I grew up in a very small town of twelve-hundred people. Now that I look back, I realize that my town, Greenfield, contained absolutely no diversity; the population was one-hundred percent Caucasian. However, when I'd visit my friends in neighboring towns, they had lots of black friends who became my friends too, and I never thought anything of it. Until quite recently I had no idea racism still existed; I had always thought of it as something that had happened in the past, brought up only in history books. After being at Augustana College for some time, and doing some research I realized that the idea of racism is still a very much discussed concept. I believe the most prominent issue about racism has to do with schools today. The United States is rapidly becoming a multicultural society and therefore our schools are becoming very multicultural as well.
[...] Her, as were all of the girls sitting at the table were wearing nicer clothing and were talking in what appeared to be a socially acceptable and civilized manner. To account for my noticing that the one girl was black does not have to do with me being racist, but grows out of a normal feature of human cognition. As Siri Carpenter states in his article from the Scientific American Mind, humans tend to categorize to form groups and relations between objects and words in order to make sense of the world around us (Carpenter 1). [...]
[...] diversity among people in the United States . is further complicated by the addition of many demographic variables that cut across each of these ethnic/cultural groups” (Echemendia 1). In other words, there is diversity having to do with economic status within different ethnicities. I think the biggest mistake that people make is that they look at the statistics and notice that many people of minority are in the economically poorer segment, and so they generalize this by grouping people of color and economic status together. [...]
[...] A survey by the Economic Policy Institute, done in 2005, shows that twenty-nine percent of students from low-income families got a high score in eight grade math, opposed to the seventy-four percent who came from high-income families. It also shows that of those who received a high score only around thirty percent of students from low-income families complete a bachelor's degree, while over seventy-five percent of students from high income families complete a bachelor's degree (Figure A). Nevertheless, even though there might be some voluntary segregation going on in schools between the higher and lower economic classes, I believe they can all benefit from each other's economic and coincidentally racial differences. [...]
[...] As our schools become more and more diverse, whether kids on the same side of the room” or not, they can all learn more and more about each another's' cultures and values and use this realization to their benefit. I hope that as more students realize that race is not an education barrier, and as more people see that color is a mere generalization these students will not feel such hopelessness. And because students will feel less discriminated against, and will see others like the two black kids in the documentary succeeding, they will obtain a sense of self-confidence that will help them to realize that even though they come from a lower-income [...]
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