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Author Topic: White Privilege: What Does THAT Have to Do With the Price of Kiva Beans???  (Read 13967 times)
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« Reply To This #50 on: January 23, 2010, 04:33:44 PM »

Yes, I heard you groan, but check this out, anyway.....

Bloomsbury book cover stirs anger
Book cover's about-face

"For the second time in less than a year, Bloomsbury USA has put a white girl on the cover of a book that's about a girl of color.

First it was Justine Larbalestier's "Liar," which has an African American protagonist. This time, the book is "Magic Under Glass" by Jaclyn Dolamore. The romantic fantasy features Nimira, a brown-skinned protagonist, but the figure on the cover that was shipped to stores is white.

Now it's being withdrawn, the publisher's website says, because "the jacket design has caused offense and we apologize for our mistake. Copies of the book with a new jacket design will be available shortly."

"Sticking a white girl on the cover of a book about a brown girl is not merely inaccurate, it is part of a long history of marginalizaton and misrepresentation," Larbalestier wrote on her website."

Pics #1 & #2
:  I’m rushing, but I think that these are the before and after covers of Liar.
                        Note, particularly, the straight bangs of the hair in the first pic.

Pic #3:  Cover for Magic Under Glass 
            That’s some magic that the publisher wrought upon the protagonist of this story…..

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« Last Edit: January 23, 2010, 04:35:17 PM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #51 on: January 24, 2010, 05:06:57 AM »

While searching FRONTLINE's programs you can watch online, I came across this one which, although dated, is still relevant. I was pleasantly surprised to see that This is one of the most requested programs in FRONTLINE's history.

A Class Divided
March 26, 1985

This is one of the most requested programs in FRONTLINE's history. It is about an Iowa schoolteacher who, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in 1968, gave her third-grade students a first-hand experience in the meaning of discrimination. This is the story of what she taught the children, and the impact that lesson had on their lives.

Winner of:
The 1985 National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational, Cultural, or Historical Programming
Sidney Hillman Prize Award (1985)

Watch this 46:00 program here in five consecutive chapters.
Watch the program online in a continuous stream:

Or you can watch/download the program here and/or at Google video

« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 05:08:10 AM by bikeme » Logged
« Reply To This #52 on: January 24, 2010, 12:24:43 PM »

Yes, for sure, if you haven’t yet seen a program on TV or elsewhere on the “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” experiment, then do check out one of Geoff’s links.  The story of it, the implications of it, they’re just absolutely amazing.  Amazing and mind-tripping,  and fantastically thought-provoking.

I don’t know if those links of A Class Divided that he gave us will contain the portions that I have on videos at home of the actual kid subjects of the experiment, all grown up, I think 20 years later.  Or, whether you’ll get to see the footage of the experiment run on some adult subjects, as part of the diversity training seminars that the teacher, Jane Elliott, has been giving for years.  Those parts are really amazing, too.

They demonstrate how really lifelong profound the impact of the experiment was on those kids, now adults, who’d been the original subjects.  Teacher and kids held what turned out to be a really sweet and kind of intimate class reunion, and they were all interviewed there. 

The footage that comes from her diversity training seminar, where adults, supposedly thoughtful educated adults are subjects, it’s almost beyond belief the potential it demonstrates that we, most of us, apparently have for availing ourselves of the trappings of privilege, for grabbing for them if anyone is offering us a piece of the privilege pie.  And that is, the potential we, most of us, apparently have for grabbing for those vestiges and pleasures and benefits of privilege, evidently, it's pretty much irrespective of what our grabbing may mean for those who aren’t offered a cut of that pie, themselves.

Check out this super fascinating Wikipedia link to the back story of A Class Divided*.  It’s particularly interesting for its telling about how the teacher became a pariah in her own town, so unpopular did she become among people she’d known all her life whom she discovered had not liked having their cages rattled or their prejudices revealed -- either to the world, or, for that matter, to themselves.

*Why will some of you not be surprised when I tell you that I found the section at that link about the controversy that this experiment aroused, why won't you be surprised that I found that particularly fascinating?!?

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« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 09:21:22 PM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #53 on: March 22, 2012, 08:41:54 AM »

The Trayvon Martin case, that’s the story (the “flavor”) of the week for a lot of the U.S. news and social media, has affected me deeply.  It’s affected me deeply for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a boy, now a man, who, as a youngster, used to come over for an occasional sleepover, choosing to sleep in a sleeping bag on my bedroom floor with my golden retriever, Trubby, happily snoozing straddled across him.   Arthur, whom I love.   Arthur, a Kiva lender, by the way.

It’s only by the grace of God or someone that it wasn’t Arthur who was walking back from that convenience store in Florida last month.  Turns out that he’s actually going to law school in Florida, of all places.

I remember too well when he was here, years after those sweet sleepover days, by then a startlingly good-looking young man.  We were taking a walk around the place and it was a little cold, so he pulled the hood of his hoody up over his head.  He’s black and his hoody was black.  

I remember remarking at the time, with something that felt like incredulity and a kind of sadness, that that mere act of his pulling his black hoody over his head had somehow incredibly transformed him into the scary black thug TV and other stereotype that had insidiously infiltrated, I was amazed (and so very undone) to realize, even me.  It was unbelievable.  This was someone I had known and loved for the better part of his young life, and he now looked (almost) scary to me.

And then there was a three day seminar I’d signed up for when I was studying to be a teacher, a seminar that was co-taught by the African American, then Deputy Superintendent of the Seattle School System and her Caucasian elementary school principal husband.  Without hesitation, I number that seminar as being among the top 5 most powerful and affecting educational experiences of my life.  Maybe 17 years later, I still so vividly remember the Deputy Superintendent, the mom, speaking of her daily clearly tormenting fear for the life of their son, who by then was a young African American male living in America.  

Among the many sobering, fascinating, illuminating and some of them, ultimately really sad stories and insights they shared with us was of their hoody-clad son, home on vacation from college, who’d gone out to take an early morning run in the mostly white neighborhood he’d grown up in.  He was stopped by a patrolling policeman who’d wanted to know who their son was and what (the “#!+!!##!!!” )  he was doing in that neighborhood…..

I happened to catch Jonathan Capehart, the Washington Post columnist who wrote the column at the second link, on one of the TV news shows early this morning.  He’s a frequent contributor on MSNBC.  He’s always struck me as a soft-spoken, even-keeled, upbeat, actually, sort of wise and very likeable man.  

When he spoke about the Trayvon Martin case and about “The Talk” that nearly every African American parent feels compelled to have with their teenage sons at some point in their early adolescence, he spoke with an intensity and a sadness I’d never seen in him before.  It actually put tears in my eyes to sense how personal this case has felt for him and without question, for millions of other families in this Land of the Free where I live.

EDIT: The interviews, especially of Jonathan Capehart and of an author/journalist, Goldie Taylor, a little past the halfway mark in this 9 minute- long video, I found particularly worth watching.  A few of you may decide you want to take the time, too.                   

EDIT #2:  Just came across this story which sent me off in search for an image I could post having the logo that adorns a number of buttons and articles of clothing I bought ‘round the time of the last election.  “People Power,” or righteous people standing up for something they deeply believe in, is a fierce and beautiful thing.
Embattled Sanford police chief temporarily steps down

EDIT #3:  Not all that tangentially related, or “WALKING ONE’S TALK.” 
When I came across this on the news, yesterday evening, I found this story incredibly poignant (and tragic), too, especially the part that begins at the 3 minute 20 second mark.
Sometimes, this is a really hard world to understand.
I wish for peace for all who hurt….

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« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 04:55:45 AM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #54 on: March 25, 2012, 06:58:44 AM »

Across the nation, Trayvon Martin tragedy prompts parent discussions about the Black Male Code

And not so unrelated…..
Early this morning, I finally finished watching the first of seven DVDs in a set called, “Have You Heard From Johannesburg” featured on PBS this past January.   The DVDs “….chronicle the history of the global anti-apartheid movement that took on South Africa’s entrenched apartheid regime….”

I’ve got to tell you.  Especially after Egypt and “the Arab Spring,” after the Occupy Wall Street, etc. movement, and the ongoing Trayvon Martin demonstrations, watching it was particularly thought-provoking.   It was actually pretty wondrous to learn the details of the good that a truly global movement can accomplish.  

It was especially amazing because it all took place in the days before Facebook, before Twitter, before 24 hour news, and mostly, before the Internet and “mass communication” as we’ve come to regard the dissemination of news and information and very much take it for granted.  

And it all happened, that is, the overthrow of the immoral and amoral system of apartheid because enough people cared about the injustices being wrought upon complete strangers on the other side of the world.  And because enough people, in Holland, in Britain, in Sweden, in the U.S. and India and elsewhere, most of them ordinary citizens, citizens who had the capacity to empathize with others, said, “Enough!”  It truly was beautiful.

And a fair amount less related,
but with common threads and common themes, nonetheless, here was a headline whose wording so immediately snagged my attention, that I couldn’t help but click on the link to see what was what.
(Check out the picture, below, to find out what greeted me as soon as I did!).

EDIT: Possibly of interest to some.  And to those that it is, note, especially, the second to last paragraph.  I hope that the guy from Invisible Children who had the breakdown gets some comfort from it.
Joseph Kony: African Union brigade to hunt down LRA leader

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« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 09:00:47 AM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #55 on: March 25, 2012, 11:32:34 AM »

Jill, thanks for your posts. It astonishes me that some Americans feel there is no such thing as white privilege. Of course it's so pervasive as to be invisible! The Trayvon Martin case is just the latest in a long series of such tragedies. It's heartbreaking. The privilege of not being shot for walking in a white neighborhood with Skittles in your hand is a pretty important one.

I've had friends who were careful to leave me a note on my car when they dropped by, and not approach the house because they might be considered criminals. I've seen first hand that service in restaurants when I'm with a group of black friends is far slower than when i eat alone or with white friends. I've seen the assumption while with black friends that we should clear off, we're just there to cause trouble, something that never happens with white friends. I'm talking about perfectly well-behaved, well-dressed, kind and good people, in either case.

I want to ask another question. Why are our neighborhoods still largely segregated in 2012? My neighborhood has one or two black families, and the rest white. Visiting friends in all parts of the country shows me it's the same all over the US. Why? This makes no sense.

What happened to Trayvon Martin, and how it was treated by the police, makes me boiling mad. This is an issue all mothers should be highly concerned about. It didn't just pop out of nowhere, either. There are many precedents. The Talk has to be given to young boys of color all over the country. Why, dear Lord, why, in this day and age, are we still like this? We have a lot of repenting to do, a lot of changing of hearts. People who claim white privilege and racism don't exist are part of the problem.
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« Reply To This #56 on: August 03, 2012, 04:03:29 PM »

This, from one of the countless thousands (millions?) who’ve happily sprung onto the Gabby Douglas bandwagon.  I, personally, can’t seem to get too much of this story.  

Like Dominique Dawes, whom I’d actually never before heard of before a few minutes ago, the thing that I love most about this story is what young Gabby’s success is going to mean to a whole, whole lot of kids of color.  

It’ll be a long time before I’ll get over reading about the pain that little African American (and likely Latino, Native American, Muslim etc.) kids felt (some still feel?) when they didn't see anyone who looked anything like them in the “peanut gallery” of the Howdy Doody show (or, in the many many many other TV programs) that provided daily or weekly fare for me and the other kids in my generation and those, after.  No question that things, at least, in that arena, are better now than they used to be, but for some of us, there also is no question that there's tremendous room for improvement, still.

The White World of Sports: What Gabby Douglas’ Vault Into Olympic History Means

A Very Long Journey Was Very Swift

Dominique Dawes Cries Through Interview On Gabby Douglas's Win (VIDEO)

You might enjoy the pics even more if you click on them for size....

EDIT: Whiling away some time at the airport.....
This, a story that almost can't help but touch you (me?), is not about *white* privilege at all, but arguably, yes, it's about another kind of privilege and/or the total lack thereof.  About that, and about so much more.  

Heart's with you, young Wojdan Shahrkhani, with you, your family and with all the oppressed you stood tall for and represented.,0,6376401.column

EDIT #2: Whether there’s a legitimate basis to the charge that she unwittingly served as a political pawn/dupe or not, given the risks, and given the nastiness and the very real threats with which they’ve been confronted by some in the more fundamentalist Muslim world from which they come (and to which they must return), I can't help but think that the mere showing up of Wojdan and her dad at the Olympics bespoke a kind of bravery beyond anything that many of us might ever be capable of, ourselves.

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« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 10:38:58 AM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #57 on: February 16, 2014, 11:40:02 AM »

Not everybody is going to agree with my perspective on this and maybe not even the majority of the people still reading here will.  You don't have to.  

It's just that I came across this editorial this morning, and it came close to capturing how sick I felt when I read about the jury's deliberations yesterday, and then, ultimately, about their verdict, or the lack of their most important verdict.

I'm not black and (super sadly for me), I'm not even a parent, but I don't think a person has to be either to be able to imagine, relate or to hurt about this.  At least, I don't have to be.

The parents talking, on the video at that second link, about how the loss of their son didn't feel anything like collateral damage to them brought to mind a poem by the "skunk eyes" poet, Naomi Shihab Nye. It isn't exactly "on point," as they used to say in law school, but it's close enough.

EDIT:  Not at all related, significantly more upbeat, some really great pics and an implication that there might actually be some hope.  Hope, that is, at least for some of us.....
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 12:27:43 PM by Jill » Logged
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