Sunday, February 15, 2009

How Far Have We Come? Black and White Prejudice

I was privileged this weekend to sit in on a diversity seminar for new teachers. The program was wonderful, but I must say that it pointed out that we have not come as far as we think we have. Certainly, we have taken admirable and large steps, but the journey is far from over. This was emphasized not only by the following video, but also by the responses of the participants in the seminar. I found that several people heard and agreed with many of the issues that the speaker highlighted, another group was shocked and appalled that such behavior, opinions, and attitudes still exist, but there was another group adamantly denied that there was such an issue and that even if there were it was not a societal issue but a personal or family issue. Interestingly, I thought that the last group emphasized another part of the talk: when the dominate group is forced to view the world through the lens of a subordinate groups eyes, they may be forced to see that they themselves have perpetuated, complied with, and enforced rules/ behaviors that have cause harm to others. Such a view may be very painful and some may turn away instead of looking directly at it.

I hope that you have the strength to look and discuss the issues:

Note: This video was made by 16 year old filmmaker, Kiri Davis, in 2006 and was repeating an experiment done by Dr. Kenneth Clark in the 1940's.

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