What is the best way to improve race relations?

In a recent article, a professor of social work claims that the many Gallup Polls that are used as a barometer on how the public is responding to race relations is ineffective because of their questioning techniques. The Gallop Poll questioning techniques are not designed to solve problems but only collect information as a tool to promote the importance of Gallop Polling. The best way to improve race relations is utilize a process that brings people on one accord for a solution.

According to the article, Worried About Race Relations? Your Answering the Wrong Question, Boston University School of Social Work professor Phillipe Copeland ascertains that the Gallop Poll questions are not provocative enough to elicit appropriate responses. Copeland suggest using questions such as:

  1. Do you believe people are treated differently because they’re Black?
  2. Do you believe that’s still happening?
  3. Who do you feel is responsible for changing that?

Copeland’s suggestion for more provocative questioning will only cause people to exhibit characteristics associated with a dysfunctional organization. A dysfunctional organization begins with defensive mechanisms.

Defense mechanisms are the unwritten rules an individual learns and utilizes to effectively deal with circumstances that are upsetting, embarrassing, or threatening. Defensive mechanisms transform into skilled incompetence.

Skilled incompetence is the outcome of the defense mechanisms we have internalized. When the defensive behaviors we’ve learned are transformed into a learned behavior, that behavior becomes a skill – albeit an incompetent skill – that we consider necessary in order to deal with issues that are embarrassing, threatening, or upsetting.

Skilled incompetence transforms into a defensive routine. Defensive routines are the third level. When the skilled incompetence is automatically exhibited at all times, the behavior is now a defensive routine.

Defensive routines lead to fancy footwork. Fancy footwork happens when individuals try to deny the behavioral inconsistencies they exhibit, or else they place blame on other people, which results in distancing themselves from taking responsibility for their behavioral inconsistencies.

Fancy footwork leads to organizational malaise. During this phase the individuals in the organization will seek to find fault within the organization rather than accept responsibility for their actions and correct their behavior accordingly. The individual continues the process by accentuating the negative and deemphasizing the positive in an effort to cover up their actions. The organizational malaise is further exacerbated by a refusal of one or all the members to discuss their area of responsibility.

As people continue to contend with race relations, they continue to deny its existence which is a direct symptom of organizational malaise. The recommendation of more provocative questions serves no purpose to improve race relations because of the economic system in which we exist.

In an economic system such as capitalism, the real fight is about scarce resources and not race relations. The primary scarce resource is money. This is why the income gap between Blacks and Whites is so prominent. For Example, a recent Pew research study indicates that the financial gap between Blacks and Whites has hit it’s greatest disparity since 1989.

In 2010, the median wealth of White households was eight times higher than Blacks. Presently that figure has increased to 17 times to it’s highest rate in two decades, according to Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. In addition, Federal Reserve data shows that the economic recovery of White versus Black households, from 2010 to 2013, was a 2.4 percent increase for Whites and a 33.7 decrease for Blacks. It will remain that way for years to come because of the battle for scarce resources.

Herein lies the big problem; How do we get people to transform their thinking regarding race relations so that all races benefit? When race relations improve, there will be a transfer of wealth and many White, Black, European, Asian, Middle Eastern, and African people are protecting themselves from becoming victimized by the efforts to improve race relations in America.

In order to best transform a system at it’s most effective point, which is called it’s inflection point, we must begin with our education system. As many researchers have indicated, children enter the education system with racial biases. However, the education system supports the biases of the majority which continues to fuel problems associated with adverse race relations.

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All the best,


Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.


PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034


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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology

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About Classroom Racism Management Specialist

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.
This entry was posted in Discrimination, Every Student Succeeds Act, institutional Racism, Leadership, Obama, Police Community Relations, Poverty, Race Relations, Race Relations in America, Race relations in the church, racial discrimination, Racial Profiling, Racism, Racism in America, Racism in Education, Racism in Sports, School Discipline, Structural Racism and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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