Kenji Yoshino Questions

A.)   “Covering has enjoyed such a robust and stubborn life because it is a form of assimilation.  At least since Hector St. John de Crevecoeur’s 1782 Letters from an American Farmer, this country has touted assimilation as the way Americans of different backgrounds would be “melted into a new race of men.” By the time Israel Zangwill’s play of that name was performed in 1908, the “melting pot” had acquired the burnish of an American ideal. Only with the civil rights movement of the 1960s was this ideal challenged in any systematic way, with calls to move “beyond the melting pot” and to “celebrate diversity.” Yoshino also says in paragraph 7 that “covering is a hidden assault on our civil rights.” When I think of covering I really think of a way to hide your true self and being distant from people or something.

B.)  ” Makes a distinction between a True Self and a False self that usefully to tracks the distinction between the uncovered and covered selves. The True self is the self that gives an individual the feeling of being real, which is “more existing; it is finding a way to exist as oneself, and to relate to objects as oneself, and to have a self into which to retreat for relaxation. “The True Self is associated with human spontaneity and authenticity: “Only the True Self can be creative and only the True self can feel real.” The False Self, in contrast, gives an individual a sense of being unreal, a sense of futility. It mediates the relationship between the True Self and the world.” One Positive thing about the False Self is that you can use it to hide your True self until you are ready to show your true self. The False self can protect the True self. 

Quote File

1. )  “Franklin Delano Roosevelt covered his disability by ensuring his wheelchair was always hidden behind a desk before his Cabinet entered.” paragraph 1

2.)  “Covering has enjoyed such a robust and stubborn life because it is a form of assimilation.  At least since Hector St. John de Crevecoeur’s 1782 Letters from an American Farmer, this country has touted assimilation as the way Americans of different backgrounds……..” Paragraph 5.

3.) ” Makes a distinction between a True Self and a False self that usefully tracks the distinction between the uncovered and covered selves. The True self is the self that gives an individual the feeling of being real….” paragraph 13

4.) “My gay self, , the True self, was hidden behind an ostensibly straight false self. Yet it would be wrong to cast the closest self purely inimical to the gay one. In my adolescence, this False Self protected the True Self until its survival was assured……” paragraph 16

1.) “(Here I follow Winnicott, who observes the True Self is not susceptible to specific definition, as its nature differs for each of us.) In talking about classic civil rights groups. I have focused on the demand to conform to the mainstream because I think that for most groups (except women) these are the demands….” paragraph 30

2.) ” In practice, I expect the liberty paradigm to protect the authentic self better than the equality paradigm. While it need not to do so, the equality paradigm is prone to essentializing the identities it protects. Under an equality paradigm , if a women who wore a lot of makeup were protected by a court because makeup is an “essential” part of being a women, this could reinforce the stereotype that women wear makeup……” paragraph 31

3.) The statutory language of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disability Act already protects racial minorities, religious minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities as groups against covering demands…” paragraph 32

4.) “Moreover, even if we shift the focus of civil rights law away from equality to liberty, identity politics will still be crucial. If it weren’t for the gay rights movement, or the disability rights movement, cases like Lawrence or Lane would never have made it to the Court…” Paragraph 33

Between the world and me.

1.) “Americans believe in the reality of “race” as a defined, indubitable feature of the natural world. Racism- the need to ascribe bone -deep features to people and then humiliate, reduce, and destroy them- inevitably follows from this inalterable condition…” pg 7

2.) “The new people are not original in this. Perhaps there has been, at some point in history, some great power whose elevation was exempt from the violent exploitation of other human bodies. If there has been, I have yet to discover it…” pg 8

3.) ” I have seen that dream all my life. It is perfect houses with nice lawns. It is Memorial Day cookouts, block associations, and driveways. The Dream is treehouses and the Club Scouts. The Dream smells like peppermint but tastes  like strawberry shortcake. And for so long I have wanted to escape into the Dream to fold my country over my head like a blanket….” pg 11

4.) “In accepting both the chaos of history and the fact of my total end, I was freed to truly consider how I wished to live- specifically how do I live free in this black body? It is profound question because America understands itself as God’s handiwork, but the black body is the clearest evidence that America is the work of men..” pg 12

1.) “To be black in the Baltimore of my youth was to be naked before the elements of the world, before all the guns, fists, knives, crack, rape, and disease. The nakedness is not an error, nor pathology. The nakedness is the correct and intended result of policy, the predictable upshot of people forced for centuries to live under fear. The law did not protect us…” pg 17

2.) “The boy with the small eyes reached into his ski jacket and pulled out a gun. I recall it in the slowest motion, as though in a dream. There the boy stood, with the gun brandished, which he slowly untucked, tucked, then untucked once more, and in his small eyes I saw a surging rage that could, in an instant, erase my body. That was 1986…” pg 19

3.) “Before I could discover, before I could escape, I had to survive, and this could only mean a clash with the streets, by which I mean not just physical blocks, nor simply the people packed into them, but the array of lethal puzzles and strange perils that seem to rise up form the asphalt itself…” pg 21

4.) “I memorized a list of prohibited blocks. I learned the smell and feel of fighting weather. And I learned that “shorty, can I see your bike?” was never a sincere question and “Yo, you was messing with my cousin” was neither an earnest accusation nor a misunderstanding of the facts. These were the summonses that you answered with your left foot forward, your right foot back, your hands guarding your face, one slightly lower than the other, cocked like a hammer…” pg 23

I Just wanna be average

1.) ” For my mother, life in America was not what the promoters had told her father it would be.  She grew up very poor. She slept with her parents and brothers and sisters in one room.  She had to quit school in the seventh grade to care for her sickly younger brothers….” pg. 11

2.) ” Let me tell you about our house. If you entered the front door and turned right you’d see a small living room with a couch along the east wall and one along the west wall- one couch was purple, the other tan, both bought used and both well worn. A television set was placed at the end of the purple couch, right at arm level….” pg13

3.) “Right to the north of us was a record shop, a barber shop presided over by old Mr. Graff, Walt’s Malts, a shoe repair shop with a big Cat’s paw decal in the window, a third barber shop, and a brake shop. It’s as I write this that I realize for the first time that three gray men could have had a go at your hair before you left our street…” pg 14

4.) ” But the anger and frustration of South Vermont could prove too strong for music’s illusion; then it was violence that provided deliverance of a different order. One night I watched as a guy sprinted from Walt’s to toss something on our lawn. The police were right behind, and a cop tackled him, smashing his face into the sidewalk…..” pg 17

1.) ” I became the hero of a thousand adventures, all with intricate plots and the triumph of good over evil, all many dimensions removed….” pg 21

2.) “Reading opened up the world. There I was, a skinny bookworm drawing the attention of street kids who, in any other circumstances, would have had me for breakfast….” pg 21

3.) ” Physical education was also pretty harsh. Our teacher was a stubby ex-lineman, who had played old-time pro ball in the Midwest. He routinely had us grabbing our ankles to receive his stinging paddle across our butts….” pg 25

4.) ” One day Billy lost it. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him strike out with his right arm and catch Dweetz across the neck. Quick as a spasm, Dweetz was out of his seat, scattering desks, cracking Billy on the side of the head, right behind the eye…..” pg26

1.) “Students will float to the mark you set. I and the others in the vocational classes were bobbing in pretty shallow water. Vocational education has aimed at increasing the economic opportunities of students who do not do well in our school….” pg 26

2.) “When the teacher called on the restive Ken Harvey for an opinion. Ken thought about it, but just for a second, and said (with studied minimum effect), “I just wanna be average.” That woke me up. Average?! Who wants to be average? Then the athletes chimed in with the clinches that make you want to laryngectomize them, and the exchange became a platitudinous melee…” pg 28

3.) “At first, we couldn’t believe this guy, thought he slept in his car. But within no time, he had us so startled with work that we didn’t much worry about where he slept or if he slept at all. We wrote three or four essays a month. We read a book every two to three weeks, starting with the Iiad and ending up with Hemingway….” pg32

4.) “In my last semester of  high school, I elected a special English course fashioned by Mr. MacFarland, and it was through this elective that there arose at Mercy a fledgling literati. Art Mitz, the editor of the school newspaper and a very smart guy, was the kingpin. He was joined by me and by Mark Dever, a quiet boy who wrote beautifully and who would die before he was forty…” pg 35

The end of race

  1. “One can easily imagine the contrast: the European sailors- gaunt, dirty, many bearing the unmistakable signs of venereal disease- and the Polynesians, a people who abided by strict codes of personal hygiene, who washed every day and plucked the hair from their faces…..” Pg 50
  2.  ” To the genes of Captain Cook’s sailor’s and the native Polynesians has been added the DNA of European missionaries, Mexican cowboys, African American soldiers, and plantation workers from throughout Asia and Europe.…” Pg. 5
  3.  ” Almost half the people who live in Hawaii today are of “mixed” ancestry. What it means to be mixed is not at all obvious genetically, but for official purposes it means that a person’s ancestors fall into more than one of the four “racial” categories….” Paragraph 7or 8
  4.  ” Many of the harshest conflicts in the world today are between people who are physically indistinguishable. If someone took a roomful of Palestinians and Israelis from the Middle East, or of Serbs and Albanians from the Balkans….” paragraph 13
  5.   “Intermarriage may indicate tolerance,” says Jonathan Okamura, an anthropologist at the University of Hawaii, “but it doesn’t mean we have an egalitarian society on a larger scale.” Paragraph 48
  6. ” Despite the occasional cultural difficulties. Cann has continued her study of human genetics in Hawaii and has played an important role in piecing together the prehistory of the pacific.” paragraph 39
  7.  ” I get people coming up to me all the time and saying , ‘can you prove that I’m a Hawaiian?” She can’t, she said, at least not with a high degree of certainty.” paragraph 40
  8. ” They become a member of that group socially, yet their haplotypes and those of their descendants can differ from the group norm. Rape is another way in which the genetic variants of groups mix….” paragraph 46

The Invention of Race

  1.  ” that we’re a society made up of all the “races” and “ethnicities” on the planet… and that we have a painful history of discrimination and exploitation often tied to race…”
  2.  ” we start our journey into the invention of race by going back– well, not really to the beginning. Science now tells us that in the beginning of the human story … people evolved in Africa, from one common ancestor, a couple hundred thousand years ago….”
  3.  ” Herotodus traveled. We don’t know that he actually traveled to all the places that he talked about, but he did talk about what was then the known world, his world…”
  4.  ” slave trades are so much bigger than our idea of race. The Greeks … The Romans. The Chinese …. the West African kingdoms. They all practiced forms of slavery….”

Trumps Biggest Fans

  1.  ” Left and Right, have become subnations, as George Saunders recently wrote in The New Yorker, living like housemates “no longer on speaking terms” in a house set afire by Trump, gaping at one another “through the smoke”….
  2.  ” Louisiana is the country’s third-poorest state; 1 in 5 residents live in poverty. It ranks third in the proportion of residents who go hungry each year, and dead last in overall health…..”
  3.  ”  Right or left, I think . The deep story of the right goes like this: You are patiently standing in the middle of a long line stretching toward the horizon, where the American Dream awaits. But as you wait, you see people cutting in line ahead of you….” 
  4.  ” She was doing her level best but wondered why the travails of others so often took precedence over families such as her own. Affirmative Action blacks, immigrants, refugees seemed to so routinely receive sympathy and government help…..”

Identity essay

Have you ever asked or thought to yourself what is my identity? What does it actually do for me? What does a identity mean to you? Identities in this world can mean a multitude of things from just being someone’s name to where they grew up. An identity is formed by many things in this world. They can bring people together but they can also divide people in many ways. When I think of an identity I think like your social security, the way you act, who you grew up with/ where you grew up, and maybe the name you have. There are so many different types of identities in this world and people take advantage of it sometimes.             Identities can do multiple things for people, if you have a last name that is known by a town or a bunch of people your identity is that name and what comes along with it is a responsibility to show that you take over that name. Kwame states that “I think we run into dangers when we allow our identities to push us around, to make us do things we don’t actually want to do or need to do, just because we feel that’s what a black person would do or that’s what a white person would do or that’s what a Republican person would do. These identities can make all sorts of demands on us, and often that can overwhelm who we are as unique individuals”. Another way that they help us is that they give us a sense of who we are and how we stand out from everyone else and show how we can be individuals. Just like how white guys think they have to act a certain way and black people act a certain way that is how they divide us somehow to see that not everyone is the same and people can be different then one another just based on there identities.                   Have you ever just thought to yourself does who I am and where I come from really matter? Kwame answers this question by saying “The short answer is that identities are labels that we use to group each other. When you take one seriously, when you identify with a label, then you think of it as giving you reasons to do things and not to do things. If you’re a Catholic, you have reasons to obey the Catholic church and its teachings. You have reasons to help with Catholic organizations, and all the people associated with it, and that’s what makes it social”. What I got from that was that no matter what way you look at an identity it is always going to matter to someone. The reason being if we didn’t have them would we know whos who in this world? The answer to that is clear we would have no idea who was who and that would cause everyone to be the same so then there is no identities. Although you may not need them for certain things, they still matter because then there is no such thing as social security. If you look at them from a school perspective without them there would be no jocks, nerds, and pretty sure that wouldn’t be good for a school. They just matter all around in general they help the world what it is today. Also the example of what if we go into times square and just look around at people what would you do. You’d look around and start putting people in categories and by doing that and judging people it is ultimately. helping yourself for protection and  knowing what to look out for.

Word Bank

Kwame Anthony Appiah

quote/ Concept “There’s something misleading or mistaken about the pictures that underline these identities and yet they bind us together in spite of that. They do bring people together, as well as divide people, and I think that the lies, the untruths, are often a very important part of how they work. They’re important to how people are held together.”

Meaning:  That just by having these labels as your so called identity can bring you closer to a group of people but can also shift you away from people.  Having that label means that you are who you are.  Some people think that because of there identity that they have a special place in society.


Concept:  Do you think that identities force us to reduce ourselves and other people to abstractions?

Meaning:  The people don’t really realize how diverse the identity groups are that we think that because a white person does this or a black person does this that we have to do what they do so we match because of our identities match or we have the same skin color or where you grew up.


Concept: Each of us has multiple overlapping identities. In my case, I’m white and male and straight and American and a journalist and on and on. What determines which of these identities are activated at any given time?

Meaning:  They can get activated by what setting you are in such as in who you are with or what you’re doing and also what you have done your whole life and also based on what you think you are.

Name essay

Franco Abbatessa


Name Essay

My name is Franco Harris Covalucci Abbatessa. The person who picked my name was my Dad because my mom picked both of my brothers names. My name came from a very interesting place, it came from my dads love of football. He named me after a hall of fame running back for the steelers Franco Harris. The reason why my first and middle name are what they are is because my dad loved the way he carried himself as a person and the way that he played. He was the patient kind of running back and whenever he would get the ball he would wait for the running lane to open instead of just trying to make a lane. Covalucci my mom decided to give to me and my brothers when her and my dad got divorced she wanted us to have her maiden name. Covalucci is mostly a Italian last name it is almost never used as a first name, it mostly comes from Sicily.  Abbatessa is just my dads last name it comes from northern Italy. The name Harris is commonly used as middle name its not usually used as a first name. Franco is more common last name then it is a first name. My name connects me to the football life that my family has lived every male on my dads side has played a snap of football at least once in there life most of them went on to play college ball so he thought it would cool and fun to name me after a family favorite hall of famer. What was also cool about my name is that when talking to coaches and people who know football it is a great conversation starter and usually helps to get a good football talk going. I do like my name, I would not want to change it. What I like about my name is that it is unique and not a lot of people can say that there named after a hall of famer, but I do like some of the nicknames that I have gotten with my name and sometimes I hate the nicknames. But what are you going to do I’m sure everyone at least once in there lifetime got a nickname that they didn’t like. The one thing I do wish I could change about my name is I would’ve liked for it to have a little bit more meaning to my family.