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In the ideal world everybody is equal. In the real world there is racism. Situations stemming from racist feelings and conflicts between ethnic groups remains a serous problem. The video Skin Deep brought together college students of different races to express their feeling and beliefs about racism. The video supported the idea that the environment you are raised in is an influence on beliefs and feelings you might have towards other races. Dave’s grandfather was a confederate. He grew up listening to his grandfather talk bad about other races. Dave’s best friend is Mexican, and he said he can not bring him around his grandparents. Marc comes from a good Italian family. His father has some strong views about people of other races. Marc adores his father, but he’s not sure if he agrees with him. In fact, Marc loves to sing and when he joined in an all Black gospel choir, he did not tell his father for several months. Most of the other students expressed that they had the same upbringing, to discriminate against other races. Even though it was wrong of our grandparents and parents to raise us in such an environment, I can understand why they did. Some of our grandparents lived in the days of slavery and war and had to deal with the experience first hand. Their experience is all they knew to teach their young. I think our generation can look past how we were brought up and recognize that it is wrong, and teach our children better.
Tammy made a point that the black students at her school often did not get involved in events. She said that when she went to school meetings she made an attempt to sit by students of other races, when she tried to make friends with them by sitting next to them and making conversation, she could tell that they did not feel comfortable sitting next to her. This made her feel uncomfortable. The Black students felt that they were often left out of groups and schoolSkin Deep 3
events so they decided to have a graduation ceremony for Black students only. My first thought of this idea was that it was only splitting the races up even more. After listening to other’s thoughts in class I understood more why this was so special to the Black race. One reason was because for most of the students, they were the first to graduate in their family and that is something to take pride in.
Judith is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She grew up working in the fields with her parents. Judith is very angry with society and how unfair it is. She feels that she does not get the same opportunity in life as other races and that she is not offered the same resources to succeed. She is very skeptical about justice in America. Tammy who has the resources and support to go to college feels the same way. She said when she wants something bad enough, she just hast to work hard towards it and she will get it. Tammy feels that this is not true for all races. I think that the opportunity is their no matter what race you are. I do think that it is harder for some people to go to college. Not because they are not smart enough to go, but because all odds are against them. For instance, a person who comes from a poor family might not be able to attend college because going to college would mean that they might not be able to work as much. That person has to bring home money to support the family so college would be out of the question. What determines if you succeed is your goals and ambitions. There is poverty, broken families, and hard times no matter what race you are.
One student who is biracial, Latino and White, spoke about what she deals with on an everyday basis. On job or college applications there is a box to check what race you are, but she is two races. Is she supposed to pick one of the two? She said while growing up people would
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ask her what race she was and when she told them Latino and White, they would want her to pick one. The Latino kids did not want to be friends with her because she was White, and the White kids did not want to be friends with her because she was Latino. It is nobodies fault, but a problem that biracial people have to face. It is a major identity crisis starting at a young age. I do think that it is unfair to biracial people that society is so cruel to make them feel like they are not equal.
Stereotyping also plays a great role in racism. The Asian students felt that other races stereotype all Asians to be the same and want to express that they are different. One Asian student stated that he thinks that whites are taught to like themself and that their race is superior. I have heard of white privilege. It is thought that White people do not feel that they are superior to other races, or that they have any other privileges than other races. I honestly have to say I believe this is true. I feel that someone of another race has the same opportunity as me. I do think I feel this way because I have not had to experience life as a person of a different race. Brian a black student, felt that White people think if one Black person does something bad, then all Black people do it. I also think that the media, movies, and music play a big role in stereotyping. Stereotyping is something that most people do. I don’t think it is done to hurt people intentionally.
Overall, I thought the video was good and the students expressed their opinions and feelings openly and honestly. The video is pretty old and I do think that people are more accepting of other cultures, interracial marriages, and biracial people now. I might even say that I am ignorant to racism because I am not racist. Maybe I do not really see racism when it is right
Skin Deep 5in front of me. Being a nurse I have patients of all races and cultures. I see my patients as equal humans. When I look at them, the color of their skin or their appearance is not important to me. What I see is a patient who is sick and needs my care. There is no one solution to racism in this country. We each need to contribute to the solution in our own way.