This past week we focused on race and racism. These are very difficult subjects, and the topics of race and racism are multi-layered. Addressing race and racism in the context of a college classroom presents us with a unique set of challenges. But it seems now, more than ever, we need to engage in open, honest dialogue about these issues.
You will be given three possible essay topics to write about. You have to choose one of them. The three possibilities are:
1. In class on Friday, I showed a slide that said, “If we all treated each other better, would that solve racism — is it enough to treat everyone as an individual?” Please provide specific reasons for whatever position you take on this matter. Be sure to integrate course readings into your answer.
2. On Wednesday during class, I administered a racial privilege quiz. The point of the quiz was to identify people with racial advantage and disadvantage. This quiz was like a diagnostic. It was meant to determine if, in your everyday life, you have signs and symptoms of racial advantage or disadvantage. What score did you receive on the quiz? Do you think that score accurately represents the forms of racial advantage and/or disadvantage you experience in your daily life? Why or why not? (Note: For this essay option, you do not have to integrate course readings, unless you believe it is necessary).
3. From our course readings for this week, both Blumer and Bonilla-Silva claim that racism is not just about “ideology” or individual feelings. Citing from each of the readings, respond to the following: How do this week’s readings challenge “commonsense” or popular ideas about racism?
Please clearly indicate which essay option (#1, 2, or 3) you are answering.
This essay must be between 500-600 words. Submit your finished essays to Canvas before 9am, Friday, November 22nd.