Racism – Online Writing

Describe in detail the racial and ethnic make-up of either your hometown and/or your high school.  How is racism visible within these spaces?  How might it impact this community without being visible?

 

Last day to participate September 10, 2013

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20 thoughts on “Racism – Online Writing

  1. I went to school in Auburn and in my opinion it is made up of mostly white people, though some from that city may say mainly mexicans live there. In my high school a majority of the kids were wealthy and white. We were all friends and respected each other so racism wasn’t that much of problem, but every once in a while you hear a group of white kids throwing the “N-word” around like it was nothing. It would make me wonder what they were like at home and if talking so negatively was an everyday thing with their friends and families. I’m not sure how this would impact the community, but by some white people making it seem like their African American friends are equal to them but then contradicting themselves by talking so ignorantly behind their backs is wrong. A lot of black people believe that they are the same as their friends, when in actuality their friends actions show that they believe something else. In conclusion, I have a lot of white friends, my best friends are white and I would like to believe that they don’t talk about me in a negative light but you never know. So I guess that’s one way the community could be impacted, if people are finding out that their “friends” are talking bad about them behind their backs it could slowly split the community up.

    • I agree with this. Talking behind someone’s back is wrong regardless of the race as well as using race as something to talk and tease about. Don’t try to act like another race, be who you are.

      • Daquawn Brown 114039 CES 101
        Describe in detail the racial and ethnic make-up of either your hometown and/or your high school. How is racism visible within these spaces? How might it impact this community without being visible?
        I went to a school that had its equal share of different races but my school was predominately African American. The reason I think it was is because our football team is well known and is a honor to play for my school’s football team and in the local community is mostly black kids in the area so that’s a reason we we’re a predominately black school. Where I’m from the different races for the most part get along with each other, although in some cases in different parts throughout the city you would notice some Mexicans don’t really allow a lot of blacks to live comfortably and peacefully just like some blacks don’t like Mexicans due to local gang wars and skin color. As a kid growing up you noticed that you didn’t have many Hispanic or white friends because of the way they act towards us growing up. I don’t know if it’s just the way they were raised, where they have a certain standard to maintain in Mexican culture but it seemed like they were always against me in anything growing up. It impacted my neighborhood because we as a community had so many violent gang crimes black on brown crimes locally and just the stereotypes of each other’s race tore a whole community apart and its sad to say that’s how it was growing up for me. The racism was very visible in such a way where you don’t even want to associate with another race regardless of how cool they were with you, just don’t trust anybody but your own kind and sometimes not even your own kind you can trust.

  2. I went to a school where on the front of the school in read “Celebrating Diversity Every Day.” This school was mostly a Black and Mexican school but there were students from all over the globe going there. Something I thought was weird was that instead of it being “white vs. black” it would be the Light Skins vs. Dark Skins. As in light skinned black people versus darker complexion black people, although usually a joke it would cause a little tension. My school having the lowest number of white people of all the high schools in our district we were known as the “ghetto” school. I’d talk to people from the other schools and they had heard the worst rumors about my school like people got shot there, there were metal detectors and you’d have to get a pat down before entering the school. All untrue. Surrounding my high school though were a lot of apartments and the school is kind of based in the middle of a city. The city isn’t the nicest and doesn’t look very nice. The school and the city are being neglected and slowly falling apart. If you drive 10 minutes to the next closest school in our district it’s been remodeled and looks beautiful. Their school has the number one graduation rate in the district as well as the families with the largest incomes. I wonder if the high school I attended got remodeled and showed the students that have come from nothing that they can have nice things if school graduation rates would improve and crime rates drop?

  3. I’m from Bremerton, which is a naval base center in Washington. Living in a military based town, Bremerton is very diverse. The high school I attended was quite diverse as well. We had about almost every race in our school. Though, some students have argued that the high school was being taken over by the “Asians/islanders/brown people.” I wouldn’t say that the school was being “taken over,” but the brown people have definitely been the majority. Along with the brown people, white people came next in the majority. After that, students were all kinds of races. Almost everyone got along with each other and race didn’t seem like much of problem; but it only seemed that way since racial comments- being good or bad- were always being said. Hearing racial comments everyday became so part of the norm at my school that they didn’t seem to bother anyone. I’m not saying EVERYONE was okay with the racial comments because there was always the selected few who would take these comments to offense. In my senior class, groups of friends were labeled by their race. This was only because the groups of friends in my class seemed to be formed by their commonalities in race; but being of all the same race in a group was just a coincidence. The subject of race wasn’t a common reason of conflict between two groups or individuals.

    At the end of each school year, the students come together and recognize the different races/cultures by holding an assembly called, “The Multi-Cultural Assembly.” This assembly basically gives students the chance to perform a song/dance/tradition of their culture. The student audience usually don’t make racial comments during this assembly because it usually opens their eyes to the significance to each culture. Even though racial comments have become part of the norm at my school, students are aware of each other’s difference and still have respect for one another.

  4. Hometown make-up

    My high school was made up of Asian and white. There were only a few other races scattered in. Each race within my school, clung together in groups. You wouldn’t see a lot of Asian and white people or African American hanging around each other. Instead, I remember there being huge clumps of Asian people that would not only take over the halls but also after school clubs and groups. This impacted the school in that it created a very stereotypical mindset. Everybody new that the “key club,” dance team and tennis team were Asian denominated whereas the volleyball, football and basketball teams were made up of mostly white people. This created a separation in sports and overall participation in them. There was a hesitation if a white person wanted to join the key club or an Asian who wanted to play basketball. This separation did not impact me personally because I played volleyball, which is a heavily white sport at my school already, and I had many white friends and never felt like I didn’t belong to a group, so, I sailed through high school just fine. However I know of others who felt left out or lonely because of the lack of their race and they felt that they could not belong in any other group. Overall I learned that races will cling together because there is a very immediate, but shallow, similarity. I know that different races can get along just fine from personal experiences but I also know it is hard to start that relationship compared to one of the same race because they don’t feel that same sense of belonging.

  5. I went to high school in Spokane, WA at Gonzaga Prep. The majority of it’s students are white but at the same time had a very diverse community. There were white, black, Asian, Spanish, and a couple European students that attended. One specific club/awareness that my school put a great amount of emphasis on was diversity. But what I did become to notice over the years were people who stereotyped certain races at school. For one, one of my better friends who was black, played tennis and ran cross country grade 10-12. Freshman year he played football and basketball which is what people expected from him. When he made the change that was all people could seem to talk and bicker about. Other than that, one thing that I took great respect for was that no one would hang out in particular groups according to their race. My school, which was private, was surrounded by what is considered as the ghetto of Spokane. I constantly hear people walking and bring up upon one another how bad the area is and what goes on just because they are judging the environment and the fact that a majority of the people that live around the school are black. The thing is, it is not dangerous at all. The people that live around the school happen to be very nice people. I always tend to have people come up and talk to me as I walk to my car after practice and always have great conversations with them. those people are just in a rough spot of their lives. I think people need to seriously reconsider on how they see other people and stop the racial stereotyping.

  6. I grew up in a very non-diverse school. This school is almost completely white and does not handle diversity well. Our school had a “diversity club” which consisted of three white kids. Having a diversity club without any diversity within it really defeats the purpose. From my Junior year to my senior year one of the other high schools shut down their magnet program so a lot of new kids from other areas transferred to our school. My senior year there were a lot more black students then there have ever been there. A divide was quickly established between the two races, this divide became such a large issue that the mtv tv show “if you really knew me” came to film at our school. The hope was to tear down the barriers between the races by sharing personal stories and realizing that we were all similar. It was great for about a week after the show filmed, but when the cameras turned off nothing had changed. The community reacted really poorly insisting that everything was better and that our school had successfully worked through our differences. The community and teachers never acknowledged that nothing had really changed. These barriers and strong hateful feelings between the groups in my old school hurts the whole community because kids are afraid to go to our school. I think bringing cameras and tv crews to try to get the students to “express” their feelings, looked over the fundamental issues of the feelings of racial discrimination and separation. The community tried to opt out of solving the problem by bringing a tv show to make us all “feel better” about ourselves. Our school almost encouraged the racial divide by bringing camera crews to show how racially divide we were and then just leaving it like they had solved all of the world’s problems.

  7. I’m from the inner city Los Angeles California more specifically the Crenshaw District which is predominately an African American neighborhood. From the outside looking in the area does not look nice but I mean it doesn’t look too pretty from the inside either. I am from an area where there is a lot of killings and violence in general and most of it is black on black. I myself grew up getting into a number of fights and altercations. The demographics were completely different though in the city of the high school I went to. I went to Culver City High School in a predominately white neighborhood. The high school prided themselves on its diversity within the students in the school. While the diversity within school was very visible there was still obvious discrimination among African American students. A small example of it was within one of the school rules that were in place. When I was there my freshman year there was not an issue with students wearing hats in the school as long as they didn’t where the hats or beanies in class. In the middle of the first semester they made a rule where no head wear was to be worn unless it had the school logo on it. The rule was said to be put in place to bring down gang activity at the school which I guess would be a good rule if there were any real gang members at the school. The funny thing about the rule is that school wide it was only enforced upon the black students but none of the black students were gang members at all. The only “gang members” at the school were the Mexicans who claimed to be from the Mexican gang in the city and some white kids who were in tagging crews if you consider that a gang but they were walking around in their hats. That was one of the most visible signs of discrimination at my high school.

  8. Being born and raised here in Pullman there is a different racial and ethnic make-up than the surrounding areas. Schweitzer Engineering and WSU both play a large impact on that. WSU brings thousands of people in to Pullman from across the world every year for many reasons, from students to faculty and staff, research and more. Without this Pullman’s racial and ethnic make up would be similar to the surrounding rural towns, nearly 100% white families. If you took away the two leading factors of added diversity, Schweitzer and WSU, Pullman would be similar to the surrounding areas. A majority of the families would own, work for, or be involved somehow with an agricultural pursuit, and the population would lower dramatically. In my elementary classes white children were the majority however there were black, Asian, Mexicans, and even a girl who was born in Hawaii with Islander heritage. I feel blessed to have grown up in Pullman for many reasons but I am thankful that I had opportunity to be around people of different races and ethnic backgrounds at such a young age. I believe growing up in a mixed racial and ethnic community creates more open minded children, who will grow into more open minded adults. However, other areas across the state where whites are becoming a minority, mainly due to work availabilities, I believe are creating racism. When you walk into a grocery store and hear more Spanish than English in Washington state, many people become bitter about others not learning English.

  9. I went to a small high school on the outskirts of Yakima. My community and school were very similar in the terms of race. My school was made up of “Whites” and “Mexicans”. Like I said it was a rather small school so everyone knew of most everyone. Typically, white students hung out with other white students and the Mexican students hung out with other Mexicans. There were less than 3 black kids in my school. As sad as is it to say, they were known as the “black kids”. Everyone usually minded there own and didn’t worry to much about others. My community is a rich farm community and families are seen in class status. Everyone knew who the “rich” kids in school were and who the “poor” kids were. Students were typically classified as: “farmers kid’s”, “business kid’s”, “average kid’s”, and the “field workers kid’s”. It seems like there is a small amount of diversity in my high school because there is only about two different races, but the diversity among the two is so explicit. In my high school and community I believe that it is now a way of life and that it wont change anytime soon. The citizens are who they are and they are accepted for that. I don’ think the community will change anytime soon. I do believe that the Mexicans are the majority of the race, although the White families run the community.

  10. The racial, and ethnic make up of Mill Creek is definitely a majority of Caucasian, and Asians. With that being the ethnic and racial make up of our hometown, that caused the private high school I went to (Archbishop Murphy) to be a majority of white people. Murphy was not very diverse, and that’s why I was so happy to come to Pullman, which is such a large, and diverse community! There was never a lot of racism in our neighborhoods but when there was it was very offensive, and always directed toward African Americans. Sometimes kids would spray paint sidewalks with racial slurs. But the worst kind of racism I have ever seen was when my neighbor who is African American, had their garage door spray-painted with the N-word. Which is unacceptable, and should not be happening this day, and age. The worst part about what happened is my neighbor didn’t even see it on her garage until my mom had to go over, and tell them because they hadn’t gone outside all day. How this impacts our community is it shows some people view themselves as “better” than others, and they need to show it by committing acts that are extremely hurtful to others. There still is visible with discrimination against jobs, and against grades not everyone is treated as equal in certain community. I recently just watched the movie “The Butler” which was an African American butler for about seven presidents in the white house. It really opens your eyes to how it really affected people when Barak Obama was elected as president, and what it meant to older people that had been through the worst of racism! People who went from working on cotton fields, then to being “free “people that had no rights, the to being truly free and seeing Barak Obama elected! The movie just really opened my eyes to everything that blacks had to go through, and how selfish, and self-centered whites were at that time.

  11. I grow up in the community known as “Hillyard” in Spokane, Washington and attended John R. Rogers High School. It was ranked in the states lowest 5 percent and is one of the poorest economical areas in the state. Seventy five percent received free or reduced meals. During my high school years it was said that 51% were Caucasian, and 49% were African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander or of mixed race. Therefore we were very diverse in race and ethnicity. Due to graduation rates of fewer than 45%, Rogers High School received a 4.2 million dollar grant in 2011 to improve academic and graduation statistics. The area was viewed as violent, low class and filled with gangs and criminal behavior by many. Many stereotypes surrounded our school and the students because of the diversity and ethnicities. Our ASB, athletics, clubs and organization had all races. We were never viewed as highly as other schools in our community but to live in “Hillyard” we viewed it as a sense of pride and togetherness. Within our high school racism was visible among us. Some examples were name calling, racial slurs, hanging out with more peers of one’s race and remarks about a person’s racial appearance or characteristics, but when it came to defending the area and stereotypes of the school, students came together and accepted differences and were proud to be a member of our school and community. Racism is very predominant in Spokane, especially in regards to people’s views on “Hillyard” and John R. Rogers High School. The impact on the community is sometimes subtle or invisible to some. While others are aware of the impact. Some examples include racial profiling by law enforcement, educational differences, high school sports sponsorship, and personal beliefs and opinions. Racism is prohibited by law but even with these laws to protect citizens of all ethnicities and racial discrimination our government cannot change emotions and opinions. But by coming together and teaching others we can change the future of racism.

  12. I am from Kent, Washington located about 30 minutes south of Downtown Seattle. Kent is a very diverse city with a racial and ethnic make up that ranges from African American, White, Asian, Indian, Middle-Eastern, and Mexican. Within the city there are also neighborhoods with a much lower income than others, making it very economically diverse as well. When you drive through Kent, it is very obvious which areas have a higher income than others. I have also noticed that the lower income areas seem to overpower the higher income areas creating a somewhat negative image of Kent. I attended Kentridge High school of which the racial make-up also greatly varies. As a Caucasian student I never felt to be either the majority or the minority. Our student body consisted of many different ethnically diverse people, which brought occasional friction between students. But all races and ethnicities were represented through clubs, sports, and other extracurricular activities. Although often in certain activities there were often predominantly more participants of one ethnicity or race than another. For example, I played on the girl’s soccer and cross-country team, which was made up of mostly Caucasian players with very few other ethnicities involved. In comparison to the members of basketball team, which consisted mostly of African American players. I believe this impacts the community because there are certain expectations based on participation in activities from members of different races within the school. This has made racism somewhat visible although it impacts the community because it is not always noticed. These expectations are what have shaped the attitude towards certain races within in the Kentridge community.

  13. I come from a small, rural community. You don’t see much racial segregation there because, frankly, there aren’t enough minorities there to segregate. However there is a group of boys present who seem to find racist jokes completely hilarious. And one black boy told me that people found him more intimidating because of that. However, he’d also told me that he’d never really felt truly discriminated against. In my home town, most of the people there grew up together. It’s a lot harder to discriminate because of race when you personally know the people. Plus, most of the people considered minorities are in the same social class as everyone else. That makes the opportunity and educational advantage fields a little more level. As for that one group of boys, most people just roll their eyes and look away… I wonder how that boy I was talking about would feel if he could hear that group’s comments…

    • I think that growing up together is good for removing segregation because they can know each personalities more than their appearances.

  14. I come from a medium size community called Sunnyside, WA. There’s hardly any racial activity going on in my community, basically everyone gets along. However there are certain groups with people from different races but they would get along with other groups. My hometown is a diverse community There would be racial jokes spreading around in high school but people just accept it as a sense of humor. Back then the high school would have racial issues and hate crime like gangs. Since then everything in my community had changed a lot from hating to loving. There shouldn’t be any racism involved because we all would want a diverse community where academic is achieved and everyone would step up at their level. This should continue in the future with improvement.

  15. I am from Japan, so I went to the normal school in Japan. In my high school, there are only Japanese students. Therefore, I had never thought about racism. We don’t think about race in daily life because, I guess, most Japanese students go to school which is composed of Japanese students. We have some international schools though. Thus, we did not conflict each other and not be in trouble because of race and ethnicity, and I did not see racial segregation in my school. However, there was a student who is half Japanese and half Australian in my school. His appearance was not pure Japanese but he did not be discriminated at all. Instead of that, he seems to be privileged and popular. He could speak English well because his mother was native speaker. Probably, he has felt racial segregation because of his looks even though we did not feel that. So, I believe that people who are half Japanese and half others are treated well in my community. Moreover, lots of Japanese including me yearn for them because of their appearance. Many Japanese seem to want to be like foreigners, especially Westerners, because of media including fashion magazines and TV shows. Media shows that Westerners are beautiful and cool. In my opinion, it means that racism is visible positively in my country. In addition, in my hometown, foreigners who are not Japanese are minorities. Therefore, as I mentioned in the first online-writing, some people gaze at foreigners when they see people from other countries on the street. So, race may impact my community as well. Also, some people might feel something, like they are cool, to foreigners even though it is invisible when they meet people who are not from Japan.

  16. I went to high school at Bellingham High School which is kind of a little hippie town (to be stereotypical). Our school consisted of mostly all white students. In my graduating class of about 300 there were probably about 20-35 black kinds and about the same number of Mexicans and the rest of the school was white. Although my school really prided itself on equality, most of the kids hung out with the other kids of the same ethnicity. The kids who seemed to branch out from their ethnic group were those that played sports. Being a Caucasian girl, I honestly don’t think about racism tend to think about racism that much, conscientiously. However, this may be because like i said previously my school prided itself on equality and it showed, although there were racial cliques at my school, i could go sit at any table at lunch and they would be accepting, it just didn’t happen often.

  17. I come from a medium size community called Sunnyside, WA. There’s hardly any racial activity going on in my community, basically everyone gets along. However there are certain groups with people from different races but they would get along with other groups. My hometown is a diverse community. There would be racial jokes spreading around in high school but people just accept it as a sense of humor. One time there was a police officer that came to our school and saw a black teenager with his Dre Beats on and arrested him. Supposedly he wasn’t following school policy and there was a lot of students with their headphones on and the police didn’t do anything about that, they just focused more on the black teenager.Back then the high school would have racial issues and hate crime like gangs. The police would arrest gang members from a different race and give them a longer sentence than a white gang member. Since then everything in my community had changed a lot from hating to loving. People would go visit each other and wouldn’t worry about their skin color. Everyone is treated the same and the community became a safe place to live. The police seemed under control and they became hatred-free and and great cops. My graduating class in 364 students we were all treated the same and communicated with the same language. Our motto at our high school is “Together we will” and “exceed expectations”. Also other public and grade schools Have mottos that are about diversity and that no racial issues should be involved.There shouldn’t be any racism involved because we all would want a diverse community where academic is achieved and everyone would step up at their level. This should continue in the future with improvement.

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