I can't help but acknowledge the statistical effect of White Privilege, but..
Would you say that standardized tests are slanted, not so much racially as towards a more affluent segment of the population? I recall reading examples of questions which seem to exploit (favor with correct answers) the mentality of more 'well to do' groups, which statistically tend to be white.. eLuddite, I don't know your race, nor do I really care to - I prefer that it not matter - but what's your opinion?
Also, a little background on me:
I am an immigrant child of immigrant parents. I'm a "dumb Polack". I'm white, but I'm no more Caucasian by US standards than a Kenyan-born Black is "African American". I've heard the jokes and been held to the stereotypes. I refuse to believe that my Master's degree and well paying job have any more to do with my skin color than with with the fact that I have "good hair".
A (white, and Polish) friend of mine has this theory that people with 'good hair' are given breaks while people with'bad hair' are thwarted - same as thin people vs fat people... I've yet to disprove this theory. Attractive people do seem to be treated better than ugly ones - and that's just human nature, isn't it?
Anyway, all the jocks (uh-oh, it's Jon Katz in disguise! Run!) who gave me a hard time as a child, now work as bank tellers, real estate agents, and used car salesmen, and they have to compete for my easily spent money.
Yes, I went to a private H.S. Yes, I was made to wear a certain style of clothes which I feel gave me an edge. While my friends were running around in torn jeans and Metallica T-shirts, I would show up at job interviews, fresh after school, in an oxford and tie.. I learned that appearance matters - but not to judge people by their appearance.
So yes, certain expectations of success were imposed on me, but so were stereotypical expectations of failure. By all accounts, I should be a blue collar, bowling shirt wearing, wife beating drunk. But I'm not. Maybe it has something to do with upbringing offsetting societal norms, maybe it's an innate need to prove people wrong.. I don't know,but here I am, a persecuted minority among whites.
No, I don't know what it's like to be black - maybe it's immeasurably worse than my situation, maybe it's comparable, but I still doubt a great deal in the hypnotizing power of suggestion when applied to the individual. Masses may be mesmerized by the expectations that society holds of an individual, but individuals choose how they proceed through life. For every 'dumb niger' there is a W.E.B. DuBois who just needs to choose to become, and that choice is made by the individual, not by society, no matter how antagonistic towards the individual that society is.
But I'm just a dumb Polack.. What do I know?
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