THE PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE
Whites must own up to their racist attitudes: Racism exists as some refuse to acknowledge it
Yancy, George. Philadelphia Tribune. Philadelphia, Pa.: Dec 3, 1996. Vol. 113, Iss. 89; pg. 7-A.
My media item is an article from the BGSU Library. The article is called “Whites must own up to their racist attitudes: Racism exists as some refuse to acknowledge it”. The reason I choose this media was because it is an example of what Johnson was explaining in chapter eight “Getting Off the Hook: Denial and Resistance”. In chapter eight some of Johnson’s main points are called Deny and Minimize, It Doesn’t Count If You Don’t Mean It, and I’m One Of the Good Ones. The article talks about privilege and oppression, and how some white people think they have nothing to do with racism and making black people feel oppressed.
The article “Whites must own up to their racist attitudes: Racism exists as some refuse to acknowledge it” is an example of what Johnson is saying in chapter eight because the article talks about how racism exists and even though white people deny it, think it doesn’t count if you don’t mean it, and they are one of the good ones because they never say anything. In the article Yancy states, “Black people still suffer from the pang of oppression, discrimination and the stereotypical constructions of white people,” (1). Some white people don’t believe that racism and oppression occurs anymore or that they are not a part of it. Johnson talks about “Deny and Minimize” which is when white people deny that they are part of racism or privilege. Johnson states, “When you deny the reality of oppression, you also deny the reality of the privilege that underlies it, which is just what it takes to get off the hook,” in other words people who are privileged and deny oppression think they can get off the hook, but when oppression is denied there is no hook to get off of. In the article, “Whites must own up to their racist attitudes: Racism exists as some refuse to acknowledge it,” it explains how white people who are privileged and don’t think that black people are oppressed, or have issues with race, or are treated unfairly because it is not their problem, they have nothing to do with it so why should they care about black people or people who are oppressed. In the article Yancy states, “Why should I feel obligated to give anything to Blacks,” he argued, “since I didn’t do anything to create the problems from which they suffer?” He also added, “I wasn’t around during slavery and I didn’t owe any slaves. So, why should I feel like I have to give up something,” (1)? In other words a white privileged male felt that he should not be obligated to give anything to blacks because he does not participate in slavery, or didn’t create any problems with them. So there for the white privileged man does not feel that he owes anything to the oppressed black man. The article Yancy wrote is a perfect example of Johnson’s chapter eight because it shows “Deny and Minimize” with clear examples.
I believe that Johnson’s chapter eight is expressed well in the article Yancy wrote called, “Whites must own up to their racist attitudes: Racism exists as some refuse to acknowledge it” because it shows one of the pieces in chapter eight called “Deny and Minimize”. The media article really helped me understand that concept a lot better because it had an example that made it clear for me to follow. I believe Johnson’s article is very important and powerful and should be taken seriously. Privilege and oppression are serious issues and treated people unfairly and oppressed is extremely wrong. In the article Yancy wrote gave a good example of how people do not take those issues seriously and people are getting hurt everyday because of them. These two pieces of writing really taught me something about privilege and oppression, and opened my eyes to a problem that needs to be fixed in our world today.