How I spent my fall semester (Online writing)

We all entered the classroom with assumptions and thoughts about race in contemporary society.  Write about these ideas and how they might have changed during the course of the semester.  Give at least 5 examples and discuss how this information has impacted you focusing on how you think about race, racism, and inequality now

Last day to post – December 8

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60 thoughts on “How I spent my fall semester (Online writing)

  1. After growing up and moving so many times I’ve lived everywhere from the hood, in Virginia to the suburbs in southern California. I’ve seen a lot. But when it came to racism I never really thought of it like I do now. The only thing I really knew was what my mom told me about being an African American in a white man’s world. That idea really hasn’t changed in my head but instead of going off what my mom said I actually have been educated on this topic so I know a lot about. When we learned about white privilege I thought that was pretty interesting because some of the stereotype jokes match up with what white privilege really is. I now that I found out what it is I start seeing it a lot now and see why. Another subject we went over that opened my eyes was the restaurant industry I had no idea how segregated the workplace was until this class. Like of course I’ve seen but never really thought of it until I got into this class and it really opened up my eyes when I started to see the facts and statistics. I remember back home I went to Red Robin all the hostess were white and I looked back in the kitchen and I see Latinos in the back cooking. That was the first thing thought about when we discussed behind the kitchen door. Another topic that I found cool was looking at statistics for each section. Because when you hear about something you really don’t think about it too much but when you put a percentage by it you really look at it in awe because you see that it’s a serious problem. Like the stop and frisk in New York I had no idea that cops targeted people of color that much. I mean I knew they targeted people of color but not that much. But overall this class has been great learning about many real life subjects and getting to form your own opinion on social issues that we have in the United states today.

  2. When I registered this class for this semester, it was for elective course not even related to my major or interest. Without any basic knowledge about the race or the class materials covers, I had no ideas what I am going to learn for this semester. At the beginning of the class, I recognized the class is about race and some kind of ethnicity. As I am a foreigner in this country and stayed here for 6 years, I sometimes felt that I cannot be one of the American societies as like White people because first of all, the color is different and the language, we are using, is totally different. So it was hard to having relationship with other ethnicity. People are usually assuming that black people are good at sports and Asians are good at math or education. Based on this prejudice, I was having pressure that I have to be good at math than other white people but after I learned about that the race is just race it doesn’t show that what kind of race is more aware of some kind of field than other race. The stereotypes are making what we hear to be real. Another thing I learned about the relationship between obesity and poor was kind of shocking to me because I assumed that there are more rate of obesity in poor people because they have not enough to buy food but somewhat it was totally different result. The foods poor people are eating are the cheapest but also the unhealthiest like processed food. Another interesting lesson I learned in the class was that stereotypes is still existing in the world. As I am a foreigner in the U.S, I experienced that there is less opportunities that people who are having citizenship or white people; for example, there is less chance to get a job than white. I feel it is an inequality. I would want to say, we are thinking and saying there is no more existing racism in the world but there is still existing and it should be blown away from our stereotype. Overall, this class has taught me mind set of people living in America.

  3. When I entered this classroom at the beginning of this semester I had really thought about race, and stereotype. So I learned throughout this semester very interesting because when I came to United States at first time on sophomore high school year, there is little racism and stereotypes of Asian. So I spend so hard time during first time, but few month later, I had friends and spend on time with them, they realized they had stereotypes that all the Asian are good at math and spend a lot of useless money. Also, I have assumption to about the hungry people, I thought the all of poor and hungry people are skinny, and lazy. But the hungry people are usually did not skinny because of the foods they are eating are the cheapest but also the most unhealthy. Another important lesson I learned this semester is that we are the reason stereotypes still exist. I thought I did not have any stereotypes to other person but I did. But through this class, I realized I should change my mind that all the people are same as us. So I think we reinforce stereotypes that should have been disregarded long ago. Overall this course was very interested opening and I learned a great thought about all the nation and assumptions verses facts.

  4. One of the ideas we focused on was that of racism and prejudice that exists within the United States today. When I first entered this class I believed that racism and prejudice was only a minor issue that didn’t need immediate fixing. However with the revelations given by the class I recognize now that these issues of race and prejudice lead to very harmful effects on our society and economy and only worsen other problems afflicting our society today. Another issue is that of restaurant worker equality. Mainly that of how workers are treated by the company. Initially I had gone by the idea that restaurant work is designed purely for that of teenagers in which there would be a large pool of workers who would move in and out of that job market. Now I know that many people depend entirely on that job and have depended on it for multiple years to survive and yet that job market has not adapted to support them. Yet another example is that of racism within the restaurant industry. I initially thought that restaurants wouldn’t care about race but this was proven to be false and in fact race is quite substantial when it comes to restaurant workers position in that industry. Another example would be how America deals with the prison system and war on drugs. Initially I believed that the war on drugs made sense for extreme drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy but again these were proven to be false. Another example is that of how prison systems have effectively become a source of jobs for people with the deindustrialization of many areas in the United States. I had not known that such a concept could really exist where industry could be replaced by prisons to sustain towns which had lost their main source of jobs. This allows me to see that the problem isn’t always the person who committed the crime it is also the people who judge and police that can cause strife within a nation.

  5. Regardless of having almost all my family in the South, I entered fall semester not thinking I was racist or that I lived in a country of inherent racism. What was most interesting and enlightening to me were the four frames of racism. I realized that I had looked through all of them in one point or another, and so had my family. Having grown up with a family of football coaches, and consequently being extremely involved and interested in sports, I also never noticed the blatant racism present within mascots. Stereotype threat was also an eye opener to learn about. It lead me question whether being blonde had ever impacted my performance in school etc, or how I had affected others by expecting certain things out of them based on stereotypes. The topics we covered including the inequalities as far as positions in front of the house, and back of the house, and gap in earnings that are almost strictly dependent upon race. This semester has undoubtedly opened my eyes to a multitude of opinions and facts I had never considered, and armed me to inform and defend the information with others.

  6. Because of how the media portrays racism after Obama’s election, I came into the class assuming that society had greatly improved overall as far as racism stands. I was not naive enough to think that it was gone completely, but I thought that most of the overt racist ways were gone and that things were generally improving and becoming more equal. I feel like I’ve never been more wrong about a societal issue in my life. I do think still that most of the overt ways of racism are diminishing; however, racism I think is becoming more of a problem because of the covert ways that are happening. The view we got of the prison systems and how oppressed black people are by it really opened my eyes to all of the problems that are still here- but now they’re being legalized and no one sees the problem with it (or not enough people see these problems).
    I’ve had a lot of diversity training because of my job so I initially came into the class thinking this was just going to be a lot of things I already knew about racism. I’ve been pleasantly surprised about what I’ve learned, and also by how much more I want to learn. I considered myself very “burnt out” on racism just because of how much my job position talks about it turning our bi-annual training sessions- but now I realize those sessions don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the problems some people are facing. It sounds very cheesy, but I just did not realize how much other people were struggling to deal with these kinds of issues even though I’ve been told about them all my life.
    I have always been offended by the “ethnic” Halloween costumes that are out there, and a lot of people I know have always judged me because they think I’m overreacting to the situation. It was very validating to me that other people find these things offensive too- and that it actually is a problem that should be fixed. For me I always found the “white trailer trash” one offensive, and that “costume” just opened the door for me to all the others. Now I feel a lot more confident when talking about the negative implications of the costumes on both society and individuals because I feel like I can be more objective about it and have an adult conversation rather than just getting very upset.

  7. Over the past 6 months my assumptions and thoughts about race have significantly changed. I was raised by my father with my 3 brothers, that in itself is pretty rare. When divorce happens and children are involved the mother usually gains custody, which was true in my case however my mom allowed my older brother and I to live with our father. I remember as a kid when I would make new friends and they would invite me over I would talk to their parents about having their child come to my house next time and they would most always respond as ok that’s a great idea I will talk to your mom about it. And as soon as I informed them it was my father whom I live solely with they always paused, they looked shocked and sometimes the parent would feel uncomfortable with just my dad being the one there. So until I got older and parents were less concerned about a parent being home when we were, I spent most of my time with my brothers and neighbor’s then my friends. That is the closest I have ever felt to be treated differently, from other kids for the reason that I was raised different from them. Until now I never really thought about this or compared it to those of color who are going their whole life being judged and treated different because of genetics. Before CES I never thought about how it felt to be judged based on how I was raised and then to relate it to other people lives, really opened up my thoughts.
    One thing CES taught me was I know absolutely nothing about contemporary racial issues and that is mainly because I didn’t think there were or are any. Clearly I was wrong, I remember reading “Behind the Kitchen Door” and learning that today in my life time racial stereotyping is still happening. For example I learned that there is something known as the front of the house and the back of the house. The front is where the whites worked and the back was for the minority. I feel so oblivious to my every day surroundings like I never stopped and just took a minute to look around. Adding on to the front and back of the house we learned about the restaurant industry and what it is like to be an adult with a family trying to make a living off of working in this industry. The final decision I concluded that it is impossible to support your family based off the wages and benefits (none) from working in a restaurant especially if you are a part of the minority. This type of thing makes me think about my life. For a couple months now I have been in a relationship with a man and until hearing his thoughts on how different we are based on me being white and him being Mexican I thought we were the same. I didn’t understand how much living here and being from Mexico could affect his life. Not only just that but how it affected our relationship his first language is Spanish and the only Spanish I know is where’s the bathroom, and on top of that he hates when we go in public and people stare at us because he always says why is it so hard to believe a white girl is dating a Mexican. I hate that he thinks that is what people are thinking when they look at us and until he said that I never once though about what other people thought when they saw us together. I presumed they were just looking at everyone because I am white and I don’t have people stare at me based on my color.
    The next thing we learned in class that got me thinking was profiling. We watched a documentary on three white kids vandalizing a car verses 3 black kids vandalizing a car. The end outcome was that the cops were called more on the black kids than the white as well as the three black boys sleeping in the car while the other three white boys were beating up the car. People have subconscious beliefs that men and women of color are more dangerous than those who are not. Another example of profiling is when cops stop people based on looking suspicious. But what makes someone suspicious well one cop who was border patrol described a suspicious drug smuggler as someone who has a nice car tinted windows and stops at a fast food restaurant and on top of that is Latino looking. Cops are not allowed to profile yet he states that they all do it because they can’t do their job without it. Next to profiling cops do “stop and frisks” to do a stop and frisk they profile. Watching the stop and frisked video about a young man named Alvin who gets stopped sometimes 3 times in his walk from his girlfriend’s house to his house because he looks suspicious. The cop was rude and hostile and even made threats to Alvin. For me living wear I do, I do not see things like this so I never even knew they were happening until after the video, but for Alvin it’s a part of his life getting harassed and name called because of his racial background. What happened to him is not ok and needs to be stopped. Trying to put myself into Alvin’s shoes I’m not sure how long I could live a day in his life where I had to feel less than the average person. In conclusion after finishing the class I want to be more aware to what goes on in the world and my life regarding racial stereotypes and prejudices. I don’t want to be blind to the matter and I hope to make a difference in those lives who struggle with racial stereotypes.

  8. Over this semester my knowledge about racism, discrimination and being prejudice has changed drastically. I had to be honest with myself and realize that I was prejudice myself. I noticed I will judge people before getting to know them. it came natural to assume somebody was mean or didn’t like me by their actions and looks but when I became friends with them my whole perception has changed. This type of thing makes me think about my life. I learned in CES that racism is still alive in the world we live in today. Colored people are treated wrong in the restaurant industry. They don’t get the jobs that white people will get, they’re more white servants/waiters than colored. This class has taught me several life lessons about what can happen if this racial non sense keep going on. We can’t change this world if we haven’t changed ourselves. I seen almost every time my family went out to eat the waiter was primarily always white once and a while we will get a black waiter depending on the type of restaurant we went to. Half of the cooks and washers were Latino. I just don’t see why everybody can’t be equal in society. I dislike hearing racial slurs about there races, its really disrespectful and in some should be illegal. I crack jokes here and there with my friends but I never take it racially because that will make me look like a races. I try to reframe from using color when talking about people I usually say Blonde hair boy or girl instead of saying white girl or white boy. My dad used to correct me on that a lot because I said it so frequently. Being black in Los Angeles California it is hard. All odds are against us. We can’t walk down the street late at night without the police thinking we are up to no good. We can’t walk into liquor stores without being followed around because they think we will steal something. Everything is against us and should come to a stop for the better

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