Throughout this unit we have been discussing the topic of race and the deep story. The blackness videos, whiteness videos and article on this topic give us insight on how to gain understanding on these controversial topics. Both races have different experiences in their daily lives; white people will never be able to understand the experiences of black people and vice versa. As much as we try to understand the experiences of others who are different than us, we never will.
In the blackness project video Barbara said, “Race is a social construct, there is no such thing as race; we are all one race. And the ways we have been identified and separated over the years has been a way of further separating us, further creating boundaries; artificial boundaries that define one as black and define one as white. Race really has been a construct that has been manufactured and we don’t talk about that”. When boundaries are created between races it causes prejudice and inequality. Some don’t realize they’ve created these boundaries and until it’s addressed, race will always separate us.
Many interviews were conducted among black people and their experiences. One man, Narvell, experienced racism in a gas station parking lot when a middle-aged white lady started screaming racial slurs at him. The racial slurs didn’t affect him as much as her children being there did. When the children see what their mom is doing they will think its acceptable behavior and they will act that way towards people like him in the future.
The deep story in the blackness project revolves around the unfair treatment they experience. Black people don’t only experience racism from peers and acquaintances, but they experience it from the law. Many times, when they are pulled over they fear for their life and end up dead for no reason. Their other experiences may be in court or any other setting that gives a white person an unfair advantage. White people rarely ever have to fear for their life due to a police officer or other figure of authority. Fearing this way will never be understood by white people.
When race started to be affected by institutions of power there is an obvious difference in thoughts and experiences. In the blackness project it showed unnecessary beatings and shootings by police officers. They believe that there is a lot of racism and assumptions made about people of their color. They are almost always asked to get out of the car and if they make the slightest move, their life could be taken away from them. There needs to be more education and guidelines made to stop these crimes from occurring. Nathan in the whiteness project believes cops are blamed for things that aren’t their fault; his example was Ferguson. This is an example that people from both races would disagree or agree with.
When they watched the whiteness project videos, their reactions were they’re ignorant. Their reasoning for thinking this way, they’re not black. They don’t experience the events they suffer through every day of their lives. In order for there to be an end to racism, people must not be oblivious to the actions occurring in this country. Many of the people in the blackness video want to move past the idea that they’ve been affected by slavery in this generation, instead we need to move forward.
Michelle in the blackness project quoted, “When we talk about African Americans before emancipation, it’s not available because it was never created and that’s heavy. It’s difficult to say in a society that didn’t feel the need to create those records to begin with, the best way to answer that is, no I’m going to find it and I’m going to take those stories back out of obscurity and remember them.” No one can change the past; however, we can set goals for the future and educate the younger generations.
In the whiteness project some of the participants had the same idea about slavery as some in the blackness project. Chaney said that because white people had slaves and tortured them in the past doesn’t mean this generation is as bad as they were. She believes we should move forward and “do good for your own race.” We are not the generation that created and are enforcing slavery, we want to create a future we can move past
The deep story in Hochschild’s article is somewhat different that the blackness videos idea of it. In her article she said that the deep story reflected pain. Someone could do everything in their power to do something correctly but still not get their desired outcome. The deep story is more related to the government in this article and not about the treatment of minorities. Hochschild explains that we are seated on an “ill-intentioned” government. What she means by this is the government isn’t concerned about its citizens but instead it’s self-absorbed.
Many of the Trump supporters Hochschild interviewed grew up poor and ended up being able to make a living for themselves and earn over $70,000 a year. Although the hate isn’t the same they still experience some for being a supporter. “The media tries to make the tea party look like bigots, homophobic: it’s not. They resented all labels “the liberals” had for them, especially “backward” or “ignorant southerners” or, worse, “rednecks.” This article shows that everyone is given labels they don’t like. They are discriminated against being his supporters.
There may never be an end to racism, however people should learn to cover up their thoughts like Yoshino explains in his article. Covering, as he defines it means “to tone down a disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream.” Learning to cover up your true self in order to save the feelings of others is something that everyone should learn to do. If people want to believe in something socially unacceptable, then it’s their decision. However, sharing it with the world is extremely unnecessary. If prejudice people talked to someone of a certain race they discriminate against they would come to find out they had no reason to in the first place. Ending racism is a hard topic to discuss because there are only so many things we can do to stop it. There will always be racist people in the world, but they might not express it. Younger generations then a cycle will start to be. It all starts when people who are racist realize what they’re doing.