Unintentional Racism: Contemporary Perspectives

The focus of research is on how students view criticizing by their school staff. Most of the criticizing issues happen unintentionally: when the teacher or professor stereotype students by their color or their origins. If you were white, you are always expected to be smart and have the knowledge, but if the student were black the educators will not bother to have any positive expectations for them. Majority of these actions can affect poorly on a student’s life that can hold them back from finishing their education and establish the dreams they’ve been building for. Racist words drive students to drop out of school without a second thought as soon as they start to doubt themselves.

Furthermore, that would cause America in lacking some significant majors in the job field. For example, the community is in need of dentists, especially since there are not many people that would like to see or observe what’s on other people’s mouths. Media also has a considerable impact on a student’s life, as of the criticizing in school wasn’t enough, what they read and see on the media from criticizing and racism would make them feel even worse about their life, etc. Unintentional racism can affect someone’s life severely, especially students.

Educators have a significant impact on student’s lives. By picking a white student who has been sleeping most of the class time to answer a question instead of a black student or other ethnicities can lower the self-esteem and confidence of students. They would indicate that they are not doing well enough for the major they are intending to choose. Asian students perceive stereotype by being successful in math, and that it seems like a compliment, but it’s not because not all Asians do well in math as educators had amplified students would have to fulfill their teacher’s expectations; otherwise, they would feel not smart enough for the place they are in. Unlike black students who daily get the phrase “you attend college.” That kind of tone gives a hint to black students that you don’t belong to high education levels like colleges and universities. They expect you to be somewhere else working or doing something with your life to live off.

Our culture tends to marginalize this subject because the majority of the people that live in America are white and usually white people don’t experience any kind of discrimination by their professor or teacher, so they find no reason to make a fuss about something that doesn’t hurt or involve them. White culture finds it difficult to defend students who were pointed at by a teacher/professor since they don’t understand what it means to be stereotyped by your skin color or the size of your eyes. One wouldn’t blame the actions of a teacher/professor on students. Yet, when a video of an individual student goes viral on the internet that shows the educator criticizing a student, it’s more likely everyone would defend the educators, saying he/she probably didn’t mean it in a racist way. That might be true; however, the educators need to be educated about her/his students’ culture and have a background about the place they came from. Not all stereotyping seems terrible to the educators, as some of them think that stereotyping Asians by saying you guys are geniuses at math, sounds like a good compliment, but what if that student was in particular not good at math, did that teacher ever think of how that student would feel at that moment? Expect students to be good at something because of their cultural background, which could lead the student to drop out of school/college because of the pressure they were put into.

From an online document, Discrimination against Black Students in White Colleges, written by Joe R. Feagin, the document had described the life of black students in white universities, what it is like, how they are treated differently from others, etc. Black students were compared all the time to their fellow white students, as one of the students specifically said that after telling her teacher the result of her SAT, he responded with ‘I don’t know why they let you in, you are not expected to do well. There are so many people like you here that aren’t qualified’ (Feagin 558). That student doubted herself the whole time after hearing those words coming out of her professor’s mouth: perhaps I’m not good enough for college. These kinds of words could bring the self-esteem of students down. It also could be the main reason that some students stop their education at once.

This source gives us a clear message about how black students are treated in different culture’s educators. That the discrimination that is committed toward black students are not just accidents but it’s intentional racism, and educators are aware of every word they say to their students. It shows that as if the author is taking sides because it’s all against white and the way they treat black students in their universities. However, the document didn’t take a side, as it was more likely providing us with information that not everyone has known of. Most students have plans for themselves and what they are going to do after graduating.

The document Racism in Schools, stated by Rob Kuzina has an emphasis on unintentional racism in institutions by giving the example of Alejandra, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, who graduated from a high school with a 3.3 GPA. The author mentioned that, she was the only Latino student with immigrant parents enrolled in a college-level program. Many of the fellow students came from the Santa Barbara County community of Montecito, one of the wealthiest (Kuzina). When the plan to take guidance from a counselor about going to a four-year dream university started, the counselor advised her to go to local community college. Although the counselor had Alejandra’s best interests in mind, the decision the counselor mad was a classic example of unintentional racism

This source is informing us about the treatment of school staff members to students of color. Deciding the future of a student isn’t the professor’s job, directing them is. The example Kuzina gave us says a lot about the way school staff looks at students: if you don’t speak affluent English you won’t be good enough to attend a four-year University. This might not seem to be racist. However, the professor stereotyped the student by ESL students. Their thoughts will be if you are only learning English right now, by the time you graduate from high school you will be able to do English classes, nothing more. This article isn’t taking a side; it’s more likely they’re notifying us about the racism and the stereotyping that’s happening in our educational environment.

The article Schools Are More Segregated Today Than During the Late 1960s, written by the author Emily Richmond, argues how political decisions got an impact on communities and how in particular it has affected students now and then. Students had faced all kinds of racism in public school, as some were unintentional but most of them were meant to be said and understood in a certain way. More specifically, this article discusses the speech of President John Kennedy to the class of 1963 in San Diego. Black people had too many challenges living and attending schools due to the de facto segregation that exists in the north where schools are separated, as black students can only attend the schools that were built for them and when they get to a higher level of education; they’re going to face all kinds of racism while being educated (Richmond). President Kennedy tends to blame the court system for doing nothing to change the current segregation in schools by ethnicity, poverty, and language (Richmond)

Reading this article, we realize that segregation still exists and racism was never over. However, now a lot of things had been changed, and institutions are more developed and understanding the concept of discriminations. It’s true that political decisions have a significant impact on communities’ actions but still, every person is responsible for their actions, as people intend to be racist without being told or forced.

“I Was a Racist Teacher and Didn’t Even Know,” is an article written by Laurie Calvert. Calvert is a teacher who taught for fourteen years in North Carolina. As an English teacher, Calvert had always introduced black authors and civil rights movement into her class lessons thinking of herself that way she is supporting black people and keeping their rights that way. Calvert never doubted herself for being racist even though she sees black students would get suspended over actions that white students would not. However, Calvert started realizing that at some point she was racist in an unintentional way. Calvert showed the class a movie called Glory that explains how black people were treated in the 1900s, ignoring the fact she got a black student in the class that surrounded by mostly white students. Moreover, that led the parents of the black student to reach out for the school telling them their child’s teacher is racist for doing that. “I became more aware of my tendency to stereotype, fear and blame Black people, (Calvert).

The perspective of this article proves the fact their too many racist white educators are out there in our community. Educators should read multicultural books and have a background of their student’s culture. Most of the racist incident happen unintentionally which is not meant to happen because educators have no clue what kind of community they are teaching.

The article The Culture-bound Counsellor as an Unintentional Racist, written by Paul Pedersen talks about the unintentional racism that happens in universities. The racism that is unlike to change in one to two days. People depend on science to protect themselves from unintentional racism and inappropriate behavior toward them. Different research papers prove people lack education of culture

Paul is more likely stating facts about the environment we live in than having an opinion on or take sides. Every time someone sees a foreign person, they will run to them and ask about their origin. Stating you do not seem to be from here, are your parents from two different countries because you look mixed. Sadly, to hear those questions are not just asked by random people but by educators too and when they are done asking those questions, they would end it with not meant to offend you, I am just curious.

An online article Unintentional Racism, Institutional Racism, and the Achievement Gap, written by Natasha Pollard state that intentional racism is no less harm than intentional. It can be true racism ancient happens even if you did not plan for it or thought about it; however, the results of those ancients reflect badly on students. If a professor points out a student because of her/his color in front of her/his classmates more likely, the student would feel uncomfortable socializing and connect with their fellows. That could cost gap between white and colored students. unintentional racism and accidental racism are just contributing to widening the achievement gap between the white student and students of color.

The author did an excellent job of providing examples from an actual accident that happened to some individual students. It is a clear message for professors to realize what they have done isn’t harming the student they are pointing but also the classmates of those students. That could cost students to be so intensive about each other’s cultures and would more likely to avoid this subject.

Mostly all the sources had mentioned that unintentional racism could reflect poorly on student’s life. The educator would throughout anything comes to their mind not wondering about the results of their words on those students. Stereotype and unintentional racism have been an issue for decades in the United States. It might not be as bad as it used to be in the past however racism still exists everywhere in our life and would more likely this kind of an accident as the educators named it, could happen to you one day and all that is results of lacking education on culture and colored communities.

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