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  •  Ways to combat racism. (1+ / 0-)
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    miss SPED

    I've found this outline of Tatum's stages of positive white identity very helpful:

    I. "I'm not ethnic, I'm just normal."

    A. "Whiteness" is considered the norm, and so it's never a source of examination or introspection.
    B. While the task for people of color is to resist negative societal messages and develop a positive sense of identity, the task for whites is to develop a positive white identity and a commitment to a just society.

    1. abandon individual racism
    1. recognize and oppose institutional and cultural racism

    C. Six stages of the development of a positive white identity:

    1. contact
    1. disintegration
    1. reintegration
    1. pseudo-independent
    1. immersion/emersion
    1. autonomy

    II. Abandoning Racism

    A. Stage one-- contact stage: take for granted white identity as being the "norm"

    1. unaware of own racial prejudices
    1. think of racism as individual acts of prejudice rather than an institutionalized system of privilege

    A. Stage two-- disintegration stage: a growing awareness of racism as a result of personal encounters with said experiences

    1. This stage is characterized by discomfort because it challenges the notion of meritocracy, that awards, privileges, and the like are doled out to those who are most deserving.

    a. Disengaging-- this discomfort may manifest itself in terms of denying the validity of the experiences, or in physically or psychologically withdrawing from them.
    b. Engaging-- or this discomfort may propel the person in to action, working to interrupt the cycle of injustice.

    1. The temptation to disengage is very strong due to family and peer pressures.

    C. Stage three--reintegration stage: The feelings of guilt or denial may be transformed into anger being directed at people of color, essentially "blaming the victim."

    III. "But I'm an individual."

    A. Stage three--reintegration stage: Another source of frustration is being judged as a member of a group rather than as an individual. This feeling is especially true for members of white subordinate groups such as Jews (anti-semitism), women (sexism), and homosexuals (homophobia). They are troubled by the assumption that they are privileged and untrustworthy simply because of their white identity. Tatum acknowledges that all white people may not be privileged, but she also encourages them to recognize whatever forms of privilege that they do possess, and to use it to combat racism. The same holds true for people of color who may have privileges due to their socioeconomic status, for instance.

    IV. Defining a Positive White Identity

    A. Stage four-- pseudo-intellectual stage: "the guilty white liberal(s)" are embarrassed by their privilege, doing everything in their power to distance themselves from other whites and associating with people of color

    1. whiteness is a source of shame rather than pride

    B. Stage five-- immersion/emersion stage: need for a positive self-definition

    1. resource most needed are role models, other Whites who are further along in this process of self-definition

    V. The Search for White Allies and the Restoration of Hope

    A. Stage five-- immersion/emersion stage: One of those resources is the history of white protest against racism, people who have resisted the role of oppressor and instead been allies to people of color.
    1."an ally"-- Tatum writes that an ally will not "help victims of racism, but rather... speak up against systems of oppression and... challenge other Whites to do the same" (Tatum, 1998, p.109).

    1. Other resources are support groups composed of white people, particularly as whites are working through their feelings of guilt and shame.

    B. Stage six-- autonomy stage: redefining white identity in a positive way empowers one to be an agent of change. It also enables one to be more effective in a multiracial setting

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