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ECS 100-The Stigma of Race & Exploring Whiteness

The power behind white identity is directly reliant on structural and systematic racism. We live in a society where white people are the control group.  This means that society is built for white people. The structural and systematic make of our country has been designed to best suit the control group, creating racial equality.

 The society we grow up in is overwhelmed with White Fragility Dr DiAngelo explains it as “giving us the inability to cope with conversations about race that don’t protect individual white people’s sense of innocence”. (Dr. DiAngelo)  

We are always taught that we as white people are innocent and pure and that we don’t contribute to the racism. It’s easy to say you don’t contribute to race when race is viewed as an individual binary: Racist or not racist. This binary makes it easy for every white person to choose “not racist” and dodge having the conversations about race that we aren’t prepared for. 

Myself being a white Canadian I have never really explored race. I grew up in a small town with very little diversity. Before coming to university, I was very unknowledgeable about whiteness, white privilege, and race. This course has brought lots of uncomfortable conversations for lots of us myself included. However, I am glad to have been able to have these discussions in such a safe learning environment. I wish I would have gained this knowledge in grade school. Being uncomfortable pushed me into new territory on many topics allowing me to understand and explore views that differed from my own. 

In this course we have had lots of opportunity to exploring whiteness and racism. We have been encouraged to have uncomfortable conversations forcing us to consider new perspectives. Do you feel you have been able to examine race in a new perspective? As a future teacher are you prepared to recognize systematic racism in a classroom?  Would it be an advantage to discuss race at a younger age or is university the appropriate time?

5 Comments

  1. reeceshillington

    I think that most white people (including myself) don’t really take time to explore race because most of us aren’t impacted in a negative way by it. It’s almost like a blissful ignorance. I also think that most people who come from small Saskatchewan towns experience such a small amount of diversity growing up so it is important to ask yourself the questions at the end. Very insightful post.

    • Amberlee Dayman

      I would agree that where you grow up really does impact how you respond to diversity and your experiences with diversity.

  2. Madi M

    This is a great post! I liked that you included questions at the end of the post to allow the reader to think about the issue and have their own opinions on the matter. After reading this, I agree that it is easy for many to equate whiteness with innocence and when things disrupt that it leads people to become very uncomfortable and that it is difficult to admit when someone has done or said something “racist”. I found that the way you explained how race is viewed as an individual binary (racist or not racist) was very insightful and allowed me to understand how easy it can be for people to say that they are not racist and whether or not that’s really true. Overall great post, thanks for sharing your ideas!

  3. Bailey's Ecs 110 Blog

    Good job acknowledging that you were uneducated to the topic before moving out of your hometown. I think lots of students have a similar experience growing up on the Praries. “Would it be an advantage to discusss race at younger age or is university the appropriate time?” My answer would be in highschol I feeel as if I would have benefitied from more conversations about race. It would have also prepared me to know how to be culturally sensetive.

    • Amberlee Dayman

      Hey Bailey, I totally agree I think it would be very beneficial to discuss race in high school so its not such a big exposure for small town people when they get to university.

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