Originally Posted by Jane91
This is a stark difference from that portion quoted from her thesis. So maybe the problem she notes in her college thesis with her "liberal and well-meaning" classmates was, to a certain extent HER perception.
In her paper, MO didn't write anything about people being racists.
Coincidentally, one of the purposes of her paper is to look at whether Princeton's Black alumni experience a change in their comfort levels with each race (black & white)- pre,during, and post Princeton. Indeed, she found that their comfort level with whites increased post-graduation. Which is most likely what happened to her as she became more "familiar" with working with Whites.
To expand upon why she may have had this "perception", in her thesis -she explains that during her attendance- the push in Princeton was towards integration of the races. She goes on to state that because there are distinct differences in Black culture and White culture, a Black student may experience frustration and lacking sufficient support systems available to them while in a predominantly White culture (she explains that there were few Black groups, AA studies, even Black food, etc. at PU at the time).
I also have to add an angle that you're missing-
In the past 20+ yrs. since MO attended PU, with the increase in integration in the workplace and elsewhere - is it safe to say that MO isn't the only one who has changed her perception/comfort level? Many white people's comfort levels have also changed, no?
Unless you're assuming that white people's comfort levels with blacks has remained unchanged since the early 80s.
|Maybe she was unable to connect and felt different because she made certain false assumptions (that they were really racist underneath it all), rather than giving the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe, since she found this to be true for the respondents in her thesis.
Would that mean though, that the only way one must feel out-of-place is with racists and not with anyone else who might not share our own beliefs, culture, and experiences?
Isn't it possible that they unintentionally alienated her?
|And that raises an interesting question -- to what extent is it the responsibility of a white person to make a minority person comfortable in a particular environment?
This reminds me of- To what extent should POCs or people from other countries have to do so for White Americans (or other Americans)? (isn't that our reputation worldwide when we're their guests?)
No one should feel obligated to bend backwards for anyone else if they don't want to. I don't think anyone expects that. But, it's certainly nice when people genuinely extend themselves to others.
Lunch is nice. If the person declines- then hey, that's on them.
|For example, in one of my college class discussions of racial issues, one of my black classmates talked about how the mere existence of my blonde ponytail (and especially how I would pull it out from under my coat collar when I put my coat on after class) irritated her. I was fine but my hair drove her nuts. While I can understand the social/historical origins of her issue, at the end of the day that was HER issue to work out. It shouldn't be my responsibility to dye my hair brown to make her comfortable.
How would you have responded to this if the same was said by a white woman instead of a black woman?
The same way you did, right?