Between Barack and a Bad Place - Wise
Separate and Unequal - Bob Herbert
Last semester, I took a political science class and we briefly went over the "Brown vs Board of Education" act from 1954. Other than that, every thing that I read for this weeks blog - between this webpage, the interview, and the article - was completely new information. Even though they were from different types of media and not by the same person, one could clearly see the connections within them.
The Brown vs Board of Education act was a very huge part in our segregation history. It was a big turning point and was when the "court stripped away constitutional sanctions for segregation by race, and made equal opportunity in education the law of the land." Countless hours were put in by many different people in order for this law/act to be passed. This shows how compassionate people were about this issue. Although it took quite some time, it made a big difference.
As I was listening to the interview with Wise, I couldn't help but notice how relative his points were to the issue of racism. A few quotes really caught my attention. Wise constantly brings up Obama and says that racism still exists even though some people think otherwise. At one point, he says "where in order to be a successful person of color, you have to bring it the way Obama brings it" and you "have to be truly exceptionable". This is the sad truth. It's a big change that we have a president that is a person of color and it's a very good thing. Barack Obama is our very first colored person. But then again, he also has had many years of education and many degrees. For example, Obama went to four different
colleges/universities while Bill Clinton only attended two colleges/universities. As you can see, Obama worked harder in order to have his position. If two people were running for president with the same degrees and same amount of years in college, yet one person was white and the other was black, who do you think would be chosen? Do you believe our societies no longer racist, and that they would have an equal opportunity? Probably not. Nearing the end of the interview, they said that "all [of] these events are moving us in the right direction even though it's taking quite a few decades". Yes, we have come a very long way and I think that we could only improve. I don't believe that the issue of racism is gone, but I think we have made many changes and we're doing a lot better than we were fifty years ago.
Just to add to my mind blowing readings/interviews about racism, I read the New York Times article by Bob Herbert. I couldn't help but notice how much this article reminded me of not only Wise's point and the Brown vs Board of Education, but it also reminded me of my serving learning. Herbert says that "educators know that it is very difficult to get consistently good results in schools characterized by high concentrations of poverty. The best teachers tend to avoid such schools" and within these schools, "many black and Hispanic children are enrolled". As one can see, it's not technically the race that causes these schools so have bad grades or education, yet it's the area that they reside in. It just so happens that these certain races are located in these bad areas which is why people relate the two. I find this to be completely a shame because no matter where you live, everyone should be able to get equal education (once again relating to the Brown vs Board of Education). It's especially awful when teachers avoid such schools because it's like they don't care. If they don't care, then the children won't care, and if no one cares then of course that's why these bad grades occur... "If you really want to improve the education of poor children, you have to get them away from learning environments that are smothered by poverty. This is being done in some
places, with impressive results" Herbert states, which is very interesting. As we complete our service learning, most of us have schools which reside in Providence with most of our students being of different races (mostly African American and Hispanic), once again relating both low-poverty with such races. I wonder if we had better schooling systems in Providence if the grades would improve. I know for a fact that my classroom has very lowing testing scores. My teacher was very disheartened because she knows they could get higher scores if they really tried and wanted to. A majority of the children scored below proficient, few very scored above. I'm not even sure if what I'm saying is making sense to what you guys are reading, but I just think that this is crazy. Why do children from a Providence elementary school score lower than students that go to school in a Cranston elementary school? It's not equal and/or fair for these children. If you look at the NECAP Scores for Providence schools, you can clearly see how much of a difference their scores are from an elementary school in Cranston schools (I picked two random schools just to show you).
I really believe that I could relate this last article from the New York Times to our blog post from last week with Westheimer and Kahne. The main point from last weeks blog was the difference between Charity and Change. I still firmly believe that we are in between charity and change. At first it was a charity when we started serving learning, but I think this is a stepping stone towards change. Once we become teachers, we will make a change in these children's lives. I know it. Especially with everything that we know now. Like Wise said, "it's a start, but we have a lot more to do". It's up to us to be the change that we want to see. We are the future and we will make a difference. We have come a long way and if we really want to further the extinction of racism, it's up to us to do so. Racism still does exist, and one can clearly see that by this weeks blog post. We are moving in the right direction and no matter how long it takes we will make sure it will no longer exist.
We have just seen many different instances of how racism still exists even though we have come a long way. I saw this video on YouTube a few weeks ago from 2009 on another way of racism still existing. Look how awful this was (thankfully it was only an experiment):