Final Essay

The University of New England is a very small campus in Southern Maine known for its medical programs. The state of Maine if predominantly white which leaves little to no knowledge and experience about racism and the impacts it has. The university would be a perfect place to inform people on this issue because many people of many different ethnicities travel to attend this school, and because it’s so small, voices would be heard.

The athletics department is one of the biggest programs for student involvement. Hundreds of students are on all the sports teams of all seasons. If an anti-racist movement were to have an impact at the school I believe it should start with these students. They have ways to make their voice heard across campus. If they were to make a difference, they should research information on the topic and go from there.

Having a professional speaker who’s an expert in this area would be beneficial to come talk to the student body regarding this issue and having people share their experiences and opinions would be more effective and real for the people who aren’t aware of how what racism does to others. This could make a big impact because if some of the student body were willing to share their experiences it would show their fellow classmates different sides of them and having a friend go through certain experiences makes them realer,

Many people are hesitant to join clubs and organizations on campus because of what others might think or they might not have time in their schedule. I think that in order to get more people to be active in school activities and participate in this there should be times and dates set when they meet and shouldn’t be disciplined if they were to miss meetings. These meetings should be used to discuss different ways to share their experiences and raise awareness.

This movement may be hard to keep lasting so recruiting people who are in the incoming freshman class should be aware. At orientation or accepted students day there should be scheduled events where students are able to pick and choose which clubs they want to visit. This club should have their own scheduled time and room for them to discuss what the movement is about and how to get involved.

When the organization gets started, students involved should make their movement heard around biddeford by going to local schools in southern Maine to make the issue heard, then start making their way across the state.

Like I said, sports teams should also keep this going. Students who are involved with athletics may volunteer to help the club/movement. Perhaps by having an announcement at games or start a march like the women’s march to gain popularity. The women’s march started small and became famous from all of the people who heard about it; it started spreading across the country and still is. If movements like the women’s march can gain this much recognition, then a anti-racist march should have the same effects.

Having a march across biddeford would make not only the student body aware of the movement, but also the locals of Biddeford.

 

anti-racism essay

The university of New England is a very small campus in Southern Maine. The state of maine if predominantly white which leaves little to no knowledge about racism and the impacts it has. The university would be a great place to inform people on these issues because many people of many different ethnicities travel to attend this school, and because it’s so small, voices would be heard.

The athletics department is one of the biggest programs for student involvement. Hundreds of students are on all the sports teams of all seasons. If an anti-racist movement were to have an impact at the school, i believe it should start with these students. They have ways to make their voice heard across campus. If they were to make a difference they should research information on the topic and go from there.

Having a professional speaker who’s an expert in this area would be beneficial to come talk to the student body regarding this issue and having people share their experiences and opinions would be more effective and real for the people who aren’t aware of how what racism does to others.

Many people are hesitant to join clubs and organizations on campus because of what others might think or they might not have time in their schedule. I think that in order to get more people to be active in school activities and participate there should be guidelines yet for times and dates they meet and shouldn’t be disciplined if they were to miss meetings.

This movement may be hard to keep lasting so recruiting people who are in the incoming freshman class should be aware. At orientation or accepted students day there should be scheduled events where students are able to pick and choose which clubs they want to visit. This club should have their own scheduled time and room for them to discuss what the movement is about and how to get involved.

When the organization gets started, students involved should make their movement heard around biddeford by going to local schools in southern maine to make the issue heard, then start making their way across the state.

Sports teams should also keep this going. People who are on sports teams and involved and do some of the same things as the movement. Perhaps have an announcement at games or start a march like the women’s march to gain popularity. The women’s march started small and became famous from all of the people who heard about it. It started spreading across the country and still is. If movements like the women’s march can gain this much recognition, then a anti-racist march should have the same effects.

Having a march across biddeford would make not only the student body aware of the movement, but also the locals of Biddeford.

deep story essay

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.

 

Informal essay 2

Throughout this unit we have been discussing the topic of race and it’s existence and its connect to the deep story. The  blackness project videos, whiteness project videos and Hochschild’s article give us insight on how to answer what they are.

In the blackness project videos, the deep story is about their unfair treatment of races.  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” because these boundaries have been built around the races it creates more hatred and gives race a reason to continue existing.

Narvell experienced racism in the parking lot of a gas station. The lady acting out at him repeatedly called him a nigger and was unnecessary racist. His reaction wasn’t hate but more frustration. We are now in a generation where racism is starting to disappear and when he had an encounter with a racist person her children were listening and will teach them this kind of behavior is acceptable. If this kind of behavior continues then future generations will continue to act this way.

When they watched the whiteness project videos, they believed they were ignorant. Because they’re not black they don’t experience the events they suffer through everyday 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. 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. If one person realizes the effects it has on minorities, then a cycle will start to being. It all starts when people who are racist realize what they’re doing.

Black people don’t only experience racism from peers and acquaintances but they experience it from the law, which is why the civil rights act was created, which Yoshino explains in his article. When authority figure are present, 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 for no other reason other than the fact that they are white. Because racism is such an important topic in the world, many people of different races were interview on the topic.

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 a “ill-intentioned” government. What she means by this is the government isn’t concerned about it’s 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.

If there is going to be an end of racism there needs to be an end of political hate, because I believe that is the root of the problem. Many people are assumed racist because of their views when they’re not. If both parties come together they can stop it.

Informal Essay

Both races have different experiences about how they experience race and how it shapes their daily lives. White people will never be able to understand the experiences of black people and it’s the same way around. As much as we try to understand the experiences of others who are different than us, we never will.

In the blackness project, there were interviews among black people and their experiences. One man, Narvell, experiences race at a gas station when he was in the parking lot. A middle-aged white lady started screaming racial slurs at him. The racial slurs didn’t affect him as much as teaching the younger generations does. He explained in an interview that she did this infront of her children, and when the children see what their mom is doing they will think it’s acceptable behavior and they will act that way towards people in the future.

Race in the United States has been a problem for centuries. 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 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 gonna find it and i’m gonna 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.”

When race started to be affected by institutions of power there is a obvious difference in thoughts and experiences. In the blackness project it showed unnecessary beatings and shootings by police officers. They believe that their 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 occuring. One guy, Nathan, explained that he believes cops are blamed for things that aren’t their fault; his example was Ferguson. This is an example that some people from both races would disagree with.

There may never be an end to racism, however people should learn to cover up their thoughts like Yoshino explains in his article. 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. People who believe that way should communicate their thoughts to the person they hate because they will come to realize they had no reason to.

Deep story essay 1

Throughout this unit we have been discussing the topic of race and it’s existence and the deep story. The  blackness project video and Hochschild’s article give us insight on how to answer what they are.

In the blackness project videos the deep story is about their unfair treatment of races.  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” because these boundaries have been built around the races it creates more hatred and gives race a reason to continue existing.

Narvell experienced racism in the parking lot of a gas station. The lady acting out at him repeatedly called him a nigger. His reaction wasn’t hate but more frustration. We are now in a generation where racism is starting to disappear and when he had an encounter with a racist person her children were listening and will teach them this kind of behavior is acceptable. If this kind of behavior continues then future generations will continue to act this way.

When they watched the whiteness project videos, they believed they were ignorant. Because they’re not black they don’t experience the events they suffer through everyday 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. 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. If one person realizes the effects it has on minorities, then a cycle will start to being. It all starts when people who are racist realize what they’re doing.

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.

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 a “ill-intentioned” government. What she means by this is the government isn’t concerned about it’s 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.

If there is going to be an end of racism there needs to be an end of political hate, because I believe that is the root of the problem. Many people are assumed racist because of their views when they’re not. If both parties come together they can stop it.

Essay 4

Throughout our class we have read many articles about race, covering, and identity. These articles can all tie together to answer the essential question, is race real?

In Yoshino’s article his main focus was covering. he defines covering as hiding your true self from others and instead, portraying a false self. This can pertain to people who identify as LGBT or people who are considered as a minority. Many people of minorities will try to surround themselves with others that are like them, however moving doesn’t solve the fact that they’re a minority and the problem of racism, which is Olsen’s point in his article. We are all surrounded by people who are the majority. This can be dependent on economic status or racial status. We can be doing everything right, but sometimes things are affected based on the fact that someone is a minority.

This idea correlates with Hochschild’s idea of a deep story. A deep story is something that inflicts pain and makes someone feel as if they’re incompetent to do something even when they are performing everything action they need to correctly. If this specific person is being judged on their actions but aren’t succeeding, this can be because racism still exists in the world.

Racism was created for the majority groups to have power over others. Power creates an override with prejudice in this case. This makes us question, is racism a real thing? Some could argue both sides. When someone is treated differently because they are a minority then it depends on the person and what their intentions were.

These articles have helped up answer the important questions about race and what people are doing to stop it. Will we ever be able to end racism is also an important factor in some of these articles because it has become a very important discussion topic in the world, but mainly in the United States right now as we have elections beginning to approach us once again. After we had our first african american president who was in office for two terms, people believed this was a step towards ending racism, however now people believe that by electing Trump we are bringing it all back. But Trump can’t control the actions of others. No one can. The topic of politics and race is written in Hochschild’s article about Trump’s biggest fans.

Perhaps one day we may be able to end racism but I believe it needs to begin with both political groups  joining together to make a difference.

 

Coates and Rose Final Comparison Paper

 

Rose and Coates shared similar experiences between their childhood no kid should have to worry about or experience. Rose encountered a lot of violence and toughness on the streets of Los Angeles as did Coates in Philadelphia. Coates ad Rose’s story both share these identities and how the schools corrupt what the world is actually like.

During an interview in Manhattan, Coates was asked about his body, or more specifically, why the success of white americans were built on looting and violence. The host wanted to know about his, a black man’s opinion, which leads into the story of his childhood. He writes to his fifteen year old son about the violence in the world, “And you now know, if you did not before, that the police departments of your country have been endowed with the authority to destroy your body. It does not matter if the destruction is the result of an unfortunate overreaction. It doesn’t matter if it originates in a misunderstanding. It doesn’t matter if the destruction springs from a foolish policy… All of this is common to black people.” (Coates 9). This quote shows the connection between your body, violence and racism. “When the journalist asked me about my body, it was like she was asking she was asking me to awaken her from the most gorgeous dream” (Coates 10-11). Coates wants people to see the violence black people suffer through from all races, and when he is asked about it, he doesn’t want to ruin people’s perception of what the american dream is.

Rose’s family came over seas from Calabria to Pennsylvania in 1921. That his where his father met his mother. After they had their son and went bankrupt, his dad decided to move his family to California. He had heard that that is where people re going to live the american dream and he wanted to make that for himself. They moved on to Vermont Ave where most elderly people lived and very few kids. Many of his neighbors were committed of crimes like child molestation and on the same street ,bones were found and many people Rose knew died. There were gang members that were three blocks away but they didn’t have much interest in Rose, the least they would do was push him around. “It was popular these days to claim you grew up on the streets. Men tell violent tales and romanticized the lessons violence brings. But, though it was occasionally violent, it wasn’t the violence in South L.A. that marked me, for sometimes you can shake that ugliness off. What finally affected me was subleter, but more pervasive…” (Rose 17). Unlike Coates, there was less violence that Rose encountered. However, one major topic they share in common is a corrupt education.

Rose’s education took place in a vocational school when he was placed their after completing a standardized test that got switched with another Rose.He didn’t understand what this meant as he and his family have had very little schooling. His sophomore english teacher didn’t understand much english so they mostly read the schools required readings such as Julius Caesar. To Rose, school was just a place to learn about stuff that wasn’t as important as life lessons are. Schools implant everything else into your brain except what really matters and reprimand you when you don’t understand something. “The tragedy is that you have to twist the knife in your own gray matter to make this defense work. You’ll have to shut down, have to reject intellectual stimuli or diffuse them with sarcasm, have to cultivate stupidity, have to convert boredom from a malady into a way of confronting the world” (Rose 29). What this quote is saying is that sometimes you have to reject what the schools are teaching you because they will have no impact on your life in the future and you have to understand and learn what is important and pertains to a specific person’s life in order to be a successful and happy person.

When coates was a seventh grader. He says he remembers sitting in his french class not understanding why he was there or what the importance of taking the class was. He knew that he would never go to France and that was a whole nother world to him. “I was a curious boy, but the schools were not concerned with curiosity. They were concerned with compliance. I loved a few of my teachers. But I cannot say I truly believed any of them” (Coates 26). He believed the schools gave us a false idea of what the world was really like, and it was just a place to go and escape from the violence that’s in the world. However, the schools didn’t teach the truth about Baltimore, they hid them. This was the part he didn’t agree with. He experienced life on the streets and knew the truth about walking through them and the people that are involved. The violence would never be talked about and when they try to hide the fact that murders and rapes are happening affects more than just the students.

In Coates’s and Rose’s stories they share important aspects that all readers can relate to. Everyone in their lifetime has experienced some forms of violence, some more severe than others, and it’s inevitable. There has always been someone or something that conceals the truth, but it’s what you do with it. You can run from the truth or you can confront it. This is exactly what Coates and Rose did.

Covering Paper Final

cWhat is Covering?

People hide their identity for all different reasons, when this happens it’s called covering. Yoshino defines covering as “To tone down a disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream,” (479). He also uses the terms True Self and False Self throughout the article in order to exhibit his ideas on covering and when it occurs. After reading his article, what came to my attention most are the two terms listed above, equality paradigm and liberty paradigm. These four terms are essential for answering the questions; In what kinds of circumstances would a person need to hide a part of their identity? What might hiding a part of their identity do to and for a person – both in those particular circumstances and over time? And what might a society gain and lose when a person covers a part of their identity over time?

A false self is when someone pretends to be something they’re not, which can happen for many reasons; popularity, legal issues or protection. In some circumstances they  may hide only parts of their identity but other times they might hide who they are entirely. True self is when someone acts how they normally do and doesn’t pretend to be something they’re not, they may be in an environment where they feel completely comfortable to express who they are. However, in circumstances such as the Holocaust, Jewish people wanted to hide their identity to stay alive. A person also might try to hide their identity at a job interview or an event of significance to prevent them from getting in trouble or judged unfairly. Overtime if a person hides their identity they may lose track of who they are, whether it’s good or bad, or it can shape them into the person they’re hoping to be. Society is exceptional at making people hide their identity in order to fit the standards.

When someone who has a “different” personality hides their true self, society gains a dominant group of people looking and acting a certain way, everything is orderly and predictable. However when this happens it causes unique people to be lost and silenced, when the person could have benefitted a certain cause, we have a loss of potential. “In practice, I expect the liberty paradigm to protect the authentic self better than the equality paradigm. While it need not do so, the equality paradigm is prone to essentializing the identities it protects. Under an equality paradigm, if a woman who wore a lot of makeup were protected by a court because makeup is an “essential” part of being a woman, this could reinforce the stereotype that women wear makeup,” (485). In the article, Liberty Paradigm is defined as “to protect the authentic self” and Equality Paradigm is defined at “Essentializing the identities it protects,” (485). What this quote is saying is the liberty paradigm protects what people do to express themselves and that the equality paradigm protects how people chose to identify themselves, which is why the use of makeup is an example to explain this. Women are categorized into certain groups as are many other people who do things that may not be normal to certain people, however they’re not protected by law.

The Civil Rights law protects a citizen’s race, sex, orientation, religion and disabilities, which is one of  Yoshino’s significant points throughout the article. If there is a law to protect these rights, then what about the groups that aren’t as accepted? “Law is also an incomplete solution to coerced assimilation because it has yet to recognize my raid groups subjected to covering demands outside traditional civil rights classifications like race, sex, orientation, religion, and disability. Whenever I speak about covering, I receive new instances of identities that can be covered. This is Winnicott’s point- each one of us has a False Self that hides a True one. The law may someday move to protect some of these identities. But it will never protect them all,” (486). This quote explains that there are many different groups outside of the typical norms, however a law can’t protect them all from harassment and judgement. These minority groups may feel they need to cover this identity to avoid certain situations from happening.

In society today it’s a shame people have to hide who they are because they are fearful of how others will act. Authority gets involved substantially with issues like these and most people depend on these people to defend their rights, which is explained in the quote, “For these reasons, I am troubled that Americans seem increasingly to turn toward the law to do the work of civil rights precisely when they should be turning away from it. The real solution lies in all of us as citizens, not in the tiny subset of us who are lawyers. People who are not lawyers should have reason-forcing conversations outside the law,” (487).

Covering is beneficial to learn about because we can understand our own actions and if we do in fact have a false self, or if we are trying to hide ourselves. We can discover who we are in certain settings and around certain people. Once we know these things about ourselves we can decide who we want in our lives so we can act as our true self all the time. It also brings attention to what civil rights laws have done for certain people of different classifications. Civil rights laws help minority groups feel protected from hate crimes and the overall image of what their identity stands for. These laws have also helped people feel proud of who they are. We encounter different identities every day we are on earth so it’s in our favor to learn about these things to gain a better understanding of the people around us.

 

Work Cited

Yoshino, Kenji. “Preface” and “The New Civil Rights.” Emerging: Contemporary Readings For Writers, edited by Barclay Barrios, Bedford/St. Martins, 2010, pp. 479-488.

 

Covering Paper 3

People hide their identity for all different reasons, when this happens it’s called covering. Yoshino defines covering as “To tone down a disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream,” (479). He also uses the terms true self and false self throughout the article in order to exhibit his ideas on covering and when it occurs. After reading his article, what came to my attention most are the two terms listed above, equality paradigm and liberty paradigm. These four words are essential for answering the questions; In what kinds of circumstances would a person need to hide a part of their identity? What might hiding a part of their identity do to and for a person – both in those particular circumstances and over time? And what might a society gain and lose when a person covers a part of their identity over time?

A false self is when someone pretends to be something they’re not, which can happen for many reasons; popularity, legal issues or protection. In some circumstances they  may hide only parts of their identity but other times they might hide who they are entirely and a true self is when someone acts how they normally do and doesn’t pretend to be something they’re not, they may be in an environment where they feel completely comfortable to express who they are. However, in circumstances such as the Holocaust, Jewish people wanted to hide their identity to stay alive. A person also might try to hide their identity at a job interview or an event of significance to prevent them from getting in trouble or judged unfairly. Overtime if a person hides their identity they may lose track of who they are, whether it’s good or bad, or it can shape them into the person they’re hoping to be. Society is exceptional at making people hide their identity in order to fit the standards.

When someone who has a “different” personality hides their true self, society gains a dominant group of people looking and acting a certain way, everything is orderly and predictable. However when this happens it causes unique people to be lost and silenced, when the person could have benefitted a certain cause, we have a loss of potential.“In practice, I expect the liberty paradigm to protect the authentic self better than the equality paradigm. While it need not do so, the equality paradigm is prone to essentializing the identities it protects. Under an equality paradigm, if a woman who wore a lot of makeup were protected by a court because makeup is an “essential” part of being a woman, this could reinforce the stereotype that women wear makeup,” (485). What this quote is saying is the liberty paradigm protects what people do to express themselves and that the equality paradigm protects how people chose to identify themselves, which is why the use of makeup is an example to explain this. Groups of women are categorized into certain groups as are many other people who do all the same things that may not be normal to certain people, however they’re not protected by law.

The civil rights law  protects groups such as race, sex, orientation, religion and disabilities, which is one of  Yoshino’s significant points throughout the article. If there is a law to protect these rights, then what about the groups that aren’t as popular? “Law is also an incomplete solution to coerced assimilation because it has yet to recognize my raid groups subjected to covering demands outside traditional civil rights classifications like race, sex, orientation, religion, and disability. Whenever I speak about covering, I receive new instances of identities that can be covered. This is Winnicott’s point- each one of us has a False Self that hides a True one. The law may someday move to protect some of these identities. But it will never protect them all,” (486). This quote explains that there are many different groups outside of the typical ones, however a law can’t protect them all from harassment and judgement. These minority groups may feel they need to cover this identity to avoid certain situations from happening.

In society today it’s a shame people have to hide who they are because they are fearful of how others will act. Law enforcement gets involved substantially with issues like these and most people depend on these people to defend their rights, which is explained in the quote, “For these reasons, I am troubled that Americans seem increasingly to turn toward the law to do the work of civil rights precisely when they should be turning away from it. The real solution lies in all of us as citizens, not in the tiny subset of us who are lawyers. People who are not lawyers should have reason-forcing conversations outside the law,” (487).

Covering is beneficial to learn about because we can understand our own actions and if we do in fact have a false self, or if we are trying to hide ourselves. We can discover who we are in certain settings and around certain people. Once we know these things about yourself we can decide who we want in our lives so we can act as our true self all the time. It also brings attention to what civil rights laws have done for certain people of different classifications. Civil rights laws help minority groups feel protected from hate crimes and the overall image of what their identity stands for. These laws have also helped people feel proud of who they are. We encounter different identities every day we are on earth so it’s in our favor to learn about these things to gain a better understanding of the people around us.