The Instigator
JoshColon35
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
InVinoVeritas
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

There IS Racism in Education

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/4/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,554 times Debate No: 21716
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

JoshColon35

Pro

I argue that there is racism in education in America. Racism in education to me means that people who aren't necessarily white get an education in this country, sort of by tradition, that isn't as good as people who are white. For example, in the ghettos of the Bronx and Manhattan, you can go around and see that the schools are in bad shape, they need to be repaired, they need to be fixed and brought up to code, and the kids in those schools may really want to learn. But society views them as some kind of burden, kids who will turn out as a part of the ghetto with no goals, no hopes, no dreams. But the kids in those schools are viewed as a part of their environment, and no one really feels that they have a chance to succeed or make it. People often become what society believes they will become. If that's the case, the kids in the neighborhood my family's from in the Bronx have no hope what so ever. They will believe that they are doomed in this weird way to fail because they can have no expectations if society has no expectations for them.

Racism is in education isn't just the obvious, like people using racial slurs against those who can't defend themselves. It's about expectations and only about that. If we expect someone will not do well because they are Latino, Black, or even white and poor, they won't do well. And society has made it so that we have little other choice. Society has taught us that in the end, only those with money and power will succeed and that others will work for them. Education is the solution to that problem. An educated kid from the ghetto has the chance to challenge that believe in society, an educated kid from the ghetto has the chance to rise to the top of the corporate ladder, or become a teacher or a principal and give back to those who can't succeed without a lot of help, guidance, and effort. But if education is the way forward for the poor and the oppressed, then that means that those with money and power have an interest in making sure the poor don't become educated, because if they do, the poor may rise up and be able to basically compete with wealthy white kids and maybe even over take them in their goals, beating them out for jobs.

If we believe that people can succeed despite the challenges in front of them, regardless of their color or ethnic background, then they have a better chance at success. It really is that simple. If we believe that they will stay where they are because they are a certain color or ethnicity, then they will stay in whatever position in life they are. Again, it's really that simple. Teachers who aren't in tune with the culture of the students they teach, who may be from the outside of that culture, may not believe that people who don't look like them can succeed. In a way, that's tragic. As a Latino, I had teachers who believed in me and many who didn't, but the teachers who did believe in me made all the difference. They didn't really look like me, but they got the challenges I was facing because they looked beyond ethnicity and race and believed in me. I'm not saying that white teachers are all racist, I'm saying that for the poor and those who aren't white to succeed, they have to have teachers and administrators in front of them who believe that they can succeed despite the many obstacles in front of them.

I've definitely had Latino teachers who looked like me and understood the cultural background I come from, but who thought I didn't really have a chance at success not because I was Latino but because I fit the stereotype of what they thought was failure. I had white teachers who got my culture and also got the challenges I was facing, and it was those teachers who understood where I was coming from who helped me succeed.

So there is racism in education, because people think "those kids" won't make it. "Those kids" won't make it if they don't have someone around them who believes in them for who and what they are.
InVinoVeritas

Con

All in all, white students do get a stronger education than students of specific minority groups, but this is not a result of "racism," per se.

This is not a matter of race but rather one of socioeconomic status. Throughout the opponent's argument, the opponent mentions "kid[s] from the ghetto]. Are we to assume that these kids are all minorities. There are people of all ethnicities living in the "ghetto," as the opponent calls it.

Family income disparity does, in fact, cause disparity in education attainment. [1] The core of this issue is that many minorities have low socioeconomic statuses and live in poverty. According to the APA (American Psychological Association): "African American children are three times more likely to live in poverty than Caucasian children. American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian families are more likely than Caucasian and Asian families to live in poverty." [2]

There are African American and Latin American students who attend prestigious private schools and reap the benefits of an expensive, rigorous education. The reason why many minority students go to low-income schools is that they live in low-income communities and they are in a socioeconomic hiatus. This is somewhat cyclic, since, because of the low socioeconomic status they have, members of minority groups put less emphasis on education, as a result of the slump they are in, leading to a generation-to-generation "transaction" of poverty.

Affirmative action's emphasis on race over socioeconomic status has led to disturbing results, and, consequently, no progress has been made. This is not due to racial or ethnic disposition but rather a socioeconomic disposition among certain American minorities.

[1] http://personal.lse.ac.uk...
[2] http://www.apa.org...
Debate Round No. 1
JoshColon35

Pro

I guess I would say that this is not an argument about economics and how race and economics go together, it's an argument about how people in society view the poor and those who don't have a wealthy economic background, it's really an argument about how society thinks of these individuals that leads to poor education, and poor education, as you said, leads to poor economic status.

If we look at poor urban neighborhoods in New York City, we have to recognize that because of the stereotypes surrounding the behaviors of the students in those neighborhoods that the so called "good" teachers won't come there to teach. They will only go to areas they think the students want to learn in, not an area where they think every day will be about discipline and controlling the kids. But until they go into those areas and actually teach there, they will have no idea what "those kids" are really thinking. Maybe they want to learn, and it's a pretty good guess that they all definitely want to succeed at all they do.

Your argument has great facts in it and great sources, but sometimes reality, which I've lived when it comes to issues like this, doesn't really add up against numbers. It may be true that African Americans and Latinos have less of a chance of success because they are trapped in what you basically called a circle of poverty. But they are trapped in that circle of poverty because they are thought of a certain way, thought of as maybe too rough or too ignorant or too poor to learn, or maybe thought of as always having family members who don't care enough to help them succeed. So if that's the thought, then no one who will truly be able to help them succeed will go into these poorer areas and help kids who may be solid members of their neighborhood actually learn.

Unfortunately, in the United States what we think of people often becomes reality for them. We often think of poor kids from the inner city, regardless of their ethnic background, as being sort of doomed to failure from the start. The more we keep that attitude up, the more damage will happen to entire neighborhoods, and that's the type of racism I'm talking about. It's not about an economic reason, it's not about a reason related to income, it's about what people think. And how can the kids in those neighborhoods change what people think about them if no one will go and teach in these areas to help change what people think of them? The kids in poor urban neighborhoods do have pride in their neighborhoods and their schools, and just because they don't know how to show that pride doesn't mean that they aren't worth teaching. If we don't admit that there's racism in education in the United States, we are basically saying we don't have a problem when it comes to helping those who are part of poor urban neighborhoods, and if we don't admit there's a problem, then we can never fix it and help them and the rest of us move forward.
InVinoVeritas

Con

InVinoVeritas forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
JoshColon35

Pro

JoshColon35 forfeited this round.
InVinoVeritas

Con

Nothing in my opponent's indicates anything about racism. Just socioeconomic tensions... My argument stands.
Debate Round No. 3
JoshColon35

Pro

JoshColon35 forfeited this round.
InVinoVeritas

Con

My opponent has yet to stand by his resolution. Whatever.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Anayansi 5 years ago
Anayansi
Do you happen to be from Colon, Republic of Panama?
This will be an interesting topic.
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