How does school curriculum perpetrate racism in schools?

In a recent article, a California teacher refuses to teach Shakespeare as part of the school curriculum. Shakespeare is a tradition that is held in high esteem amongst many English teachers. Many of the aspects of the school curriculum deemphasize the importance of the contributions of Blacks and minorities which continues to perpetuate racism in schools.

According to the article, Dusbiber, a White veteran teacher at the Luther Burbank High School states “I am sad that so many of my colleagues teach a cannon that some white people decided upon so long ago and do it without question”. This teacher also believes that Shakespeare’s view of life is outdated. She continues to ascertain that since her students are mainly minorities, it is paramount to dummying down the school curriculum.

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor who was regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. Shakespeare produced most of his works between 1589 and 1613. His first plays were comedies and histories. Afterwards he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608 which included Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. He also wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.

How can a school curriculum that includes Shakespeare perpetuate racism in schools?

Othello is one on Shakespeare’s writings that reinforces racism in the school curriculum. At the time the play was written, 1604, the Queen of England was racist so there was a strong hatred of Blacks during that time. Many of the racist comments in this play are expressed during anger. For example, when Emilia found out that Othello had killed Desdemona, she was extremely upset and called Othello a “Black devil”. The main characters that had racist attitudes included Iago, Brabantio, Roderigo and Emilia, which was expressed as hatred towards Othello.

One of Othello’s best friend’s made a racist comment when talking to Brabantio about Othello and Desdemona. Iago stated, “Even now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe”. Iago says this to try and turn Brabantio against Othello. Iago uses racist comments throughout the entire play, as he tries to turn people against Othello. He also calls Othello a “Barbary Horse”.

Roderigo is Iago’s accomplice and will do anything to help Iago. One of the racist comments that he made was describing Othello with the term “Thick-lips”. Brabantio is another racist character, and becomes enraged when he finds out that his daughter, Desdemona, has been dating “the moor” (Othello). Brabantio becomes so angry that he sends out his guards to catch Othello and put him in prison. Brabantio’s view of Othello is that he is a foul and dirty no good Black. Brabantio openly made racist comments regarding Othello to his face which included, “lascivious moor” and “Wheeling stranger”.

How do schools continue to discriminate against Black students which includes school curriculum?

Many school social codes are unfamiliar and opposed to culturally diverse student home codes. Blacks have difficulty with school instructional concepts and ideas that are absent in their community, culture, or economic environment that ignore or misrepresent their present condition. School instructional procedures include cultural values, orientations, and perceptions that differ from those of Black students. Inappropriate curriculum and instruction are concerns that make reversing underachievement for culturally diverse students difficult. The majority of elementary and secondary school curricula are oriented towards white middle-class children. Public schools continue to have culturally based philosophies and curricula that focus on White European and Judeo-Christian values. Improving school for Black students includes establishing a functional partnership between Black culture and school culture and developing school educational missions that do not compromise or ignore the cultural identity of Black children. Effective high school instructional programs place value on the students’ language and culture. Instructional materials and instructors who work well for European students do not necessarily work well for culturally diverse students, and to believe that they do is to assume Black, Latino, American Indian, Asian, Arab and African immigrants, and European-origin students have identical personal, social, cultural, historical, and family traits.

School instructional procedures include cultural values, perceptions, and orientations that differ from those of Black students. Students who are not interested in school may meet teacher demands for compliance with resistance. Blacks acquire cultural values, attitudes, and learning styles that conflict with values, attitudes, and learning styles needed for success in public schools. Exposing minority students to conditions such as limited parental access to economic and educational resources, conflicting ideas about cultural transmission and primary language use in the home, and interaction style that does not prepare students for typical teacher-student interaction patterns prepare students for school failure before they begin to attend school. Individuals who accept school cultural orientation values expect passivity by the learner, authoritative transmission of information by the teacher, individual effort aimed at completing assigned tasks, performance recognition, avoidance of confrontations, and minimal antagonisms. In school, Black students become passive informational recipients while in their culture they are involved in a learning experience that is give and take, and in one situation, they may be the learner and in another situation, they are the teacher. Black students can benefit from teachers who show concern and care for students by establishing family- and community-like classroom environments that include telling personal anecdotes, using relevant course material, and modifying interaction styles that entertain and engage students.

Schools should consider revamping the school curriculum to ensure that Black and other minorities do not continue to be victimized by racism in education.

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About Classroom Racism Exterminator

Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
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6 Responses to How does school curriculum perpetrate racism in schools?

  1. Philip says:

    Will there ever be a time where Blacks can accept a smidgen of blame for their socioeconomic tragedy? Perpetuating and condoning slang as a substitute for proper English seems too far a stretch after reading this blog. Heaven help us? I can only surmise that the broken educational system can only be fixed by eliminating achievement. No more grades, right?

    Slang is not a cultural attribute african americans should be proud to list. Common sense should tell you how important speaking proper English should be to any community regardless of race. I would like to believe african americans scholars understand. In fact, they do. That’s why pimping garbage like this article is so painful. It should be far more important to any cultural minority than to a cultural majority. Yet, somehow, the minority leaders would rather adopt a dangerous term like , white priveledge, in the 21st century.

    I won’t drag on but rather wish you luck. Never change, fight on. Speak slang and do yo thang. Continue to ignore valuable fixable flaws that white people have nothing to do with . In fact, go out to the hood and burn those books. It’s all white garbage. Peace.

  2. Philip says:

    Neither does Colonialism.

    We are one country and through every messed up stage blacks and whites are synonymous with one another. Advocating a culture within a culture doesn’t work. To exclude other nationalities that reside here is testimony to how absurd your premise remains.

    Please don’t start in with subconscious prejudices . It’s insulting. Clearly, I see a path and you see no hope. Therefore, you are actually a detriment to racial equality. Our President had a unique opportunity to discuss the tough realities the black children face and chose to divide. That’s what bothers me.

    Perhaps, you are just taking a cue. Just a guess.

  3. Pingback: How can teachers help Black students who get stressed out about racism in schools? | Transforming the gap between student perceptions and teacher intentions

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