The lecture last Tuesday informed us all about the raw, harsh truth of society today. It reminded us that there is a long history of racism in the world; yet at the same time it is a current affair that lots of people are still having to deal with, today.
We first were told about the different sociological perspective of racism, which showed the many different theories e.g, Group Closure and Ethnocentrism. Next we were told about the hard-hitting case of Emmet Till, a 14 year old boy from a thriving middle class neighbourhood in the south side of Chicago. What happened to him was extremely disturbing and upsetting. It was 1955 when this case occurred, so his jury was all white males and it took them just 67 minutes to wipe all charges from the murderers of an innocent child. It is appalling that cases like this were so prominent in the past with little to no punishment for crimes against black people and such inequality in court.
We have to appreciate the progress we have made from the lynching of 3,959 African Americans between 1877 and 1950 and the offensive “Blackface” that was not only accepted but seen as entertainment. Although we are making progress in some ways, it is not nearly enough. There is still reoccurring and new forms of racism in society today. Some examples of these include “Islamophopia”, racism in politics and police violence. These are all extremely relevant issues happening all around us.
I think it is inevitable that we will come across people in our lifetime using racial slurs, perhaps unknowingly, due to the lack of education of racism. As future teachers, it is not enough to just wait until we witness racism happening and then address it; we must educate and explain that it is not acceptable and try as much as possible to eliminate racism and teach children (and adults) to celebrate diversity.