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The Kindest Lie


A timely and soul-stirring novel about the lies families tell each other and the...
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Does Ruth suffer from internal racial bias or selective classism?

Created: 01/27/22

Replies: 6

Posted Jan. 27, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barrye

Join Date: 07/20/14

Posts: 53

Does Ruth suffer from internal racial bias or selective classism?

When Ruth encounters Black panhandlers in downtown Chicago, she refrains from giving them money; however, she donates to a white family she's never met that lost a child in a Ganton house fire. Later in the novel, she locks her car doors when she sees Black men jostling in the street. Ultimately, she befriends Midnight, who is white. Does Ruth suffer from internal racial bias or selective classism?


Posted Jan. 28, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 265

RE: Does Ruth suffer from internal ...

I’m not sure her decisions are race or class based as much as they are based on circumstances and what she believes are situations worthy of the donation or gift. I think she’s weighing it on a “who needs it the most based on what I believe about their circumstances” scale— panhandlers vs. children in need.


Posted Feb. 03, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 1109

RE: Does Ruth suffer from internal ...

I'm not sure this needs to be looked at through a racial lens. I lock my car doors when anyone's around, Black or white (and sometimes I worry that I'll be perceived as racist if the person I'm concerned about is Black). And I don't give to people on the street, while I certainly would donate to someone who's experienced a tragedy and needs help (e.g., I donated to the fund that was working to resettle Afghan refugees in our state). So, I kind of think that neither is true, at least not without knowing more about Ruth's history with these issues.


Posted Feb. 04, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 259

RE: Does Ruth suffer from internal ...

I think that we all have a certain amount of racial bias whether we want to think that we do or not. Based upon our history and life circumstances. I’m not sure that that played into Ruth’s decision to not donate to the panhandler, as I don’t believe you should do that no matter the color of skin involved. But locking the car door when a black man approaches, could possibly?


Posted Feb. 06, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Bibliophile

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 5

RE: Does Ruth suffer from internal ...

I don't believe Ruth has internal racial bias as she clearly understands what being Black in America is truly like through her own upbringing, so I would lean more towards classism as she has been living in "white America" and has adopted some of those biases without even realizing it, or as a means of fitting in; as Black people are expected to assimilate to white culture (hair, clothing, speech, etc.) as they succeed, or in order to succeed.


Posted Feb. 24, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carriem

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 265

RE: Does Ruth suffer from internal ...

I agree with Bibliophile especially because of her success in "white America". Also, she sees the need to help people whether whit or Black based on need and she does make donations to help these peopel.


Posted Feb. 24, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 424

RE: Does Ruth suffer from internal ...

I believe that Ruth is very much afflicted with classism. She was given the very best, married into the very best and she wants to stay in that class of people. She will open up to whom she chooses - black or white - if she feels she can help them - again knowing she is the better person, or wealthier person, or thinking she is more in the right. She definitely does not want to go back to who she once was.


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