Review of Race Section

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.

138 Replies to “Review of Race Section”

  1. Good comments by both Faranda and Amanda. I think white people can experience racism, but because being white is not one homogeneous group. People of German descent can be treated poorly or be treated like they are responsible for the holocaust even though that happened well before some we born. We know Italians have been persecuted in the US, but Italian Americans generally check the white box. So I think white people can experience racism for those reasons.

    To Faranda’s point, I grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood and therefore was a minority in many situations. I don’t think I was ever adversely affected from this. I don’t think being in those minority situations ever caused me an issue, other than as she said, being left out or treated like part of the out-group. Really not racism from my perspective.

  2. I have to disagree with Faranda, Patrick and say that yes I do think that a white person can experience racism and most certainly can define it. Now do I think a white person in this country will ever experience racism on the same level as a black person no I don’t. But I know a young white woman that was teaching in the inner city of Philly and she was forced to deal with racism for the years she was there. The parents of the children she was trying to educate would ridicule her and belittle her and blame her for the children’s poor behavior or poor grades. Racism is defined as the intolerance of another race and that intolerance can be displayed by any race toward any race it is not merely white on black.

  3. Not every group is able to experience racism, because not every group is in a subordinate position. White people in America cannot be discriminated against because racism here is based on history, oppression, and power. Historically white people have never been persecuted for the color of their skin, they have never experienced slavery, Jim Crow, colonialism, or any other type of oppression, and white people have had and continue to have the power. White people’s feelings can get hurt when they feel excluded or disliked, but people of color saying they do not like white people or not allowing them to participate in other arenas is not racism, because their life is not adversely affected. In comparison, to white people saying black people are lazy, ignorant and criminals, which results in the stop and frisk policies, limited educational and economic opportunities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *