Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Is Racism Dead? When Will It Be?

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the Trayvon Martin tragedy

We discussed this briefly in most of my classes, although, we didn't get to it in all of them.

India's caste system allowed for no upward mobility.  You died in the caste you were born into.  Here in the United States, our society is loosely structured around wealth - but it's fairly easy to point out that it's more complicated than that.  I make the point that here people are not tied to their class.  If they want to make more money - they are allowed to try.  They can increase their human capital by getting a good education, going to college, getting a good job, etc...  Obviously, again - it's more complicated than this...

However, there are similarities between overcoming the caste system, and the civil rights movement.  The caste system was outlawed in 1947 - long before Dr. King's challenges.  Gandhi (who helped banish the caste system) was imitated and emulated by King.

Yet, many negative effects of the caste system linger today.  Just as we see many negative effects of discrimination and racism here in America today.

I'm not sure where you stand on the Trayvon Martin issue.  In my mind, the varying student opinions on the matter point out the various opinions brought in from their home.  Whether you believe it was racially motivated or not, it has allowed us to open up about issues in America which could stand to be addressed.

If you want the extra credit for reading and discussing the blog tonight, read it and discuss it with an adult.  Then, write a paragraph detailing that discussion.  Turn in the paragraph tomorrow.

Some topics to consider:
  • Are you accepting of other people's differences?  If so, why?  If not, why not?
  • How does discrimination affect us here in the United States, and specifically Indiana?
  • Have you ever been discriminated against?  (Whether it be due to race, gender, age, etc...)
  • Do we need to address it?
  • Will it ever go away?
For the record, we also discussed karma, darma, avatars, and some Indian history along with the caste system.

Hey, parents and adults - thanks for doing this.  It makes my day every time I read them. 

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