Wednesday, May 21, 2008
a short rant on racism
Whenever we study the Civil Rights Era in my classroom, I tend to open by asking the kids how they perceive race relations today in relation to how they perceived them to be forty years ago. Inevitably, the overwhelming opinion is that things are much, much better than they used to be. Many even go so far as to insist that racial tension is a total non-issue. (Although a brief listen for the language used in the hallways tells a very different story.)

Although I'd like to think that my students are correct in their assertions, one need not look further than Kentucky's exit polls to see how much further our country still needs to go on the issue of race. When 20% of white Kentucky voters report that race was a determining factor in their decision to choose the white candidate over the black one (and that number is probably quite higher, since those were the folks who weren't too ashamed to admit their racism to a stranger in a public poll), then it's clear we should all be both troubled and outraged over the state of racism in our country.

It's true we've come pretty far, but it also true that it's hardly far enough.


Blogger Mary said...

Kentucky outrages me on a regular basis. (And I thought the telling statistic that Hillary was doing extremely well with the uneducated white people. Same thing really.)

Blogger JMW said...


Blogger cadiz12 said...

racism is bad in all forms, but i think the especially damaging racists are the ones who pretend that they're not because these days it's not politically correct to admit it openly. at least with the vocal ones, people of color know where they stand and don't have to fear getting stabbed in the back by someone they thought was their friend or colleague.

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