A Story of the Way Racism Manifests Itself Today

I recently spoke to my mom the other day and she told me a story about her best friend from high school that I thought was particularly interesting for purposes of our class. Her friend Carrie adopted three children from China since she was never able to have her own children. The middle child is currently a senior in high school and for the past few years has been struggling with a disorder known as Reactive Attachment Disorder. Here is an explanation of the disorder to provide a background for the actions of Carrie’s daughter:

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Taking The Next Step

Throughout the past few weeks I have noticed many people posting comments about Trayvon Martin on Facebook. Their comments range from different news articles, pictures of a boy holding skittles and their own personal opinions filled with anger at the injustice of the situation. Whereas I am glad to see that these individuals are clearly outraged by what happened, I also know that these postings are their only efforts to speak out against this problem. Many of the postings I have seen were from students here and the number of postings I saw that demonstrated disagreement did not match the number of people who attended the talk about the Trayvon Martin case at the Multicultural center the other week, as I did not see any of my peers who were posting these things in attendance.

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The Unknown Gravity Of Stereotyping

The following links provide news coverage about an assault that took place at Trinity College, which is about 15 minutes from the town I live in CT.

http://vimeo.com/37918446

http://articles.courant.com/2012-03-05/community/hc-trinity-assault-0305-20120304_1_frederick-alford-trinity-tripod-trinity-college

The victim was a Sophomore at Trinity College and the incident occurred in the early hours of the morning on Sunday March 4, 2012. Trinity College is located in Hartford, Connecticut, an area that does not hold a very good reputation for being safe. The second link is the first article I read about the incident a day after it had happened. It does not provide a description of the suspects’ or provide much information about them in general. The feeling I got from reading the article (the second link) was that Trinity’s Campus Safety needs to do a better job of protecting their students from crime that may occur on campus and incidents occurring with people who aren’t members of the Trinity Community (people who may live around the campus and have easy access onto the campus).

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Does Race Have Anything to do With It?

The link below is a news article in the Hartford Courant regarding a member of the Northwest Catholic High School basketball team (my high school which I graduated from).

http://www.courant.com/sports/high-schools/hc-zach-lewis-0210-20120209,0,2674229.story

Zach Lewis was dismissed from the team as a result of an issue that occurred completely outside of school. The school was not obligated to kick him off of the team since the incident did not happen on school grounds. However, he is no longer a member of the team as a result of the event. Two years ago, three members of the girls soccer team were caught drinking at a school function. Two of the girls were so intoxicated they had to be sent to the hospital from the school event. These girls were suspended from school for two days, but were never kicked off of their soccer team. The following year they were all made captains for the team as well.

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Addressing an Individual of Another Race

This past weekend I went to see the movie Red Tails in theaters which is the story of the a group of African American fighter pilots during World War II. They are faced with a great deal of racism as they are viewed to be not as capable to fight against the Germans in comparison to the other White pilots. Towards the end of the movie the African American pilots start to conquer many missions against the Germans, gaining the respect of the white pilots. One day they are at a bar together and and one of the African American pilots says to a White pilot, “White people turn red when they become angry, green when they are sick, and they are called yellow when they are cowards but you call us colored!” This leads the White pilot to then ask him what their race prefers to be called. The African American pilot informs him that they prefer to be referred to as “negro.”

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Moving Past Discomfort and On to Change

When talking about systemic racism, Connie addressed us as a class inquiring about who was a racist. Being asked such a weighted question has truly stuck with me and I have continued to re-address it since that class. I also have another class with the same teacher; while teaching a lesson she used me as an example and asked the same question (are you a racist) infront of the whole class. I was completely aware that she was just trying to make a point and although she then explained to the class that I was a student in her contemporary racism class, I completely froze. Although I knew the answer to the question and had just answered it a couple of days before in our class, I found it extremely uncomfortable to give my answer, and to be honest almost could not answer. At first I was very confused about how I could answer this question in one class, yet was so uncomfortable and uneasy when asked this question in another.

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