Fostering Racism

For our final project for Contemporary Racism, we were placed into groups, asked to pick an interesting topic concerning race, do individual research, and record a podcast with our group. My group chose to look at racial disparities in the American foster care system, a subject about which I had no prior knowledge. At first, I was uneasy about choosing a topic that I knew nothing about, feeling as if my unfamiliarity would provide me with some sort of …

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Psychological Parasites

The world is full of hierarchies, organized in distinct categories with distinct characteristics. Hierarchies have a sense of superiority and inferiority between the things being ordered, such as movie ratings. Movies can be rated in different categories, but there is a sense of one movie being better than the other movie, and then better than the next. This can also happen with people. Some experts, such as Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow) say that the hierarchy of people …

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The Road to Racism is Paved with Good Intentions

Recently, a friend of mine introduced me to the Comedy Central web series “Drunk History.” The host of the show conducts a boozy interview about a specific topic based on U.S. history—primarily unconventional stories—that are then retold with famous people. Given the fact that the interviewer and interviewee are at various levels of intoxication throughout the conversation, I was surprised to find how factual the events truly are. Specifically fascinating is the Harriet Tubman story, in which they discuss …

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Predisposed to Disaster: Institutional Racism and Hurricane Katrina

I was only 9 years old when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, so I do not remember that much about the coverage of the disaster at the time. My parents largely tried to shield me from the extreme tragedy that took place in the city. I knew that a hurricane had hit, and I knew that it was bad, but I had no conception of the extent of the damage and lives that were lost as a result of …

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Race & Poverty: It’s Different in America

While in Barcelona over spring break, I found myself thinking a lot about our discussions in Contemporary Racism. The points about the history of the racial caste system in our country that were highlighted in the New Jim Crow readings were put into context when I visited Spain. Although race relations are troublesome universally, it seems when you step outside of this country that poverty may impact minority populations to a greater extent here in the United States than in other …

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“Not our Problem, Dude”

This past break, I spent some time in New Orleans. We decided to take a walking tour to learn more about the history of the city. Our guide asked, “What does NOPD stand for?” Without hesitation, we replied, “New Orleans Police Department!”. He immediately said, “Nope… It stands for ‘Not our problem, dude’.”  This obvious jab at the police department resonated with me, especially after reading about the racism revolving around Hurricane Katrina. As I walked around different neighborhoods, …

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Hurricane Katrina: Facts We Lost in the Storm

In August of 2005, a devastating storm, Hurricane Katrina, shook up the southeastern United States in a way that no one could have predicted…. Or could they? Behind news stories through televised reports, newspapers, and social media, there was an unspoken controversy that many people did not know about – race and race relations between the authorities running the institutions (such as the FHA and FEMA) and the Black population in New Orleans. Through reading an article called, “Institutional …

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