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“The Whiteness Project

“The Whiteness Project is a multi-platform media project that examines both the concept of whiteness
itself and how those who identify as �white� process their ethnic identity. The project�s goal is to
engender debate about the role of whiteness in American society and encourage white Americans to
become fully vested participants in the ongoing debate about the role of race in American society.”

The task is to dialogue with two different people who are profiled on The Whiteness Project website. You

must choose two of the following four people:

  1. The white man wearing blue hospital scrubs;
  2. The white woman wearing Purple Blouse w/silver chain and medallion;
  3. The white woman with long blonde hair and wearing black shirt with white vertical stripes;
  4. The white woman with short brown hair, nose ring, and glasses.

You can agree with what they say. You can disagree. You can strongly object. You can get into a heated

argument. That decision is entirely yours.

To aid your efforts, please read (and reference in your essays) the attached readings: (1) Bonilla Silva,
“Rethinking Racism” (2) Desmond and Emirbayer, “To Imagine and Pursue Racial Justice.”



Laws on never events

The white woman wearing Purple Blouse w/silver chain and medallion
To some extent, there is agreement with the utterances of the lady. She points out to the
domination of the country by white men who have turned to be exclusive. However, there is no
problem with the abundance of the white men in the country. This is because; no one chooses the
color of their skin. People just find themselves in certain pigmentation. The problem is with the
exclusion of others on basis of color. The lady points to the exclusion done by white men to
people who are not white males. This is where the problem comes in. The abundance of the
white males in the country would yield no negative sentiments without the exclusion element.
Although the tendency to exclude others can be said to have been planted in the orientation of
people by their predecessors and therefore hard to do away with, there is responsibility of every
one to put efforts to ensure a correction of this orientation. We are all responsible in correcting
the mistakes done in the past even if we did not participate in doing the wrong. (Matthew and
Mustafa, p260) On this note, with the inclination that the excluding attitude of the white men is
wrong, it calls for efforts of every one to ensure a correction of the same.
On the same note, there is need to understand that the issues of racism, or specifically
white male domination as discussed by the lady, is not a matter of biological component, rather it
is a social issue. Even social scientists acknowledge that the issues of racism are socially


constructed and not based on biological matters, (Eduardo pp472).This calls for understanding of
the past orientations, and not to show the negative attitude toward the white male domination as
indicated by the lady toward the end of the conversation. Gain, the inclination of the issue
towards social aspects means that there are all possibilities of arriving at a viable solution; hence
it is not a matter to be given up on.
It is crucial that everyone does not regard their pain as being the largest. This is because,
as the other people accuse the white (males) of domination and exclusion of others, the whites
feel that they are unfairly accused. With this in mind, it is crucial that every one considers the
feelings of the others and come up with solutions that are aimed at bringing consensus and not
oppressing one side of the issue., It is not helpful to only concentrate on the pain on our side,
rather there should be efforts to understand the issue from the other person’s side of view,
(Matthew and Mustafa pp 260-261)
The white woman with short brown hair, nose ring, and glasses
To some extent also, there is some degree of agreement with the assertions of the lady
about whites and racism. First, it is true that the whole issue is complicated by the association of
white with power. It is agreeable that many people associate the white people with power, and
therefore, the debates of racism and color are not entirely on the outward issues but on the power
associated with the color. As the lady points out, it is crucial that everyone feels powerful and
proud wherever they are. This is because, when one explores their abilities to the maximum,
there is always opportunity to reach the feelings of power in a certain area. This is what people
should work towards and not on excluding others are accusing others of doing the same on basis
of their color.


It is in alignment with those thoughts that there is need to put efforts in addressing the
attitudes of the people in both sides, the whites (majority) and the non-whites (the minority). The
efforts of ensuring that the people in both sides of the issue have positive attitudes towards the
efforts of addressing racism is crucial in ensuring success of tackling the issue, (Matthew and
Mustafa pp262) With absence of instilling the positive attitude, the efforts would not bear fruits.
There would be much disparity between the two sides such that to arrive at a consensus would be
too difficult.
However, the utterances of the lady, that everyone could feel proud and powerful
whenever they are is doubtful. This view does not orient to disagreement that everyone could
arrive at this. Rather, the doubts originate from the difficult circumstances posed by the
domination of the whites that render it difficult for the non whites to achieve the pride and the
feelings of powerful as said. There is acquisition of relative autonomy in the social settings by
the racism, even as much as it is socially addressed, (Eduardo pp 474). This autonomy at times
translates to dominance which is so high such that the non whites find it difficult to cultivate
their power and feelings of pride. With the domination of the whites in all spheres of life, it is
difficult for the non whites to cultivate their pride. But this view is still arguable because; the
domination of the whites can rightfully be said to be pegged on numbers. The whites being the
majority in the country are expected to be higher in number in most of the areas. It is crucial to
look for means of softening the extents of the effects of discrimination even in work areas,
(Hochschild pp 337) Of crucial point is the extent of the domination especially in relation to
power and the extent of the exercise of the pride because, show of pride such that it interferes
with other people will impact negatively in the society.



Works cited
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. “Rethinking Racism: Towards a Structural Interpretation.” The
University of Michigan (1996)


HOCHSCHILD, JENNIFER L. “Acting White? Rethinking Race In Post-Racial America.”
Political Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell) 129.2 (2014): 336-337. Academic Search
Premier. Web. 29 May 2015.
Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer. “To Imagine and Pursue Racial Justice”: Harvard
University (2012)

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