Currently, I am taking a sociology class that focuses on race, and ethnicity. Today was my second class. The first thing we were assigned to do was to take a test on this website: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/education.html . To try and sum this up, it is a quiz to see if you sub-consciously have a preference over one thing or another. We did one on race between African Americans, and European Americans. (I will share my results in a little bit.) We had to go to the computer lab, and then come back with in 20 min.
I return back to class, and there was a gentlemen sitting at the table where I left my belongings. After a few minutes of having the class get settled we were to pair up in groups and talk about our homework assignment that was assigned a couple days ago.
We had too come up with theories about why there is so much discrimination, violence, and hatred in our world, and what were our solutions to these problems. In addition we were suppose to interview two people of different generations, cultures, genders, etc. (I haven’t gotten to do that part yet). The second part was watching a local news channel and to record how many times they report about violence, discrimination, hate crimes, and how long do they discuss it for.
So I paired up with the gentlemen sitting next to me, and a woman who was in front of me. I told them that: “I thought that there was a lot of discrimination, violence, and hatred in our world because some use religion as their platform to twist things around to fit their own agenda. Not everyone likes having a world that is diverse with different cultures, and practices. There are also countries with their own belief system that they can instill in their own people. Poverty can also cause friction as well.” The women in my class told me that she had interviewed a person who was in their 50’s had done a lot of protesting, and was telling us a little bit about the person she interviewed with. She then asked the gentlemen what he thought. He said something a long the lines of: “I’m not really sure. I think that there will always be discrimination in the world. She is white (meaning me), and she isn’t going to understand what it is like for us to be black. Just like I may not understand what it is like for someone who may be Jewish, and I’m not going to understand what it is like being white.”
So I said to him: “Well what if we as a society talk about this more? That way I can understand at least to some degree…?” He looked at me a little funny. So I explained more about at least trying to empathize with other cultures, and races by being more communicative as a society. That is truly how we can at least try to help improve our world. As a group we agreed that our future generations should be more exposed to diverse cultures, and races.
Because of this sociology class, and because I happened to pair up with classmates who were black, it was the very first time I had talked about race, and discrimination with someone who isn’t white. I actually found having this particular discussion (which race can be a sensitive subject) slightly uncomfortable. This just goes to show you that as a society for the most part, we don’t discuss this enough. Another reason is because I don’t know them well. After all it was our second class together. However, after having this conversation I’ve learned more, and I realized that as society we should be talking about race more, and in what ways can we improve our relationships in general with people from all walks of life.
One of the very first things we can do is positively teach our children now, and in the future that we need to be more accepting of people, and that we need to immerse them and expose them to different races, and cultures.
At the end of the class I was asked by the gentlemen in our group what the results of my test was. I told them that it said: “Moderate Automatic Preference for African-American compared to European-American”. My group thought that was funny. I would like to think I’m neutral. All I hope is for love, and peace in the world. Maybe, one day?