Why we need ethnic studies (Double Participation)

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5 comments

  1. Pauline Mae Piso

    Recently many universities and colleges have been dealing with the problems of racism. This has become a problem because universities have a “standard” way of addressing this situation: taking the ineffective path to just apologize then move on. Many say that there must be a way to make the students of color feel welcomed and that ethnic study courses should be mandatory for all students. It is said that universities fail to teach students about race. Although there are schools that offer ethnic studies, students do not enroll in them because they see no real purpose for it, or they’re afraid of being called racist or for saying the wrong things. Halloween and dressing up as a different culture becomes a problem too. A positive factor of having an ethnic studies class is that students “have the chance to explore just how deeply entrenched racial preconceptions are in the American imagination and the ways in which those preconceptions are less obvious but no less impactful on the lives of people of color”. Professors are able to expose students to how racism has broader effects making the students appreciate race. This article just goes to show that the talking topic of racism is still very common in our current generation, and it seems as if it’s still taken lightly or nothing is done about it when racism do occur on college campuses.

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    1. I believe that the Yale professor was spot on with his analysis of why we need ethnic studies and its significance. People growing up are taught for the most part to avoid and stay away from racism and any sort of racist issue that could make problems arise. I also believe that the professor is correct that if taking an Ethnic Studies course was mandatory that everyone would be more educated about what racism stems from and find out all the myths from the truths. Although are country is continually becoming more educated and more and more people are attending four year universities, nobody is becoming more educated on this topic because they were taught at a young age to avoid it at all cost. Being in an ethnic studies, I feel as if I already have a much better grasp on the idea of racism, and privilege and what it all means better than a majority of the United States. Without our youth getting educated in all the necessary things, such as race, our country will never grow out of its racism shell, and never expand to the potential it is capable of.

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  2. if everyone had gone through a mandatory ethnics studies class like the professor from Yale university mentioned racism would no longer be such a controversial topic and eventually cease to exist. Ethnic studies are important because it gives the youth of this country the ability to learn the unbiased truth about race in America. Ethnic studies classes are so important because it could better our society and country by educating people about the real facts of race and by eliminating old stereotypes. Stereotypes are misguided information that individuals start to form beliefs on, through this class misguided individuals can learn the truth to eliminate racism.

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  3. These two articles truly made me angry to read. I had to force myself to finish because this is personal to me. Being Latina, from a young age I understood that there was a difference between myself and whites. My mother would talk about how when she went to my elementary school a kid threw a rock at her head for being Latina which reinforced my belief that whites were superior. Throughout high school jokes would be made that I was somebody’s “Mexican”, as if they owned me or that I was their favorite “Mexican” as if we were all in the same category. I do agree that it should be mandatory to take ethnic studies class. It has to start somewhere and although college would be a great place to start it would be better if kids grew up being aware of the disparities people of color face that way when they get to college, if they attend, they won’t feel the need to shrug it off and ignore ethic studies classes. They would not be able to grow up claiming the ignorance of not noticing these disparities as said in the second article.

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  4. I agree that ethnic studies courses should become a part of normal university curriculum. However, I also believe that there are several standards that should be implemented within these classes in order to ensure that they are actually effective in their targeted goal of eliminating institutionalized racism, and that they don’t just become irrelevant prerequisite courses that are blown off by the (privileged) majority of the students at hand. Instead classes should not use buzzwords and passionate ideology to bash white students for the privilege they possess, as it is something beyond their power, but rather should work to allow students to recognize their privilege and finds way that can allow them to both find ways of ending white supremacy, while also allowing them to form sympathy for colored students (as well as teach white students when to allow for certain voices to be amplified).

    Just as studies have shown that blatant bigotry and fear of certain minorities tends to decline when an individual interacts with a member of said group on a regular, friendly basis, ethnic study classes could work to go beyond this. They could eliminate the “token black friend” phenomenon that is regularly invoked by the casual racism of most Americans, and replace it with the understanding and knowledge necessary to help end the blanket of privilege that covers this country.

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