Thursday, March 23, 2006

racism pisses me off.

check out this "exercise". read it, count how many steps you take forward and back, and then tell me what you think. better yet, tell bailey22 what you think. i sure as hell did. here's the little gem i sent his way after reading this garbage:

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subject: what does it mean to be white?????

i found the "privilege exercise" on your website to be utterly absurd. if this was intended to be an exercise to see who in a group of people are privileged, you have failed miserably. this is an exercise in racism. there is no objectivity here. if you wanted to find out who grew up with more privileges than others, why does the graphic at the top of the page say "what does it mean to be white?" i believe a better name for this "exercise" would be "which one of you fits my stereotype of a rich, privileged white person". i did your exercise, and found that i took six steps forward and THIRTEEN steps back. what color do you think my skin is? with me somewhere near the back of the line, your racist mind would probably come to the conclusion that i belong to a race of dark skinned people. you would be dead wrong. i am white. i dont have any fancy, hyphenated, politically correct way to describe myself. i take issue with quite a few of your questions. for example:

"If there were people of color who worked in your household as servants, gardeners, etc., take one step forward."

what do you mean? this question is as ambiguous as it is baited. are you asking if my parents hired landscapers or cleaners, or are you asking if my family owned slaves? either way, my family shared those responsibilities. am i still white in your eyes? my mother worked as a housekeeper. does that make her black?

"If there were more than 50 books in your house when you grew up, take one step forward."

are you implying that just because someone's family doesnt read much that they are poor or underprivileged? i grew up poor, but i still read books constantly. so did the rest of my family. i work with a girl who grew up substantially better off than i did, and other than required reading for school, all she has ever read is cosmopolitan magazine.

"If you were ever offered a good job because of your association with a friend or family member, take one step forward."

i stepped forward on this one. i also have several friends of different races that work here at the same place because they were recommended by a friend or family member. again, is this exercise about being privileged, or about being white?

just what is this exercise trying to prove?

here are my answers to your "processing questions":

1) i took thirteen steps back and six steps forward.

2) this exercise made me feel angry.

3) when i did this exercise i thought about the fact that the people in this country who say they oppose racism are the ones that continue to foment it.

4) i learned that there is another racist out there masquerading his opinions in the guise of diversity.

5) i can do nothing with this information as it is completely worthless.

i look forward to your reply.

sincerely,

justin d.
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what do you think?