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Blog Post 11/11

This is my first experience with Leadership. My eyes have been opened on so many different occasions regarding the fallacies and the misconceptions of much it of what makes the United States what it is today. Understanding the United States relationship with middle eastern countries has never been something I have thought about. For a place that is founded on a dream (the American dream). A dream that entices millions to immigrate away from their home countries in search of a better life. We certainly don’t seem to value or appreciate all races, ethnicities, and cultures equally. I am honestly surprised at how little attention the inequalities among different races and cultures has in America.

Having just recently watched Just Mercy the reality of the inequalities within the prison and court systems in America is a harsh reality I am just now understanding. While that is a powerfully painful reality, I think it is equally as painful to think about the inequality that middle eastern families experience in America. The generalization of the entire Islamic faith has brutally oppressed and changed the ways in which people view muslim people and families. I think that generalization is so hateful and so judgmental that the quality of life for muslims living in America has to be low. Through these two example of oppression and judgment, we are able to see the results of that mistreatment in the way school districts are drawn. Growing up in Richmond, there are several different school districts that I could reference that show great signs of segregation. There are socio-economic differences that can also lead to a pile up in low income areas having one or two schools that are poorly funded. While on the other side of the county there are several well funded public schools that the low income area communities don’t have access too. My question is why? Why in the year 2020 is there still such a strong sense of segregation? People’s hearts might have changed, but I still struggle to see how you can call this country equal.

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3 Comments

  1. Christopher Wilson Christopher Wilson

    Ironically, I talked to one of my friends about the election, and he confided in me that he once was Republican. Instead of instantaneously reacting, I listened to him explain why and learned that he only identified as a Republican because of the news media, parental influence, and the cultural environment he grew up in. I say all this to say that Islamophobia, like most forms of racism, needs to be dismantled in the homes of people and in the news media because, as human beings, we have a tendency to believe what someone tells us without questioning the information presented automatically. The institution of education is a great example of this. Like Beydoun says in Elba’s article, America needs to define what Islamophobia is and acknowledge how our nation has been Islamophobic over the years since our founding, then we can start drafting ideas for change. Until a common understanding has been reached, this form of oppression will continue.

  2. Margot Roussel Margot Roussel

    I don’t have the answers to the big questions you’re asking. I don’t know why there is still such a strong sense of segregation, but I think understanding and accepting this as fact is one of the first steps we can take to dismantling it. Thats why I think we should bring Zinn’s book home and encourage those around us to read a chapter or two and challenge the way they learned the history of the US.

  3. Sophia Peltzer Sophia Peltzer

    As sad as it is, we are far from equality in this country, and it’s a huge stretch to say that we are the “greatest country in the world”, unless you are a very specific type of person. There are countless root causes of this inequality, but I think one thing we as a country need to focus on is the lasting impressions and impacts of how we used to be. Between slavery, Japenese internment camps, Jim Crow laws, and countless other instances, racism, segragation, and general fear of “the other” has been so deeply ingrained in our country’s fabric that simple anti-discrimination laws don’t offer the changes we need to see. I don’t have the answer for how we can work as a country to address this, but I do know that this is an important part of the discussion that people need to start paying more attention to.

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