that I chose this discussion as the sample is because it incorporates opinions
from almost every student in our class and it lasted 5 days.
The goal of WebTalk is to have out-of-class discussions so it is
successful when everyone gets involved and it is very in-depth.
Jen wrote in her first
"My Aunt married an
African-American man, and I have two cousins who are bi-racial. At first they
couldnít even find an apartment because people were not excepting of
Jen, a lot of people say that
racial prejudice is a thing of the past, but it seems from your comment that
your biracial cousins experienced something like it. I have heard
African-American people tell me stories, like being followed by security in
K-Mart, for example, that make me think that maybe it still exists but is
invisible to me, since I am white.
What do you think? Renee
Racial prejudice and religion
of the things that infuriate me most about our culture(s) today is the
hypocritical viewpoint some religions have about people who are different. My
dad and step-mom, for example, are Protestant, and they are always talking about
how good Christians are supposed to be generous to everyone and accept everyone,
despite their lifestyle, race, etc.
fine, but then, my dad and many people in the church are always whispering about
"mixed marriages" and how it's a shame for the kids.
do they talk so condescendingly about it? I think that kids from bi-racial
backgrounds have a rich opportunity to learn about and be part of both races.
The only challenges they have to face are people that say one thing about being
accepting and then talk about them condescendingly.
seems that for the most part, people in my generation aren't so closed minded.
It also seems that some people (not all, I don't mean offend anyone) who are
strongly affiliated with a particular religion are more likely to pass judgment.
you all see the same patterns I do?
Courtney, I completely agree
with you about this pattern. I think you explained really well something I have
been thinking for a while and never really put into words. But your example
makes it clear. I think it's like a weird cycle. People who don't approve of
mixed marriages often say they are concerned about the children, who will have
to face challenges in being accepted. But then who are the people these kids
have to worry about; the people who are concerned about them...etc.
I think people who say they
are concerned about the children of mixed marriages are just saying that to hide
something deeper, even if they themselves are not fully aware of it.
That's my opinion, and I don't
mean to put down your dad, because I also have family members who say things
like that and I love them.
What do you think? Renee
Although I think racial
prejudice definitely isn't as common as it used to be, it still exists. I know
when my family looked into buying our house our next-door neighbors were
tentative to meet us because they thought we might not want to live next to
black people. We live in a conservative part of PA, and although I consider
myself and my family very open minded, there are a lot of people that don't
think like that where I am from. I think the more sheltered a life someone leads
the more prejudice they often are because of a fear of the unknown. When you are
not exposed to different people and backgrounds you may end up believing false
ideas about others. That's why I think this class is so important because
everyone can gain so much from learning about different cultures and ways of
life. If everyone could have ways of getting together more, then I think racial
prejudice could be ended because people could know each other for who they
really are and not the superficial aspects that breed stereotypes and racism.
Re: racial prejudice: a thing of the past?
sad to say this, but I really do not think racial prejudice and segregation will
ever completely fade away. There will always be certain individuals, whatever
race they may be, that will have hatred towards others. I completely disagree
with racism, but ignorance is something that will forever be present in our
world. I can recall a similar experience to the one Jen gave. At the time, I
lived in a completely Caucasian neighborhood, and there was a Puerto Rican
family considering moving in. Certain families and neighbors went out of their
way to be down-right mean to this family and tried to scare them out of the
neighborhood. Behavior like this is just simply inexcusable, but I feel in parts
of our world, it will be forever occurring.
I personally believe racial
prejudice is still a factor in our society and sadly, will probably always be. I
especially see this when there are bi-racial couples. I remember one time I was
over at my aunt's house and my little cousin had mentioned to her that she liked
an African-American boy in her class. My aunt flipped out on her and told her
she was never allowed to date a person from a different race. But if you were to
ask my aunt if she was prejudice, she would be quick to say no. I'm sorry, but
in my opinion, that is being very prejudice. However, now prejudice doesn't seem
to be focused on different ethnic backgrounds as much as it is based on
religion, financial situations, and even personal preferences. Many people are
quick to say they aren't prejudice but then you see them treat others
differently because they aren't like them. The only way I see prejudice coming
to an end is if people would miraculously stop being so judgmental and just
accept people for who they are and like them for their personalities, not what
they look like or what they believe in.
Sorry it took me so long to
reply but I am still in Boston. Anyways, I would definitely agree with Jen. Even
though I attended a very diverse school I saw racial prejudice everyday. One
prejudice was in the cliques. I was one of a few white people who were accepted
into a black clique, but I got looks from a lot of people that very plainly said
"why are you hanging out with them?" My father will not allow me to
date black men because he feels that it will inhibit my career plans. I saw it
in the classroom also. I was mostly in honors and AP classes and there was no
diversity in those classrooms. However, when I took a regular history class I
found myself in a classroom with mostly African-American and Latino students,
some of whom would have done well in an honors or AP class. I think that our
counselors were not willing to put them in higher level classes because their
race, stereotypically, did not do well in higher level classes. I saw a lot of
that in the college acceptance process as well. We had a lot of students, of
many different races, apply to top Virginia schools early decision. When the
results came back we saw that a lot of the African American girls got into the
schools that they applied to and they had the same or slightly lesser scores
than the white girls. I know that I sound prejudice in some of this but I can
assure you that racism is one thing that I cannot tolerate. Whether itís
whites on blacks or blacks on whites, its racism all the same and it is
definitely not over. I don't think that prejudice will end until we are all one
race, whenever scientists predict that we will all interbreed to create a
Re: racial prejudice: a thing of the past?
saw in Nikki's response that she said prejudice wouldn't end until we are all
one race. I think we would face a major loss if differences faded out. I know
that I have not had to face much prejudice due to my race, but I think the
different variations of race and culture is what makes everyone individual and
beautiful. I think the barrier to equality is superficial and unfounded ideas. I
think it would be very sad to think racism can only end with a universal race.
Things have improved a lot in a short period of time, so I hope we can just keep
going on that path toward complete acceptance (even if it does seem a little naÔve).
I agree with Renee when she
implies that there is a certain standard for blacks and whites. I worked at a
department store for about a year and made friends with many of the younger
security guards. They would point out what a stereotypical
"suspicious" person looks like, and I'd say that about 3 out of 5
times it was a black man. I don't think they realized, but thatís what they
were trained to see. They didn't once point out a white woman, although the
majority of people they picked up were white women.
I think that prejudice,
whether it's racial or not, is something that will always be around. For years,
people have been hated for no reason. Jews, African Americans, Chinese,
Japanese, and most recently Middle Easterners have only been a few of the
victims. Most people are prejudice without even realizing. Once you tell a
'black' joke or a 'Polish' joke you are being biased, although it may be
completely innocent. Even though in recent years it has been more "hush
hush," as long as there is someone who is different, their will be
I agree with Courtney that
kids from bi-racial backgrounds have a rich opportunity to learn about and be
part of both races. One of my cousins who I talked about in my mini-projects is
a second grader. On Martin Luther King Jr. day he told me Aunt that he was
thankful for him. Because of course, "If MLK was not around to stop racism,
then you would never have married Dad and then there would be no me...oh, and
also Oprah definitely would not have her own show!" I thought that was
cute. But it is interesting to see
at seven years old he already can understand the progress our country has made
with issues such as racism.
I strongly believe that our
society is still not ready to confront racism. In my Racial Inequality class
last spring I became very aware of the fact that racism is so prevalent,
particularly in our government, because although racism may not be a blatant
action we see everyday, it is systemic- meaning that it is embedded in our
institutions, which trickles in to everything. I know this sounds confusing but
has so much to do with our nationís history and how it has shaped the lives of
minorities. I could explain it more if anyone wants. I think it is really
unfortunate because I think that growing up in a diverse community, allows you
to be a more open-minded person on a whole and can enrich a childís education
"Although racism may not
be a blatant action we see everyday, it is systemic- meaning that it is embedded
in our institutions, which trickles in to everything."
First, I must admit that I
didn't know that there was such a thing as a racial inequality class here at the
U of D. But maybe that's what happens when you leave the country for three
years, you tend to lose touch. Anyway, sounds interesting!
Second, I am interested in
hearing more about what you learned in this class. Is this related to the notion
of institutional racism?
I would have to agree with you
that I too see the patterns you are taking about. My whole family is Catholic
and always says that they arenít prejudice, but when they see two people
dating who are of different ethnic backgrounds they always make comments about
it, but play it off like they are joking. I donít understand why they made the
comment in the first place if they say they arenít prejudice.
Things are a lot different
today then when our parents were growing up. It is acceptable in society for
people of different races to be together. That wasn't so when our parents were
young. When our grandparents were young, it wasn't even acceptable to marry
someone that was from a different religion or ethnic background. Our society is
getting a lot more tolerant of different things and our elders need to become
accustomed to that.
Megan said in her comment,
"It is acceptable in society for people of different races to be
together." However, if it was acceptable would we really be discussing this
topic? I'm not even sure if it is acceptable of two people from two different
religious backgrounds to be married. I think that it is more common, but
acceptable, I'm not sure. My mom works at a very diverse college. She always
says how she isn't prejudice, but if I ever married an African American man,
that would be it. We are also Jewish and I think if I don't marry someone who is
Jewish they would disown me. I definitely agree that ways are changing and
societyís views and opinions need to keep up with our changing ways.