The unit we covered in the book and in class the past few weeks was one of the most interesting to me. Some of the topics we covered I was very familiar with, and others I have never given much thought to. The first area I focused on in this paper is the transition that Jewish people had from a minority, to being white, which I have not given much thought. The second was the idea of white privilege, and its implications. The third is rape culture, and how we can possibly combat it. Both of these topics I am more aware of, and has been things that have interested me for some time. I hope to further my understanding of these issues by learning from outside sources and using the book and lecture material.
I did have a few previous pre-conceptions about the different topics I chose. My family is Jewish-Romanian, however, I never experienced any discrimination because of this and have always considered myself white, further proving how assimilated Jewish people are into the “white” group. I was somewhat aware of the concept of white privilege, and was aware that I unjustly benefit from it. I knew it was something that was wrong, and was a symptom of the larger problem of racism in America, however I did not ever think about the extent of it. The third topic of rape culture was something I had the most information on, as it was something I studied on my own and was aware of since high school. Because I know the issue so well, and had already researched its many examples, I decided to focus more on how to combat it.
The first topic I thought was interesting was on how Jewish people got assimilated into being white. The book Race, Ethnicity and Gender: Selected Readings by Joseph Healey had an article that talked extensively about how the United States has a history of beliefs that Jews were members of an inferior race, along with all southern and eastern European immigrants. This changed radically after World War II, when they became the model middle-class white suburban citizens (Healey 365). This made sense to me, but I found an article called Assimilation In The United State: Twentieth Century that offered a more comprehensive view: “Until the recent appearance in the 1980s of the “orphans of history,” the baby boomers served as the touchstone of Jewish assimilation in America... As the group bearing witness to the two outstanding Jewish events of the twentieth century—the destruction of European Jews and the establishment of the State of Israel—it remained bound to its Jewish identity” (Moore). This shows how the destruction of the European Jews and the formation of Israel also helped grouping Jewish people together with the large group of “white”.
The second topic we covered that I found interesting was the idea of white privilege. The book describes what white privilege is as “an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible...