After receiving an input on race, ethnicity, patriarchy, discrimination and prejudice as part of the Values module, my understanding of the topic has significantly changed.
Before, I believed that was racism was becoming a ‘thing of the past’, which we had acknowledged as a society in order to see past the views of those less kind and stereotypical. However, I have come to realise (after interacting with the slides on the PowerPoint titled ‘Things have moved on haven’t they?’) how incredibly static racism still is in our modern day world. I was terribly shocked by the sheer quantity of case studies, events and news stories (included in the materials shared for student use) which all covered issues based on people committing acts of racism in the 21st century. This included the riots and protests witnessed in Charlottesville USA, where people were, and still are, openly allowed to demonstrate their racial views towards Jews and other ethnic minorities.
Also, I had always seen ethnic groups as being based upon your race, culture, religion or where you were born, for example, British, White, or Christian. I now understand that ethnicity is actually a ‘social phenomenon’ (Giddens, 2013) which is not based upon ascriptive characteristics, but evolutionary devices such as the prohibiting or intermarriage. This shows how easily people can misinterpret words or phrases which we use on a daily basis due to our lack of understanding on the topic.
One of the many statistics which showed how black people are still treated as lesser individuals is that black people are 3 TIMES more likely to be killed by Police than those who are white. I was absolutely appalled by this fact as it highlights how persistent racism is even today. It also shows that our legal systems and governments have failed to provide a duty of care to their black citizens.
Overall, I was seriously taken aback by how common these horrendous acts of racialization still are within our modern day society. I previously thought the government were doing enough to tackle these events, however, I now believe that they (especially America!) need to revise their strategies on tackling racism in order to make the world a safer place for everyone.