Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Connections with Race, Class, and Disabilities

No parent wants to hear that their child has a Learning disorder, since many teachers in the elementary schools are diagnosing students with learning disabilities. Could a child who was said to have a learning disability by one of the teachers be misdiagnosed? People often use past life experiences to help guide them with decisions, where race and class have a major impact on how the diagnosing may work. Say a teacher who grew up in a high class family and may have grown up seeing lower class students being diagnosed with LD's, and as a teacher she could possibly jump the ,gun and diagnose a lower income student with a LD if he or she is not performing as well as the other kids, while a middle-to-higher class student who is performing the same as the lower class student is not diagnosed with the same learning disability. A person's class is almost like a handicap in life, high-class being beneficial and low-class not so beneficial. Race plays a factor similar to class, in people's life experience, growing up they have viewed certain races as "better" scholars than other races. For instance, A Latino teacher grew up always seeing Asian students performing better in school, as a teacher he may skip over an Asian student who could possibly have a learning disorder, but since he always seen Asian students excel he could deny to himself that the student suffers from any LD. Race and Class alone cannot make a teacher misdiagnose students, there is a certain bar people use to judge a persons abilities, it is the Social-standard people have for each other.
The social-standard creates misinterpretations of what people are really like. In a society where people view White people as the top of the chain and people of color as the bottom of the chain makes it hard to really diagnose anyone as having a "learning disability". The normalcy people try to achieve keeps rising higher and higher because some people can not handle the fact that no matter what race or class you come from you have an equal chance at education, and being successful in life. There needs to be an understanding among all the different ID's people have in order to make successful diagnoses of student's with LD's. It is surprising that students around the world could be effected by the misinterpretation and misdiagnosing of a learning disorder.

Word Count: 403/403

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Intersectionality and You

The way people can tell differences within peoples' identity would simply describe the intersectionality theory, but there is so much more to it than the differences and similarities of individual's race, gender, ability, etc. The history of this theory makes it hard to tell if this theory should be looked upon by everyone to solve problems of human inequality or not. I believe the Intersectional Theory is necessary to helping the many identities of this world come together as one and to progressively stop the hate within the communities of the different identities. What separates this theory from other methods of dealing with the differences in identities of people, is it looks at the pattern and history of growth, change, and development in human's identities. Many of the different approaches tend to stay away from the history of the identity sub categories. For example, when talking about the gay rights movement, many people tend to generalize it as white gay men achieving equality, when in fact there were gay African Americans, lesbians, and "two-spirits" or bisexuals looking to achieve the same goal. How it looks at the dynamics is what makes the understanding of differences and similarities a lot easier for people to comprehend.
Audre Lorde has a quote where she basically says that it is not the differences of woman that separate them, but the ability to not recognize and deal efficiently with the differences. Audre is imposing that people need to stop ignoring the facts that people are different and that no matter what you will have to work with these differences whether you want to or not. In order to maintain social justice people need to stop generalizing or judging other people due to race, gender, class, etc, because the differences are what makes us smart, and intellectual humans.
Although the intersectional theory revolves around woman of color, it can help people understand the lives of men too. It can relate and connect different races of men, such as white man who brought segregation laws in Post-Civil War days, while there were some white men who tried to bring together whites and poor-blacks. At the same time there were African Americans who were trying to go back to there homeland while others were trying to adapt to the racism in America. The lives of many have many different aspects as woman do. Intersectionality is many times overlooked.

Word Count: 400/400

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Color Blind Racism in America

In such a politically correct nation like the United States, it is hard to justify if you are being racist whether you mean it or not. Color blind racism is something people do not overlook, even though it is still a type of racism. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva described color blind racism as being "racism lite". What he means is that people have worded a sentence to not sound racist but it still targets certain groups or people. A parent could tell there children to be open to different ethnic groups at school, but may not "approve" of certain "parents/students" due to the color of ones skin or the beliefs one may have. In a video titled "Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls" a black female imitates what a white girl would be saying to a black girl and it may seem racist but there is a bigger picture behind what some may find ignorant. In the video it indicates how whites sometimes use color blind racism to try and connect with  different racial or ethnic groups. The white girl would always say "not to sound racist" to try and cover up a racist statement or fact, thinking that it would eliminate the idea of the statement being racist when in fact it still discriminating to one race/ethnicity.
 There are multiple ways for different people to stand and gain from color blind racism. For instance, if someone is trying to gain public favor for an election, one might use racially neutral tactics to make a racially unequal fact seem equal. Although color blind racism can be used in a way to gain, many people would not admit to using CBR. People may rebuttle and say they are only being "politically correct" or "respectful". No matter how they put it they are still being slightly racist, but in such a diverse country it would be almost impossible not to be considered racist. Color blind racism causes tension since CBR is borderline racism.
A scenario in which a modeling campaign advertises the phrase, "Seek the Exotic" over an African-American woman is obviously showing signs of color blind racism. Labeling the African-America model as "exotic" would infer to most people that the clothing is from a distant country but to some it may be stating that African-Americans are different than what society has labeled as normal, thus creating tension. As I get deeper and deeper into the meaning of racism and all the types of racism there are it becomes very overwhelming. It is almost as if people have taken the meaning of race and ethnicity and used it as leverage points throughout history and has become misinterpreted to this day. As the topics continue to become more challenging, my interest becomes more complex.

Word Count: 462/462

Saturday, September 22, 2012

White Privilege

Being born and raised in America I have been aware of the subtleties of racism in daily life. I as a white American, am statistically more likely to be more successful than other minorities in America. There are two worlds in America. One is of the well-to-do, and the other is the impoverished. Although my mother is Italian, I a predominantly white, but while Italians are not the poorest group of people in the country, they have suffered their fair share of hardships. Many people will also tell you that we are beyond racism in the workplace, how ever discrimination still takes place every day. There are more unemployed minority citizens than Caucasians. Luckily, there are things attempting to fix this like Affirmative Action. As much as everyone would like to thing that America is the perfect society or a "melting pot", there will always be an element of prejudice in our country. I believe that people inherently don't approve of something that is different to them. Everyone is a little bit racist.  There is no hiding it, we all have pre-conceived notions about groups of people. People also tend to believe that their race or ethinicity is better somehow than anyone else's and that certain groups of people are a certain way. If this nation is ever going to overcome racism, people are going to have to simply get over themselves. It is hard to prove it, but it would seem that white people in America are automatically more privileged than non-whites. This is upsetting, as we know America to be the land of opportunity. Most people would blame the government for this, which may be a rightful blame. Conservative politicians are only or mostly concerned with the rich individuals of the nation. The Poor people of the country do not have very much of a voice in the legislation. Poor people in poor communities receive  poor education, and have poor job opportunities, the cycle is never ending and it is sad. There is not much that can be done about it, the only thing that i can really do about it is realize how privileged I am. I also try to not take any of the privileged for granted. There are lots of people who are less fortune than I am just because of their race or ethnicity. It makes me sad the way society is, but I know that the more people become informed about these issues, the more understanding everyone can be.

Word Count: 416/416

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Race and Ethnicity

Race is societies' way of classifying the many different people we have on Earth. In the United States there are diverse amounts of races and ethnic groups, making many common racial classifications. Whether it be Asian, Caucasian, or African, people in The United States most likely refer to groups of people using these classifications as a generalization. How can one label another with a certain race or ethnicity? From a persons facial features, to a persons lifestyle and beliefs, or even cultural backgrounds and heritage. There are multiple different factors that people use to label others in a certain race or ethnic group. Between different countries, racial categorization is universal up to a certain extent. The skin color and facial structure of a person is a universal method used to racially categorize others. Within different countries the classifications may get more complex due to very slight differences between lifestyles and beliefs. For instance, in Italy the classification system is a little more than just being Italian. The people located in the southern islands of Italy are considered Sicilians, while the people who live in Rome are considered Romans. This is true with Hispanic and Asain cultures as they take pride in their individual ethnicity such as being Ecuadorian or Korean rather than being generalized by race as Latino or Asian.

Although race and ethnicity are used hand in hand, they have one major difference. Race is used as a simple generalization of the human race, while ethnicity is the more descriptive generalization of certain races. For example There could be a white man walking down the street, easier to recognize under that classification over guessing his ethnicity which could be Irish or a Latino. I believe that I would be classified as a white male for race due to my skin color and hair texture. As for my ethnicity I would fall under the category as an Italian, due to my cultural background and heritage.

Majority of people I have conversed with in my life have been easily able to guess, what I believed classified, my race. When it came down to my people of my ethnic background, I have trouble identifying them. I have been mistaken for a Latino before. When I ask others why they thought I was Latino, most of the people said it was my mustache I had been growing, a characteristic commonly associated with Latinos. In understanding race/ethnicity is important to learn about the different types of races/ethnicity.

Word Count: 415

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Constant Battle of Ethnic Studies

San Francisco State's strike in 1968 was a major turning point for minority rights and a rise to ethnic studies being recognized as a legitiment class. Too this day many students take the Ethnic Studies course San Francisco State offers to learn about the different lifestyles and histories of different cultures and races. Unfortunately, there is a constant debate to whether Ethnic Studies is an appropriate class for students to take. People believe ethnic studies is only meant for certain ethnic groups causing a division between ethnicity and races. It is confusing how people can believe this. Back in 1968 the students were striking to make a strong, visible stand for minority rights. The students wanted to create equality among themselves and others. I believe ethnic studies was created to teach, inform, and enlighten students who take it, not create division ethnic groups. Everyone can benefit from ethnic studies to create an understanding and tolerance of diversity in the world.

The issues regarding ethnic studies in 1968 differs a little bit from the issues of ethnic studies in our current time. Back in 1968 students were fighting to bring ethnic studies up as a class and now students are fighting to keep ethnic studies a class, but why would anyone want ethnic studies banned? In Arizona a house bill was passed that banned any class that promotes the overthrow of the United States Government, promotes resentment toward a race or class of people, designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group, and advocates ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupil's as individuals. How ethnic studies falls under this house bill depends on how the person views the class. A 1968 striker would argue to a legislator of HB 2281, that banning ethnic studies would be considered racist and unjust. The legislator would argue back saying the class is targeted for a certain ethnic group. In my opinion anyone could take the class to come together as humans, with an understanding for adversity in the world.

In a debate on Anderson Cooper 360 Dyson, a supporter of ethnic studies, believes that ethnic studies has made America a better place, making the idea of democracy real. Horne, a protester of ethnic studies, believes students should learn about all ethnic races and not a specific ethnicity. This is contradicting to say the least, how can you want all students to learn about different ethnic races if you ban classes focused on certain ethnic groups? It is as if the legislators of HB 2281 want to cover up the mistakes and "the ugliness" of America's history. These mistakes are crucial to understanding how America became the way it is today and should not be held back from students.

Word Count: 448

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Understanding Ethnic Studies

People of different races and cultural backgrounds don't always understand other peoples' cultures, which includes more than just different foods and races. Cultural differences also includes how people practice religions, view family structures, and practice religious beliefs. So, the importance of knowing about other ethnicities is important for society to get along and respect one another. Some people may view other people as being less important than others. I think all people benefit from learning about one another. I believe Ethnic Studies is basically the history and culture of the various minority groups in America, (Native Americans, Latinos, African-Americans, etc.). Most American history classes don't go in depth in teaching the many important, and detailed facts of how minorities helped build America. So, Ethnic Studies is a very important  class to take.

I think Ethnic Studies was developed as a discipline to make sure there was a detailed understanding of how all people impacted America's development as a country. History classes seem to focus on Caucasians when trying to discuss events in our past. During the 1960's  when the civil rights movement came to be, it  helped ethnic studies develop as a class. It is one of the few areas of the university that focuses on minorities.  I believe that ethnic studies was created as a discipline to help others understand the cultures of the many different ethnic races we have in America. Ethnic Studies differs from other academic classes such as Sociology, Anthropology, and Political Science, due to its focus on history and cultures of minorities in America, while the other classes are based around general human development and government. Ethnic Studies gives an in-depth look into how different cultures' histories have affected our growth as a people.

Sadly, some people do not approve of Ethnic Studies as being a qualified class subject. Arizona has a ban on Ethnic Studies classes with the House Bill that was put into place almost a year ago. In the House Bill, Ethnic Studies falls under the category as "causing hate" within schools and promoting resentment toward a race or class of people. Many people must think Ethnic Studies is designed or taught for certain ethnic groups or that it separates us from one another instead of treating people as individuals. To some people, Ethnic Studies may be an overwhelming controversial topic, while others may be racially ignorant or culturally uneducated. The Ethnic Studies course may seem like it is a big misunderstanding to some people for what the real meaning behind the class is meant to be.

Word Count: 425