I found Tuesday’s lecture to be extremely eye opening but also concerning when it came to racism. Looking back at the American Civil Rights movement I found it appalling that people were murdered and tortured purely for the colour of their skin. Emmett Till’s case, however, resonated with me the most. After the lecture I went shopping and, like Emmett probably did, I accidently touched the cashier’s hand whilst getting my change. The only difference here is he was brutally murdered. The horrible ways in which black people were treated, however, was not that long ago. Rosa Parks stood her ground on a bus only sixty-three years ago and the Jim Crow Laws were abolished just ten years after that. So, the question I want to find out is “Have we really moved on?”
You could argue and say yes because we now share our bathrooms with black people and they are widely accepted in society. However, cases like Stephen Lawrence’s say otherwise. No one was convicted for his murder and the police who carried out the investigation were described by his parents as being “like white masters during slavery”. Again, you could say we have moved on as after Stephen’s case statutory processes were put in place to pursue Race Quality across all Public Bodies in the UK. But what about Kevin Scott? He was shot by police in Charlotte after they claimed he waved a gun and was an impending risk to life. However, his family say he was reading a book and waiting for his son to come out of school. This case and many others around the world have shown they involved unnecessary and inconsistent levels of force. This was only two years ago.
So, have we really moved on? I would say no. Although we have come such a long way from treating black people as inferior and segregating them on buses and in public toilets, they are still a minority in the eyes of some white people. However, racism does not affect only black people. More recently, Muslims have been treated differently because of the assumption that all Muslims are members of Islamic State. I think racism will always be a part of society in some shape or form, but it is important for me going into the career path I have chosen to treat everyone as equal. During our lecture I saw a quote from UNESCO which stated, “All human beings belong to a single species and are descended from common stock. They are born equal in dignity and rights and all form an integral part of humanity”. Going into the teaching profession, I must keep this mindset to ensure no one in my care feels unvalued or a minority. This is important as it means that everyone would work to their fullest potential and thrive as individuals.