Unconscious Racism and how it Affects People of Color
I want to concentrate primarily on racial microaggressions in the classroom and how teachers believe that their intentions, remarks, or actions are not deemed as racist. Racism is an exceedingly controversial issue here in America. It dates to as early as the Colonial Period when blacks were used for slavery. Sadly, racism is still very prevalent in society today; however, it is not always presented in the forms many are used to. You don’t have to use the n-word and be actively committing hate crimes to do something racist or to uphold white supremacy. There are many times when things are written off as rude when they should be properly labeled as racist, whether it was intentional or not.
The bigger issue at hand is that many of the perpetrators who make these insensitive racial remarks get offended when you bring it to their attention. They try to convince us that we are being oversensitive and are just trying to label them as bad people by throwing out the race card. In their minds they are not racist, and they support it with statements like I have black friends. Which in turn leaves us to sit and ponder whether we are being overly sensitive or if the person is just plain racist. That is the question that people of color are constantly faced with in their day-to-day interactions with well-intentioned.
White folks who consider themselves to be good, moral, and decent human beings. It is possible to act in racist ways no matter your intentions. Uprooting racism from your daily actions takes a lifetime of work. Racism is not a joke and culture is not a costume. It is not just insensitive, inappropriate, or a lapse in judgement. It is racism displayed by those who refuse to believe that they are racist. To make matters worse, these same well-intentioned White folks are the teachers of our children. Believe it or not, white supremacy gets carried over into the classroom intentional or not. This brings me to the question I ask myself today: Can racist and xenophobic teachers properly educate students they do not value or respect?