An Attack on Richard Sherman

I enjoy watching football every once in a while, especially when my favorite team – the Giants – is not sucking.  Even though they weren’t playing the Super Bowl this year, I watched a little bit of the game and saw when the Seahawks won.  I missed the very short interview that Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman had with Erin Andrews (a Fox News sports reporter), though, which was also apparently very news-worthy.  Although the clip was extremely short, a frenzy erupted from it.  Andrews asked Sherman, moments after he blocked the 49ers from scoring a touchdown (which helped his team … Read more

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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How can we facilitate cultural exchange on campus?

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

This quote has resonated throughout groundbreaking historical events. The majority of German citizens did not hold Hitler’s beliefs of Jewish persecution, but very few did anything to stop it. Quite recently, a toddler in China was hit by a car in a market. 18 people walked past her but did nothing to help her. The extent of her injuries were so severe, and she died the next day. When the pedestrians were asked why they did nothing to help her, they stated that they were afraid to get involved, as they feared that they blamed for the child’s injuries. This was attributed this to the Nanjing Judge case, in which the judge ruled that the man who saved a fallen elderly woman from being crushed by pedestrians was guilty of pushing her down. In court, it was said that common sense dictates that if he brought her to the hospital, he must have been responsible. Fear of being blamed for the child’s injuries prevented the pedestrians from intervening, and their refusal to help the crushed toddler led to her. But does this quote relate to contemporary racism? If we do not address issues of race freely, are we guilty of perpetuating racist attitudes?

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Breaking the Silence is Not Easy

This week’s reading, Breaking the Silence (Tatum, 2008), describes the reasoning behind the silence of discussing racism and other issues of discrimination. Whether it is a fear of being isolated from one’s friends and family, or a fear of sounding ignorant and unaware, fear is the root of those unsure, half-smiles when your boss says something racist and expects you to agree. Understandably, people don’t like to create an uncomfortable environment, worrying that they would be ostracized by their co-workers, peers, friends, or family. However it’s difficult for me to believe that expressing your truths and concerns about society can make those who care about you turn their backs on you. I would want my friends and family to discuss these things with me, and I would listen with an open mind and would be confident that they would do the same.

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Colorblind Ideology and Its Repercussions

At the start of the colorblindness talk last Tuesday, the audience was asked to define colorblindness in laymen’s terms. I was ready to recite the textbook definitions I’d learned in previous classes, but I realized I was having trouble defining colorblindness in simple and relatable terms. I think this automatic pause speaks to the nature of colorblindness; it’s as detrimental as “classic” racism, but its insidious nature makes it more difficult to confront.

Through a hypothetical situation, which takes place in a classroom, colorblindness was explained as an ideology that challenges racism by ignoring it. The situation illustrates how individuals at an early age begin to see obvious differences between individuals of different races and instead of acknowledging and appreciating these differences, they are not only told to ignore these differences, but conditioned to believe that seeing these differences makes us racist.

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Trying To Get Rid of My Bias

Last week, I wrote about how the challenges of this class extend far beyond anything that can be explained on a syllabus, and this week I suppose is more of the same. However, what I’ve been struggling with this week, or rather the past couple of weeks, is the comment Jordan had heard and brought up in class. The specific comment, which I believe she said was made by a fellow student in another one of her classes was something along the lines of “All New Yorkers have the right to hate Arabs because of September eleventh.”

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