Making Privilege And Oppression Happen By Allan G. Johnson

773 Words 4 Pages
In “Making Privilege and Oppression Happen” in the book Privilege, Power, and Difference, by Allan G. Johnson, he writes how privilege is maintained by discriminating people of different categories and treating them unequally, acting act discriminatory behavior and justifying it. Outright discrimination is not always seen to those acting out discriminatory behavior, but evident to the victims of these unfair treatments. This can be seen in implicit bias, defined by Johnson to be unconscious discrimination. Johnson mentions an Australian study that shows white people are more likely to get a free bus ride, if in need, then people of color, even if dressed “appropriately.” To the bus driver, not giving people of color free rides, is doing the …show more content…
Johnson also writes how microaggressions, aside from implicit bias, by the dominant group continues to perpetuate discriminatory behavior. This can be seen in questions such as, “What are you” (Johnson 48)? To the perpetrator, this may seem like a harmless question, but to the person of color, this question is marginalizing. The effects of this form of microaggression mentioned by Allan Johnson, can be seen in the work of biracial spoken word poet, Anthony McPherson. In the poem, McPherson plays different characters. He jumps from the narrative seen in both sides of the racial border, to himself, as a biracial person of color. He opens the poem yelling, “What are you, what are you, oh my god what are you?” To which he responds, “I am Anthony, nice to” but cuts himself off and says, “No, no, no … what are you really?” He ends the poem with, “... You didn’t even ask me my name, you just cut off the woodworks, what are you, I am the answer to that question before it ever formed in you inconsiderate lips. But riddle me this, half of me is going to slap you jaword. Which half will it be? My fuck half or my you …show more content…
When “avoidance, exclusion, rejection, and devaluing often happens…[in subtle ways]” (Johnson 50). It goes unnoticed to those who are privileged, sometimes not purposefully intending to be harmful. However, to the those experiencing it, it becomes prejudicial. These subtle prejudices can be seen in your gaze, the way you edit your speech, and/or in effusive praises, such as “You speak english well!” (Johnson 50). Also, in the way you equate whiteness with positivity and blackness with negativity; or, use gay as an insult and having balls as a symbol for courage (Johnson 50). In “Invisibilia”, a podcast from NPR by Hanna Rosin, Alix Spiegel, and Lulu Miller, about the intangible things that move our society, they touch upon these implicit bias in the episode, “The Culture Inside.” They talked about a psychologist named Tony Greenwood that created a study that measured implicit bias. He did this by recording the behavior of grouping words together. For example, if the word cake and delicious are generated through a computer, it is easy to group the two words together because of our understanding or previous experience with the two concepts. However, if the words manure and joy came up, it would take longer to group the two together because we do not usually associate the two with one another. This revealed one's attitude. With this in mind, they ask what would happen if you changed cake to black

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