Online Writings and Discussions

Online writings and discussions (140 Points – 4 x 35)

In order to advance our discussions, to push reflection and dialogue, and to otherwise foster engagement, this class will use our course blog space to expand upon course issues.  There will be a particular focus on diversity and the ways in which inequality, differential access to opportunity/privilege, and history defines diversity within the United States and globally.

Every two weeks, I will post a different question.  It will be your responsibility to respond to the question at hand and also respond to at least one peer comment. You will be responsible for participating in at least 3 conversations. The key to success here is both self-reflection and engagement with course materials.  The questions will, thus, connect to course materials but also push you to think about your own experiences.  Below you will see examples of types of questions you may find throughout the course


  1. Does race matter?
  2. How has racism impacted your life?
  3. Is colorblindness the same as equality?
  4. Are all “whites born into privilege”?
  5. If you identify as white, what does it mean to you to be white? If you do not identify as white, what does whiteness mean to you in this society and/or beyond it? Using readings, film, course discussions, and your own personal experiences, please focus on racialization and the connections between whiteness, privilege, and white supremacy.
  6. Describe in detail the racial and ethnic make-up of either your hometown or your high school.
  7. What are the important facts, historical events, legal and political issues, court cases, etc., that you think are important in the larger history of race in America?  Which of these events are still relevant today?
  8. Do people of color in the United States have more in common with people of color from other parts of the world or with whites in America?
  9. How does guilt function within conversations about race?
  10. Who do you represent?
  11. Do you have memories of family or friends challenging racism during your life?  Impact here?  What examples of anti-racist activist did you learn about in school?
  12. What experiences have shaped and impacted your views about race and racism?
  13. Is every person either a racist or anti-racist?  Can only whites be racist in the context of contemporary America?
  14. The injustices and inequalities experienced in other parts of the world prove that things aren’t so bad in the United States
  15. What is the global economy?  How do you fit into a global economy?
  16. Do our dollars give approval to the business practices used around the world? So now the question is what can you do as a consumer?
  17. What are the pictures, feelings, smells, sounds, and words that come to mind when you read the word “sweatshop”?
  18. Are sweatshops a production or consumption problem? How does poverty and inequality contribute to the existence of sweatshops?
  19. What is affirmative action?  What sorts of myths and stereotypes impact our conversation about affirmative action

2 thoughts on “Online Writings and Discussions

  1. Do people of color in the United States have more in common with people of color from other parts of the world or with whites in America?
    This is a really interesting question. I just recently studied in Spain and traveled throughout Europe. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences of how race is approached and seen in another country. I had a black friend in Spain and color was something that was discussed in one of her classes. She told me that in Spain there isn’t a lot of diversity and it was quite rare to see darker people. My friend said that she even dealt with racism, for example on the metro people would stand rather than sitting down beside her or treat her differently in restaurants. With a lack of diversity it seemed that many Spaniards weren’t accustomed to other races.
    When we went to Amsterdam we were surrounded by much more diversity and it was really interesting to see similarities of colored people there to those in the United States. Although they are on different continents, there were things that seemed to only pertain blacks. I noticed this with whites as well. However, to say that colored people in the U.S. are more similar to colored people in other countries may be a little bit of a stretch. Therefore, I think it would be very difficult to answer and measure this question. I think that when a group of people are in the minority they form a sort of stronger identity with that group which may encourage them to be similar to other similar groups around the world. Very interesting.

    • Kari – I was actually wanting you to think about we often think about race and culture without differentiation and distinction? Race as a social and legal construct is very different in terms of culture. Think about transracial adoption and say African American or Asian American children growing up in white families? What about a white kid who is adopted by black parents? How might geography, or class impact their cultural experiences? Would it change how these children are classified in the census; how they might be treated by employers, teachers, or police officers?

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