Essay about Alexis DixonRaceTalks

Submitted By AlexisD22154
Words: 1317
Pages: 6

Alexis Dixon
October 29, 2014
Soc 262- Race Talkin’
Race in Private Research and surveys today, tell a story of an emerging color-blind society. In this post racist world, people do not see people for their phenotypic characteristics. Race has always been a sensitive topic, and over the years society has tried to find ways in which to approach this delicate topic in America. The newest way in which Americans have tried to Band-Aid years of racism, prejudice and discrimination is with this idea of color blindness. Color-blindness is the growing racial ideology that race does not matter at all. According to this theory the best way to rid of racism is to not recognize it, and this in itself, is racist. Some people might find the idea of color-blindness as racist a bit extreme. However, for a person to say they do not see race at all, can be seen as completely ignorant. Recent studies have suggested that we are moving towards a post racist society. As Professor Gallagher states in “Color Blind Privilege,” “color blindness maintains white privilege by negating racial inequality.” Once we start to embrace a world where race is completely ignored, we allow whites to believe that our races really do not play a part in our lives. This researched is based on participant observation of racial conversations. As a researcher I was to takes notes on how the individuals around me talk about race when in private. The purpose of this research was to see if the results were similar to those of national poll data that seems to suggest a growing prejudice-free society. There was one occasion in which my friend, Nick, who is white picked me up from my job. He was excited to discuss a conversation he had earlier with his brother. Nick explained to me that he had stumbled upon a piece via Facebook that showed the “poorest celebrities.” Nick mentioned to me that he realized there were a lot of black celebrities on the list. When Matt stated his observation to his brother, he brother replied back, “that’s because blacks do not know how to finance their money” Nick was surprised at his comment, and thought he would bring it up to me. This comment reminded me of Tom Shapiro’s piece,” The hidden cost of being African American.” In his literature, Shapiro talks about transformative assets and the many reasons why blacks are not as wealthy as whites. Shapiro believed that “understanding the racial wealth gap is key in understanding how racial inequality is passed along from generation to generation.” Interesting enough, most Americans, especially whites believe that financially, blacks are doing as well as whites are. In August of 2013, the PEW Research Center did a survey that ask the question, “would you say the average black person is better off, worse off or just about as well off as the average white person in terms of income and overall financial situation?" While 59% % of blacks believed they were worse off, whites thought that blacks were just as well off as they were. According to Shapiro, “all things being equal, blacks accrue only 1.98 in wealth for each additional dollar earned, in comparison to 3.25 for whites.” Most people do not realize the significance that race plays, especially in accumulating wealth. While mainstream opinion suggest that blacks are just as well off as white in this color-blind world, Nick’s brother showed that this is not true when speaking comfortably in private. Most people see blacks in middle class occupations and think this must be the majority. People see the narrowing of the wage and income gap and figure we are on our way towards a society that is moving in a colorblind direction and the idea of, if you work hard enough you can make it. Though the majority of people might overtly say this, in private perhaps they are aware that racial disparities pay a part in economic success. During the Puerto Rican day parade, the roads of north, and northeast Philadelphia were packed with cars. Puerto