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The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege

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In Jensen, "The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege" he discusses the most crucial support for white supremacy is emotional, not rational. The sense of arrogance serves to keep white people from critical self-reflection, but more important is to understand how these emotions such as guilt and fear also help to keep white supremacy in place. The emotion guilt is irrational and counterproductive, as he discussed feeling guilty about slavery. Feeling guilty over something that wasn't done by us is pointless; a more rational feeling would be sadness. Guilt over slavery is nonsensical because guilt implies responsibility. Many white people stay stuck in the sense of guilt about being white for two reasons. The first that focusing on the abstract sense of guilt, one rarely gets to the appropriate guilt for specific racist actions; it's a convenient way to avoid accountability. Second, such guilt is a way for white people to avoid taking action.

Jensen discusses the fears of whites, and these four fears are fear of losing material privileges, fear of what they have isn't earned, fear of seen as racist, and fear of retribution. Whites don't want to believe that some of their advances or success in life wasn't due to their abilities or talent.

In "Breaking the Silence" by Beverly Tatum talks about how fear can keep those from speaking out about the truth. It is important for all people to talk about racism because it not only damages those of color but everyone as well. Tatum discusses the reason behind some of these fears. People are scared of the risk of losing other's approval, friendship, and approval. "The fear of isolation that comes from this kind of deviance is a powerful silencer." People fear speaking out because they don't know whether what they say will have a negative impact, or they are scared of saying the wrong thing. Therefore people tell themselves that what they say won't matter.

Reading these two articles, makes me reevaluate the times where I was faced with situations where people made comments about my race where I haven't spoken up. I know what type of personality I have, I'm always the shy type and have an anxiety attack almost every time where I have to give a speech. So it is easy for me to see where my fear of speaking up comes from. I am similar to some of the stories told in the two articles, that I am afraid of saying the wrong thing. Even though I am a minority myself, I do not believe I have interacted with a lot of different race. I've always stuck to what has been comfortable to me, and I interact with other Asian race but I've never gone out of that comfort zone.

One of the biggest discussions about race these days I feel center around affirmative action. There are people who believe that affirmative action should be demolish and there are people who still stand



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