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Encountering racist students in the college classroom

 
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Edward Williams
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Encountering racist students in the college classroom Reply with quote

oxford7 wrote:
Hello, I'm oxford7, and here's my work related situation.

I teach a class of about 97% white, and 3% 'other', ie. Pacific Islander.

The class is 'Intercultural Communication'; and for the most part, the students were 'so-so'. They were not entirely recepive to me, but nothing that was to stress causing. Anyway, about two weeks ago, I showed the film, 'Rabbit-Proof Fence, which I felt was a film worthty of class discussion and topical. Needless to say, since showing that film, the class has begun demonstrating everything from stoney faced silence to making 'ethnocentric'/'racist' commentary. For example, a student who is of Belgum descent, stated that she did'nt understand how people in Africa could exist without creating any technology, and be content with sitting and staring. This said with a voice of acrimony, condescension and anger. I commented that that was not entirely true, and left it at that. I held my tongue, as I wanted to say much more; and the more would have sent me spiraling into a rage infused diatribe. So I felt, less was best.

To say that I am pissed, is an understatement. Now, this film was shown to a student population that is at the community college level; but these students come from a wealthy, well-travelled background. I also have one student is from South Africa. He is a young 'white' male, possibly an Afrikkaner. He is very soft-spoken, but, again, he is an Afrikkaner.

My question, is, should I address this young females statment in class; as a way to encourage discourse, or leave it alone. My personal reason for doing this is to confront the offending female student with her racism in a more academic dynamic, and also, because I am still pretty 'angry' at her display of ethnocentrist disrespect. On the otherhand, I feel that whites, anglos or whatever, are past co-cultures (U.S.) educating them on their racism. At the same time however, I want to let them know, that this 'sister', is aware of their 'discomfort', and that that is a step in acknowledging the role they and their ancestors play[ed] in spreading racist and imperialist ideology throughout the world. Please respond

Hello oxford7,

This is where the United-Independent method takes effect. YOU have to decide whether to cooperate with the white people who practice racism (white supremacy) or to attempt to produce a thing called justice, which works against the white people who practice racism (white supremacy)..

This forum is to be used if YOU decide to produce justice and you also decide to share your work with others, you can do so as outlined in the FAQ.

If I were in the situation you have explained yourself to be in I would definitely ask questions of all of the students. I would carefully think out how to go about doing this so that I would make sure no person is mistreated and also make sure the people who need help the most get the most help. This doesn't mean make sure everyone is comfortable. It has been my experience, on the topic of race, the more you move away from the deception, by revealing truth, the more uncomfortable people become. Probably because the more you move away from the deception by revealing truth, the more you move toward the white people who practice racism (white supremacy) using direct violence. It is almost like we feel that coming. The white people who practice racism (white supremacy) use deceit when they can to keep their subject people confused and when that deceit no longer works they use direct violence.

My suggestion to you is to figure out what you are going to do and how you are going to do it, write it down before you actually do anything, and if you decide to produce FAQ by working against the white people who practice racism (white supremacy) using counter-racism science, please post your counter-racism science experiments in the Counter-Racism Science Project forum and also post the data that you gather from those experiments in that same thread.

Others may make other suggestions.

Thank you.
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Dan Freeman



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Encountering racist students in the college classroom Reply with quote

oxford7 wrote:
Hello, I'm oxford7, and here's my work related situation.

I teach a class of about 97% white, and 3% 'other', ie. Pacific Islander.

The class is 'Intercultural Communication'; and for the most part, the students were 'so-so'. They were not entirely recepive to me, but nothing that was to stress causing. Anyway, about two weeks ago, I showed the film, 'Rabbit-Proof Fence, which I felt was a film worthty of class discussion and topical. Needless to say, since showing that film, the class has begun demonstrating everything from stoney faced silence to making 'ethnocentric'/'racist' commentary. For example, a student who is of Belgum descent, stated that she did'nt understand how people in Africa could exist without creating any technology, and be content with sitting and staring. This said with a voice of acrimony, condescension and anger. I commented that that was not entirely true, and left it at that. I held my tongue, as I wanted to say much more; and the more would have sent me spiraling into a rage infused diatribe. So I felt, less was best.

To say that I am pissed, is an understatement. Now, this film was shown to a student population that is at the community college level; but these students come from a wealthy, well-travelled background. I also have one student is from South Africa. He is a young 'white' male, possibly an Afrikkaner. He is very soft-spoken, but, again, he is an Afrikkaner.

My question, is, should I address this young females statment in class; as a way to encourage discourse, or leave it alone. My personal reason for doing this is to confront the offending female student with her racism in a more academic dynamic, and also, because I am still pretty 'angry' at her display of ethnocentrist disrespect. On the otherhand, I feel that whites, anglos or whatever, are past co-cultures (U.S.) educating them on their racism. At the same time however, I want to let them know, that this 'sister', is aware of their 'discomfort', and that that is a step in acknowledging the role they and their ancestors play[ed] in spreading racist and imperialist ideology throughout the world. Please respond


Greeting Oxford 7.

You are in a very special situation that I've often wished for, though I don't want to undermind how HARD it is and will be to maintian \\\"professionalism\\\" and \\\"posture\\\" while talking about the biggest problem this world has ever seen.

Racism is White Supremacy and unfortunatly for you as a teacher, there is no easy way of saying that.

I understand the \\\"politics\\\" of the situation may not be favorable but it is what it is. And the evidence is your apprehension to address it directly, your emotions can serve as an indicator.

In my expieriences I've noticed that the more truth that gets revealed about how the system of racism/white supremacy works in the presence of white people and non white people 2 things happen

1. Non white people may become embarrased to the point of defending the white people present

2. White people may begin to get defensive.

This is \\\"un-natural\\\" yet repeatable phenomenon could be due to what has been described, \\\"the weight of the system\\\" which is expressed as\\\"the pressure\\\" racism/white supremacy will have on its participants due to its existence.

In other words, if racism/white supremacy didn't exist the aforementioned wouldn't be a repeatable phenomenon.

I'm sorry oxford7 there's no easy way.

I once asked Neely Fuller Jr. why he decided to settle on the term White Supremacy (Racism)?, and his response was, \\\"because I kept trying to get around it\\\"

Hope this helps.

smallz

PS

Here is a link to a site that has a collection of other video' s that may help you.

http://www.newsreel.org/nav/topics.asp?cat=3
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Dan Freeman



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Reply with quote

oxford7 wrote:
Thank you all for responding;

I am going to class tomorrow. When I was younger, I thought I would be a different person; ie. enraged about our history, but 'mature', so where I could react and respond in a diplomatic, but conscious manner. However, I find myself going more in the opposite direction. I am more angry, am cursing when 'appropriate',/'safe', and considering violence. The other day, a young male in my class, was attempting to discuss with me the final assignment; and I was totally engaged in this interaction, and, thinking what an attractice young man, when all of a sudden, I felt as if I was going to regurgitte. This has never happened to me before. I deal almost exclusively with white and others in my profession, and while I am always conscious of who I am, and who they are, I have never wanted to , or felt like regurgitaiting. But lately, this is happening. Anyway, I needed to share that/this.

I sort of want to address this; BUT, with all of the history of the Black American, and the African cogently articulating the white supremacist behavior of the anglo, and things actually getting worse, I guess I'm feeling that it ultimately wont matter. So, would I be doing this for me, or for them? And, if I do this for me, will I make things worse? I am an adjunct professor, and I do not need white students reporting me (anymore) to the chair and the dean. I guess my 'problem' is having a reactive response that is healthy for me, but nothing that will create a more hostile situation for me. I know, it' all on me.


One more thing; I'm really fearful that I WILL in fact 'lose' it in a class, and tell these crackers just how I feel, when such another situation presents itself. Non of my peers, or at least I think are having such a problem in dealing with white students. I have been using profanity to deal with white 'humans' and others, pretty regularly. I was on the bus, right after Venus William won Wimbledon, and was celebrating with my mother on the phone; the bus driver determined that after six bus stops, that I had not shown my bus pass. I was certain that this was his way of culling my enthusiasm. I asked of him, why was he now deciding to request this; his just stared and said I needed to show it to him again, I did get up, and show him my transfer, but verbally expressing that it was such bs. A white woman says, \\\" aw get over it\\\",: I proceeded to curse her out. I have never done any thing like that in my entire life. Than I proceeded to continue cursing, until my stop. Sounding like a crazy person lol! I cursed out an arab in the store the other day. I know profanity is the language of the ignorant, but, I felt that it was necessary. ok, I'm rambling, but, I am having more difficulty in dealing with non-blacks than I thought I would when I was younger.


'I guess my 'problem' is having a reactive response that is healthy for me, but nothing that will create a more hostile situation for me. I know, it' all on me. '

I suggest you Becomce Comfortable being Uncomfortable to help you refrain from making 'emotional' responses.
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Edward Williams
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Counter-Racism Science Experiment.

Your feelings are a product of your thoughts. Your thoughts are all over the place which is why your feelings are all over the place. You need focus. Writing a counter-racism science experiment and running it...meaning, approaching every interaction on the topic of race/racism/white supremacy in the process of running a counter-racism science experiment...recording the data and studying the data and the experiment to see if you need to change the experiment, if so make the adjustment and run it again, record the data...

Once you have this focus you will begin to see what you are looking at. You'll think your way through these conversations rather than feel your way through.

Counter-Racism Science Experiment.

Please read the FAQ and follow the process. This ain't no feel good discussion board. Please follow the process. I hate to sound rude but this is a Counter-Racism Work-Study Project not a discussion board. Please act accordingly.
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