Understanding Ourselves Racism Input

Prior to this lecture I had watched the materials and in particular felt the TED talk about growing up black was very empowering. I had the stereotypical definitions of what race, ethnicity and discrimination were however I was shocked to find out just how much they influence people’s everyday lives in that lecture.

Originally I came up with the following definitions;

Race – A group of people linked by their skin colour or origins

Ethnicity – The group in society your culture and beliefs belong to

Discrimination – Purposely excluding people in society based on their ethnicity, race or lifestyle.

An example explained to us was the story of Emmett Till a 14 year old boy falsely accused of ‘hitting’ on a white shop owners wife. It was explained to us that Emmett had later on been shot, beaten and left to die in the middle of nowhere. I personally thought this was disgusting however we were then informed of what happened after. Emmett’s uncle fought for Justice only for the opposition to be excused of their crimes. Later on it was revealed that the white female had lied about Emmett and that it wasn’t true. I felt the injustice of this story as the way people thought it was appropriate to treat Emmett based on his skin colour is disgusting and is made worse by the fact that it was all a lie.

This story in particular highlighted to me the extent of racism and its consequences and made me wonder why it still in 2017 occurs. I was shocked by how predominant racism still is especially in the US with the recent events in Charlottesville showing hundreds of people walking through the streets with torches chanting extremely racist things and discriminating against those of ethnic minorities.

In terms of discrimination the Bristol Bus Boycott story highlights the horrendous treatment of a black immigrant who was trying to get a job but was unsuccessful because the employer said they didn’t employ black people.

Before this lecture I had a very utopian view on this situation as I was under the impression that racism and discrimination was slowly decreasing however the current US situation highlights that it actually could be on the rise. I think it is extremely important to learn and be informed about these kinds of situations as it is so important that as people who are going to work with children of all ethnic origins that we are accepting and understand the troubles they often face so that we can attempt to resolve them.

I have inserted the Charlottesville event I referred to in this blog:

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