Challenging Racism (Online Writing)

Do you have memories of family or friends challenging racism during your life?  What sort of impact did this have on your?  What sort of examples of challenging racism did you learn about in school?  Why do you think we learn so little about examples of change and what impact does this erasure have?  With the above in mind, write about racism and change, and how to address the inequalities and injustices we have talked about during class

250-300 words

Last day May 3


32 thoughts on “Challenging Racism (Online Writing)

  1. I was born and raised in Korea so I didn’t see too much a mixed race. However, when I moved to the US, I notice a much more diverse culture mix. During this time, I noticed small racism here and there. Some examples of challenging racism I learned in school were not having favoritism over people that were different than me. Being Asian made it pretty easy to not seem this way. The inequalities we see between different races can be addressed in different ways. First way I believe is to look into our similarities rather than our differences. I always notice that there are things I am interested in that other people are interested in as well; no matter their race. I have used these interests I have to make new friends when I moved here. Inequalities are traits that will always be present. Therefore, we can’t focus on them but look over them and see what our similarities are. The best way for us to make things seem like they are equal is to look into what we like to do as a group and focus on that. We don’t learn much about these examples of change and it makes us seem naive. As we learn more about these things that are present, we can make the changes in our lives. These changes can make the inequalities that affect us in negative ways, less negative but actually beneficial. Because racism is crucial to the inequalities and injustices we face, we need to do our best to teach these things and make sure we teach these things when the students are young.

  2. I grew up on the West side of Washington in Federal Way and went to the most diverse Jr. High and High school in the area. Caucasians were the minority. It wasn’t quite a challenge dealing with the different races at my school. For the most part everyone got along great. You would see the basic stereotypes thrown out each other especially in Jr. High where teasing is at its highest peak but it was mainly all blown over once everyone moved onto high school. I personally never faced any challenges facing racism. I grew up in a house hold where I believe my dad grew up to be racist but he gradually moved out of it. I see it come out now and then but he has become a very accepting person and I think that has also influenced me to be who I have become today. I wouldn’t have grown anywhere else because my best memories are with the people that I grew up in Jr. High and High school and we are all different diversities and so welcoming and friendly, nothing from what the title of Federal Way gives. I feel like I gained a huge benefit from going to a school that was that diverse because it has made me who I am today. I first went to CWU and met a girl who hated Mexicans and African Americans and I was so offended (I’m Caucasian) because she was so ignorant and just a complete dumb-ass who didn’t know anything about the world but stuck in her own world of being racist. I couldn’t even believe that there were people like that out there. It was quite astonishing. The things that I learned in school were surrounded by the history that we have encountered in the past. Like WWII or Civil rights, nothing really related to our lives now. It wasn’t until college that we had the GER’s to take that talked about such things. I think that it is backwards, we should be learning about all of this in high school because that is where initially racism is still happening among teenagers and the teasing is at its highest peak. I think that we learn so little in High School and Jr. High because education requirements are totally different and I think that especially in states like Washington they feel they need to focus on other subjects because students can’t even pass the state required tests that administrators give to them. When in reality education is far beyond just subjects taught, but also how our society is as a whole.

    Racism and change are really hard concepts to discuss because we think that we’ve moved past racism due to the Civil Rights Movement but in reality we still face it day to day. I think stereotypes tie in a lot how racism is dealt with today. Whether it’s our culture, skin color or body type people make inappropriate jokes that they say they don’t mean but shouldn’t be said at all. Every single individual is going to be different and we’re not always going to like our neighbors. The inequalities and injustices that we face should be addressed in a civil way with a blunt outlook on facing the facts of what we have and can put use of other then what is negative. Like the videos in the participation, the one of Carmen Russell she knows that she has image that can be used as a power, but you need to realize you can’t abuse it and make it so society doesn’t construct you and make things unfair. But show that you’re your own individual who’s more important powerful and equal beyond just an image.

  3. I would definitely agree with Nicole^ in that people who hate other races live in such a shallow box they are limiting themselves to literally only interacting with a small portion of the world’s population! We all live on planet earth and we are all humans. I did a project on John Brown, a white abolitionist who we talked about back in junior high and it’s crazy that he was so passionate about challenging and ending slavery that he was willing to do anything neccesary to achieve his goal. I think movies play a huge role in challenging racism. One of my favorites, Remember the Titans, made me respect the struggle that both black and white people had to go through back then. Books are important in challenging racism too. We all probably read To Kill A Mockingbird in high school, and besides being a good book it teaches kids at a younger age how racism can negatively impact an entire town. Atticus defends a black man – something unheard of back then. He is definitely a fictional hero and the book really opened people’s eyes in that you can stand up to racial inequality. I think pop culture is such a big part of people’s lives that it is one of the most important tools in challenging racism.

    I play a lot of basketball, so I’ve heard all the racial stereotypes out there concerning sports. However I think lately people fully respect other players on the court, and skin color doesn’t really matter in basketball. I would play 5 years ago and all I would hear is “pick the black guy first” or “he’s white all he can do is shoot threes” but I think people have realized if you can play you can play, skin color doesnt mean anything. People look at Duke’s basketball team and often think of just a bunch of white guys, but I’ve noticed more and more people respecting them as simply a basketball team – not just a bunch of good white guys. So people haven’t just challenged racism, they have understood that there are so many more important things to worry about and fret over than someone’s skin color. Yeah there are still those people out there that discriminate but I’m happy our society is challenging racism as a whole.

  4. I have had challenges of racism during my elementary years. The impact that it had on me was that it did scar me for life. I was basically critizied because of the way I looked and not because of who I was. Racism doesn’t have to enter into our lives and I know that change is what can make that happen. When people profile because of race, it only helps the injustice go on and it keeps making race a topic that needs to be avoided. If we change and make race something that can be a topic for normal, everyday talk, there would be a lot less racism in the world. When racism is used negatively or used by someone that doesn’t know you very well, it will be offensive, but if you are near people you know and if you use it in a fun, playful term, it can be a positive thing. Racism is only bad because people make it bad. I also know that from what we learned in class that racism is negative because of racial profiling. I know that it probably won’t go away, but we can try to keep that far from our minds so we can have open minds when meeting new people and not judge them based on what we think about them.

  5. Growing up racial issues were not vary prevalent in my life. It was not something that I really noticed or thought was a major problem. But as I have matured and am now older I have definitely noticed a various amount of things. Thankfully, in my lifetime, I have not faced nor witnessed very much discrimination. It can be said throughout my middle and high school years I have noticed students who hold preconceived stereotypes about ethnic groups. For instance, many believe all Asian students are smart and want to sit near them to receive help or answers. I can specifically remember several times where kids would pull their eyes sideways to make so-called “Asian eyes.” Also, throughout my schooling I have learned about the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King Jr. and his struggle. Through these various experiences it came to my attention that people have in the past been treated in a unfair way. The disappointing thing is that even today in 2013 there are still people that treat others unfairly just because of their skin color. Due to it never really being really out there or in my radar when I first started realizing examples of racism it really confused me. I did not quite understand why people were acting this way. Based on the information I have learned throughout this class I know it is going to be hard to change everyone and get things to be where everyone is equally treated. I think in order for change to take place a change in peoples hearts and minds must take place. It starts there. The government can only do so much to make changes. But I do not think laws are what will be the thing to create this change. I think it starts with every family and changing the way they perceive things.

  6. Honestly like I have mentioned before my family and I have experienced many racist incidents. I have already mentioned what happened was in a grocery store and my mom and one time at Wal-Mart with my dad. There have been many others in different places. Also like I have mentioned before, even though I come from a small town which has about 80-90 percent people living there Mexicans but those very few Americans living there really don’t like having Mexicans living there. This past year there was so many houses that were sold and I think it is because those few Americans that are now living there don’t want to be surrounded by Mexicans. In school we were never taught anything about racism. Those words not even mentioned in my school. At least by students they were not mentioned but like I also stated in another online writing for teacher it is something different. I heard from many comments from different teachers about Hispanic students. In the school where I used to go to they see Hispanic students as kids that go to school because they have to and do bad and eventually will drop out. They have many negative comments on us and see us worth less. This is not the case for every teacher. I had several teachers that I know really liked me. I have my second grade teacher, 6th grade teacher, 8th grade teacher, and one high school teacher who still call me and email me. When I was in the hospital my junior year, I was diagnosed with several diseases that I got from my pregnancy and I had help from these teachers. My high school teacher visited me. She drove from Brewster to Spokane to visit me. I also got financial help from that 8th grade teacher. She was always keeping track of how I was doing. If she saw my grades dropping she would talk to me to know what was going on. She told “I am going to push you all the way until you graduate because I know how smart you are and know you could make it”. I also had another one of my teachers tell me “Students like you make teachers like us want to keep doing our job”. This impacted me very much. I kept all the negative comments out, I knew that most teachers in that building thought Hispanics could not do it and so in my head I thought that I had to graduate. I know that even though I graduated I could not prove them wrong, I would only be one person and it would take many to prove them wrong. Anyway, I knew I had to graduate and having those teachers that really liked me also impacted me. That Jr. High teacher I mentioned helped me all the way. She was always proof reading things for me, talking to me, and was there for me when I needed her. Since I was in the hospital for about three months she was even willing to pay for online courses for me to take. She was just so helpful. She has been a very special person that I will never forget because she helped so much and much of what she did is what got me to WSU.

  7. Racism has always impacted my family and my extended family too. The first thing that came to my mind was my by cousins and my aunts husband. I have a cousin who is half black and because the town I grew up was majority Hispanic many times she was made fun of and many times she felt life she was not accepted there. She only attended my school for our seventh grade year and the flowing year ended up moving because of how bad she was called many bad things just because the color of her skin. Also my aunt’s husband is Indian and the biggest thing happened to him. When I was about six he was put into prison for about eight to nine years for something he didn’t do. The people he worked for framed him and because he had only been in the United States for a few years didn’t believe him and he was incarcerated. They had two kids and many times know they get things said to them behind their back. I did not learn very much of racism in high school. The stuff that I did was in my Central World Problems class. I think we learn so little of racism in schools is because I think that schools don’t want the teachers to put things in the students head to choose one thing from another. How we could address them is emphasize them more in schools and address them every time it comes up in a conversation. Also teach about inequalities and injustices and also racism in high schools and colleges. If they could it would also be good to start teaching them in elementary school. – Nohemi Meza

  8. A teacher of mine I had at a summer camp had us practice an exercise that allowed us to experience segregation based on things out of our control. Granted the class was predominantly African American but the other groups that came in later were not. We came into class one day and were told to sit in certain spots and people sitting on one side were treated differently the entire day. Eventually she told us but I remember feeling pretty bad for the other group that was being mistreated seeing as how I was on the would be “white side”. At first I was just glad it wasn’t me who was “in trouble”. But then I realized that the reasons I was making up for the reasons they were mistreated didn’t matter. At the end of the day what made me better than them that they should be treated poorly and I better? It helped me to put myself in the shoes of not the African Americans that I would usually have if looking back on segregation but those of the white population. It was really interesting because I remember anyone who tried to do something nice for the kids being mistreated were ostracized by the group and stopped attempting to help after that. The fact that the teachers were also in on it helped us create some mini institutionalization and it made us believe that the mistreatment was okay and supposed to happen. We started blaming the bad things that happened to them on the things that made them different from us. If I remember correctly we were using something like having dimples or widows peak as the divider or something. Now that I look back it was silly but in the moment we believed we were justified. It took a couple of kids breaking down and crying but I think we got the message. Or at least I did. I got to experience firsthand privilege and ignorance because we didn’t know until she told us what was going on. The class wasn’t a history class.

  9. When I was growing up I had an extremely racist neighbor. As a small child and teenager my neighbor would try and instill in me the reason why our town was becoming more poverty stricken and having an increase in crime rate was because of “the Mexicans”. Almost every week when I walked home from school my neighbor would make some racist comment to me about how these people were destroying our town. As a young child I was baffled by this notion. At school I had many Hispanic friends who treated me very well and I couldn’t believe what my neighbor was saying about them. My father, also aware of our neighbor’s racism, taught me these people weren’t to blame for our town’s problems and that despite their slightly darker skin tone they’re identical to you and I. This simple lesson of love and compassion that was constantly preached to me by my father instilled a genuine affection for all mankind that I am so thankful to have. When racism is challenged its amazing the affects it can have on ones temperament one can go from being closed minding and full of prejudices to accepting and loving. I believe we learn so little on examples of challenging race because in general as an American society we are so stuck in our ways of being racist that racism is simply a societal norm, which is horrible. What I can hardly fathom is that only 150 years ago we had slaves in this country. As we move further into the 21st century America needs to make more of an effort to challenge the racism that we see on a day-to-day basis. We must start by ridding institutionalized racism from all functions of society and dropping the notion of superiority that most whites tend to have. Watching president Obama give his acceptance speech in 2008 was the greatest overcoming of racism that I will ever witness in my life. I hope this serves as a stepping stone and we move to a less segregated society where people aren’t afraid to challenge small acts of racism they see on a daily basis and work towards a truly equal society. I believe for true equality to occur we need to individually work on our own prejudices, overcome them and watch the great society that will unfold.

  10. The only real challenge of racism I have from my childhood is not a certain incident, but more the mindset my parents taught me about how everyone is equal. I can remember making a comment once when I was very young about one of my sisters friend’s black skin, and I will never forget my mom pulling me out of the room to teach me better. Although I grew up in a mixed rural area with many hispanics, many of my friends were in fact white and there was definitely segregation within our school, even if it was not a formal one. There were the typical separation of seating arrangements at the lunch tables and at assemblies where the latino students all sat together up in the corner and remained unengaged. This also carried over to the classroom where as a white upper class student where most of the minority students were put in the same classes that were considered to be the “lower learning classrooms.” Dealing with the inequalities and injustices is a very difficult topic to tackle being that it is so embedded in out society. As said in lecture, racism is institutional and fed to us through social media and becomes self perpetuating. To change this thinking, there has to be a change in thinking on the base level of society. Things governmental and institutionally must change, however unfortunately in its current state it would be very difficult. This change of mind has to be a large scale because although it does do some good for a family or community to change their mindset, on a larger scale things will be harder to change.

  11. I grew up in a family that taught everyone is an equal and that everyone deserves and equal and fair opportunity to life. I, however, do have a lot of family down in the south and race down there is still a huge issue. Even though my family in the south doesn’t necessarily challenge race, it is still very predominant in the atmosphere and is easy to get caught up in some of the stereotypes that are presented. I think that seeing how different the view is on race in the south when I was younger taught me from a very young age how important it is to see everyone as an equal. There is still a lot of segregation in the south when it comes to where my family lives. They live right outside New Orleans about a twenty-minute drive past the 9th ward. I have seen the race divide since I was a little girl. In order to get to the city of New Orleans from my grandparents house, you must drive through the 9th ward. Every time I drive through it, I can see the divide and the impacts that environmental racism has on Louisiana and New Orleans itself. I’m not saying that my family lives in a pristine clean cut mowed suburban neighborhood and it is far from being all white, but you can distinctly tell where the race line is drawn and how the environment changes from a more mixed race location to an almost all African American neighborhood. I have seen the racial divide and the environmental racism that we talk about during class and I believe that since I grew up in such an understanding family that embraces race instead of shunning it, I can more clearly understand the situations that other people come from.

  12. As I grew up I never personally experienced any challenges with racism. Some of my friends faced challenges with racism and discrimination going through middle school and high school but those guys were usually the best athletes in the area. I played on the same football and basketball teams with these friends growing up and it wasn’t until high school until I realize how players of different race are treated differently but in all reality it was going on all along. We had one coach growing up that used to use the term, “look at that monkey run” when referring to one of my best friends. These challenges reach further than just the sidelines, they faced them in the classroom as well. They were treated differently in the classroom because of their race and also because they were athletes that were expected to be beneficial members of society. Facing these challenges growing up must have been hard for them but I believe it has made them better people overall. Those events that took place many years ago have shaped them into the men they are today. It taught them that being treated that way is not acceptable and more importantly influenced many of the changes in racism over the past decade. I’ve always wondered their perspective of the challenges I watched them face over the years but who am I to ask them about it. They overcame those challenges on their own and don’t need anyone bringing them back up again. In todays society racism still is alive but a ton less than ten or so years ago and much less likely to see in the United States.

  13. I didn’t think racism affected my family until I sat down and really thought about this question. My mother and I have been stereotyped and criticized based on how we look compared to other peoples belief of how others see people from the same race as us. We would always get asked when we go to the grocery store or to the mall by some people if we are “Latina” and when we reply that we aren’t and we’re Samoan they give us this weird look. I can’t count how many times it was said to me that there’s no possible way I could be Samoan because of how white I look , and apparently Mexican, and because peoples view of a “Samoan” person is big, brown and bulky looking person not skinny like my mom and I. I’ve gotten this question and reaction ever since I was little and still to this day do. Samoan is an ethnicity not a size but peoples idea of how a Samoan person “should” look just proves that this is still an issue today as it was before. This isn’t all though. My older cousin was dating a “white guy” who’s parents were very racist, they often made comments and dropped hints about how they didn’t approve of their interracial relationship, and that they should be dating their “own races”. It’s sad that people can be so ignorant and closed off to other races, they profile, stereotype and discriminate against people based on their color of their skin. I grew up in a diverse community and was always taught to be respectful and aware of other people’s ethnicity, to not judge them based on their color of their skin and that’s exactly how I am still. It bugs me when people say that I “cant be samoan” because I “don’t look like it” .

  14. Since I was a young child, challenges within our society related to race and ethnicity were extremely apparent to me. To begin my ancestors on my father’s side were German Jewish, while my mother came from an Irish Catholic background. Having Jewish grandparents who had friends and family (ancestors of mine) that had been murdered in the Holocaust had a large impact on my life from day one. Two of the things that were most stressed upon me by my grandparents were one, that I was different then a lot of other children in my classes, and that there was nothing wrong with that, but that I must be aware of the fact that we were a minority. And two, probably most importantly, never to forget about what happened to our ancestors and others in one of the largest genocides in this worlds history. In my grandfather’s words not only must we remember to help prevent these tragedies from happening again but also to make all of those lives lost worth something, not simply just forgotten. There is no doubt in my mind, that these thoughts have my grandfathers will be instilled inside me for the rest of my life.
    Beyond my ancestral background, I also grew up in the inner city of Seattle where my parents are separated and both live in middleclass neighborhoods. While I do consider myself a privileged individual, associating my families economic status with the upper middle class, this in no way sheltered me from witnessing discrimination on a almost everyday basis. Through my entire education career I have been in the public school system. From the beginning of elementary school, there are limited opportunities to stand out and succeed in such a large classroom setting. This encouraged wealthier parents to acquire extra curricular help and activities for their children, in turn helping them succeed at a quicker rate in school then their less fortunate peers who were often just looked at as lazy or unmotivated. Privileged children also had clear advantages in the justice system, often catching similar criminal charges to more disadvantaged kids, but instead of being incarcerated like their poorer peers, were often in class the next day.
    Overall racism is the largest hindering factor in the improvement and equality for our societal institutions and systems. Education is the first and most important institution that needs major changes in order to tackle discrimination and inequality. People need to be aware of the inequalities to this day in the justice, education, and government systems. Until ALL of our children receive the proper support and guidance to succeed in our education system there will be no social mobility or chance to prosper. People become American Citizens in order to achieve the “American Dream”, when the sad truth is, most will not be afforded the opportunities to achieve this dream.

  15. I am white, but I have a good friend who is Native American, and whose boyfriend is black. Before taking this class, I expressed my opinion on affirmative action to them. I agreed that universities should look at socioeconomic status, but I didn’t think they should look at race alone. They then said that being a minority race gives you different experiences in life, and that these should be accounted for. I still disagreed, and offended them. After taking this class, I see what they were referring to. I had never thought about how difficult it is to not be white. I had never thought about how when you are another race, that is primarily what people see of you. I had never thought about how every white person a black person encounters, they know they are being sized up in respect to their race. I never saw the privilege that being white gives you. I thought that being a minority gives you more advantages than being white does, but now I see that being white is the ultimate advantage in America. We learn so little about this issue in school because America breeds people to believe that we are a society based on a meritocracy; where everything people do or don’t do is deserved. It is unsettling to learn that our country in fact is still very racist and biased, and people like to pretend it does not exist. The fact that people are not taught this has a huge impact on our society because the system keeps continuing in the same unjust way. I now think that affirmative action is a great idea, and I think it is a great way of combating inequalities in our society. In addition, sociology (racism etc.) is a science, as well as biology and medicine is. Consequently, HIV/AIDS is prevented primarily by education and awareness, and I don’t see how the issue of racism should be treated any differently, given that they are both sciences.

  16. Well first off, my mom is racist toward African Americans and her only reason is because of movies she has seen or of what she has heard about them. It really does impact me because I have many African American friends and my boyfriend is half black, so she just says the same thing over and over again, “They will lie, steal, and cheat! They are nothing but mischievous people and you shouldn’t affiliate with them because they will steal from you and they have bad attitudes so I don’t want to pick up what they do or say. Oh and they talk so loud I can’t hear myself think.” So as you can see she is just a peach right? (Sarcasm). Its just hard to bring friends around if she already has that stereotype stuck in her brain when she hasn’t even met that person. From school I haven’t really learned anything, but you would get in trouble if you called someone of another race a name that somehow relates to their race, so I guess that could be my lesson, but I’ve never called anyone something because of their race, it is plain rude. I think we don’t learn about race that much in middle school or high school because they don’t want to. They don’t think it is important to shed a little light on that subject since we have our parents too. But if I would’ve listened to my mom, I wouldn’t have met some of the nicest and funniest people I’ve gotten to meet. It is sad that some are just on one mind set about a race that they won’t affiliate with them or even give them the time of day.

  17. When I was growing up my mom and dad always taught how to be a good person not to judge others on the way the look but on who they are as a person and for the most part this stuck with me for my entire life. I would like to believe in this regard I followed what they taught me, my group of friends has always been a mix of races and this is still true to this day. When I transfered from a fairly mixed middle school to a private catholic school things were obviously a little different. There was a far majority of whites and few students of other races. For this reason I beleive they established an African American Student Union. This was the greatest example for me in highschool of challenging racism. My Junior year was when the AASU decided to basically have an assembly to try to make the majority of the school understand what its like to be a minority in our school’s setting. At first I was sort of upset with the whole idea, making it an us vs. them situation. As the assembly went on it opened my eyes to how different life could be for these kids, who were the same as me, other than the fact they had black skin also the affect was that it made me think how I viewed others, even though I thought I didn’t se race. I think the best way to adress racism and create change is through classes such as CES 101, which much like the assebly 4 years ago has made me change my look on the world and also turn the things I have learned onto myself in an attempt to make the injustices a little different. In summary i tihnk the key to change is education and open minds.

  18. I was born in China, I did not see many mixed race when i was child. That’s why I did not have idea about raism. After I came to America, I start to know a little bit about racism, because America has many different race. However, I did not think racism affect my family and me, because I did not talk to my family when I met some sad things, and I did not meet a lot of raism. I like to play basketball, after I came here, I went to SRC, but many Americans guys do not trust me and do not pass me the ball. Sometimes they laught at me, and I think the only reason is because I am Aisan. In their opion, Asian shuld be week and smart with a big glasses. Anyway, I should thank them, because they let me becaome so good at basketball and sports. I think it is the biggest challenging after I came to America.

  19. While he was alive, my grandpa on my dad’s side was extremely racist and had no problem expressing that in front of my sister and I and the rest of our family. Even from a young age, I noticed how when my grandpa would make ignorant, racist comment my mother would cringe. My mom is very open minded in general, not racist what so ever, and worked at my K-8 school that was very diverse. I could always tell that my grandpa’s comments would upset my mom but I never really understood why. I figured that if he wasn’t making comments about people she knew or people that she was friends with, then she shouldn’t really be offended. I had an African American friend in 5th ad 6th grade but never took his comments personally or even thought of her when he was saying such things. Being brought up around my grandpa made me brush off racism as a prevalent issue in my life. Throughout high school, I still never thought of racism as something that still existed. I had a few African American friends and one of my best friends was on my cheer squad with me but I never took the time to ask them if they ever felt discriminated against or to put myself in their shoes. Addressing inequalities around racism can be hard but this class has shown me how beneficial it can be. People are selfish and don’t take the time to think about things that they are not directly effected by. We would see much more change around racism if everyone would stop trying so hard to avoid it.

  20. As a kid I remember my mom getting after my grandpa for being races, he didn’t know any better, he was just a stubborn old cowboy from Montana. I don’t believe my grandpa was a truly racist I think he was just grumpy once they moved him into the city. This impacted me because I was very young, so being I observed why my mother was getting mad at my grandpa. It made me realize at a young age how pointless and wrong racism truly is. In school I did not see much racism, however racism other than what we learned about in history classes and such. I don’t think we see examples of change because people are still iffy about bringing the subject up. However throughout this year I have learned the true meaning of racism, and how it most defiantly does still have an impact on today’s society. People need to get away from being scared of bringing the subject up because the only way we can move past it is if we talk about it.

  21. As a child and even after immigrating to the United States, there’s always one thing that I would always hear people around me say and this was the topic about what ethnicity my future wife would be. Whether it’s a family member warning me or my friends letting their friends know, I always would hear how people would say that they would not marry an African American individual. Although at times the person who would say something like this would clearly show that they were saying this for jokes, I always felt the little pinch that told me that even if it was a joke, there had to be a seed that this sort of humor rooted from. Being born and raised in Korea, you never saw African American people so they were sort of a mythical sort of being to me until I moved to America. Upon settling, my first best friend ended up being an African American boy and from my personal experience I don’t ever remember myself judging or belittling my best friend because of his skin color or from things that he would do or eat because of his ethnic background. I always thought that it was a unique experience to share all these memories where I am experiencing new things that a normal Korean would not. In order to address racism and discrimination towards any ethnicity, I feel that I need to set my morals straight and start with myself not being discriminatory towards others. It’s easy for someone to go along with the crowd but those who stand up for the right thing start a little spark that can turn into a wildfire.

  22. “Do you have memories of family or friends challenging racism during your life? What sort of impact did this have on your? What sort of examples of challenging racism did you learn about in school? Why do you think we learn so little about examples of change and what impact does this erasure have? With the above in mind, write about racism and change, and how to address the inequalities and injustices we have talked about during class”

    I grew up in Seattle and went to a diverse middle school and fairly diverse high school. I believe because of this I grew accustomed to other being with and interacting with people from different races at a young age. Due to my experiences, I believe that I am a much less biased or prejudiced person compared to others that grew up without that level of interaction. In my sophomore year of college I met a (Caucasian) girl that was extremely racist. After digging a little deeper, and to my shock, she told me that she had grown up in a very small town her whole life and had never actually seen a black person in person until she got to college. I asked her how she could possible racist with such few interactions with other races. She had no answer. I think this is just another example of people fearing/disliking that which is not familiar or normal to them.

    I think we learn so few examples of change because it is slightly taboo. People are automatically expected to behave a certain way, even though most never talk about it. Due to having to figure these things out on our own, some people just rely on social/family upbringing to give them the answers. Unfortunately, some of these answers will lead to prejudice or racism.

    I am thankful for my upbringing in a diverse environment and the experiences that came with it, and believe I am a better and less biased person because of those experiences.

  23. I went to a small private high school in the Yakima valley and we did not experience very much diversity. We only had about 200 students in the whole school. Most of us also went to private grade schools that were mostly full of white students too. It would have been nice to go to school where ethnicities were a little more even. For most kids at my school college was the first time we got to experience a wide range of different ethnicities. I enjoy that part of college and I am glad I went to such a big school. I was a surprisingly really easy adjustment to make coming from a school of 200 to about 18,000. In school we learned the histories of each ethnicity but weren’t able to learn from other students with those backgrounds. In some ways we were very limited when learning about different cultures. I also live in a relatively white community so I was also limited in that way too. My parents never made a big deal about other races and they were always accepting as well. My grandpa was a little different, he was raised a lot differently than the way most are now. He doesn’t talk about it much but he his fairly discriminatory towards Hispanics and sometimes African Americans. Racism is a part of our history and sometimes we are forced to face it. We have to keep in mind that others have different opinions than we do but we can also try to inform them on how time has changed and we are all equal. Society is in a different place than it used to be and we need to be reminded of that. The start of this change can start within our families. If we are raised with the belief that we are all equal, that will carry on into future generations.

  24. I come from an agricultural town where most of our parents work hard labor agricultural jobs so growing up my friends and went through racism a lot. The most notable one was when our 6th grade teachers told us that Mexicans don’t go to college and that we were going to probably end up working in the fields. She was being very stereotypical about us just because we were Mexican, she did not even know our backgrounds or even if all of our parents worked in the fields. After being in this class i definitely know now that racism is something that is very big and probably will never end. Example challenging racism in school that i have learned is to embrace the fact that you are meeting another race, as far as inequalities that we have learned in class is that latinos and blacks have it worst when it comes to racism.

  25. I grew up in a house hold that was French and Cuban. My background was very diverse seeing as both sets of my grandparents were not originally from the United States. Also, I grew up in Seattle, Washington and went to a school and grew up in a community that was not very diverse. My family did not seem to challenge racism all too much however being half Cuban and considering myself Hispanic, I was a minority where I grew up. At school many of my friends were Caucasian. There was always a certain stereotype that seemed to be given to each race that everybody mutually agreed with. I am lucky enough to live in a city where I can get out of the sheltered bubble that I grew up in and experience many different races, which I did and it opened me up to many different things. Some I did like and some I did not. By growing up in a non-diverse area it made me appreciate different cultures and made me more interested in it when I was exposed to them because it was not a norm. I think race and racism is a sensitive subject for many people. I think that it is not talked about often because it is different than a social norm that one person may be used to. Hearing about different ideals that go against one’s beliefs could be extremely negative and I believe that is one reason why racism is not discussed often.
    I think that one main contributor to stereotypes we create is pop culture. We are exposed to beliefs by people we look up to and we conform and adopt those beliefs whether they be negative or not. I think if race and racism was discussed and taught more regularly it would educate individuals and hopefully decrease how often it occurs

  26. I don’t recall having memories of my family or friends challenging racism during my life because I was born in a town where we lack diversity. In my small town we mainly had to two main races which were Whites and Hispanics (the majority were Hispanic). We weren’t exposed to all these different type of cultures and races until we left our little town. Due to the lack of exposure I didn’t know how to approach some races. Do they do handshakes? Is it inappropriate to look in their eyes when having a conversation with them? In my school we never had a rough time challenging racism because we were such a small community that we didn’t have problems with each other because of our race. I wish we had more exposure and learned about different races because it is so important to know and be aware of it. We are always taught in school about bullying but I wonder why we aren’t taught example of challenging racism. When I graduated from high school and came to WSU I was amazed at the diversity here. I wish I knew every language to understand what everyone is saying. Every day I hope I don’t offend anyone because I am not aware of what is disrespectful or not. Racism is a big part of our society and the only way to prevent racism is by being taught at a young age and becoming familiar with different races.

  27. when I moved to the countryside from the big city, at first I couldn`t get used it; because there are so many foreign workers will go outside at night. It actually let me feel annoying. Most of them come from south east Asia, speaking different languages and always go out at night around nine or ten o`clock; however, the most point I care is they always drink alcohol, get drunk and start to go crazy. During that time, I was studying in senior high, I usually finish my study around 8, I always get scared of them when I am on the way to my house; since my house is in the ally, I also have to walk through dark streets then finally can back to my house safely. At that time, I really hate why those foreign workers come to my country and do things they want and ignore our residents` feelings. From the first time I saw them doing like this, I hate all of their everything, their culture, their personality and even their language. But after I met a friend from the part of south east Asia, she totally has changed my stereotype about people there. She is respectful, outgoing and also a positive girl. I was so surprised when I knew that she was from south east Asia; because she was totally different from people I met in those countries. At first, I thought it was rude to ask why I see people from your country are so bad; nevertheless, she felt I have something to say then she asked me. Finally I took my brave to asked her. I felt shamed of myself after she explained her culture in her country. Those foreigner workers actually was only a part I saw; I shouldn`t make my whole point about a country when I know nothing about them. Every country of course have their lifestyles and cultures, also people I saw in my country doesn`t mean that all people in their countries are like this. However, when I am willing to change my view to see other people from other places, will they also are willing to change their behaviors or thinking, especially when they are in foreign countries? If only people of one side willing to change but not both sides, how can stereotype disappears?

  28. I have many memories about my family facing the challenges of racism, from when I was younger. For example, one time we were at Denny’s in California and we sat down at the exact same time a white family sat down. The white family got their drinks and was fully attended to by the waiter that was supposed to be helping us as well. We ended up sitting for about 20 minutes without the service even coming by to get our drinks. At one point the waiter clearly saw us sitting and waiting to order, but she just pretended like we were not there. After a while of sitting, my mom brought the manger’s attention to the fact we were purposely not being waited on, but the waiter tried to lie and say we had just got there. My mom argued and then decided it was time for us to leave the establishment not return again. It really did not have to big of an impact on me because of how young I was when it happened, but it opened my eyes to the fact that racism is really out there and made me begin to look at my surroundings. We have seen little examples of change because people do not find it as important of a topic to discuss because they believe the matter of racism is done and over with. Even though racism happens discreetly, to where people do not see racism right in their face but it is still there for people to experience. Racism has changed though in that not everybody is being racist on purpose. They are just unconsciously doing so, which many cause injustices within the actions and choices they choose to make when it comes to hiring employees and pressing the law on to citizens by police.

  29. My parents are both in education, and they have always taught me about race. To start with my dad is a very blunt person and has never been afraid to say what is on his mind. My dad is against racism and has always taught me to treat people the same. When thinking about race it always brings me back to my younger years. I would always make some sort of harmless racist jokes to be funny with my friends. I never thought they were bad but my dad would always punish with lectures when I did. He taught me that no matter if I intended it to be racist or not, it doesn’t hurt just others, but it also hurts me. It could have affected the way people saw me as a person and after finally realizing it I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to be known as racist so when I was younger I did everything to change. I didn’t make senseless jokes anymore and I proved to my dad that I could be above it. Without realizing it, I actually proved to myself that I wasn’t. In middle school through high school my very best friend was black. We did everything together and when I come home from college we are just like old friends again. I don’t think racism ever leaves a person completely but I do my absolute best not to be.

  30. Growing up, I personally did not deal with racism. I was born in Los Angeles, but grew up in Orange County California. The high school that I attended was majority white. I grew up in a very accepting household where racism was never an issue, for the simple fact that people in my family have married out of our race.
    Addressing racism and change begins by educating people about the inequalities and injustices that are a part of our society. By informing young adults about issues that stem from racism and stereotypes can help our community grow into a more accepting and equally diverse society. Taking a class like this or similar, allows many students to acknowledge the fact that racism still exists today. Learning about different aspects of race and racism has allowed me to become more aware of certain situations that can take place around me. For example, racist statements or jokes that one may not think are offensive can be considered racist under many circumstances.
    Becoming more aware of what you say can lead others by example to follow the route that you are taking by not accepting racist remarks. I am fortunate to not have dealt with racism personally, but many people in my family have. Being more open minded and allowing yourself to think before you say something offensive can really help our society progress. Although racism will continue to exist, if everyone took a little step in changing their outlook or attitude on racism, it could ultimately benefit our society in the long run.

  31. Growing up I personally never experienced one of my friends or family challenging racism that I can recall. My schools were diverse but mostly Caucasian. It was not until this past year that I learned that one of my friends can be very racist when that friend becomes intoxicated, yelling things like he hates African Americans. Which of course is not right to say that you hate or dislike a whole racism just because of the color of their skin. In school a growing up I learned of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat for a white man. These are all general examples that everybody knows, some examples that I did not learn until taking this class was in the movie “The Garden” and the racism that the citizens of Los Angeles went through when trying to save not their that but the gardens that they had taken pride in. Racism has come along way since the 1960’s with the civil rights movement. There is no segregation, laws that make it illegal to discriminate someone for their skin color and there is affirmative action so that women get the same rights that men are afforded. It is important to learn about these examples of racism so that our generation and future generation do not make the same mistake that the ones before us did. People growing up in more privileged communities can be oblivious to some of the inequalities and racism than someone growing up in a low-income neighborhood. By learning about racism and how this affects people in every step of life really opens your eyes and put it in the perspective of the person on the other end of racism.

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