White Kids: Growing Up With Privilege in a Racially Divided America

This week I attended the faculty book talk, White Kids: Growing Up With Privilege in a Racially Divided America. I attended this event out of curiosity about what exactly this was going to be about because I am a white kid that grew up with privileges and because I feel we mostly hear about African American kids or other minority kids growing up in a racially divided country. While the presentation was very relatable to my own life and convicting on many levels, the one statement that stood out to me the most was something to the extent of, the privileged white can remove themselves from issues, especially race-based issues.  I had never really thought of that, if I really wanted to, I could live in a “white-washed” world and never have to face an issue of race. Yet, minorities cannot and there are places that do foster this type of living. If I were to teacher in a community such as this, I would want to make sure that I was teaching different perspectives and using history to teach students about cultures that they may not interact with. It is important to me that white students do not see themselves as a “savior” or “better” just because they live in a homogenous community. I believe that it is our jobs as educators to help add dimension and a cultural-viewpoints to their lives. The author also said that she is tired of people saying that students and children are the future when they are currently here– they are the present. I really liked this. While students are the future, they are also the present. Students today have the ability to make large impacts on the world because of their access to social media and the internet. The world is large and the students can be connected to someone on the other side of the world in a second if they wanted to. Thus, we must act like students are our present so that they are able to start making positive impacts on the world now. The world cannot wait for when these students are adults. We must empower students with what is right so that they can use their global connections to make an impact today.

 

 

One thought on “White Kids: Growing Up With Privilege in a Racially Divided America”

  1. Great thoughts! I also was struck by the idea of how white people have the chance to “escape racism.” I had never thought about that before. And I agree with you that teachers should encourage students to see things from multiple perspectives. For example, my UD text by Kyle Ward and Dana Lindaman looked at events in U.S. History from the perspective of other nations involved in the events. Some of these were stark contrasts from the way U.S. History is taught in some schools in the U.S. The most important point of this book was to show how our own bias and understandings of the world may lead us to think one way, but to challenge ourselves to see things from different perspectives.

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