Step 4 | Discuss + Learn

Lesson Instructions

Pre-Discussion Introduction

Provide the following information to students before watching the film clip:
  • Internalized privilege: Viewing yourself inside your mind as being superior to another person or race of people. We may not recognize that we have these thoughts or feelings.

  • Internalized oppression: Viewing yourself inside your mind as being inferior to another person or race of people. We may not recognize that we have these thoughts or feelings.

  • Tim Wise, an expert in anti-racism work, shares a story that demonstrates these internal thoughts
Play Video Clip from "Beyond Diversity - Making Race Real" by Tim Wise

Clip is embedded below or find it on YouTube here... or download here...
Should you need any other format, contact admin@ethnicdiversity.org
Remember allow the video to load in advance before playing for students.

Discussion Questions
  • Tim Wise works on eliminating racism every day. Yet, he still has moments like the one on the airplane. He said he thought about the black pilots because society had conditioned him to go to that place in his head. What does he mean by this?

  • Tim says that we are all affected by this, even “good anti-racist” white people. Can you share a time when you had a bias pop up in your head that is similar to Tim’s experience?

  • As Tim shared his story of that moment on the airplane, he says that he had two thoughts. First, the doubt two black men would be capable to fly the plane. What was his second thought? How can we challenge our own biased thoughts?

  • Tim says one time after sharing the airplane story, a black person stood up and told him that he had a similar experience. What does this tell us about how our societal messages affect people of color?

  • Think about the following situations. Have you ever noticed similar situations at your school? How are they examples of internalized privilege and internalized oppression?

    • Internalized Privilege examples:
      - A teacher calls on a white students more often in class.
      - A white student is raises her/his hand frequently because she/he is confident she/he will have the right answer.
    • Internalized Oppression examples:
      - A student of color doesn’t participate as much in class because she/he doesn’t think her/his answers will be good enough.
      - A student of color excels in school and is not accepted among other students of their same racial or ethnic group for “acting white.”
      - A student of color believes that she/he won't succeed and she/he gives up on learning and pursuing her/his dreams.
Take Action!

If you are white you can:
  • Notice it. Work on un-learning these racial messages conveyed by society. Accept that this affects all of us. Challenge, disregard and replace negative assumptions.
  • Celebrate all cultures.
If you are a person of color you can:
  • Notice it. Recognize when you have a reaction that comes from society’s messages that people of color are not as good as white people. Remind yourself that this is not true!
  • Take pride in and celebrate your culture.
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