ERIC Number: EJ831982
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Reference Count: 0
My Class Didn't Trump My Race: Using Oppression to Face Privilege
DiAngelo, Robin J.
Multicultural Perspectives, v8 n1 p51-56 Apr 2006
In this article, the author shares his experience in growing up poor and White and his efforts to uncover how race has shaped his life. As he reflects back on the early messages he received about being poor and being White, the author realizes that he "needed" people of color to cleanse and realign him with the dominant White culture that poverty had separated him from. Moreover, his efforts to uncover how race has shaped his life has led him to gain deeper insight by placing race in the center of his analysis and asking how each of his other group locations have socialized him to collude with racism. In so doing, the author has been able to address in greater depth his multiple locations and how they function together to hold racism in place. Thus, his exploration of what it means to be White starts with what it means to be poor, for his understanding of race is inextricably entwined with his class background. After years facilitating dialogues on race with thousands of White people from a range of class positions and bearing witness to countless stories and challenges from people of color about his own racism and that of other Whites, the author has come to see some very common patterns of internalized dominance. These patterns are shared across other social positions due to the bottom line nature of racism: Regardless of one's other locations, White people know on some level that being White in this society is "better" than being a person of color, and this, along with the very real doors Whiteness opens, serves to mediate the oppression experienced in those other social locations. Here, the author identifies several of these patterns of internalized dominance that are generally shared among Whites.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A