I didn’t know that…

Back in 2007 when I was a student here at NWTC, I took the Race & Ethnic Diversity class. It was an eye-opener to me then, because didn’t know the extent of bias that we all possess, nor the widespread effects of

bias, prejudice, and discrimination despite the laws and “progress” to combat discrimination. Then again in 2010 I took another class in diversity studies that furthered my knowledge of the problem. I thought I had enough awareness by now and was practicing to act in an unbiased and inclusive fashion toward all persons.

Along comes “Living Inclusively.” I thought I had learned enough and didn’t need more training, and that the world is becoming a better place for minorities. I thought, “Do I really need this extra training?” I’ve got too much on my plate and already know this stuff. Well, turns out we really need to be not just aware, but proactive in order to reduce the problem of prejudice and discriminatory behavior for everyone. Here are my takeaways from the Living Inclusively class:

  • Negative bias, prejudice, and discrimination are more prevalent than I originally thought.
  • Minority individuals are confronted with this fact often, and are aware or thinking of this daily and often.
  • Minority groups have more hurdles to overcome, especially because “white privilege” is engrained in our culture and daily living.
  • It is not enough to ‘tolerate” or act “color blind” when it comes to other nationalities and skin color. We need to acknowledge and embrace or celebrate differences.
  • Doing nothing to reverse prejudice and discrimination in effect, is promoting it – take the example of Hitler’s Regime, where the churches and public did nothing to stop the persecution and destruction of the Jewish people.
  • NWTC’s minority population does not mirror the actual minority population distribution.
  • Each racial/cultural group has differing troubles and hurdles preventing them from acquiring higher education.

To keep this post from becoming too lengthy, I will only say that I’ve created several action items for myself due to the lessons learned in this class. Hopefully the rest of us, who haven’t taken this class yet, will look forward to the class and have their own action items to help us all become “anti-discriminatory.”

One thought on “I didn’t know that…

  1. “Prejudice blinds, ignorance retards, indifference deafens, and hate amputates. In this way, some people disable their souls.” Mary Robinson (1944- )

    I applaud your intellectual humility in your progressive discovery, openness, and willingness to expand your horizons regarding prejudices. The Greek word “metanoia” suggests a change of mind and heart–that is, a turning away from one’s former consciousness, now recognized as unacceptable, inappropriate, and ethically wrong. It is a fundamental reorientation of one’s, hopefully, whole life.

    “We are citizens of one world; we are all of one blood. To hate someone because he was born in another country, because he speaks a different language, or because he takes a different view on a subject, is a great folly.” John Comenius (1592-1670)

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