Deconstructing the Underclass
Constructing Race, Creating White Privilege
Pem Davidson Buck
Why is there such a struggle for the average person to be better than everyone else and why are we
willing to step on everyone to get there?
Why is social standing so important?
Why is it that when we give stereotypes people believe them?
Why do those who that are given stereotypes, believe them themselves?
These articles really make
you think of what sort of worthless people we can be sometimes, well actually not sometimes, a lot of the time, we are a very
hurtful species. I don’t think it is something that we are born with, but rather something we learn. And why is that
we learn those qualities?
As humans I believe internally
to an extent our animal instincts lead us to be the best, I think it part of battle of the fittest. Those who are the strongest
live the longest, well live period. Since we are no longer in the stone ages were we beat each other to death (well most of
us don’t) we’ve gone from physical tactics to verbal tactics. For one they have less severe consequences and well
we can verbally attack the same person (or group of individuals) over and over. I guess you could view it as resourceful,
we are using the same resources (groups of people or person) to make our self confidence go up. When people give stereotypes
I think it is an internal protection device from what we do not know and fear, or a self confidence booster. I guess it really
depends on the situation at hand.
Why do we all want to be
at the top of the social latter? Is it because the grandeur that is sugar-coated sounds so appealing or is power? Personally,
honestly, for me it is both. All through my elementary, junior high, and high school years I wanted to be part of the “popular”
group. They were pretty, fun, everyone wanted to be one of them, and they had the power. If they didn’t except you,
no one would. And as a girl, you want to be accepted, you want to fit in and you want to be liked. And I have the type of personality that if I want something, I want the very best, so being liked by the
“popular group” wasn’t enough; I wanted to be one of them. I think it is because you think, if you are in
the “popular” group all your problems go away, sort of like your life turns into a fairytale over night. Now let me tell you, I was never popular in elementary school, either in middle school,
and by the time I hit my freshman year I was popular at my new school, but at the end of sophomore year I got rid of the boyfriend
in which I was the trophy girlfriend, and lost my popular status, by senior year I was accepted by the “popular”
group and that was good enough, at school anyways. Before I continue let me tell you that being a trophy girlfriend was for
the most part problem free socially, everyone was jealous of you and your boyfriend and everyone wanted to be you. But being
the trophy to the boy was tough. You were to be looked at, which meant you must look phenomenal at all times. That means never
leaving the house with out full makeup on. And as a freshman in high school a female should not be taught that, that is how
women are viewed. Moving on. At my place of employment, I am very popular. But popularity in the work place is totally different
then high school clicks. I’m popular because I’m always on time, I always do my job above what is expected and
I’m a good worker and fun to be around. (It helps that I love my job). Now the advantage of being popular at the workplace,
you get what you want. No, seriously. I’ve been with my current company for almost a year and a half and I’ve
moved up and to different departments within the first three months. I’ve gone through four different positions, and
they all are steps up. I wish I could have applied my attitude that I use at work to my school life, but it’s like comparing
apples to oranges. In college it’s a little different, because unlike high school where school is your life, college
is only a little part of my life. These days I’ve got a full time job, a part time job, a full school schedule, a rafting
business I help run, and a family to take care of which includes my boyfriend, his son, and our two Labs. Even though I take
my studies very seriously, I’ve got so much else on my plate I don’t have time to be the “popular”
one at the University. What would being “popular” at school do for me? I’m sure nothing like the endless
possibilities that it gives me at the workplace. I only spend 13 hours a week at school; I spend 25 hours at one job, 36-40
at another, and on an average 20 hours of studying a week. School persons are the least amount time spent with. What I’m
saying is that you’ve got to pick where to be “popular” at to use it to your advantage.
Speaking of advantages,
people sure know how to use stereotypes to their advantage. It seems like if we don’t like someone or don’t know
something about someone so we make up something people believe it. They believe what we make up in our own minds. Where is
our thought processes at? Its like we don’t think about what people label others, we just automatically assume it’s
correct. WHAT? I really cannot say much because, I use to be really bad at believing stereotypes, but I am getting better.
I think the worst stereotypes come out in middle school where there are the leaders and the followers; there are no thinkers
because we haven’t developed that social skill yet. I remember those days, they were vicious. I remember that we used
to call this girl roadkiller (her last name was rohmiller) because of her acne and the fact that she was a whiny bitch and
it was fun to make her cry, but no seriously they name is still stuck with her. We are now freshman in college that is like
eight years of the same stereotype. So is there actually every a thinker? I think so, but you have to be strong enough in
your own believes to stand up for what you believe in. It’s not easy in such a verbally vicious society.
On the topics of stereotypes,
the victims of stereotypes believe them. WHAT? Stereotypes are false assumptions, and when those who are stereotyped believe
them, what are they doing but hurting themselves. They are loosing the battle. They are conforming to fit the stereotypes
by which they were labeled. WHY? Is it easier to conform to an idea than to stand up and not conform? This upsets me because
what it means is that people are still being lead by the leaders. I believe it is laziness. I think you should be who you
want to be, not what someone else wants you to be. I think you really don’t understand the meaning of being secure in
yourself till you reach college, seriously. I’m just now seeing and understanding how to be self-secured in who I am.
It’s scary at first, but I’m a lot happier now for the decisions that I’ve made to be myself and not fit
into the stereotypes. I’m not saying it’s always easy or a happy experience, but at least I get the piece of mind
knowing I’m being true to myself.
The fact of the matter
is that stereotypes exist because of insecurities, and we have to learn how to deal with them. You are what you let yourself
be, not what others ay you are. Be you and be proud of it. No one ever said life was going to be fun or fair, but you determine
the fun and fairness of it all. Choose wisely you battles, use your current situation to your advantage, don’t let a
stereotype or an “unpopular” vote knock you off your horse.