Racism - I Was Born a Middle-class, White Child Essays

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Racism and Prejudice - I Was Born a Middle-class, White Child …

Professor’s comment: This essay assignment was designed to equip students with an understanding of academic research, theories, and concepts on race relations and then use that as a basis from which to critically think about, analyze, and develop strategies for change, both for themselves and for the world around them.

This student takes us back to his childhood in Smallville and re-examines with us his upbringing, race relations in his town, his own awareness, and ultimately his and our need for change. He does this beautifully with the use of vivid and poignant imagery, juxtaposition, and allusions. Along the way, He takes us not just to Smallville but into our own
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“A lot of hard work,” he would say. “That’s all it takes to make it.” Sometimes we would stop by Uncle Rick’s for lunch. And some of these times, the conversation would turn to my future. And over bowls of soup, Uncle Rick would ask me what I wanted to be. “A lawyer,” I would tell him. “Hmm,” he would respond. “Lot of studyin’ to be one of them.” “I know,” I would say, dipping my silver spoon into the split peas. “I can do it.” And father would pat me on the back and say, “You sure will, my son, if [Governor] Brown doesn’t ruin us first.” No conversation was complete without some slur on the Democrats. Chuckling, the brothers would exchange “take care’s,” and we would leave to check the crop of some other plump, white farmer.

Thus I was nurtured into a fine young conservative Smallvillian. I deeply respected the farmer who gave work to all those poor legal and illegal immigrants; I went to my classes, did my homework, worked hard, and was successful, just like every good American; I sat at or near the front of the class with all my white friends; I was praised and encouraged by my white teachers while my Mexican-American peers sat in the back, disinterested and ignored. In “Is There a Hispanic Underclass?” Joan Moore describes over-crowded and poorly equipped schools attended by Hispanics.

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