Pick ONE of the authors assigned for Tuesday (Fanon, Morrison, Davis). Choose one idea that this author writes about that is interesting to you and, in a paragraph state the idea and describe why it captured your interest. Then choose any two other authors that we have read so far. Now you have three authors. Imagine these three people are on a panel, and you’re the moderator. Write three questions that you could ask that you think would provoke a great discussion.
While reading “The Meaning of Freedom” written by Angela Davis, I became interested in her idea of racism being treated as “individual and private irregularities” in the present day, and comparing it to racism in state policy as it were in the past, as well as the problems that arise from this categorization. She first points out that although explicit racism in state policy no longer exists, racism has deep roots in our society and can’t be treated as private irregularities. We must not act as if racism only applies to certain outliers. In doing so, we fail to recognize some of the important factors when discussing the disproportionate number African American incarcerations. A figure that stood out to me was that 13% of the total population of black men in the United States are imprisoned, therefore meaning that 13% of the total population of black men have lost their right to vote. There is obviously something underneath it all, and when we ignore this deep structural racism, we’re allowing racism to thrive.
This idea that the same forms of racism still exists today can be a hard one to confront. We’d all imagine that racism is less widespread now than it was 50 years ago. That’s why I find Angela Davis’ idea so intriguing. The idea that racism is still very present in today’s society, it just shifted from public to private. I ended up writing an essay on this that you can find under the “Papers” tab. Now that the racism is privatized, it is much harder to target and fix. Furthermore, the racism is still somewhat common within the private sector. Since everything is individual now, racism can go under the radar much easier, giving the illusion that there is less of it. All of these factors contribute to the assumption that racism has been solved, when in reality, it is still prevalent and must be recognized.
Authors: Davis, Brooks, Maalouf
- How does one’s perception of their own identity affect how others treat them?
- We talked a lot about how other people’s view of a certain group influenced their actions toward them. For example, white people perceived black people as animals rather than humans. This made me question the victims’ perception of themselves. What did they believe of their own identity and what was the change that sparked the civil rights movement?
- What’s the most efficient thing we, as a society, can do to combat the deeply rooted structural racism that is affecting the lives of millions across the country?
- I think one of the biggest things we can do right now is to recognize the problem. As I said earlier, it’s so easy to overlook the issues because they’re hidden. Once we, as a society, are able to recognize the obstacles that people are still facing everyday, only then will we be able to take action against it.
- In terms of achieving racial equality, how much progress have we made in the past 20 years, and how feasible is achieving equality in such a diverse environment such as that of the U.S.?
- I asked this question with Angela Davis’ idea in mind; The idea that racism still exists, it’s only better hidden now. In asking this question, I also considered other countries, and why the U.S. seems to have bigger race conflicts than some others. I realized that the U.S. is racially diverse, more so than some other countries. Diversity sometimes seems to lead to conflict–cultural practices and ideas don’t always mix well. It can be a daunting task to try and tackle this problem.