Different Forms of Racism:
I believe that racism can be shown through many different forms, people usually think of racism as acts of abuse or harassment, but it is also present in many non-violent behaviours as well, ex. Excluding or name calling/ jokes based on an individuals race/where they come from. Racism comes through actions as well as attitudes, any form of prejudice, discrimination or hatred solely based on their color/ethnicity or origin. “Racism is more than just words, beliefs and actions. It includes all the barriers that prevent people from enjoying dignity and equality because of their race”.
In my opinion, there is a lot of racism in Canada and in our schools, even more now that it has become more common to immigrate here. I would like the think that since there is such a wide variety here in Canada today, we would all be able to respectfully coexist and treat everyone equally, however, it only seems to be getting worse and worse.
There are a few instances/events that I have witnessed that I believe racism was at play, a lot of the time it was just subtle events taking place though, nothing overly dramatic. I do not feel good when I have to hear or see those things happening, it angers, frustrates, saddens and shocks me that people are judged or hurt all because of the color of their skin. It does not make sense to me that people would have a reaction to someone all because of their race, they seem to think that their race decides every little detail about that individual, this is not fair. I sometimes react by commenting on how that person may want to educate themselves better, I try to remind them how awful it is to use certain words or how they should treat everyone equally, but sometimes I find myself brushing these things off. I think that because it happens so often, everyday even, that it just ends up becoming such a struggled issue to deal with, it is hard to argue with someone’s stubborn “opinion”.
Responsive in the Classroom:
It is important to be responsive to the students so that they are able to feel safe and comfortable in their learning environment. Making their own unique skills, languages, beliefs and personalities an important and meaningful part of each classroom. We should able to identify each student’s passions and finding similarities between them all. A student who feels valued and respected will take ownership of their learning.
As an educator, I can create knowledge based on cultural diversity and ensuring that there is cross cultural communication. I will demonstrate equality and a caring learning environment for all by showing an interest in all cultures inside and outside of the classroom. Connect all of the students and their cultures with a visual map so that they can truly understand one another and where we all come from. This course has prepared me as a teacher to be responsive to students who are in the margins, as well as all other students by making me aware. I now have a better understanding on how all children differ and require different teaching methods and equality.
I think it is completely out of one’s control on how they feel about a person or a topic, given they are not stereotyping and they have a vast amount of specific knowledge to this person or topic. However, it is incredibly important on how they act upon those feelings, which is where discrimination comes in. If someone were to point out a prejudice action of mine, my first response would be apologizing, making sure I acknowledge the fact that I made them uncomfortable or hurt in some way. I would also thank them for making me aware of my actions so that I can adjust them to ensure that they do not impact anyone else in a negative way.
Reverse oppression is not a thing because oppression is so widely spread, “it’s about an attitude that is so deeply embedded in our minds that we act on it without thinking” (Fabello, 2015). Oppression makes one group superior to another, dominant or privileged groups always benefit, this often happens without people even realizing it until it’s too late. This dominant group then has the power to define what is the norm. This is the huge impact of racism and sexism as well, that “power group” is always going to be at the top of the hierarchy. People in those high positions get so used to the privilege and are oblivious to any other way. When these people are shown the idea of racial or gender equality, they take it as an attack or oppression. Racism goes back as far as history goes, white people have never been attacked, persecuted or even lost career chances specifically for the color of their skin, they will never have those experiences that those of color do.
Social Justice Approach:
I can prepare myself to learn through a social justice approach in a few different ways, all concerning my engagement, understanding, thoughts, reactions, and input. I can ensure that I involve myself and understand the course content in a healthy manner, addressing any resistance or difficulties if they arise. I will need to understand the importance and the need for teaching through a social justice approach, while understanding how they relate to everyday life and education. I can always remind myself how deep these issues go in our society and just how far we will have to go to correct them, the only way we will be able to correct them is to fully understand them. To learn through a social justice approach, I will ensure that I have all the knowledge and an accurate level of understanding that I need in order to respond, relay my thoughts and help others achieve an understanding. In order to successfully learn through a social justice approach I will continue to remind myself to view each side of every situation and understands each point of view as best as I can, because one single person will not have all of the experiences to understand fully by themselves.