Racist-Bullying In Modern American Schools and Racism in Schools
Basically everyone in modern-day America agrees that both bullying and racism in public schools is bad and that it creates and promotes the very same attitudes to others and fosters a poisonous environment for children. There are many types of bullying of course but there is none more insidious than racism in American schools, a problem that is still virulent in modern day America, whether anyone wants to talk about it or not.
Racism in schools may no longer be quite so pronounced as it once was but that does not mean that it is no longer there. Indeed, it is much harder to fight an enemy that you cannot see, and thus subtle racism in schools can be much more difficult to spot and thus, to stop.
But, of course, before one even thinks about taking any steps, especially if they include direct intervention, it is important to draw a distinction about what bullying exactly. Many parents, understandably, are very protective of their children, due just such concerns relating to the perceived institutional racism in schools, but there are lines to be drawn and there is such a thing as being, “Too protective.” Just because someone calls one of your children a insulting name a couple of times or shoves them on the playground does not necessarily mean that they are being bullied.
The key thing to understand about bullying is that it is a constant, the bully chooses particular targets and sticks with them, usually because they will not stand up for themselves or speak out and are thus considered, “Weak,” because of it.
Bullying can consist of hitting, shoving, punching, taunting and many different psychological provocations like spreading gossip, calling names and direct insults. And with the advent of the electronic age bullying has been uploaded to servers around the world. Electronic bullying includes many of the same features, rumor and gossip, slander, direct insults and slurs, but can also do things such as poise as the person whom they are attempting to defame and degrade, making them appear to say things outrageous things they never actually would.
All of this can obviously be quite destructive to a child’s precarious development and with the added element of racism the effect becomes even more pronounced and negative.
Many United States governmental studies about racism in school statistics have shown that roughly 15 to 20 percent of all students are bullied and quite frequently. What is quite striking is that is is not merely the non-bullying students who are being frequently bullied but the those who bully others as well.
The explanation for this is usually fairly obvious; when a young person, especially a young male, is picked on, he feels the need to retaliate. But often cannot find a way to directly retaliate against those whom pick upon him and bully him, especially if they are older, larger and stronger or are the same age and relative size but bully in a group. Failing direct retaliation the young person finds a chip planted firmly upon his shoulder and, if that young person is a man, feels emasculated. And if the bullying was racial it will only further the ire of the young person who was bullied. This person will then retort upon another, usually someone younger, smaller and perceptibly, physically weaker.
Studies have also shown that individuals whom are frequently and harshly bullied have a perceptibly higher chance of dodging classes, dropping out of school entirely, committing to substance abuse, crime than others, similarly situated.
So the obvious question to answer is who is at risk for bullying, especially racial bullying. It is not, however, so obvious whom will be the target for bullying, even racial bullying. Naturally there are some obvious circumstances that make the social landscape more tenable to bullying than others. Like a black child at an all white school, especially if that happens to be a southern school. It is not an exaggeration to say that the southern states, specifically the so called, “Bible Belt,” is the most racist segment of the American population and has remained so for a very long time.
Stories are still dancing around the news about the Wilcox County, High School first ever non-segregated prom, and that was only back in 2013. It seems like something that should be the subject of a SNL skit (and likely it is or will be) but it is a very real issue.
But outside of being black in a southern Baptist, all white school, there can be more subtle forms of racism. Such as African-American bullying other African-American because they have, “sold out,” and have acquired white friends. They can also be things that don’t have any particular attachment to race such as having a pretty girlfriend and a nice laptop. Often bullying occurs because the bully envy’s the individual he or she singles out.
However, strictly racist reasons for bullying can, and often do, evolve out of family beliefs, particularly if the family has a strong sense of unity, loyalty and legacy. This may sound peculiar but the more one knows their family history the more respect one often develops around their beliefs, importance through legacy.
Because of this, if say, there was a new black student in a college, and the person he sat next to was white and came from a family where his father was held up by a black bank robber in a crime-ridden and predominantly black, neighborhood, it would be very likely that the white student would react quite derisively.
This kind of history leads people to generalize, saying things such as, “You know they’re all crooks, those blacks,” and other hurtful and blatantly false things. Often these parents, whom are imparting these vicious, and poisonous attitudes and behaviors to their children lived back during the age of segregation. This being the case they see it as both a golden time because of their youth and also because it was, “The way things should be.”
If it turns out that bullying at a particular school originates from the parents it is important not to place the blame entirely upon them. However, intervention steps should be taken and a discourse, if they will have it, might be exceedingly constructive.