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Born to Belonging by Mab Segrest

Categories Book Review, Books And Reading, Discrimination, Ethnicity, Ethnicity And Race, Human, Life, Race, Race and Ethnicity, Race And Identity, Race Relations, Racism, Racism And Discrimination, Society

Essay, Pages 14 (3263 words)

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Essay, Pages 14 (3263 words)

Page 1: The significance of the first chapters title “Born to Belonging” is that quite actually whites won’t be questioned about whether they are worthy of to be here, living in this condition. They will not be questioned about how they got such wealth and it is simple for them to get this wealth. For instance, his grandfather Jacob with his great principles was able to encounter success. His success sees typical. Nevertheless, there are many individuals of color who have great or much better work ethics than Jacob and still they are not recognized or reach success due to the fact that they aren’t “Born to Belonging”.

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Likewise it is much easier for those of the white skin to eventually end up being part of the white society and ultimately belong. Page 1: What James Baldwin is attempting to state is this. Actually, it implies that White people compose history and make it seem all favorable. Their descendents believe this and are unable to change it because this is all they are fed.

It can likewise be seen in the idea of bigotry and class. The whites tell us that the United States is fair and that there is no more bigotry walking around. They tell us that all races are equivalent and everybody has a sporting chance.

And because that is all that the white people feed the white individuals that is all they understand. But when they are challenged with it, it is difficult for them to change due to the fact that they believe that what they know is genuine.

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Page 2-3: Tim Wise’s main theme/subject is the reality that white people are literally as his title claims born to belonging in the United States. He is explaining about his life and how he was born to be accepted into the society that we live in even when he isn’t high class. He is stating that even if he wasn’t rich, heterosexual, or male he would still be in a better position due to the fact that he was white.

Page 3-4: Tim’s response to the fact that white people are diverse is this. Yes they are diverse. All people are different. They all had different experiences and they have all lived different lives. However, they are all placed in the same level because of their whiteness. He compares white people to snowflakes. All the snowflakes are different, however they all have the same experiencing of landing. So even if all white people live differently they all are still placed above the people of color and have benefits given to them that are similar. Page 5-6: Wise’s ancestor Ephraim McLean became a landowner with his move to America.

Before that they had lived in Scotland as a prosperous clan who lost all they had in the military defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie. The McLeans would gather and then move to America. In America Ephraim gained twelve thousand acres of land in Nashville and North Carolina. They, in Tim’s idea, gained more money by “surveying the land”, relieving the soldiers, and cheating the natives. Page 7-8: In page 7 wise explains about how his Jewish ancestor, Jacob, worked extremely hard, putting in 18 hours of work a day and literally just pushing as hard as he can in order to make his have a chance to live.

He was even able to send his son to a university and make the living space for his children at least comfortable. They have also established a successful liquor business. However, Wise says that even though Jacob worked hard he was able to succeed this much and this easily (well it wasn’t easy) not only because of his hard work but also because of his whiteness. There were surely other people of color who worked hard and even harder than Jacob but because of their color they could not conform and be seen as white while Jacob could. Page 9: The difference is this.

The first experience of racial others is the experience or event in which a white person meets or sees a person of color for the first time in real life. Either their first encounter with someone of different race or their first realization that there were people of other races. The first experience of race is the actual experience in seeing that race makes a difference. By the mere fact of seeing someone of a different race for the first time or being isolated from other races is experiencing race because these things happen because of race.

Page 9-13: He first starts how he was privileged as a white by talking about how he his family was able to easily gain an apartment with the help of his grandfather, who was established way before because he was white. Also the complex was segregated at first and so even after the end of the “apartheid” it was still hard for the people of color to come in. He then talks about how he was able to gain a sweet job which would lead to his stardom as an antiracist activist. But the only way he ever got this job was because he knew two people. Two people he met a Tulane, his college.

And the fact that he was able to go to Tulane was in itself because of white privilege. It was because he was white that his mother was able to easily gain a loan. And this loan was only gained because his mother’s family being white was able to have a house to use for collateral for the loan. -The last paragraph is trying to show white people to open their eyes and help out the movement for antiracism. Many white people talk about how all this is in the past and so they never got the benefit from it. But what Tim is saying is even then the things that their ancestors had is passed down to future generations.

It is not like these things just disappear after they die. And so whites have an upper hand. This means that it isn’t fair and so white people should be helping out to break this racist system. Privilege Page 15-17: a) White privilege is literally ingrained into the school curricula. First it is the white kids who are placed in advanced classes, segregated from the people of color so that it is only the white kids who get a better education or at least one that is more meaningful. Then most school activities are based around white culture, ostracizing the colored community.

Also the curriculum in school is very Eurocentric. The history being mostly from the European point of view. This ingrain of white privilege in schools factor into the attitudes of the teachers. They punish African American children harder than the white children even if the crime of the white kid is harsher than that of the African american kid. b) I think this is very true. I mean if you look these days all the advanced classes are filled with Asians and Whites. Even our magnet program which is supposed to have more “minorities” than whites is obviously overpopulated by whites.

And in the past when I got into fights with black kids I was the one who was always let off easily. Sure I might not be white but it shows that there is still a sense of privilege. Because whites see Asians as higher than blacks and not being ethnocentric but it is true. Although whites don’t really have the backs of asian they put us in a position where we are seen as higher than blacks. Even in school today I can ditch my classes and walk around without a pass and not be questioned while the Hispanic kid right next to me will gain negative attention by the administrators.

Page 18: a) it isn’t a question…

b) Well it kind of seems true. Even for JROTC I see this. In JROTC there is a group of people called the All-City Staff which consist of the top ten cadets in the district. Well I am part of the group and we had to entertain a few “high” officials, including the superintendent during a Military Ball. Well the only white cadet in our group was placed with the supposedly “more” important people including the superintendent. I’m not saying that the personal, an army colonel and master sergeant (both high in rank), weren’t of any importance because I had quite a conversation with the colonel.

However, it’s not like I can get a recommendation from the colonel. Sure I can but what weights better a recommendation from a military colonel or the superintendent? And even with make up tests it seems like whites and Asians are given more leniency with these things.

Page 18: a) White students and students of color are perceived differently in various negative ways. White students are seen as those who will succeed. If a white student and one of color has the same aptitude or talent the white one will be looked on.

And if the one of color catches the eye of the whites he/she is seen as an exception or something weird. Student of colors especially those in the Latino and Black community are seen as likely to fail.

b) Well my opinion is I’m kind of happy that I am perceived as someone who can and has the will to succeed. And that if I screw up it will only be on me not on my whole race. However it is screwed up because I know a lot of students of color who deserve more than I or any other student (white and asian) have because they work harder.

I mean literally I’m not stupid but I act it and even then a lot of people say that I’m still smart. I don’t get great grades but somehow I’m advance in my classes. Sure I am not white but even then being a few level higher in the minority chain I get more benefits. Page 23-27: a) What Wise finally understands after his playground experience is the fact that those children of color understand, know, and felt race even before he heard about it. They felt it before any other white children had and so they were able to pull a prank like that on Tim.

The two children used the word, the very taboo word to even whites, in a way that only those who have actually experienced being treated that way could use. They knew it’s meaning and knew how to use it. And then after this even Tim regained his power. Although at the playground he had no power once in the classroom he had full control. b) It’s kind of sad that kids have to know about racism or even know that they are going to be hated and discriminated against. That they are already having to fight the system and that they know that they are already at a disadvantaged.

Page 31-35: a) Wise believes that debate is a white activity because first off the fact that it is a costly activity makes it some what exclusive to the higher class. Tournaments and camps and letterman jackets are so costly that a low working class would not be able to participate. And usually those who could afford were rich and white because they had the system that had built up their wealth from past generations. Also whites can actually look at war, racism, starvation, and other world issues that they are not facing as a game.

They don’t have to worry that it will go against their principles while those of color do.

b) This makes me kind of sad that this kind of game is made exclusively for the white population. The fact that anything is just reserved to whites kind of make me mad because I thought that anything was open to me and everyone else if we really wanted it.

Page 35-40: a) Wise talks about how whites get to do a bunch of drugs and not get into trouble for it. And during this whole time they would not get into trouble for it. The whites could party and drink all they want.

They could use fake I. D. s and get high as much as they wanted too. Even then all that happened was that the cops would cruise by and tell then to pipe down for the neighbors. However if it was in a black or latino community the response would be totally different. Also the fake I. D. s made by whites were hard to catch and once caught was let off so easily. Wise talks about how in college he started smoking weed like crazy and about how all the other white kids were like that too. The black kids however were scared and amazed at what the white kids did. The whites were going full out with bongs, pipes, everything.

The blacks were too scared and so stuck with jays. Then the fact that most drug users are white but it is blacks who mostly go to jail for it.

b) This is bullshit. I wish I could drink as under age and not worry about anything. I’m not saying that I drink a lot or anything, I don’t. I’m more into wine and such than hard liquor and beer so I don’t have to worry about getting arrested for under aged drinking but just the fact that whites can do this and get away with it is bs. And the fact that blacks and latinos get blamed for drugs and are stereotyped as druggie is bs as well.

Page 38-50: a) Whites are not racially profiled in our society. As Wise tells of about how he was able to go to someone’s house, anyone’s house, when he was lost and ask if he could use the phone. But obviously if a black man asked the same thing the response would probably have been totally different. Also the fact that after 9/11 whites have immediately (not only whites but colored people as well) have immediately began to racially profile all Arabic, Muslim, or Eastern Asians as terrorists who were going to bomb their plane. Even when there was a lot of whites who did things as bad or even worse as the “terrorists”.

And even today a lot of us when we see someone with a turban on we immediately pray to whatever we believe in that he isn’t on the same plane or going to the same place as us.

b) This is not fair at all because it is not only with the Arabs. It is also with all other colors. In V-tech when Cho and in Columbine when Harold and Klebold killed so many people the investigations weren’t about their race it was about what problems the individuals might of have. But if any black or latino went and shot up V-tech the news would not try to cover why the person shot the school up.

It would be more like in.. “In today’s news a black man shot and killed 32 students in V-Tech, people are very mad. He will be sentenced to death. ” But in that news report there will be nothing about reasons why he/she had the intent of committing this mass murder.

Page 52-54: a) The depiction of God and Jesus as white men is obviously an example of white privilege. The fact that the supreme ruler and creator of the universe is white is obviously a let down for many people of color. The fact is this allows whites to be able to connect to God and Jesus more because they are in a sense the same.

And in a sense this shows that white is perfection.

b) This depiction is harmful because it makes blacks and latinos and Asians lose their connection with the supernatural. And some people need this. I’m not talking about religious connection but just the connection that they are something to their “god”. You don’t have to believe in God or anything really. It’s all psychological.

Resistance Page 61-62: a) It is hard for white people to choose to resist against racism because first off they don’t know where to start.

They have little or no role models to help them decide where to start and what the have to do to effectively fight this system. There are barely any well known white anti-racists and so it makes the new recruits feel like outcasts. Then there is the problem with the family. Most white families are socialized to believe that there is either no racism or that it is okay. They believe that whites are superior and that it is okay to leave it this way. They are afraid of talking to their friends about race in fear of being pushed aside.

b) It is sad that it is this hard for whites to resist racism. I can almost connect because in a sense there is a complaint that Asians don’t participate in civil right movements. This is true but I mean who can we really connect to? In the African American and Latino community there is a line of examples and they all contributed greatly to the civil rights movements. But Asians we don’t have civil rights activists. I mean sure we had a long line of freedom fighters who fought against Japanese and Chinese invaders. But this was to protect Korean soil. So I can kind of relate.

Also it is put down for Asians to go against the government just like how whites are put down from going anti-racist or at least talking about it openly.

Page 62-63: a) These three paragraphs show the most fundamental of white privilege the privilege to ignore the fact that racism exists and just go on with life. And if by any chance they do face it they see it as a mere problem that can be fixed in a few days because they have been raised to believe that if they work hard on it for a few years it will work out.

b) This isn’t fair because other people of colors have to live everyday with racism on their heels.

They live everyday with the idea that they might be stereotyped a certain way because of their skin color. Then what’s worse is that the fact that whites believe that if they work on something, even racism, they can fix it. This makes it sound like the people of color who have worked so hard to fight racism hadn’t tried hard enough.

Page 68-70: a) Wise was able to fight racism because first of all he was integrated into the black community. It wasn’t the fact that the blacks were integrated into Wise’s community but the other way around.

I’m not saying that Wise became a wangster but rather the fact that he went to a predominately black preschool made him able to connect with them and actually be able to listen which is essential in the process of anti-racism.

b) The fact that Wise was able to be raised this way is amazing. I think this is the first time I have ever heard of something like this. I usually hear stories about how white parents take their kids out of schools because too many bad influences (the children of color) are in the school. But I have never heard of the parents encouraging such acts.a.

Cite this essay

Born to Belonging by Mab Segrest. (2017, Feb 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/white-like-me-aqs-essay

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