How often do you get accused of racism?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Peregrin5, May 5, 2014.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 6, 2014

    I have some trouble with those acronyms too. Today I got an email from someone saying that they're having BOGO at Chipotle for Teacher Appreciation week. It took me a while to realize that meant "buy one get one". :lol:
     
  2. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I'm curious as to what they find racist about Black History month? Are they coming from the standpoint that it's racist because there is a Black History month and no months for other races?

    Or are they just saying it's racist to throw things off track?

    I find that students will say something is racist quite often. 99% of the time they are joking, and the other one percent of the time they're trying to shift blame to you as the teacher. That's why I don't let it get to me when it's a student. When a parent or guardian backs up this claim without even getting to know the full story from the school or the teacher first however, this is what I majorly have a problem with and I believe that it's this type of behavior that actually perpetuates racism.

    I also find it funny that parents will call me racist not realizing that I'm a minority too, though for some reason they think it's different because Asian people are regarded as a "model minority" whatever the heck that means. That's not to say that minorities can't be racist (in fact, it's quite common among minorities--my mom was extremely racist against other types of Asians), but I at least understand the feeling of being a racial minority.

    I do realize that I am probably racist to some degree, as we all are (whether it's accidental stereotyping [of any race for anything-including stereotyping all white people as being racist] or not realizing the effect of privilege). It's the way we were conditioned to think over decades, but it is never something I would let affect my relationship with a student, and I always try to ensure that I am aware of my own shortcomings in this area or am careful to catch myself in my thoughts if it does come up. I think that's the best we can do.
     
  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 6, 2014

    There is absolutely no reason. They just do it to complain, and to see if I react. To them it's pretty funny when a teacher tries to defend herself (or himself) after being called a racist. The reaction actually speaks volumes, so I guess they do that to find out how the teacher actually is.

    I just want to throw this comment out about what you said about being conditioned over decades about racism.
    I grew up not knowing what racism was. I had lived in Hungary until I was 19 and we only knew Hungarians. We learned about slavery and discrimination from textbooks, but it was such an abstract idea. I mean, even our history teachers didn't know what racism was, because they had learned it from textbooks. So I definitely didn't know anything about the discrimination that is going on this day.
    We did have Gypsies (Romas) and they were discriminated against, so I guess we did experience some of it, but not like what's going on here.
    I had never met a non-white person (other than the Romas) until I came here.
     
  4. underthesun

    underthesun Rookie

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    May 6, 2014

    I was never really a fan of the way our school celebrated Black History Month but didn't try to celebrate any of the other months that existed, but I never had an actual issue with it. I just would have liked to see Women's History Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month, and Native American Heritage Month celebrated as well, you know? Or, better yet, I would have liked to see all of the 'months' integrated throughout the year instead of isolated. /shrug.

    But more on topic, I was accused of racism as a student once, by one of my teachers. I remember it being an English / American Lit class where we had just started what had to have been our FIFTH book on slavery in a row, and I made the mistake of asking why EVERY book we read had to be on slavery. Mind you, I meant the question to suggest we read other diverse books from different time periods or settings, not that we be done reading books from diverse backgrounds. I tried to clarify that later in the conversation, but by then it'd already become too big of an issue.

    Her response was something along the lines of how it was something very important to learn about (unarguably so!) and that it didn't matter that I was getting tired of reading the same content over and over again, and that I needed to understand the atrocities that my ancestors had committed. (Actually, she said "all of our ancestors" to include herself -- so props to her on that -- but she tacked on a "and that includes your family!") I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I did explode a bit in response to that, before pointing out to her that my ancestors hadn't started to arrive in the US until well AFTER the Civil War, and most had then been turned away from the jobs they wanted because of NINA.
     
  5. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    May 7, 2014

    I teach in a mostly white school, and have 3 minority students in my classroom. One black, one Hispanic and one Asian. One of them is an outrageous behavior problem-like, anytime an adult is walking towards me and I'm not expecting them, I know it's about this student. We've had his mom in so many time, and she always says she tells him he has a 'target on his back' already. She's never called us racists, but whenever she says that it makes me feel like she's implying it. She makes comments like she doesn't want her son to end up another black man in jail, or another statistic, etc. It makes me want to cry for her, but I can't help but see him on that path with his behavior and her enabling and the horrible fireball explosion it's going to come to at some point. But I feel I can't be totally honest with her, because I DON'T want to be called a racist or be accused of stereotyping. But I can so clearly see his future and it's awful.

    I must say, I really wish my class was more diverse. For all the good reasons you would normally want that, but also because when you only have 1 or 2 minority students, it feels like you're walking on eggshells when you teach certain topics. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, for example. Or the anniversary of the March on Washington. Everyone would look at this student when I talked about it, because he is the only black student in the class. I did NOT mean to single him out, obviously, but it happened naturally and it sucked. We would talk about slavery and it was 22 white kids and 1 black kid, having to listen to how his ancestors were treated by white people. *CRINGE* We watched the Kid President pep talk the other day, and everyone was joking that this student was like Kid President-I'm sure they said it simply because they are both black. I know my students didn't mean it harshly because they try to compare all the students to different celebs/book characters, but it stinks that this student is automatically compared to anyone that is black simply because of his skin color. If I had more black students, it wouldn't be an issue. He wouldn't be the only one, and we could have actual conversations.

    I just want to get through the rest of the year with him, and move on. It's been a nightmare trying to balance behavior, race, culture, family politics, etc. It probably wouldn't be so bad if his behavior was better. I think that's what makes this so hard.
     
  6. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    May 7, 2014

    On the flip side (and more lighthearted) than Jem's experience, I had a student transfer into one of my classes from another state about halfway through first semester this year. The student happened to be white and the only white male in this class. His first day, he walks into the class about 10 minutes after class had started. There was a moment of silence and then one of the other students yells out "Hey, it's a snowflake!" I was mortified and jumped to say something, but the kid laughed and said, "that's a weird nickname for Bob (my made up replacement)." The rest of this year, the students have played it up. When it snowed, they'd yell "It's Bobbing outside" and the kid has drawn snowflakes on every assignment he's turned in all year. This white boy from Texas quickly became the most popular kid in this class because he was able to have such a good attitude about this awkward moment.
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Never in school but once when I worked retail a customer asked me if I wouldn't let her get away with something (I was following store policy) because she was black. I showed her the sign on the wall and then she stormed off.

    I didn't know what ICAM was either! I did use BOGO yesterday in a post. That Chipotle was yummy :)
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 7, 2014

    Love that he embraced that! That's a TX boy for you though! ;)
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Most of the time, because I am a distance learning teacher, I have no idea what my students look like. I'd have to look up their race on their student profiles. It's an advantage in this case, I suppose, but it also means I can't hug them when they need it.
     
  10. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    May 7, 2014

    It's not uncommon at my school, although the word "racist" usually isn't used. It's usually phrased something like, "Why are you be so hard on me? Because I'm black?"

    Unfortunately, some think that racial accusations are the go-to technique for getting out of trouble, because most adults are hyper-sensitive about race and therefore hesitant to outright dismiss the charges.
     
  11. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    It happened to me once. I immediately ended the meeting, and refused to meet with the parent alone again. She never brought it up again.
     
  12. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    May 16, 2014

    I work at a school where the majority of the students are minorities (myself included) so I've only been accused of racism twice. In the first case, the accusers were parents of a child that sexually harassed another student in my class for several months in addition to drawing very detailed pictures depicting people having sex.

    The second time I was accused of being racist was by a parent who refuses any services for her child including ESOL, speech, glasses, a hearing aid (he has loss in one ear) and SpEd pull out (the child has been failing every subject since Kindergarten).

    The parent "accused" me of being a race that I'm not and said that I was a racist and making up all that data about the child.
     

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