Before my lecture on racism, I always thought the minority of people were racist, because it was rare for people to verbally and physically attack people, due to their race. However, it wasn’t until this lecture that I realised how complex racism is.
Firstly, I learnt that cultural and institutional racism does impact peoples’ individual opinions and stereotypes. For instance, our culture negatively stereotypes ethnic groups; resulting in our individual opinions being affected, e.g. our culture normalises the idea that ethnic groups are trying to steal our jobs and don’t contribute financially to our society. Where in fact ethnic groups are usually filling rejected and unwanted jobs in our local area, whilst still having to pay taxes. Furthermore, our society has indirectly embedded racism into our institutions; for example, a black individual may be charged with a harsher sentence, despite committing the same crime as a white individual. Both types of racism are causing us as individuals to unintentionally discriminate against marginalised groups.
Also, this lecture reminded me of how racism is still a widespread problem. By reading further I was taught that even in the business and political world, ethnic groups must try twice as hard to be as successful or powerful, as white individuals. For example, the UK parliament are dominated by a white population and LORD Ouseley said, “Minority ethnicities can’t break through the white executive network, to get top jobs.”
Additionally, it was brought to my attention that racism is still a problem within our educational institutions today. A teacher’s microaggressions, often result in white pupils getting more attention and help, than pupils with different skin colours. I found it worrying that our unconscious bias could even impact how we divide our time as teachers. Moreover, after this lecture I did further research and discovered that only 1% of British children’s books feature a main character who is black or from a minority ethnic group. This shows how our society still portrays the black population as inferior to the white.
This lecture has inspired me to actively fight against racism within education, by trying to make myself more aware of my unconscious biases; then hopefully I will be able to reduce any form of racial discrimination, in my classes that I attend and teach in.