Sunday, March 20, 2016

The American Life Episodes 562/563

"The American Life Episodes 562 and 563"

"Separate and Unequal" by: Bob Herbert 

  • Segregation: (n) the institutional separation of an ethnic, racial, religious, or other minority group from the dominant majority. 
  • Responsibility: (n) reliability or dependability, especially in meeting debts or payments. 
  • Resource: (n) a source of supply, support, or aid especially one that can be readily drawn upon when needed. 
  • Integrate: (v) to give or cause to give members of all racial, religious, and ethnic groups an equal opportunity to belong to, be employed by, be customers of, or vote in (an organization, place of business, city, state, etc.)
"One mother asked why residents did not get to vote on letting in Normandy kids..." -562
     When hearing this part of the story it reminded me of the Kozol piece we read when discussing institutional/ individual acts. Specifically when we talked about the incinerator being sent to Mott Haven instead of the East Side of Manhattan. The people on the East Side were from a richer community and had the resources to come together to vote against the incinerator. The government then placed it in Mott Haven because they had no way to refuse. "Amazing Grace" was written by Kozol in 1995 dealing with this idea of privilege because of resource. The radio broadcast from 2015 is dealing with the same issue. The middle/upper class white community didn't want the lower class black children being apart of their school system; and they were appalled that they weren't even given the chance to vote against it. In a ten year span this idea of segregation between classes and races hasn't really changed. Some groups of people still feel as if they have more rights or more worth than others. 

" crazy white kids are or how much freedom they get to be crazy." -563

     In this part a teenager named Kiana was noticing some students in her school that were white. This  is unusual because Kiana's school is mostly Latino and Black. Although these students weren't the usual faces, she was eager to go and meet them. Kiana then went on to go to a most white college in a small town. She explains to the reporter that she was eager to find out what being "white wasted" was. The quote above reminded me of our SCHWAAMP activity in class. Being white is very much valued in today's culture that even having a good time is related to being white. She gives an example of how at a football game against a rivaling school people were flashing their butts in order to taunt the fans from the opposing schools. While everyone was laughing and enjoying themselves (including Kiana herself) there was still a hint of white privileged. No one was question the crude behavior of the fans because their skin color was white. This was a great example of how white people are held to a different standard compared to other races. 

     These two radio shows as well as the article by Bob Herbert had a lot of really great connection to the texts we have worked on in class. I feel like there was a lot of Johnson in both radio shows. The first one actually says how "we won't talk about it (race)." They found that integration in schools really does help black children in schools to succeed; but no one is willing to put the effort in to it. The second radio show also picked up a lot of Johnson by using Kiana as an example. Kiana wasn't afraid to push the comfort zone and to question issued of race and privilege. She went to a high school where only 10% of the population was white. When she went to a college where 75% were white she said she was very shocked at the friendliness of them. People would wait a couple minutes just to hold the door. She also mentioned that these acts also made her hesitant because she wasn't sure if they were genuine. Kiana wasn't afraid to admit to this and talk about it though. 

The color of someone's skin should not define their privileged. Children in poverty stricken areas tend to have a higher number of black and hispanic people and white children tend to hand more opportunities in schools. However, it is not the duty of either race to "fix" one another. It should be an equal partnership of people working together. 


  1. I love your description under the picture. I completely agree that "it should be an equal partnership of people working together". Everyone should have the same opportunities, but sadly that is not how the world works now a days.

  2. I also believe that the readings and radio shows had a lot of Johnson in them. And that with integration of people of color in white communities helps people of color succeed to be better. If students stayed in a low poverty school with a bunch of disadvantages the students would not get anything from the experience. They need to be pushed to be better.

  3. You did a really great job of discussing the main topics and what you think about them in your own words. Also, I really like that you defined important words at the top of your blog. Very helpful & a great idea!

  4. You did a great job explaining the quotes and making connections to the text we have read in class so far. I agree with each example and the connections you made to them from previous texts as well. Oh by the way, I used your blog this week for mine! :) Great Job!

  5. Kate, fIrst I like how you included those vocab words at the beginning of your blog, it was really helpful. Although they are rather easy vocab words, having the exact definitions while reading your post helped me to understand more clearly. I was really drawn to the second quote that you included from 563. When I was listening to this episode that part really stood out to me because it is a perfect example of white privilege. White students have way more freedom to do crazy things and misbehave, as compared to black students. If a group of black students behaved like that...unfortunately there would be serious consequences. Thats just the way it is. It's frustrating!!