Thesis statement: If communication and solidarity fail to materialize or proper education amongst the races is not adopted within communities, then continued prejudice and bigotry could result in inequality and desperateness.
Must have what racism, why it exists how it can be managed or stopped. What has been done by laws or programs to help solve the problem. How can education or programs help end racism. Must have at least 6 peer- reviewed or scholarly sources at least 4 from APUS library.
Thesis statement: If communication and solidarity fail to materialize or proper education amongst the races is not adopted within communities, then continued prejudice and bigotry could result in inequality and desperateness
Definitions and why racism exists
The term racism cannot be understood without first defining race. Social scientists opine that race is simply a social construct with no biological meaning as applied to humans, although it has significant relevance in the structure of social realities (Clair, Denis p.857). Initially, the concept of race was used in the description of people and societies in the contemporary understanding of national identity or ethnicity. In the 18th century classifications, races were grouped in terms of moral, spiritual, intellectual capabilities and other forms of perceived superiority, as a way of justifying European domination of other races. The social construction of race, as opposed to its ‘natural or physical’ existence, forms the object of primary studies of racism.
According to Clair, Denis (p.857), the root of racism is anchored on ‘an ideology of racial domination’, in which there is the presumption of a cultural or even biological superiority of a particular racial group, which such presumption being used to prescribe the inferior treatment of other races. Through the use of perceived patterns of physical attributes such as the color of the skin, eyes etc. to differentiate different groups of people (races), racism involves the socially and hierarchically consequential valuation of racial groups. This definition draws a parallel with racial inequality or discrimination on the basis of race. Racial discrimination, according to Clair, Denis (p.857) is concerned with the unequal treatment of people or groups of people as a consequence of their race, whereas racial inequality is the unequal outcomes among races in areas such as income levels, health characteristics, and education. This distinction is important, because, although racism is often deemed a key component of both processes, incidences of inequality and discrimination are not always a result of contemporary racism.
Banaji, Greenwald (p.21) identified denial as the main reason why racism still persists in our societies, noting that its denial is ‘our current dominant racial ideology’, with tentacles touching on everyone. Denial is also used as ideological armor that helps maintain the white privilege without much fanfare, without making reference to those that are subjected to it or even those that benefit from it. Denial, according to Bonilla-Silva, (p26), takes various forms. The notion of absence, a denial that racism actually exists; temporal deflection, the argument that racism is much less as compared to the past; and that racism is worse in other countries, are some of the forms of denial that continue to perpetuate racism in modern societies.
What has been done to stop racism/laws /programs?
Programs or laws to stop racism have used the term ‘racism’ and ‘racial discrimination’ interchangeably. In the United States, a lot has been done to comply with the obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). In 2010, for instance, the United States agreed to adopt a ‘national framework towards combating of racial discrimination’. This led to the creation of Interagency Equality Working Group, which has the responsibility of tracking and reporting on the level of implementation of the ICERD. Institutions such as the United Nations commission on Human Rights recognizes the rights of every human being regardless of their race. Other countries such as Australia have the National Anti-Racism Partnership Strategy while Canada has developed the ‘Action Plan against Racism’.
While the United States boasts of Human rights giants such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass, the country still continues to witness appalling rates of racism and racial discrimination from the educational system, housing market to the criminal justice system. For instance, data from the US Bureau of Statistics indicate that 1 in every 15 black adult males is incarcerated compared to 1 in every 106 white adult males. 1 in every 3 black students attends a school that comprises of at least ninety percent black students, with such schools being very poorly funded. On the housing front, the sub-prime mortgage crisis saw1 in every 4 black or Latino home owner lose their homes as compared to 1 in every 10 whites.
How can education or programs help end racism
Failures in the above strategies and programs necessitate an in-depth search into the solutions of racism, bringing up the question of the role of education in stopping racism. In his study, Quaye identifies various strategies that educators use to encourage and facilitate classroom racial discussions (p.3). The findings of this study stressed the importance of having white educators facilitating racial dialogues in a multicultural environment and connecting such racial dialogues with other forms of historical oppression such as classism and sexism. Ensuring diversity in the student population provided various educational benefits such as perspective-taking, development of intercultural maturity and reduction in stereotypes as well as social self-confidence. Other studies have indicated that having a racially diverse student population helps in increasing educational benefits especially for white students and also helps foster the racism debate besides enriching student opportunities for engagement with those from different backgrounds.
Instructors and faculty help in stopping racism by developing comfort in the discussion of issues that relate to diversity, thereby demonstrating how perspectives can be placed on a heated and strained interaction. For instance, in the midst of class engagements on racism and diversity, instructors share their impressions and insights on racism while focusing on the learning needs of students. This ensures that students get to understand the contextual elements of racism, and how it can be avoided in their greater interactions in a multicultural society (Chang 15)
Instructors also help stop racism, by managing emotions that result from racial dialogues through the balancing of sharing of knowledge and the facilitation of the process so that learners can be in a position to articulate their perspectives on racism. This creates an environment that encourages racial dialogues and shifts in perspectives, especially among the white majority. Faculty’s commitment to the incorporation of diversity related issues in a school curriculum is critical to a faculty’s ability to achieve a climate that encourages diversity (Garcia, Van Soest 12)
This is also enhanced by ensuring that faculty members consider how they treat racial issues during such dialogues. To effectively respond to racial diversity in their courses, educators must devise means of addressing the issue of race and racism in a racially diverse group. Racially and culturally responsive pedagogical practices that go beyond the usual assertion of interest in racial diversity are important in ensuring that strategies employed in a classroom are cognizant of the varied backgrounds and experience of students (Gay12). This not only helps students experience the above mentioned educational benefits but also enhances students embrace and understanding of various cultural backgrounds and belief systems of their peers, which helps reduce racial intolerance.
Garcia, Van Soest, ‘‘Facilitating learning on diversity: Challenges to the professor’’. Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 9(1/2), 2139. 2000
Gay, ‘‘culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice’’. New York, NY: Teachers College Press, 2000.
Clair, Denis, ‘‘Racism, Sociology of, International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences’’, 2nd edition, Volume 19, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.32122-5
Banaji, Greenwald, ‘‘Blindspot: The Hidden Biases of Good People’’. Delacorte Press, New York. 2013.
Bonilla-Silva, ‘‘Racism without Racists: Color-blind Racism and Racial Inequality in Contemporary America’’, third ed. Rowman & Littleﬁeld, New York, 2010.
Chang, ‘‘Does racial diversity matter?: The educational impact of a racially diverse undergraduate population’’. Journal of College Student Development, 40(4), 377395. 1999
Quaye, ‘‘Facilitating Dialogues about Racial Realities’’. Journal of College Student Development, 53(4), 542562, 2014