Black/white, poor/ rich, “normal”/mentally ill ? That is what seems like people judge each other on. Everyone is an individual. No one even of the same background, has the same experience that has formulated how they are as the whole person.

Social work is all about oppression, yet every time that a discussion gets started it turns into black and white. Inevitably, someone brings up slavery. Yes some people are descended from slaves, some people came over to this country over the past twenty years.

My great grandfather and grandmother came here from Italy. They did know anyone and were dirt poor. Luckily my great grandfather knew how do construction. He worked until the day that he died. When people look at me they see money, power, and privilege. The reality is that I grew up in a working class neighborhood with parents who were still mourning the two children that they lost and hating the one they had. My parents did not want me, the majority of my peers did not like me, and my self-esteem could be measured in negative numbers.

Why can’t people just see the person next to them as another human being. A person with a background and a past. One might be surprised at how close your experiences are and how the two of you could support each other.

This is just my opinion. I look at a person as qualities and experiences not their gender or the color of their skin! Tonight is yet another discussion on race. I do not want class to just see black and white as what makes someone who they are! At least I can practice one day with an open mind.

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