Understanding that racism, sexism and ageism are sensitive topics, all readers regardless of race, sex, or age are encouraged to contribute to the discussions. Open, honest and flowing dialogue is the only way the conversation can begin to change.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Can "Outsiders" Add to the Conversation?

“No matter how intelligent, competent, and dazzling she may be, a black woman in our country today still cannot count on being understood and embraced by mainstream White America” (Jones & Shorter-Gooden, 2003).

Researcher Thoughts - Idealistic in thought and perhaps even naive at times(the millennial in me), I've more often than not believed that I am seen by the world as race-less. I cannot say the same for gender or age; however, the biggest eye opener I experienced regarding race was having a white girlfriend give me her take on a situation.  Her response:

"Hey, you probably were being discriminated against. As a matter of fact, I'm sure that's what happened."

Call it insightful or her being able to see things from a different perspective, but it had never entered my mind that I'd been discriminated against. The only thing that I did walk away from that experience knowing was that I had been treated unfairly, but I never thought about "thy why."  Once my friend described to me who the presumed discriminator saw when looking at me, my basis of reference changed. I was not upset, but more like "a-ha."

I say all this to say, yes, "outsider" status is beneficial because it provides a different perspective, gives new insights and allows "insiders" to wear a different pair of lenses from which to view the world.

What are your thoughts?


Jones, Charrisse and Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph. D. (2003). Shifting: Based on the African American Women’s Voices Project. Harper Collins Publishers: New York.

No comments:

Post a Comment