Week 1 – Hegel reading response

Okay, this reading made me angry. The way Hegel discussed people of color was truly disgusting, and racist and wrong. It is dangerous language and although I haven’t heard such blatant racism expressed by anyone in my own life, I know that a lot of the same things he says are words used by people today.  But the thing is, this isn’t just calling names. The idea that black culture is a “lower culture” is not only offensive, it must also be very destructive to the livelihood of black individuals in western culture. It makes me think: what kind of effects does this kind of mindset, one encouraged by daily microaggressions and wrong assumptions based on race, have on the black population? It reminded me of a book I’m currently  reading, So You Want To Talk About Race. This book describes that these words and assumptions have a MAJOR effect on the way African Americans are treated. Because of the assumption that “black culture” is less sophisticated than “white culture,” African Americans can often be written off as less intelligent and according to author Ijeoma Oluo, the darker the skin of the African American, the more likely people are to assume this. This immediately puts black Americans at a disadvantage for getting jobs which leads to a poorer demographic of African Americans which leads to African Americans living in poorer communities and school districts, which puts them at a disadvantage for getting higher education, which only reinforces the stereotype. This cycle is based on small, seemingly insignificant, things people say or assume about African Americans, and it has more of an effect on their lives and communities than I think any white person (myself included, of course) could ever understand.

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