1. I completely agree with the statement that Priya and Winona give about race. Whether it be subtle or obvious, conscious or subconscious, public or private- race is a defining factor in one's behavior, mentality, treatment, reputation, economic, social, and political status, education, quality of life,... do I need to continue? There simply is no way to escape "race," because the foundation of the eurocentric and colonial world that we live in is built upon the idea that your value is directly correlated to your heritage, region of living, and your physical appearance. It is ingrained into every human's brain that "race" divides us, that one race is almost a completely different species than another, and our current society reflects that. When speaking about the United States' existence, it is clear that Priya and Winona are speaking of current status and reputation that America holds in modern day society. We pride ourselves on being the most freedom-loving, wealthy, prosperous nation in the world, yet without the oppression, enslavement, and mass murdering of people of color (specifically African Americans), the cohesion and facade that is the "American Dream" would never have been born, and the so-called "great nation" in which we live would cease to exist. Anything that came from America was built on the backs of people of color, and the man-made division of "race" acts as a form of justification for the injustice of their mistreatment. The only section of their statement that I think can be interpreted differently is the idea that race is a "cancer." The only reason I might argue with this is because I know plenty of people, myself included, take pride in their race, history, and heritage. That being said, I'm not sure if this pride can be attributed to the socially constructed concept of "race," or if its rather a pride that sprouts from more personal interconnected factors.
2. #1. Melina- a) This person speaks out about her journey in acknowledging her white privilege and working to dismantle the structure of white supremacy. She feels that as a white person, it is her responsibility to call out the issue and educate others.
b) I think this person's account is noteworthy because it's coming from a perspective of someone who actually benefits from white supremacy and the racial divide. Her story is not so much revolved around being oppressed, but rather how she can stop playing a vital part in enabling oppression. This is an important perspective to take into account because it emphasizes how social reform requires the participation of both the oppressed and the oppressor.
#2. Alexa, Justin P. and Jennifer L.- a) Each of these students recall their experiences in grappling with their race while attending majorly white high schools after having lived in marginalized communities.
b) I think these students's accounts are important because they offer a very authentic look on how the youth is affected by white supremacy and racism. None of these students's accounts start out with them being educated rights activists, in fact, each of them admit to formerly using derogatory language and publicly exhibiting discriminatory behaviors. Yet their own experiences with both white people and other minorities led to personal growth and better understanding of intersectionality, white privilege, and allyship.
#3. Queen Esther- a) This person dives into the backlash she faces as a black country singer, being accused by others of betraying her race. Yet, she is quick to remind everyone that country music, along with most other white-claimed inventions in general, descends from black people.
b) I think the person's account is noteworthy because it connects back to the point that Priya and Winona make about the US in the beginning of the chapter. There is nothing that America could pride itself on had it not been for the contribution and sacrifice of black people. This goes for the majority of places in general, as over the centuries white people continue to steal and appropriate black people's culture and creations, along with exploiting them for their own personal gains. I was not even aware of origins of gynecology until reading this passage, which goes to show how urgent it is that we educate the general public and speak out about these wrongdoings.
3. #1. Textbooks- a) Public schools in Texas use history textbooks that re frame slavery and the Civil War and fails to mention the KKK and Jim Crow.
b) I think more people should know about this because it is an alarmingly current issue. This is not something that happened in the past, it's something that is being allowed right now, and the progress of our generation and future generations hangs in the balance if it is to continue. The fact that people my age are being taught such blasphemy is not only appalling and unethical, it stifles the chances of creating a more integrated and socially aware country.
#2. Positionality- a) Race, gender, and class are "markers of relational positions rather than essential qualities"
b) I think people should know about this term because it upwardly debunks the notion that socially structured concepts are what is most important about a person. In the end, race, gender, and class are what is used to divide us, but they're not what defines us, and I think it's important to remind people of that.
4. So far, I'm thoroughly enjoying this book! It is both refreshing and eye-opening to absorb the perspectives of such a wide variation of people, including both people who benefit and are oppressed by white supremacy, racism, and euro-centrism. Many of the people in each story note that it's important for people to open up their eyes and ears to others's experiences and struggles, and in many ways, I think this book provides people with the opportunity to do so. Even now, after reading only the first chapter, I feel as though I've learned new concepts and have gained a better understanding of the experiences of marginalized groups of people who I might not interact with on a day to day basis. I'm very excited to continue reading on and learning new things!