End of the book:

Discussion Questions

1. What is racism, prejudice, and discrimination?

1. What is racism, prejudice, and discrimination?

Racism can be defined as a system of oppression based on racial/ethnic group designations in which a pervasive ideology of racial superiority and inferiority provides the foundation for structural inequalities, intergroup conflict, discrimination, and prejudice. Racism, like all systems of oppression, is based on power asymmetries such that the dominant group is granted unearned privileges, such as respect and esteem, social validation and affirmation, opportunities and rewards, freedoms and safety, and greater access to valued societal resources.

    Racial discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes are the building blocks as well as the products of racism. Stereotypes are cognitive overgeneralizations, the labels associated with different groups. Prejudice is an attitude formed about a group of people without adequate evidence. When prejudgment is added to stereotypes, racial prejudice exists. Racial discrimination is differential treatment and behavior based on race. When action is added to racial prejudice, discriminatory behaviors are manifested.

Racism is a systemic process.

When power asymmetry is added to racial discrimination, the system of racism is operating.

Racism and discrimination are manifested at multiple levels, including cultural, institutional, interpersonal, and individual. Racism and discrimination at the cultural level are reflected in the ideology of European American supremacy and can be seen in the cultural expressions and products of a society, such as art, literature, science, cinema, values, and standards of beauty and attractiveness.

Racism and discrimination at the institutional level are expressed through the structures, policies, and practices of societal institutions such as the criminal justice, education, health care, political, and economic systems. Systematic disparities between racial/ethnic groups on outcomes reflect institutional racism. Racism and discrimination at the interpersonal level can be seen in interactions between individuals and relations between groups. Racism at the individual level is expressed in the beliefs, attitudes, and discriminatory behaviors of people.

Harrell, S. P., & Sloan-Pena, G. (2006). Racism and discrimination. In Y. Jackson, Encyclopedia of multicultural psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/sagemultip/racism_and_discrimination/0?institutionId=5072

    Goodman & Rowe (2014) assert that there exists a problem  in the way the terms and concepts of 'prejudice' and 'racism' are used within social psychology, including discursive psychology, in that the two are often used interchangably. 

    Those who do make accusations of racism are open to criticism for what Lewis (2004) describes as "playing the race card" and for being unfair. 

Goodman, S., & Rowe, L. (2014). 'Maybe it is prejudice... but it is NOT racism': Negotiating racism in discussion forums about Gypsies. Discourse & Society, 25(1), 32-46. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24441578

2. Explore the concept of white privilege 


an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day,but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious.

--Peggy McIntosh

*Refer to "Unpacking the Invisble Knapsack: White Privilege" by Peggy McIntosh 

    According to Webster's dictionary, privilege is defined as "the right or immunity enjoyed by a person or persons beyond the common advantages of others; the principle or condition of enjoying special rights or immunities (Finnegan, Heisler, Miller, & Usery 1981, p. 1187). This broad definition of privilege can be extended to the concept of racial privilege, or more specifically, white privilege. White privilege results from an identifiable racial hiearchy that creates a system of social advantages or "special rights" for whites based primarily on race rather tham merit. Thus as suggested by several social scientists (e.g. Bonilla-Silva, 1996, Helms, 1995) within this racial hierachy, whites are assumed to be entitled to more than an equitable share in the allocation of resources and opportunities. It is defined as an expression of power arising from receipts of benefits, rights, and immunities, and in characterized by unearned advantages and a sense of entitlement that results in both societal and material domincance by whites over people of color. These unearned advantages are invisible and often unacknowledged by those who benefit. The usurped power is conferred, maintained, and reinforced by  a cultural constucted set of symbols and and protocols (or societal norms) acting as sanctions for the expression of privilege. (Neville, Worthington, & Spanierman, 2001). 

Neville, Helen & L. Worthington, Roger & Spanierman, Lisa. (2001). Race, power, and multicultural counseling psychology: Understanding white privilege and color-blind racial attitudes.. 

    White privilege includes cultural affirmations of one's own worth; presumed greater social status; and freedom to move, buy, work, play, and speak freely. The effects can be seen in professional, educational, and personal contexts. The concept of white privilege also implies the right to assume the universality of one's own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal.[2][3]. White dominance functions invisibly and systemically to confer power and privilege. 

Curran, C. E. (2005). White privilege. Horizons, 32(2), 361-367.

3. Discuss the Black Lives Matter statement vs. the "All Lives Matter" rebuttal. 


The hashtag was created in 2013 by Patrice Cullors, Alicia Garza, and  Opal Tometi—California and New York-based organizers active in incarceration, immigration, and domestic labor campaigns—after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder in Florida of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin. The slogan’s deeper significance as the rallying cry for an incipient movement crystallized in 2014 during the Ferguson, Missouri uprisings against police brutality. In the words of activists, the hashtag leapt from social media“into the streets.” Black Lives Matter, whichGarza has called “a love note” to black communities,now serves as shorthand for diverse organizing efforts—both sporadic and sustained—across the country. The most recognizable expression of widespread black outrage against police aggression and racist violence.

 Rickford, R. (2016). Black Lives Matter. New Labor Forum (Sage Publications Inc.), 25(1), 34-42. doi:10.1177/1095796015620171

    The Black lives matter movement was esentially birthed as a part of pattern of behavior in America that has long suggested that black lives don't matter. It is a cry of inclusion to say that "black lives matter too, rather than only black lives matter.  However, media misrepresentations about the movement piant the picture of a radical group of thugs who want to kill cops.     

The rebuttal


The rebuttal #AllLivesMatter is a cousin to the knee-jerk reaction of “stop making everything about race” when someone points out clear, salient racial elements of an issue like police brutality. It’s the cookie we want everyone to give us for not being a racist. (Adams, 2016). The problem that exists with saying #AllLivesMatter in response to black lives matter is best understood with examples:


Imagine attending a cancer fund when you exclaim that "all diseases matter." 

Imagine a firefighter hosing down every house on the block while there is only one house in flames, on the premise that "all houses matter." 

#AllLivesMatter poses as inclusiveness when it is derailing. 

Unironically, #BLM is mistaken as divisive when it is striving for equality. And unironically,

Adams, J. (2016)The troll named #AllLivesMatter. Retrieved from  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/alllivesmatter-needs-to-e_b_8683982.html). 231

the best way to empathetically state that “All Lives Matter” is actually to say these three words: Black Lives Matter. 

(Adams, 2016). 

4. What is the First Amendment and how does it relate to freedom?

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. It prohibits any laws that establish a national religion, impede the free exercise of religion, abridge the freedom of speech, infringe upon the freedom of the press, interfere with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibit citizens from petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted into the Bill of Rights in 1791. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments. (Legal Information Institute, 1992). 

Legal Information Institute (1992).


Retrieved from,  https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/first_amendment

5. What is the role of policing in America? And where did it originate from?

   The birth and development of the American police can be traced to a multitude of historical, legal and political-economic conditions. The institution of slavery and the control of minorities, however, were two of the more formidable historic features of American society shaping early policing. Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behaviors of minorities

    New England settlers appointed Indian Constables to police Native Americans (National Constable Association, 1995), the St. Louis police were founded to protect residents from Native Americans in that frontier city, and many southern police departments began as slave patrols. In 1704, the colony of Carolina developed the nation's first slave patrol. Slave patrols helped to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners in recovering and punishing slaves who essentially were considered property.

    Policing was not the only social institution enmeshed in slavery. Slavery was fully institutionalized in the American economic and legal order with laws being enacted at both the state and national divisions of government. Virginia, for example, enacted more than 130 slave statutes between 1689 and 1865. Slavery and the abuse of people of color, however, was not merely a southern affair as many have been taught to believe. Connecticut, New York and other colonies enacted laws to criminalize and control slaves. Congress also passed fugitive Slave Laws, laws allowing the detention and return of escaped slaves, in 1793 and 1850. As Turner, Giacopassi and Vandiver (2006:186) remark, “the literature clearly establishes that a legally sanctioned law enforcement system existed in America before the Civil War for the express purpose of controlling the slave population and protecting the interests of slave owners. The similarities between the slave patrols and modern American policing are too salient to dismiss or ignore. Hence, the slave patrol should be considered a forerunner of modern American law enforcement” (Kappeler, 2016).

Kappeler, V.E (2016). A brief history of slavery and the origins of american policing.Retrieved from, https://plsonline.eku.edu/insidelook/brief-history-slavery-and-origins-american-policing

6. What is the role of policing in other countries?

It is undeniable that police in the US often contend with much more violent situations and more heavily armed individuals than police in other developed democratic societies. 

  • In the first 24 days of 2015, police in the US fatally shot more people than police did in England and Wales, combined, over the past 24 years.

  • There has been just one fatal shooting by Icelandic police in the country’s 71-year history. The city of Stockton, California – with 25,000 fewer residents than all of Iceland combined – had three fatal encounters in the first five months of 2015.

  • Police in the US have shot and killed more people – in every week in the year 2015 – than are reportedly shot and killed by German police in an entire year.

    • According to the German data and the Guardian’s count, more unarmed black men (19) have been fatally shot by US police in 2015 than citizens of any race, armed or unarmed, fatally shot in Germany during all of 2010 and 2011 (15)

  • Police in the US fatally shot more people in one month t than police in Australia officially reported during a span of 19 years.

  • Police fired 17 bullets at Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who was “armed” with a rock. That’s nearly three times what police in Finland are reported to have fired during all of 2013. (Lartey, 2015). 

  • Lartey, J. (2015). By the numbers: US police kill more in days than other countries do in years.

Retrieved from, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/09/the-counted-police-killings-us-vs-other-countries 

7. What are stereotypes and how can they be dangerous? 

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a stereotype as a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.’’

(Bordalo, Coffman, Gennaioli, Shleifer, 2016). 

    Stereotypes can be dangerous because they are often inaccurate. They are fundamentally incorrect and derogatory generaliztions of group traits, reflective of the stereotyper's underlying prejudices or other internal motivations. Social groups that have been historically mistreated, such as racial and ethnic minorities, continue to suffer through bad stereotyping, perhaps because the groups in power want to perpetuate false beliefs about them. (Bordalo et al., 2016).

Bordalo, P., Coffman, K., Gennaioli, N., & Shleifer, A. (2016). STEREOTYPES. Quarterly Journal Of Economics, 131(4), 1753-1794. doi:10.1093/qje/qjw029

8. Name some sterotypes within Black communities? White? Asian? Police?

Black Stereotypes: In American society, a prevalent representation of crime is that it is overwhelmingly committed by young Black men. Subsequently, the familiarity many Americans have with the image of a young Black male as a violent and menacing street thug is fueled and perpetuated by typifications everywhere. In fact, perceptions about the presumed racial identity of criminals may be so ingrained in public consciousness that race does not even need to be specifically mentioned for a connection to be made between the two because it seems that “talking about crime is talking about race” (Barlow, 1998, p. 151) (Welch, 2007).

Welch, K. (2007). Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Vol 23, Issue 3, pp. 276 - 288First Published August 1, 2007


Asian stereotypes: The available research suggests that teachers view Asians as more typically cooperative, self-controlled, eager to please, perfectionistic, academically successful, and having fewer overall behavior problems when compared to their white peers. These traits exemplify the "model minority" streerotype of Asian Americans as hardworking and high achieving, a stereotype that has been used both to praise Asian Americans and criticize other racial minorities, especially Blacks. (Chang & Damyan, 2007). 

Chang, D. F., & Demyan, A. L. (2007). Teachers' stereotypes of Asian, Black, and White students. School Psychology Quarterly, 22(2), 91-114.


Police stereotypes: Cops love doughnuts, are grossly overweight, and ill-tempered macho men who love guns and fast cars. It is also widely believed that police are mandated to make a fixed number of arrets and issue a fixed number of tickets in order to meet quota. (Roufa, 2018).

Roufa, T. (2018). Common police officer stereotypes. Retrieved from, 


White stereotypes: Whites frequent starbucks, wear leggings as uniform, hunt deer, wear camo, shoot guns, pro-cops, and eat casserole.    (Public survey). 

9. What does the phrase "Make American Great Again" mean to you?

     Donald Trump vows to "Make America Great  Again." For Trump's base of white, working-class men without college degrees, this message resonates: This used to be a great country for them, and now they are hurting. But for most Americans, the good old days weren't actually that good, and the "greatness" Trump talks about was delivered on the backs of large swaths of the American public. When Trump promises to "Make America Great Again," we should ask:


Great for whom?

    The United States remains a vastly unequal country, with significant gaps between what men and women earn (gaps that grow wider for women of color); with revolting numbers of black men imprisoned, often for nonviolent crimes and often locked away in for-profit prisons where their incarceration monetarily benefits wealthy shareholders; with wholly inadequate or totally nonexistent social services that are the norm among our economic peer countries: paid parental leave, housing for the poor, affordable high-quality health care. The gulf between the richest and the poorest people in this country is getting larger.

    It's unpatriotic to suggest that America was ever not great. But for the majority of Americans, American greatness doesn't exist at a calcified point in history. The greatness comes in the striving, in the fact that over and over in the course of the American project, a handful of citizens of an immensely imperfect nation have demanded, "do better," until eventually history bends and we do indeed do better. Greatness isn't something we find "again"; greatness is in the progress, in the moving forward. Donald Trump's promise he'll make us great again is an insult to that legacy of self-examination and of betterment. And when you peel back the rhetoric and face the reality, what he pledges to return us to wasn't actually so great at all. (Filipovic, 2016).

Filipovic, J. (2016). The major problem with "Make America Great Again." Retrieved from,


10. What is bullying? Was Colin Kaepernick bullied for protesting?

Say why or why not. 

    Bullying is often defined as repetitive and intentional aggressive behavior by one individual or group against another in situations where there exists some sort of power differential between the bully and the victim in terms of physical size, social status, or other features. Bullying behavior can include anything from name-calling to outright physical assault. What has been termed relational bullying can involve such actions as spreading rumors or the active ignoring or exclusion of certain individuals. Bullying can also occur online in the form of text messages, emails, and social media posts (Rettew, 2016).

Rettew, D.C. (2016). Bullying. Retrived from,​


    By definition, Colin Kaepernick was indeed bullied by both the NFL and Donald Trump. The NFL faces a legal battle with Kapernick for colluding his case and blackballing him out of the NFL for peacefully protesting by way of kneeling. Donald Trump gloats and takes crefit for this by boasting:

    You know, your San Francisco quarterback, I'm sure nobody ever heard of him,"     Trump told the crowd. "I'm just reporting the news. There was an article today ... that     NFL owners don't want to pick him up because they don't want to get a nasty tweet     from Donald Trump, can you believe that?

    Trump using his presidency to coerce NFL owners to keep Colin Kaepernick out of the NFL is a violation of rights and a very clear form of bullying. 


    Madden NFL 19 then conspiciously bleeped Colin Kaepernick's name out of track that the artist Big Sean rapped to on the song "Big Bank" featuring YG. The original lyric  "You boys all are Cap. I'm more Colin Kaepernick" has the free agent football quarterback's name very clearly edited out. This is bullying. 

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