My Friday night class is on student development in college. Lots of theories, postulates, etc. etc. I generally find most of it to be a bunch of b.s. psychobabble. Not that I completely disagree with the stages and vectors and whatever else they’re termed that we go through, this is just such a departure from my previous educational training which is based on hard science – biology and public health. Seems like anyone can pick five stages, give them a fancy sounding name and then assert that we all go through them. Whatev.
Tomorrow night? Racial and Ethnic Identity Development. Whoo hoo. Should either be a very lively or very quiet class.
Right now I’m reading about Helms’ White Identity Development Model. In her first “phase” titled “Abandonment of Racism” she explains that there are two statuses. Status 1 is Contact. Status 2 is Disintegration. In Status 1, individuals must “acknowledge that blacks are treated differently from whites in the United States. When whites reach this point, they can move on to the next status.” I almost fell out of my chair (here at work) laughing. All I could think was “does anyone ever make it to Status 2 or Phase II, Status 6 (the final status of white identity development).
Yeah, I know, I’m not making much sense. But I’m tickled at this particular reading. So, bear with me.
Seriously, it seems as though most whites I encounter do not acknowledge the fact that blacks – and other racial/ethnic minorites – are treated differently in this country. I often hear about how we all have the same opportunities, we all have the same Constitutional guarantees, etc., etc. I wonder if this phenomena is unique to the South or if people hear the same thing all over the country?
Curious to know what your experiences with this have been and what your thoughts are. If you’re a person of color – do most of the white people you encounter acknowledge different treatment of minorities (don’t get all Census bureau on me, you know what I mean) or do you routinely encounter white folks who will say “yes, you are treated differently?” If you’re white, what are your thoughts? Do you think there is an equal playing field? That everyone, regardless of ethnicity or heritage is treated equally here in America (or wherever you may be reading this from)?
Curious to see what y’all will say, so please comment. Keep it nice, keep it clean. Please. Thanks in advance!
*I use black/white because those are the groups to whom my readings refer. Please feel free to chime in regardless of whether or not you “fit” either of these categories.*