There were so many interesting points to extrapolate from the race section, however it started off with a bang discussing the issues involving incarceration and young black men. The reality that the justice system has long held a skewed practice of punishment for this particular group is troubling, and the fact that continues is even more troubling. Yes, there is progress. Progress is made everyday. But the idea that possible punishment could be used as a deterrent for crimes committed by an 8 year old is ludicrous.
I am not surprised that Florida is one of the 13 states that still do not have a minimum age to be tried as an adult. Having lived there for a short time, I can attest to how there is no state quite like Florida. Both in the people, but how troubled and divided the state’s policies seem at times. I would never support trying a child for a crime, homicide or not. That is not to say that a person cannot be re-tried when they become an adult, but they should never be put in a traditional adult prison. Children should not be subjected to the extremes of the adult prison system. The impacts of time spent in prison can have serious lasting impacts, and do little more than perpetuate violence.
The discussion of the “Hidden Figure” author, and women involved was refreshing. When I worked in the inner city I saw how much a positive role model impacted our students’ lives. Not many students were drawn to me right away, but female mentors, or mentors of color were often lightning rods for students. To have such a public example of strong positive role models can, and will have, an immediate impact on young people. As I stated in the gender readings, that is critically important for young people to have.
There are many perspectives to consider when it comes to the issue of racism. Currently, there are powerful movements that have reignited the civil rights movement. BLM has united communities, and highlighted the impact and breadth police brutality among other important messages. When it comes to defining racism, however, I feel things can become complicated. In the Facebook clip, one commenter was told he could not define racism because of his race. I believe that racism is a human problem, not a specific community’s issue. Every group is capable of inflicting and suffering racist acts or tendencies. Isn’t being able to be a victim of racism give you the ability to say what is, and is not racism to you? It seems as if telling someone that they cannot define racism because they are white, is to say that they don’t understand its impacts, or what it is like to be discriminated against. If we are to truly begin to understand each other, and walk a mile in other people’s shoes, I don’t believe this is a good start.
While I agree with the fact that I will never fully understand the challenges of being a woman, or a person of color, I can attest to what it feels like to be mistrusted because of your skin color, or to be made to feel like an outsider by others because of my upbringing. There are a litany of other impacts racism has that I cannot say impact me, but I believe that every person can be racist, and every person can be the victim of racism.