Race and Discrimination - Kacie Cox

Racism today is described by John Green in a vlogbrothers video.

I believe that racism and discrimination are still both an issue today. Although I do not believe that it is a big as an issue as it was when both these movies were filmed (or the time period portrayed during film.) Looking at the statistics, although most American's claim that racism isn't a problem in the United States anymore, I have concluded it is still an issue. Examples I've seen of discrimination against race are the following; unequal educational opportunities within schools with a majority of African Americans and Latino Americans, black children being tried as adults in criminal cases more often than whites, and black children are more likely to be suspended from schools than white children. So yes, racism is an issue today, but I do not believe race itself is the issue.

Discrimination will also, to my belief, always be an issue in life. Going by the dictionary definition discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex. You could replace the words race, age or sex with, weight, height, and hair color, or hair length, eye color, and sexual orientation. Discrimination will still happen, it just gets associated with the bigger topics. In a later section I discuss a social experiment involving eye color and discrimination. So yes, discrimination is still an issue today.

Affirmative action, an outcome of the 1960's Civil Rights Movement, intends to provide equality to the minorities in employment. Basically it was made so discrimination would stop in education systems and the workplace.

Summary of 42

This is the story of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League baseball. Before Robinson, baseball was a "white-man's sport." With the support of Branch Rickey, his wife, and numerous fans, Robinson opened the door for many other's to enjoy the sport as well. Rickey had the idea to bring a black man into the leagues. Robinson dealt with a great deal of discrimination because he was black. An example of this was when Robinson and Rachel were kicked off of their plane so a white couple could get tickets. Players intentionally physically hurt Robinson during the games, but he didn't let that get to him. Robinson stood his ground, and stood tall through all the hate and discrimination.

Today baseball isn't a white-man's sport, to most. There are a few people who still believe that blacks are inferior to whites. Jackie Robinson broke the barrier between whites and blacks in sports though, and has made it possible for blacks to make it in the major leagues.

Summary of Remember the Titans

Two schools are integrating, a white school and a black school, forming on school. They are the first school in their football conference to do so. As the merge happens, both the boys and the coaches have to learn to get along. The black coach becomes head coach, and forces the boys to make friends with each other at a football camp. Most players don't have a problem with it, only a few butt-heads. The team is very successful once they figure out each others playing skills.This movie deals with discrimination on race and even touches a bit on sexual orientation. The community wasn't sure how to feel about the mixed race team, white students would refuse to socialize with the boys on the team because they were fine with integrating. Parents accused the coaches of not knowing what they were doing because a black boy replaced their son on the field. Through out the film other examples were seen. (The brick being thrown through the window, the coach not being inducted into the hall of face, the upset parents and students.) The team makes it to the championship, and bring the town, who was not ready to integrate, together in harmony with a common love of football (and winning.)

Having both white and black boys on a football team is nothing new in today's world. It's also no longer an issue. Although there are still some adults, and even children, who believe that whites are superior to blacks, it's not as big as an issue as it was back when integration was happening.

A Class Divided

If you have never known the feeling of discrimination, maybe reading this article (or watching the documentary) could put it in perspective for you. In "A Class Divided" a teacher preforms a social experiment on her students. All of a sudden one day the blue eyed kids are smarter, and far superior than the brown eyed kids. The blue eyed kids would get extra privileges. After a day, the roles would be switched and the brown eyed kids would be superior. Just reading a summary you don't think that children would be too affected by this simple experiment, but this is something they'll remember for the rest of their lives. If everyone had to go through this experiment, maybe there would be less discrimination today.

What is Race?

I don’t believe race is understood by society, although many will say they fathom the idea of race. I myself am still confused by it. DNA factors get into more of the genetic part of who you are, but still are included in your race. Things such as your finger print type, blood type, hair type, or skin color are factors that come into play when determining race. What is race though? The dictionary defines race as a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, similar to an ethnic group.

Is Race an Illusion?

I don’t think race is an illusion, I just think it’s an idea that isn’t fully understood. Because race isn't something you can tell just by looking at someone, and it could be a complete personal preference, I believe race is a very flexible categorization of someone. Using myself as an example, just looking at me you would guess I'm irish, which is true, making my race white/caucasian, right? Actually I consider myself to be Native American/Alaskan American because of the 1/4 of my ancestry that is Native American.

Why is Race So Important in Society?

I think that race is so hyped in society because of the controversy involved. Using a famous person, say Barack Obama for example, race is a hot topic with him because looking at Mr. President you would say he's African American, right? Is that the truth though? I mean obviously there is some African ancestry, but is that the race he identifies with? No, he claims to be Hawaiian American. The drama, and issues that swell with race are the attention grabbing factors, and I believe if people could just accept different races, race wouldn't be an important thing in society. It is also my belief that there would still be discrimination in society, regardless if race were the "issue" or not.

What Have I Learned?

The lesson that will stick with me will most likely be The Class Divided. Seeing and reading about the children, who were all equally happy, change so much within a matter of minutes was really heart rending. I never really thought that discrimination (of a subject so insignificant such as eye color) would effect someone so much. This completely opened my eyes to the issue of racism and discrimination. I don't understand why race is such a hot topic in society. I understand certain reasons for defining your race, such as census forms, or college applications, but in day to day life, I see no reason for race being brought up. I propose we challenge people to stereotype people based on something completely random, having no relevance to race, and see how hard it is.

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