Okay, so we started by doing the “walk of privilege.” Basically, you stand in a line and take steps backward and forward based on your response to various statements regarding privilege and then at the end you look at where everyone is and think about what that means. The questions are almost all about race, though, so it’s hardly surprising that the white people are farther forward while “people of color” are farther back. There were a few questions i liked near the end (“If both your parents are involved in your life, take a step forward.” “If you grew up in a house that had more than 50 books, take a step forward.” “If you have a trust fund, take a step forward.”) but mostly it was all about race. If you’re gonna call it “the walk of privilege,” include socio-economic privilege, straight privilege, etc.
We only watched a couple clips from Bamboozled. I hate that movie so much. I know it’s supposed to piss me off, but i still really hate it.
We had the basic white privilege discussion. Recognize that you have privilege. Part of privilege is that you don’t have to think about race. Think about it. Educate yourself. It isn’t other people’s responsibilities to educate you, although there are a lot of people who would be happy to help you.
I’m always annoyed and disappointed that there’s never anything concrete to do, just educate yourself and others and be aware. I mean, i certainly know how valuable that is, i just feel like if we’re gonna keep having these discussions, there should be more.
Yay to Becky (and Lisa) for bringing up various points of sanity and points complicating the matter. Meant to thank them afterward. Stuff like the fact that people learn differently and not everyone feels comfortable at forum stuff like this, and there’s this feeling that if you don’t go to all the lectures, events, forums, etc. you’re seen as being racist, homophobic, whatever. Other people acknowledged that and added that on the other hand, if they see people at events like this they’re more likely to dialogue with them because they know they’re open to dialoguing about the issue. I understand that.
Okay honestly, the whole race thing is just something that doesn’t concern me a lot. And i understand that it’s largely because it doesn’t directly affect me. I’m into queer issues a lot because they do directly affect me. I’m interested in the class dynamics at Smith (as in socio-economic class) because i’m from low-middle class and am constantly amazed at how many students here come from incredibly wealthy backgrounds. But as i’ve said before in other contexts, i pick which battles i fight. And i know that everyone needs allies, that it’s no good if the only people fighting the wars are the people who are directly affected, but that doesn’t mean i have to fight every war.
So yeah, i’ll educate myself along the way, but it’s really not gonna be a priority for me, and i’m okay with that.