Ethnic discrimination in our schools is a growing concern. Ethnic discrimination in schools can be defined as not giving a person an equal education on account of their race. I believe that this is a big problem because that if we discriminate against our students we will ultimately lower our college attendance rates. There are classes that stress anti-racism for not only the students but the teachers as well. Students of all races lose when they are not given the chance to learn from teachers of all races. Teachers also lose out when they are not given the chance to learn how to teach students of different races. We students and faculty at Washington Union might think that this “ethnic discrimination” is a long way away. However, how many African-American students do we have in our honors or AP classes? How many times have you heard students complaining that members of a different racial class receive “special privileges”?
As you can see there is discrimination right here at home. Ethnic discrimination in our schools has been going on since the emancipation proclamation, but in the last thirty years, it has been making a drastic comeback (www.harvardstudies.com). Ever since the governor of Arkansas had to call soldiers to try and stop the “Little Rock 9” from attending Central high school there has been a barrage of other discriminatory acts committed in our schools. One of those acts that set the standards for the others was the class action suit “regents of the University of California v. Bakke”. This case was filed by a young black man that claimed he was not admitted to college on the account of him being black. The Supreme Court ruled that quotas would be prohibited and that colleges could use ethnicity as a factor of admission (www.blkhismonth.com).
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After this case, another case in the seventies was brought into the court system that was on the account of a white man not being excepted to UCDavis on the account of his being white. This was after a later Supreme Court had named the University v. Bakke decision unconstitutional (www.chicagotrib.com). One might think that these cases weren’t that big of a deal, or that they would not affect them. Au Contraire, when a certain bunch of people is discriminated against in education it can have drastic effects on society. Such as the African-American population was forced to go to inferior schools. Since they were at inferior schools they did not get equal opportunities out to their education. There were very few African-Americans in the Universities. As a cause of this, we had a very uneducated workforce.
In 1954 the US Supreme court made a decision that made segregated facilities unequal. Even though this decision was made, in 1966 an overwhelming amount of schools was still segregated. (Encarta-segregation). When the Supreme Court ordered these schools to desegregate, they came up with a method to legally segregate called “busing”. They would bus minority students out of the district to inferior schools. Some of the African-American population didn’t mind the busing, although a large percentage hated it for the discriminate action that it was. June 1974 a judge finally ruled “busing” illegal. When the discriminated students came to the “white schools” almost 2,000 white children left in a movement called the “white flight” (www.blkhismonth.com). These acts of discrimination were sometimes headline news and sometimes hardly noticeable. Towards the 80’s the violence in the southern schools died down but discrimination was still there. It had only changed from violent intimidation to verbal harassment (www.affirmact.com).
Then towards the late ’80s, verbal harassment changed to criminal acts and hate crimes. In schools, segregation was starting to return. It started out that minority students would just receive more suspensions and expulsions than white students for the same act. Then getting admission into some universities for African-Americans became more and more difficult. Schools started putting honor and AP classes out of the reach of minority students. The students started segregating themselves by who they would socialize with and who they wouldn’t. It even reached a point that the NCAA, one of the college’s most prestigious sports leagues, when confronted with it, admitted making their sports eligibility tests more difficult for black students. They reasoned that it was to raise graduation rates, even if it meant denying eligibility or sports scholarships to a high percentage of black students.
In conclusion, I would like to say that we are fighting an important battle against discrimination. It will be a long hard fight for equality, for as long as people have air in their lungs, they will have breath against someone. We all commit the lawless crime of discrimination. In the Bible, it says “Have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:4, God’s Word). In fact, I believe that all we can do against discrimination is to fight it. These hateful thoughts have been driven into the heads of children for generations by their parents. For I believe that the idealist society is not that far beyond reach. The idealist society would include a colorblind educational system.
The fact is that until we reach this idealist society, no one will be equal. Someone will find a fault to discriminate against someone. James A. William, a law professor at a Texas all-black college, says, “It’s [the discrimination in schools] pure racism. It’s a black-white problem.”(www.chicagotrib.com) As dismal as this problem may seem, there are some lights at the end of the tunnel. We may never destroy the disease of discrimination, but we do have so antibiotics for it. With work together, not as separate races but as a whole, we should reap some benefits of harmony. Yet the first thing we have to realize is that we cannot just desegregate our campuses, but we have to integrate them as well.