Week 7: Privilege – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 7: Privilege

A learning group presentation that stood out to me was the privilege presentation. When I first talked about privilege with a group of students my age, I was at my old community college. In this sociology class, I was one of three black people. My professor had everyone in the class take a survey to determine their privilege. When we were asked to discuss what we noticed, many white students in the class voiced their concerns about the idea of them having privilege. I found myself defending the black perspective and experience in America. This was difficult being one person. The discussion we had about privilege in DCERP was meant to inform and educate. That is what I loved the most. There has been a national pull against teaching critical race theory in schools. For me, being in my old community college class filled with students who didn’t understand their place in society at the age of 19, showed why it’s important to teach about CRT. A common argument is that it teaches students to feel bad about themselves. Yet, if students don’t receive the proper understanding of these social concepts they will form their own opinions from societal cues. This will continue to support injustice, oppression, discrimination, and closed-mindedness. Having conversations like the learning group did about privilege is exactly what we need in all classrooms.

5 thoughts on “Week 7: Privilege”

  1. I also really enjoyed the Antiracism presentation and the discussion we had. CRT is definitely important to teach about, and I think many of the arguments against it are incredibly flawed and illogical. Seeing many states pass anti-CRT legislation under the claim that it is “racist” is honestly both disappointing and concerning.

  2. Raymond Ugaz-Carhuavilca

    I’m glad our presentation sparked some joy! I believe it’s very necessary to have these talks as understanding each perspective is very important in getting an understanding that we’re all different in color but should have the same rights no matter what. Hopefully we will see more schools in the future talk about these important topics.

  3. I’ve also found that some white people get really defensive about having privilege because they tend to have a warped perception of what a privilege is. People tend to think privilege is some negative characteristic one has like a rich person with wealth privileges and not just ways in which one can be advantaged or not disadvantaged within society. It really does require unraveling misconceptions around privilege and anti-racism, especially CRT which has been warped heavily by right-wing media.

  4. Hey Totti,

    The privilege presentation really stood out to me too. Your experience in your sociology class is extremely valid. I know the feeling of, sadly, having to defend your mere existence to a group of people who just dont understand– point blank period. It’s extremely frustrating, and degrading even to see white people disagree with their birthright privilege, while POC in America struggle to achieve basic equity.

  5. Brooklynne Bates

    Hi Tottionna! I was part of the group that created the privilege presentation. Our intention was to inform the DCERP community and help facilitate important conversations about privilege. I am so glad that our presentation had a positive impact on you! I really value both sharing my own perspective and hearing different perspectives, and I’m glad we got the chance to do so during the presentation.

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