Racsm and Social Justice

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Asian -Philippines

There are several key points I learned in ready the scholarly literature. When I was in the military I was stationed in the Philippines for one year. My thoughts and example on classism is having attended an “influential” university for ones undergraduate education, I have noticed that classist attitudes are ubiquitous among the classmates, friends, and peers both during and after undergrad. The same is true about many young Asians who graduate from our country’s top private schools and often, their families. Classism is considered a disparity behavior based on social class or perceived social class. 

My neighbor is from the Philippines I decided to interview her. Her name is Dalisay , her name means pure. Dalisay, said she was once told by a White male friend that she had three strikes against her: I quote, “ 1) being an Asian, 2) being female and 3) growing up in a British colony”. Dalisay grew up in a traditional Chinese family where the sole ambition for girls was to get married into a respectful family. Girls getting an education were not viewed as a top priority, and if you were going to get an education then you should be doing a degree in law, medicine, or engineering. Dalisay decided she did not want to be traditional it was difficult for her parents to understand why she wanted a degree in psychology since compared to a doctor, a psychologist has lower status and receives significantly less income. As luck would have it, it was the values that were instilled by her parents that led me into psychology, human rights, social justice, and social action. I did not realize that my social inequality lesson came at such an early age until in recent times. Dalisay was watching a television show where someone was doing an exercise about earliest memories. At that time she thought, “What a great exercise”. So Dalisay began to think about her earliest memory. Her earliest memory was a wonderful memory of holding her grandfather’s hand and only being able to see his knee as she was learning how to walk. That warm memory suddenly shifted to confusion and pain. As her grandfather and she walked to the door of their family’s fruit shop she saw her parents and her aunties and her uncle’s serving White customers. Dalisay said, she was probably around 18 months and did not understand the interaction between her family members and the customers. But one thing was clear, even at 18 months, she was aware that it was painful to witness the demeaning, sniggering, patronizing, and belittling behavior exhibited by the White customers to her family. This was Dalisay first memory! Unfortunately, it would not be her last memory of racism and oppression

Interacting with the internet websites I have learned that Philippines are compassion forgiveness, and patience people. There are actually eight key qualities that I have learned in reading about social justice and human rights work regarding Pilipino. Unfortunately, successful outcome of social justice work does not necessarily happen within hours, minutes, days, weeks, or months for that matter. This dysfunctional racism may take years. I truly believe in the planting seed analogy. Part of social action work is sometimes about planting seeds. Dalisay said, she have learned to be patient and trust that what she is doing will be effective and will lead to change. Unfortunately, change that Dalisay may never witness. Instead of dwelling on whether she can make a difference, I trust and have faith that she will make a difference. For example, I am endlessly surprised and humbled by emails, cards, or letters she has received from students and community members about the impact of her interactions and the change that has developed as a result of their contact with her. Since the eight key points have impacted her social justice work, below I will share examples of how each of these eight critical lessons affected me personally and professionally.

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