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Privilege, Power and Difference by Allan Johnson Group 4 Chapter Assignment EDF 672-01 Professor Susan Carson

Reading Roles: Summarizer Chelsea Bashore Clarifier Whitney Lane Facilitator Bailey Leasher Researcher Audrey VanDokkumburg Chapter 4 Making Privilege Happen Summary: 1. Avoidance, Exclusion, Rejection, and Worse o One of the most powerful human needs is the feeling of acceptance, which is a key act of privilege. o On a daily basis, think about the way you look, talk, listen and acknowledge those around you because these are key aspects of people feeling accepted. o Avoidance, exclusion, rejection and devaluing are often only noticed to the people who are on the receiving end, as very often it is just a simple subtle action such as: shifting your body away o Editing your speech in a way that could be truthful or sarcastic and the person on the receiving end cannot tell the difference o Repeatedly asking someone if they understand (almost as if theyre too stupid to understand) o Using images of darkness and blackness as negative and light and whiteness as positive o Using slang terms as metaphors for courage o Assumptions o Racism can be subtle as if very often is, but we also see it happen openly and on purpose such as: o Swastikas and racial epithets o On dorm walls o In students receiving hate mail o Crosses burned in front yards of neighbors that just moved in o Churches and synagogues burned to the ground o Real estate agents turning people of color away from certain neighborhoods o Bank officers denying mortgages and business loans o Police harassment (i.e. Neglect in moments of crisis, having your car searched for a DWB driving while black violation)

o Vacant properties that suddenly become unavailable o Ads that target lower class people o Blacks are the most residentially segregated group in the US so they feel like acceptance must be won everyday o Racism isnt the only form of exclusion and oppression-others include violence against women and gay men, sexual harassment, domestic violence (leading cause of injury to women in the US and almost of all females in the US can expect an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime o When such targeted groups get fed up and retaliate they are often called unprofessional or more devaluating names o The problem of privilege affects both our inner and outer lives. It appears through our incomes and how the people with wealth just get wealthier. It shows up in unequal treatment, opportunities in education, work, health care, and in the courts o Jobs are so segregated as well. the workers would have to change occupations in order for women and men to be equally represented across the US economy o Education helps to get past the racism, but it doesnt cure it all. o African American/Latinos with 4 or more years of college are 83 and 61% more likely to become unemployed than whites. o Women do not make nearly as much money. In 2000 women who were college graduates and worked full time made $47, 224 as compared to men $77, 963 o People with disabilities have an unemployment rate that is 12 times higher than those without disabilities and their household is more likely to live on incomes about $15,000 or less because many of the jobs they are able to take are minimum wage, and many of these jobs lack medical insurance. o In order to solve these problems of privilege and oppression we have to first see how it affects us and only then are we able to see a personal obligation to work for something better 2. A Problem for Whom? o Dominant groups show little sign of weakening people who belong to these groups still do not escape the negative consequences of privilege o Considers the damage men do to themselves and other men in trying to measure up as real men o Men will compete with other men to meet the masculine standard

o Insults used by heterosexual men against homosexual men are often used among heterosexual men too to enhance status (i.e. fag queer fairy = wimp wuss whipped) o When a mans manhood is in question (seriously or not) they feel vulnerable o Men want control because control=power o Cultural association between heterosexuality and male power, which promotes male violence against women in heterosexual relationships. o Heterosexuality plays a key role in defining gender inequality o Real men and women are defined in heterosexual relationships o Connection between the male violence against women in heterosexual relationships and male violence against homosexuals o Heterosexual men attack homosexuals because of moral/religious convictions and because they feel threatened by sexual orientation (raises questions about their own) o There is trouble for whites o All the isms sexism, heterosexism, ableism, racism, - it affects everybody and not just the disabled, people of color, women, gays, and lesbians. o Bad News = No matter who you are, the trouble turns into your trouble too o Good News = Gives reason to do something about it 3. And Thats Not All o Privilege affects organizations, communities, and society as a whole. o People so not pay attention/take off blinders to the issue of privilege until a scandal unfolds. o i.e. Matthew Sheppard, 1998 o Organizations deny or are oblivious to trouble. o They try to minimize trouble through a damage control attitude of finding wrong doers, fixing or thinking that stopping them, learning how to spot people before they do wrong is enough to solve problems. o White Male positions, as teachers or bosses, in the world give little perspective to what others go through to move up in the world, they do not examine themselves in relation to the problem of privilege. o It is hard to trust those in power if these issues remain undiscussed. Others cannot learn what they need to succeed. People end up stuck in their positions or having to leave to succeed in a placement elsewhere that meets issues head on.

o Organizations fail in diversity by not solving problems or addressing issues, creating a culture of denial. o Dominant groups complain other groups without privilege do not have it that bad, but they have no life experience else wise to know that. 4. We Cant Heal Until the Wounding Stops o There is a lot of discussion these days about healing and reconciliation that tend to be inspiring to people. o This idea is really not a probable solution because these problems of privilege and oppression arent close to being over. o The only way to change these patterns is to make privilege happen. o There are goals that arent necessarily relevant because they only touch on interpersonal and emotional problems whereas much of the issues are in power and equality in all parts of life. o Being nicer to people isnt a solution to these problems because it ignores many other issues. o We need to get to the bottom of what causes privilege and oppression and change it, not heal it. o Trying to heal these problems doesnt always do the trick; it more or less masks the real issues. o Just replacing or ignoring issues doesnt make them go away. o We need to work together to find the truth through the in the illusions. o We need to understand how the trouble around privilege is thought about in order to make a change. Major Concepts: o Privilege o Isms racism, heterosexism, ableism, sexism, o Discrimination

Questions For Reflection: o Which aspects of society are most greatly affected by homophobia and heterosexism? o With prejudice being so strong against certain groups of people, what can we do in order to target the people who are discriminating in order to figure out why are they discriminating and how we can work on changing it? o What are ways we could address these issues in our schools (whether with staff or students) to change the pattern of denial culture? o If organizations/businesses etc. more accepting of others, who face problems of privilege head on, flourish more, why do you think others still have the mentality to deny problems and continue with male privilege? o What are some other ways we can change how we want to heal this problem with privilege and oppression? o What can we do in our classrooms to help students understand the deeper meaning and the root of the problems rather than just being nicer to each other? Research: o A website talking about strategies for reducing prejudice and racism: o Here is a You Tube video just interviewing some students about how theyve been treated: o GVSU allows students from all backgrounds/sexual orientations to do something about the isms (i.e. becoming an advocate for the LGBT community on campus, provides current advocates and their contact information for students who want to learn more or need support) o This organization researches and surveys companies and organizations all over the United States determining which is the most diverse all around. o This article gives more examples of what males and females can do to change male privilege in the workforce. o This article talks about an interesting study done within a school to get to the base of some racial issues.