and because whites forced them to work without pay and made money off it, and that money is what started and created this nation. As far as the relation to Bon-Silva i believe the connection here is that the differences between our definitions of racism. The white male in the comic strip believes by helping the other man up he is creating a “reverse racism” but that is because his idea of racism is skewed in comparison to what the black males version is.

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  18. I agree with the concept represented by the cartoon for the reason that slaves really were forced to do all the jobs that weren’t easy, took massive amounts of energy, and were just simply excruciating to do so white people could live better. And due to all the hard work done by the slaves, America is what it is today. A land full of “opportunities”. My parents lived in South Korea all their lives and I myself was born in South Korea. My parents were very well off. My dad worked at the corporate level for the biggest construction company in Seoul and my mom managed a restaurant. But my parents wanted me to have opportunities that weren’t available in South Korea. So they gave up their jobs and moved here to the US. All because of the “opportunities” that are available here as opposed to being in Korea. Even though I am a minority, the opportunities available here are still more plentiful and useful than in Korea. Even just amount of school programs to help students learn in school and succeed is overwhelming. There are organizations and clubs here for diverse ethnicity, for sexual orientations, and for different lifestyles. There are programs available to all races in the US that benefit their well being such as Boys and Girls Club of America. Bonilla-Silva gives off the impression that white people are to blame for all the opportunities not available to non-whites but that’s not true. Even though racism is alive & well, more and more opportunities become available to different ethnicities and minorities.

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  19. After reading the comic strips, it was sad to know that the majority of what is portrayed happened in the past and continues to be practiced by individuals. Knowing that blacks were used for their labor to make whites wealthier; however, many whites do not want to accept that the blacks contributed to their success. In Bonilla-Silva’s book, he speaks that the majority of individuals believe that racism can be stopped just by doing certain acts. In the cartoon, the white people do not acknowledge that they have the advantage and do not put into consideration the struggles people of color has to go through.

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  20. The comic strips represent the true definition of “racism” in America’s society today. It is not expressed enough how Whites are benefiting from institutionalized racism without even noticing it. Whites are given more opportunities with jobs, education, etc but still believe that they are not receiving any better treatment than others because they are just used to it and it’s expected. People of all races do not choose to be born a certain color or come from a certain background, but even with their efforts to move forward and make the best of it as they can, they are still brought back down as they are discriminated against for their color. These comic strips relate to BS as the author discusses a lot about the locations as well as describes what African Americans had to go through in the past due to their race. In addition to that, they are both significantly related due to their main message being that racism is still a present-day issue, despite the opinions of the whites believing it is over. Whites fail to gain the perspective of the blacks, which results in being insensitive and really just not understanding that people of color are not being treated as equal as the whites. Racism is not only one way and, as portrayed through the comic strips, is continuously benefitting the whites.

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  21. I strongly agree with Lorena, saying that the election of Obama for President was not a waiver for racism in America. Whites fail to acknowledge that have a man of color in charge of the company does not excuse or bypass any racism. It does no prove that any individual is not racist.

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  22. Being white will always be seen as some sort of asset. We have learned that it is better for someone to have a lighter skin color compared to a darker one. Our generation will not be alive when white people truly become the “minority”. Yes, 2042 is coming up but that does not mean we will experience dramatic changes within our society. It will take many years for everyone to be seen as equal individuals.

    However, race is just one factor that plays into different opportunities that are available to United State citizens. We must consider class, gender, education, and other factors in order to get a grip on how the US functions. But we can still recognize how understanding race can help us understand each other.

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  23. Unfortunately, those cartoons hold a lot of truth. Though people (whites) may not like to admit to it, it is very true. White people do benefit from racism. We blindly benefit from racism with jobs, housing, schools and more. Although, i feel as though articles like these and concentrating on topics like this is what is holding the american people back from progressing to a non racial environment. Maybe it’s just me, but the last I checked some universities thrive off of diversity. The more diverse you are, the better.

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  24. Whit people say they shouldn’t be blamed for racism but they wouldn’t be were they are today if it wasn’t for throwing the african american americans under the bus.

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  25. I feel like this comic strip really backs up what both of our books authors’ have to say. I notice that it is also like the comedian we watched in class talking about how white people will never know what it’s like to have racism against them unless they go through everything that white people put black people through.

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