Saturday, September 19, 2015

Privilege: Gender, Race, Etc.

Throughout this short book, Allan G. Johnson specifically tackles the issue of privilege and the connection between race and gender. When he first mentions the differences between how white people and black people are treated, it became more and more real for me. I'm white. My best friend Mark is black. One time Mark and I were at my grandmother's house. My grandmother is by no definition a racist, but she does have very old fashioned views that make her feel better than African American people, man or woman. We were sitting at lunch and she started to ask him questions about himself. At first they were normal. Then he explained that he has all half siblings, because his mother had fallen in love with many different men throughout her life. My grandmother asked "Did she pregnant as a teenager?" and "So she isn't married?"

I was appalled.

If Mark was white and he had said that he had all half siblings, I don't think she would've jumped to conclusions, trying to make his mother's life seem inappropriate. She would've assumed his mom was married a few times, or his father had gotten remarried as well. She would've never thought that Mark's family was any less than her family. That's when racism became really relevant to my life, and every time I'm with Mark, I see the way that people treat me better than him. And it disgusts me. Equality means everybody. Black, white, woman, man, straight, gay, transgender, ANYONE. Anyone and everyone deserves equality.

"I felt how hard it was for me to talk about race and gender in that moment- about how the legacy of racism and sexism shapes our lives in such different ways, how my whiteness and maleness are sources of privilege..." (Johnson, 7)

Kim Kardashian Racism Experience

1.)Do you think that racism and gender privilege will ever become a thing of the past?
2,) How do you think sexual orientation ties into the topic of privilege?


  1. I can relate to this in a similar way as well. My grandfather was brought up during the time when blacks were looked down upon. When my grandfather saw that my sister was spending time with people of much darker skin, it drove him nuts. One time he was visiting, my sister brought home a friend who was not white. My grandfather saw him, my grandfather's eye bugged out of their sockets. He just could not image his granddaughter was spending time with people who were not white. It does make for a difficlut time. However, your grandmother and my grandfather were brought up in a completely different time where they were taught that people of color are less than people that are considered "white".

  2. That was a different time indeed, I identify as Black because i've been told that I am many different things. My great grandmother ( who identifies as Trinidadian and African American) is VERY racist unfortunatly. She is also against any sexual orientation that is not straight and she believes premarital sex is all wrong.

    Gay marriage rights being passed just recently is an example of how privilege ties to sexual orientation.