February 7th, 2019
One of the vital issue society faces today is covering. The prime concern is that covering is holding back many groups today. For instance, in Kenji Yoshino article he says “The reason racial minorities are pressured to “act white” is because of white supremacy. The reason women are told to downplay their child-care responsibilities in the workplace is because of patriarchy. And the reason gays are not to “flaunt” is because of homophobia. So long as such covering demands persist, American civil rights will not have completed its work.” Most of the points that Yoshino makes about covering I agree with because so many people feel as though they must hide who they are as a person to get by in life. Yoshino also explains, “To cover is to tone down a disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream.” Which many people do in todays’ society because of judgement.
There can be a lot of controversy about how someone true self and false self can balance them out. Society most likely supports the fact that there should either be a true self or a false self; not both. However, I disagree because I believe in certain situations life requires both identities and I find nothing wrong with that. Yoshino mentions, “What I love about Winnicott is that he does not demonize the False self. To the contrary, Winnicott believes the false self protects the true self: “The false self has one positive and very important function: to hide the true self, which it does by compliance with environmental demands.” Like a king casting behind a rock in chess, the more valuable but less powerful piece retreats behind the less valuable but more powerful one. Because the relationship between the true self and the false self-symbiotic, Winnicott believes both selves will exist even in the healthy individual.” People hide their identity all the time. I believe when people are applying for a job, they must hide their identity because society can’t cope with people’s true selves. For example, when applying to a job you can’t always show your true self because the person who plans on hiring you might not like your true self and can choose not to hire you if they don’t want too. That’s why it would be best to show your false self to cover who you are. It’s kind of messed up that we as people have to hide who we are, but that’s just the way society is today.
Hiding your identity can be good or bad for a person all depending on the circumstances. For example, it could be bad interacting with society with your false self, looking for friends because you won’t find the group of people that you socially fit in with because your hiding your identity. However, it can be good too because hiding your identity can keep you from getting hurt. A prime example of this is when Jussie Smollett got hurt because of his identity. If the people who hurt Jussie Smollett just left him alone and accept who he is as a person and not diminishing him as a human being everything would be fine, but it’s not because society is so afraid of change. A female colleague of Yoshino expressed, “When I was in graduate school, there was an African- American man who studied German Romantic poetry. Under your model, I could easily see someone saying he was covering his African American identity by studying something so esoteric and highbrow. But it was clear to me he was studying Romantic poetry because he was seized by it. And if someone had assumed, he was studying it to act white they would have diminished him as a human being.”
Society faces the struggle of grasping the concept of what they could gain or lose from hiding their identity. Humanity loses so much when people feels as though they must always hide who they are as a person. Losing the originality and all the good ideas people have that we miss out on because people are probably too afraid to share what their thinking. Oppose to if people didn’t cover their identity, mankind has so much to gain from it. People wouldn’t feel as scared to share their ideas and who they are as a person because everyone would be treated equal and it wouldn’t matter who you are as a person. Yoshino explained it best when he said, “The universality of the covering demand, however, is also a potential boon for civil rights advocates. I too worry about our current practice of fracturing into groups, each clamoring for state and social solicitude. For this reason, I do not think we can move forward by focusing on the old-fashioned group-based identity politics. We must instead build a new civil rights paradigm on what draws us together rather than on what drives us apart. Because covering applies to us all.” To protect the civil rights of people facing societal demands to cover we must come together as a society and inform everyone about this issue. The more aware people are the better it would be to stop this social demand society has. A great way to get the word out about social demand to society is to have it trend on social media and start up events about this problem. Society needs a push into a change for the better, hashtag end social demand.
Yoshino, Kenji. “The New Civil Rights .” The New Civil RIghts , pp. 479–490.