Learning in Relation: White Privilege

“Why are we still talking about this? I wasn’t there, I didn’t do or say those things”. Before taking this class I have had those thoughts before, we all have. Not really knowing what we were saying while those words came flying out of out of our mouths and the damage it was causing. I never thought of “white privilege” as having such a major impact on my life as I never really understood the definition behind it.  Being white I never thought of myself getting different opportunities, making it such an important topic to understand. “If you don’t think white privilege exists, congratulations, you are enjoying the benefits of it”. White privilege is often found in the work place and doesn’t hold back white people as it can hold a person of colour. In Peggy Mcintosh’s article “Unpacking the invisible Knapsack”, she points out white privilege in the workforce by stating that “I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time”. The bad apple theory shows the bad side of white people as it shows how we only focus on what negative news that happen to people of colour and never focus on the positive impacts they have made in the world. White people often don’t recognize white privilege. We think that because we also have hard times in our lives, white privilege can’t be affecting us. We don’t accept that others come across challenges in their lives, specifically because of their race.

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Writing the Self 3: Race

It was two weeks into the strange year my teachers call grade 6. They keep on talking about starting to make your own decisions while trying to figure out why we do what we do. So far its been a pretty normal morning, we’ve already had math first thing this morning followed by an extremely boring novel study in period two but thank goodness for that beautiful 15 minutes outside playing some great grade five versus grade six football on the field. After recess when we came back into the classroom Ms. Bradley told us we would be getting a new student in our class sometime this period but she kept on saying how it was important to show him the same respect we showed everyone else in our class. I didn’t really understand why we would treat him different then anyone else, was it because he’s new and doesn’t know anybody yet? More and more ideas came into my head trying to figure out what was different with this student compared to my fellow classmates. While all these ideas are flying through my head, I try and focus back on Ms. Bradley’s very intriguing social studies project she plans on making us do this long weekend, so that’s pretty exciting to think about really. Just when we are about to break into our project groups there’s a knock on the door and a calming hush falls across the room. We all know who’s standing on the other side of the door. As soon as the door opens our principle, Mr. Cuz, walks in and asks to see Ms. Bradley in the hallway for a quick second, once she leaves the room the room starts to fill with quit chatter which is quickly shut down as Ms. Bradley walks in with our new classmate. The whole class starts to look at each other as a young boy walks in who doesn’t seem to fit into our class of 26 of the same people. Ms. Bradley walks to the front of the classroom with our newest classmate for him to be introduced as the class stays silent. As Ms. Bradley finishes with the introduction the class all joins in by saying hello but then he left, I guess he wont be joining us for lunch today. As soon as he left the room I hear someone from a couple rows behind me ask his neighbor if he saw his skin. I have never really noticed it until I started to look around the hallways during lunch that day and noticing that we all look the same.