In a recent article, it is reported that the Obama administration is collecting race data with the hope to improve racism in America. The collection of race data alone is not enough to transform a nation that continues to suffer from racism atrocities. The Obama administration will need to use a shared vision process in addition to providing information if there exist any opportunity for the improvement of racism in America.
According to the article, the Obama administration is stock piling data according to race. The author presupposes that the data collection efforts will result in accusations that include:
- Banks not making enough prime rate loans to minorities
- Government localities that are deficient in offering section 8 and low-income housing for minorities
- Employers who continue to covertly discriminate against minorities
The author continues to ascertain that the data collection efforts will fuel efforts for civil rights attorneys and activist to continue their efforts to eliminate racism in America.
How will Obama race database collection efforts continue to fuel racism in America?
The process that the Obama administration is utilizing is the same process that the media uses to polarize people. It is pointed out in the article, the media make us think we’re more polarized than we really are, that the media can make people more polarized than they really are. Polarization makes journalism more important. Media coverage of polarization issues increases antipathy of the other people or entities. The race database collection efforts will continue to polarize Blacks and Whites.
We find this media polarization influence in the Charleston shooting. As a result of the shooting, the continued necessity of the confederate flag became an issue that created polarization. Even though South Carolina politicians voted to have the confederate flag removed, it was not met without opposition from the Ku Klux Klan. This polarization has continued to fuel racism in America instead of uniting people and organizations from both sides.
Additionally, a recent Pew Research Foundation report reveals that the polarization of liberals and conservatives continues to fuel racism in America. The report reveals that more liberals than conservatives think it is important that a community have racial and ethnic diversity (76% vs. 20%). The racism database can only serve to fuel racism in America rather than unite Americans.
How can the Obama race database collection efforts eliminate racism in America?
Information alone will not eliminate racism in America for which the Obama administration proposes with its efforts to create a race database. Eliminating racism in America will require the enhancement of relationships between Whites and people who are historically underserved. The only model that can improve racial relationships includes information and self-reference. Self-reference is how people decide how they are going to exist together. Without self-reference people will continue the division that racism in America creates.
How do we create self-reference that can eliminate racism in America?
Self-reference is created by developing a shared vision. A shared vision is what you and the other members want to create or accomplish as part of the organization. A shared vision is not imposed by one or a few people as an organizational mandate. Rather, it is derived from the members of the organization, creating common interests and a sense of shared purpose for all organizational activities.
Creating a clear and effective shared vision will provide many benefits for America. Not only does a clear, shared vision help define the values of the country and its citizens, but it also helps guide the behavior of all citizens. A strong shared vision also leads to improved productivity and efficiency.
As the Obama administration efforts to eliminate racism in America will fail without the development of a shared vision based on the racism database.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D. www.positiveracialrelationships.com PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
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