Everyday Anti-Racism Response
I chose to respond to Part I #2, “No Brain is Radical”. The author suggests that races do not have different intellectual abilities. It has been perceived that “white” are smarter than “non-white” people. People of different races grow up experiencing the stereotype. White people typically grow up learning that all non-whites are less intelligent, while non-white people typically grow up knowing that this is perceived of them. This either provokes the race to do better than what is thought of or stops them from giving their full potential. Even today the stereotype persists. “When we say that we have ‘high expectations for all students’, we should think more specifically about what it is we are saying. What we really mean is that we are struggling against the expectations we have been programmed to have, that some race groups are smarter than others” (p. 10). Anti-racism for this stereotype requires actively resisting the perception that races have unequal intellectual abilities.
1. Principle: How common is the view that “the races” are unequally intelligent?
I believe the view that races are unequally intelligent is very common. Unfortunately, I believe this stereotype is viewed by students at a young age. Many children grow up seeing this accusation in school settings. When a student sees a certain student struggling in school it is common for them to categorize the race as less smart. Younger students may view this racism innocently and not understand that categorizing a race as “less smart” because of one student is wrong.
2. Strategy: How, if at all, might it make a difference for your students if you reminded yourself routinely that the notion of racially biased intelligence was a lie?
By reminding myself that the notion of racially biased intelligence was a lie would make a huge difference to the students. Not only would I believe what I am thinking but the students would too....
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