Archive for the ‘Class Discussions’ Category

CHRIS:  I think that it’s important to understand the different parts of the word inter racial – I don’t like Dictionary.com’s definition of race or racial.  It’s a subjective point of view.

THERESA:  In certain parts of the country schools are allowing students to choose more than one racial category on forms.  For example, an interracial child can choose both categories.  So it seems that they are furthering separating individuals.

Sue:  I don’t think that further segregates you I think it opens up the options.

Theresa:  Yeah but when we think about test scores how are they going to figure it all out?

JOE:  Thinking about our interviews a lot of people said they choose not to be defined by race.  I thought everyone would have different opinions.

THERESA:  Would have the answers been the same if they were answered anonymously.  I think they would have answered differently.

SUE:  I think it’s interesting that many people have .7 friends of a different race.

MYRNA:  Realistically I don’t think you can be of one race.  Everyone is of some type of mixed race. I believe that the lives have been blended in together and there is no complete one person as one race.

CHRIS:  I believe there is no genetic difference between any distinct race; another person came back with the concept of physical differences in features other than color.

BRIT: I think it was unbelievable when I saw my cousin who is black, her son is Korean and her other child is Chinese and her husband is white.  I thought it was the most beautiful thing I ever saw.


MYRNA:  Most parents teach their children to be embarrassed about racial issues.  Kids aren’t born racist.


Sue:  Regardless of economic class, even if you are the poorest white male/female, you are still considered socially higher than someone of another race.

SUE:  Interracial marriage is a trade off.

SHERI:  What about the interracial marriage between the white man and the Asian woman who is stereotypically docile, submissive and intelligent.  We don’t normally think of Asians as lower class and Asians are attached to the good stereotypes; they are considered the model minority.

SUE:  We also have to look at the population.  (p.9)

SHERI:  it’s almost more natural to see white and Asian together.  They are equally classed.

CHRIS:  It’s more equal.  It’s a value.  So even though Asian isn’t white, it’s more acceptable to be them than with Blacks.

RACHEL:  The two (Asian and White) are seen as more equal.



SHERI:  Marriage is a social contract.  The trade off for some is just being married.

Sue:  Interracial marriage disrupts the expectation of the social contract.  The white community would think of white women marrying out of their race as a stepping down.

CHRIS:  The value outweighs the cost for whites.

WRICE:  The true cost is in your children.  The primary goal is to prolong your legacy.  If your legacy is less likely to look like you then you are not prolonging your legacy.

CHRIS:  Looking at this economically, the social trade off is that beauty or intelligence can outweigh race.

WRICE:  That’s what racism is:  it’s when you project something negative on someone else to make you feel more comfortable about yourself.

THERESA:  I agree with page 6.  Mixed Race children have a choice in their behaviors.  I believe that people will choose based on their environment.

SHERI:  May feel as if they don’t belong to any group-as the article states.

CHRIS:  If the parents of mixed race children decided to come together and “buck” the system, i.e. choosing a path that is not the norm or socially accepted, then wouldn’t the children of an interracial couple also have these same characteristics and “buck” the system?  When you go with someone of another race, it is not something that is pleasurable when in social situations.  People stare and there are certain stigmas that are placed on that relationship.


CHRIS:  If we go back to the mixed race child, consider that we talked about genomes and how these are characteristics that can show up in the offspring.  Hence, if both parents take risks (step outside of the monoracial relationship) then the child will take risks.

MORE RISKS, MORE REWARDS-That’s Business 101. Fryer keeps bringing it back to opportunity costs.

SHERI:  Something Fryer mentioned in the “Acting White” essay, I applied to the missed race essay.  All the risks that they may take may be traditionally associated or stereotypically associated with acting black.  So mixed race children may feel that need to buck the system and act black to show their blackness, especially if they are visually very fair in color.

CHRIS:  Marginal, would probably mean “produces less than the amount



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I was reading my government book and came across a paragraph that,I believe, touched a lot of the topics we discussed in class last week wherein we were forutnate enough to have two guest speakers join in our class discussions.  The paragraph is listed below with a question. Please feel free to answer the question.

” Not only do our parent’s political attidutes and actions affect our opinions, but the family also links us to other factors that affect opinion, such as RACE, SOCIAL CLASS, EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT, AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. How do parents transmit their political attitudes to their offspring?”

Well, I can tell you that growing up, I cannot recall a time where anyone in my family spoke about politics EVER!!!   I grew up mainly around my mother’s side of the family which consist of four women and one male all of whom were born  born in Puerto Rico and all decided to raise their children in Brooklyn, New York . The women, including my mother, were all single women raising more than one child on their own and had no time to get involved with politics.  With that being said, I cannot recall a time that any of them voted. Times were really rough for them back then. Perhaps their decisions not to be involved were due to a lack of education  which, I believe, resulted in a lack of interest. Or perhaps, becuase my family did not believe that their opinions mattered since they were poor single women raising children on their own and did not believe that their voices would ever be heard. Maybe race factored in there somewhere,  I don’t know. I don’t know that I will ever fully understand their decisions on this topic.  I may have this saying backwards “children learn what they live” is that how it goes? Well, I can tell you that I never cared for politics until now that I am in college  and, I never voted until last year and I myself have two children.  I plan to continue educating myself in everyway that I can so that my children can make informed decisions later on in life about their future and be apart of the change that effects their future and not just sit on the side lines complaining about the changes. I won’t learn everything overnight but every little bit helps.  

Schmidt,Shelley & Bardes: “American Government and Politics Today” 2007-08 Ed.

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Vince Wrice: Inability credits:  an individual that succeeds against stereotypes.  If you succeed against stereotypes then you don’t really have to be that good.

Exceeding against stereotypes – to move beyond the boundaries that tie us to specific racial or ethnic expectations

The few people that are willing to cross the boundary are rewarded for it.

Black folks represent the permanent underclass in America.

CHRIS:  It’s socio-economic status that determines your outcome in this society.  Going against the stereotype means going against the socio-economic status that you are born into.

VINCE:  In this society/country we are those people; we are the designated underclass, based on the color of my skin.

Does America have a caste system similar to other countries?

Vince:  There is a caste system in the US

JOE:  There are people rising about that “caste system” and in India people cannot rise above.  Look at Obama, he rose above. However in other countries people cannot rise above their status.


Chris: society makes race real

VINCE: The value of the aristocracy does not exist anymore.  The election of Obama is the rejection of the aristocracy in America.  Globally, America is seen in a certain way – blond, blue-eyed white guy.  The leading two people did not look that way.

JOE:  The 5% controls the 95%

CRAIG:  This could be a huge downfall for minorities and women.  If allegedly he fails at this economic mess, which he walked into.  He inherited this mess but we need to go get the originators, not Obama who walked into the mess.

Sue:  How about going to get the legislator who made these rules who allowed this to happen.

VINCE: It doesn’t matter who is on top, because whoever is on top is made that way because it is a pathology of power.

QUESTION:  Is change connected to color?  Has the media co-opted the “overclass” in terms of wealth and politics based on the color of one’s skin?

JOE:  Change is connected to color – it represents Obama – who represents the struggle of many regardless of color.

CHRIS: Change is connected to color and the color is green.  The people who have money will not let go of that money.  And even if you have to put a Black man as the president of the US, you get to hold onto that color which is green.  The power elite is sitting back saying, “Jesus look at all the money we’re making” while there’s an economic recession.

SUE:  What makes you a valuable person and Pat Buchanan said money.

CRAIG:  We’re delusional – these guys are just pissed off because they have to cut down to four boats.

THERESA:  Most of the cuts are coming from government programs and educational programs and disability programs.

CRAIG: Bill Gates talks to your kids faster than you do because they talk to your kids more than you do

CHRIS:  Society doesn’t dictate what is right and wrong in society, police do.

Jasmin:  A lot of us have to go out and participate in community meetings and speak on the issues we have.  We let others sit back and complain.

Susan:  People of color do not have the opportunity to blend into the landscape like other groups. Previous minorities were able, due to their lack of pigmentation, were able to assimilate into society.

JOE:  There was always another minority group to point the finger at.  If you look at the history of this country, Africans were here in the beginning and used by whites for labor.  Blacks are more American that many groups.  There must always be someone lesser and someone better.

They are adding a classification system.  Oprah’s been around forever.  It’s not the Obama age, it’s the Oprah age.  This furthers the stereotype.

Theresa:  Someone is trying to make money on this obama-age idea.

JOE:  What kind of stuff is on tv when we see the “pimp my crib” shows on tv.

Chris:  If you added all of the NEWBOs up, they don’t make up .01% of the richest man in the world.

SUE:  it’s not showcasing successful black Americans, it’s showcasing the people that will get them the most ratings and the most green.

JOE:  It’s perpetrating the stereotype to the youth, it’s showcasing the dream.

CRAIG:  The ballgame is billions of dollars, not millions of dollars.

SUE:  These individuals realize that these careers could be fleeting, so they’re in it for the long haul.

Myrna:  JZ song – forget about the millions it’s all about the billions.  I have a problem, because children don’t think about going to college but getting into sports and entertainment.

Chris:  At what point does a culture realize it is being bamboozled?

BRIT:  It’s just another way to show minorities that this is how you are going to make money.  The white guys are making the money having little “niggers” making money for them.

SUE:  These people have supposedly taken control of their money.

Joe:  But they are teaching the youth greed.  It puts a false sense of what success really is.  Is it all about money, no.  But the media perpetrates that it is.  It’s a way to distract people from the real issues – essential humanistic issues.  Unfortunately it is about the green.

STEPH:  it depends on what you are allowing your kids to watch.  Are they watching the right shows?  It depends on whether you are gaining knowledge or losing knowledge.  Certain shows will give you knowledge.

ODESSA:  One out of a million P Diddies in the projects.  Kids growing up in the projects, that all they know.  The “hood” is aggressive.  All they know is what they see on tv and they have this dream of rapping or basketball to get them out.  They are scared to step out of the box.

JOE:  That is what they are taught.  They

THERESA:  The US ranks 36 in Math.

Myrna:  After the 4th grade it’s like they drop the ball.  Up to the 4th grade, the curriculum is excellent.  But what happens after that?    Kids that are too smart for the teacher, they want to classify them in special ed.

Joe:  That is what oppression does to people.  It brainwashes people to believe they cannot overcome their situation.  People don’t think they are worthy.

STEPH:  It’s all about numbers-no one is allowed to fail.  They pass and the students know they are going to pass.

Jasmin:  so what is the premise of charter schools.  You are separating  — funding is taken away from the schools.  The kids with the higher IQs are put into the charter schools.  What is the success rate of the graduates there?

CRAIG:  In the classroom, you have a shrinking job force and it’s global.  People in charge already know that the school system sucks.  The parent is responsible for that.  The bottom line is that there is a prison system that needs to be fed.   Successful people only want their kind around them.  And it goes beyond color.

SUE:  It’s “not in my backyard”.

BRIT:  School is a warehouse.  The child is classified because he can’t be controlled but in reality he is doing much better than others in his grade.

Joe:  They teach you indirectly that you are dumb.  Special Ed is a place to keep you away from everyone else.

Jasmin:  What is the ethnic background of those in special ed?

Questions based on the discussion:

1)      Based on the webpage overview and the connection of the NEWBOs to the “Obama” age, is this indirectly asserting that Obama is a coon?

Think about the NY Post political cartoon as well as my assertion that people of color have been traditionally used as entertainment for others.

2)      Based on the discussion about the educational system and the separation based on skill level, intelligence, behavior etc.  how integration failed us?  If so, why?

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Joe:  White is a normative concept all over the world.  It’s pervasive. Under this concept, whites don’t consider themselves a race, only other races do.  It’s taught through the media etc.

Susan:  Differentiated based on culture

Chris:  In other countries, for example the continent of Africa, would white be the normative?  I would think that it’s not based on color but based on tribal.

Race is used as an illusion/delusion to keep the 85% of people, those without “power” in our place.  They want to maintain the status quo. (Joe, Susan, Chris, Brittany)

Susan:  Instead of delusion I would say diversion.  Racial conflict is used as a diversion to keep us unfocused on the true issues.

Chris:  We are a society but we fail to come together because we all want our individuality, such as Myspace.

Joe:  This is based on wealth.  Wealth is the ultimate status in this country.  The more they throw race in there, it diverts the issues.

Betsy: I find it interesting that in the text The Race Myth it states that there is no genetic difference.

Chris:  How we evolve is a product of our environment.  People want to survive and thrive in their environment based on individual needs, wants, desires.

Brit: “they” only let you go so far.  In reality, you can’t get “there”.  Because they want to keep power and money within a specific group, you cannot go but so far.  We are intimidated by the wealthy.  They have the resources and the money to keep you “in your place”.

Sheri:  Information in textbooks is skewed–  misrepresents information about racial histories in America.  This creates false perceptions about people in America.

Brit:  They teach you what they want you to know.  That way they can keep you in your place.

Sheri:  I asked my father why, if the Constitution says all people are equal, then why was there slavery?  He responded that because blacks were not considered humans.

Susan:  Human nature creates the conflict; governments and the people and power tend to nurture the conflict.

Chris: Authority should always be challenged, but more than that authority should be challengeable. Authority exists but what I like to call the “human factor” in everything messes up the ideal situation.  When an authority becomes corrupt, or as Obama says whether it works, should always be asked.  Only recently in the past few centuries have we been able to ask that question and not suffer consequences.  Authority has to be challenged to keep it in check.

Theresa:  A younger black American is not happy about it.  She believes that Obama is a good puppet who has been put into place to assuage the issues that black Americans have.  She said, “he’s not even full black anyway”.

Brit:  “They” gave us a black president in the hope of change.  so, like “she” (Theresa) is saying it can be considered a diversion in the hope for “change”.

Chris:  Obama has been called an Uncle Tom, ie the inability to challenge authority (see reference to Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe).

Concepts to think about:

Looking at the “Urban Perspectives…” article, consider the different construction and/or concepts used to define/understand race & ethnicity.

  • Racial-ethnic theorists
  • Multiculturalists
  • Social theorists
  • Universalists

Questions to think (and/or) write about:

  • Why does race & ethnicity seem to be concepts that are predominantly attached to minority groups?
  • If, as pointed out in Graves’ discussion of race, not proven as a biological concept, based on a study that reveals the people, regardless of “color” are the same at the genome level, (hence, on the DNA level “race” cannot be proven) then what does this say about disease and health?  Are these socially constructed as well?
  • Many of you have mentioned tonight that the concept of race has been used as a “diversion” by the elite or powerful to maintain the status quo for the masses.  If this is true, how is this still possible in 2009?  In other words, from a historical perspective, race/race relations etc. has been used as a diversionary tactic since the founding of America to “keep people in their place”.  Do we still believe that it is the wealthy 5% that is doing this?  Why?   How? What is the benefit of this, now, in 2009?

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