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Eileen O'Brien's Book, White Men on Race

Essay by   •  March 10, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,280 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,142 Views

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Eileen O'Brien's book, White Men on Race, examines the racial attitudes of 100 of America's most powerful white men. It talks about elite white men's view on the racial discrimination between African Americans and White men. By interviewing with elite white men, it is exposed that how white men perceive their identity against black people. It is indicated that even though white people express their privileges over Black people overtly, subtle bias and stereotypic mind was shown in the research.

Author say, today, most whites benefit not only from these social inheritances but also from continuing discrimination in workplaces, housing, schools, and politics. On average, white people garner much more income and have much more greater wealth than Black people.

One of the oldest and most fundamental ideas of racial idea in the U.S.A is that White people is superior to Black people. This racialized thinking supports legal segregation of African Americans and their exploitation for the gain of whites. Even though white people express their superiority or denying it, they keep superiority, which is established in a long time, in their mind. With this view point, White people blame African American's interior values such as lack of commitment of hard work or education and lack of religious values. White people believe these are reasons of African American peoples' inferiority in socially and economically.

Members of the white male elite do not take it seriously about the effects of segregation and discrimination against blacks; however, they overestimate the harm done to whites by "reverse discrimination," and they feel uneasy their daughters' marriage with black. For example, on television and in the movies, interracial dating and marriage have been taboo topics until very recently. One of the concerns about interracial marriage is that everyday difficulty and suffering, the poor quality of life which can be faced by interracial couples. Other obstacles are negative attitude and reactions of other people in the couple's social environment, difficulty in finding good neighbors and homes, and projected problems they will face in raising their children. In addition, lack of common ground between interracial partners. Partners can misperceive family values, social customs, and personal behaviors as different ways.

Majority of elite white male respondents have misgivings about the use of affinitive action programs as public policy. As a matter of fact, most of respondents had negative of mixed negative respondents to U.S. affirmative action programs. Especially, conservative white politicians and academics have been the most aggressive in criticizing affirmative actions. They argue that they do not feel like to have physicians to take care of them who did not have the appropriate background, or do not feel like to be defended by lawyer who did not have the educational background to really have earned his way into law school. They also believe that white males contributed most to developing economy and scientific break through, therefore, they deserve to benefit more, and affirmative action cause "reverse discrimination."

Domestica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence.

Domestica is written to illuminate the invisible and disregarded side of immigrant workers, especially private domestic workers. The author gathered the story of immigrant domestic workers, who are mainly from Mexico and Central America, by conducting an in-depth interview with them at several places like park, bus stops and even ESL classes. The stories were gave by Latina workers who are currently working for different kinds of domestic works--live-ins, live-outs, and housecleaners--in Los Angeles. With very detailed and real-life based experiences of immigrant domestic workers, the author tries to deliver an accurate picture of their daily lives at work places.

In the beginning of the book, the author clearly states that her position toward the matter of immigrant domestic workers is not neutral. Rather, she wants to reveal the poor conditions these workers are under and find a way to better employment opportunities for immigrant domestic workers. As a way to achieve this goal, the author provides several, yet realistic, solutions: regulating employment, filing for back wage claims through the courts, collective organizing among domesticas, and educating employers. She not only interviewed the Latina workers but also their employers which showed how differently the employees and the employers viewed each other on different matters such as wages, hours, private lives and so on. One interesting topic the author touched on in this book was the relationship between employers and employees. This topic was something that didn't seem to be a popular one when talking about domestic workers. In my opinion, however, the employer-employee



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