Sunday, March 27, 2011

Brown v. Board of Education: videos and articles


After watching the two videos about Tim Wise's "Barack and a Hard Place" I've come to question more about racism and how it exists in America today. I have always believed that racism still exists, I've heard and I've seen it personally, I've caught it on TV, and I've read about it in class. After hearing what Tim Wise had to say, I started to think about the reality of it all. He pointed out that Barack Obama is a light skinned African American, this possibly giving a comfort factor to white voters. He is worried that if he was darker, or if future candidates to come are darker that this will make white people uncomfortable with letting themselves give the candidate the deserved vote. For black people to get respected they must be exceptional at their task, Barack Obama being a man of great intelligence and sophistication, he was easily accepted by the public. Someone like George Bush however was our president for 8 years and many people would immediately describe him as being a complete idiot. Wise says...

"The proof of racial equity will be the day that people of color can be as mediocre as white folks and still get hired."

This quote pretty much says it all. It's completely true, black people have to work much harder to get the same respect of their white peers. It's a really sad and wrong reality that we face in America and outside the united states as well. Another quote I liked was said by the interviewer, " In a minority we see pure excellence."

In a recent survey it was said that 6 out of 10 white people acknowledged stereotypes such as...
-black people are precieved as less intelligent
-black people are less patriotic
-black people are less hard working than white people
-75% of white people say that black people want to live on welfare

All of this clearly proves that racism still exists. Not in an in your face kind of way, but it is very much so out there and if you take a closer look it can easily be found.

Next was Bob Herbert's article relating today's issues in school's back to Brown vs. Board of Education back in 1954. In his article he argues that poor students who are stuck in schools absorbed by poverty are going to fall behind the poor students who are put into schools that are affluent. The quote that follows better explains this...

"If you really want to improve the education of poor children, you have to get them away from learning environments that are smothered by poverty. This is being done in some places, with impressive results. An important study conducted by the Century Foundation in Montgomery County, Md., showed that low-income students who happened to be enrolled in affluent elementary schools did much better than similarly low-income students in higher-poverty schools in the county."

The fact that they are looking to intergrate students of different economic backgrounds into schools also means that they will be intergrating students of different ethnic backgrounds as well. This factor is unsettling to some. This relates to Brown vs. Board of Education because the whole point of that was to say that "seperate but equal" schooling was not equal at all. Black schools and white schools meant segregation which meant prejudice and racism as well. In today's world we see the same thing with the students who are stuck in poverty smothered schools. Without the integration the students will only suffer.

Looking into my own experiences with the SL project, I can see that this very topic could be a crucial factor into what is making these children stuggle. Its all about the effort and time put in by not only the students and teachers, but the parents as well. This quote better explains...

"Studies have shown that it is not the race of the students that is significant, but rather the improved all-around environment of schools with better teachers, fewer classroom disruptions, pupils who are more engaged academically, parents who are more involved, and so on. The poorer students benefit from the more affluent environment."

This link will bring you to a webpage that shows how poverty affects a students learning.


  1. The survey makes me feel sick thinking about how white people stereotype others. It's not fair to those who are not in any of those categories.

  2. You picked some of the best quotes there were. I think my favorite is the "pure excellence". It's true and pathetic. My best friend is African American. He's going to join the Air Force. What kind of treatment are they going to give him? Pass him up for promotion? Force him to work harder than everyone else?
    And as for the stereotypes, I always wonder what stereotypes we'd "fit" if other ethnicities were interviewed.