Racism in “White Like Me” by Tim Wise

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I enjoyed watching this documentary “White Like Me”, by Tim Wise. What I found most surprising was the fact that Tim Wise was a white male and was the individual in the film talking about the discrimination people of color receive. There were a few other things that surprised me, like the fact that there are more African Americans in jail and than the number of people that were enslaved in 1850.

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The movie version of Black Like Me was another thing that surprised me, the main character was a white man that dyed his skin so, he could experience what it was like to be an African American during the pre-1950s. Even back then individuals were trying to open up the eyes of Americans by producing a film like this, and well I am sure the main character must have received a lot of hate from his own race for taking part in the film. Without a doubt people of color face many hardships.

Whites, being the dominant group of them all have it easier than all other groups of color. White privilege has always existed, as said in the film the first law to be passed by congress once the constitution was ratified was the naturalization act. Which basically states that in order to become a citizen here in the United States you must be a free white individual, which excluded people of color. This is a very early example of white privilege, where people of color were unable to become legal citizens, but whites were. Which now a day is a huge issue and dilemma with the Trump Administration. Furthermore, white privilege is the benefits that individuals receive simply for being white. I personally believe this is not fair, even though sometimes it is invisible and can slip to become unnoticeable. Many white individuals succeed in life because they work hard but regardless they have some type of white privilege involved that has helped them become successful. Individuals of color struggle and have to work hard to succeed, they receive no type of privilege like white privilege.

Colorblind racism, is the thought that racism is no longer an issue and that every single race has equal opportunities. This type of racism does not want to accept the fact that racial inequality exists based on skin color, that not every race has equal opportunities. This concept is unreasonable, because racism exists because of the color of your skin, you cannot ignore that. If people have this thought of colorblind racism, then you will be unable to foresee the real-life situations that are going on in the world based on skin color. Individuals make assumptions or judge people simply based on their skin color without thinking of it. So therefore, you cannot say that every other race gets treated equally like those who have white skin color.

I would like to believe that someday we will be a post-racist society, but we have a long way to go. I believe there will not be a post-racist society, reason being because people of color will always exist, as well as white people. Relatively speaking, America has never really been able to be a post-racist society. It has existed since early years in history; for example, there was discrimination and slaughtering of many Native Americans in early years. Which of course is not talked about and brought up in American textbooks, it has been swept under the rug. A great example of Americans thinking we became a post-racist society was when the first African American President was elected into office in the United States, Barrack Obama. Unfortunately, it was not like that, and has not been like that; today in present day we have a President in office who makes many racist comments towards people of color. Which definitely encourages individuals who agree with his comments to feel superior and correct, since their own President makes racial comments. This does not help with becoming post- racist.

Overall Tim Wise pointed out many things regarding racial inequality that I had not noticed or put much thought into before. It made me remember that racism has existed since many years ago, it is not a new issue we face. Even after abolishing slavery people of color still struggle to be treated equally as a white person. This film made me think why does our skin color matter? What if in the early years of Americas history, color did not matter or if slavery never existed? Would racism exist today if that would have happened? Deep down inside it made me reflect on the acts and comments racist individuals make, making me question why so much hatred is held towards people of color as years go by. I believe we are all human, and that our color should not distinguish how we get treated or what privileges we don’t receive by not being white.

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