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Racism and Privilege Response Discussion

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Discussion: Racism and Privilege

Respond to at least two colleagues with a critique of their posts and alternative recommendations for how you as a social worker might respond to Mary and her beliefs. Be specific and provide examples from the case. Also, identify specific skills social workers might employ.

Discussion Rubric

Discussion Posting Content

Discussion posting demonstrates an excellent understanding of all of the concepts and key points presented in the text(s) and Learning Resources. Posting provides significant detail including multiple relevant examples, evidence from the readings and other scholarly sources, and discerning ideas.

Peer Feedback and Interaction

6.75 (22.5%) – 7.5 (25%)

The feedback postings and responses to questions are excellent and fully contribute to the quality of interaction by offering constructive critique, suggestions, in-depth questions, additional resources, and stimulating thoughts and/or probes.


4.05 (13.5%) – 4.5 (15%)

Postings are well organized, use scholarly tone, contain original writing and proper paraphrasing, follow APA style, contain very few or no writing and/or spelling errors, and are fully consistent with graduate level writing style.

Colleagues’ Respond  

Student name: Atahomo Agbebaku Top of Form

Racism is the set of institutional, cultural, and interpersonal patterns and practices that create advantages for people legally defined and socially constructed as white and corollary disadvantaged for belonging to racial groups that were considered essential for the formation of the United States. (Adams et al.). Privilege, to me in this situation, is the rights or things enjoyed by a person more than others.

Therefore, the relationship between racism and privilege is the ideology that some persons deserve better, while others should be considered last because of their appearance. White supremacy immediately comes to mind. Hence, the white will quickly get a position for leadership in an institution, and the blacks and others get physical positions. Same public service, affecting how people are treated, what services come to their cities. In an all-white community and an all-black community. Most problematic of all is the feeling that blacks are criminals or drug users. They never end well.

The case of Mary, The 47yrs old Mary, who is Caucasian, felt her family believes responsible for why her relationship with her colleague, an African American, did not work out. As she was raised to believe African Americans and other people of color are untrustworthy. When it did not work out, she blamed her family. Mary also confirmed she was aware that her feelings of racism are not right but cannot help it. Meanwhile, she had symptoms of PTSD which she later learned how to deal with.  I also want to link racism/ privilege to her case Mary was privileged to receive the amount of treatment for her symptoms.

Mary was raised in a home that espoused racism, and she and her family members believe that African Americans and other people of color are untrustworthy and bad. She said, “I take after my father, and he thinks black people are just evil.” Mary said she understands her feelings about race are not right, but she cannot help it.

The empowerment Perspective for Mary is to make her understand that it is okay to tell her family how she struggles with that feeling. She lived in fear and felt untrusted.The use of family systems theory can help me understand how Mary sees herself in relationship to the people and institutions in her life.The skills of empathy, active listening will be very useful.

Bottom of Form

Student name: Jennifer Arellano 

Top of Form

Racism and privilege have an intertwining relationship as they connect but effect individuals differently. Racism and privilege stem from years of systemic racism and oppression, because of the years of oppression minority groups have the disadvantage of not having accumulated wealth oppose to their white counter parts. Privilege allows growth, financial stability and access to resources benefits that are not awarded to those who have and continue face racism.

In “The case of Mary”  racism is present as she admits she was raised in a household where it was believed arican-american’s and other minorities were “bad”. Mary had the privilege of seeking therapy to discuss the impact of racism in her life not once but twice. She was able to utilize therapy to further understand herself and the role racism played on her mental health.

The impact of racism and privilege on the social work practice can be extremely negative if a social worker allows for personal prejudice to impact how they view an individual. As a social workers, we stand in solidarity with our clients, even if we do not personally agree with them, and create educated goals to provide insight to our clients.

           As a social worker I would utilize the empowerment perspective when responding to Mary by building trust to move forward with treatment. Mary has had one failed relationship with a social worker that could cloud her judgment on accepting help in the future. Through empowerment perspective I would utilize skills such as active listening and engaging in eye contact to make Mary feel comfortable in opening up about her past experiences. The social worker in Marys’s case did exactly this and was able to help Mary realize she did not have to align beliefs as her family did, the social worker did not push her belief on her but instead worked with the client to have this conclusion drawn by the client herself.

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

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