Racism in the United States continues to be a big issue nationally and in states, institutions, offices and daily commute. However, it is not as severe as it were in the past few centuries. Regardless of the vice, America should be at a point in life when everyone enjoys equality and a chance to interact with whoever they want. Racism is existent in concentrated areas like schools and prisons where different races forms alliances amongst themselves. It leads to constant racial fights and drifts. The new generation of racism should be a national issue whereby everyone should change their perception pertaining racism.
The reason for choosing the topic is to create awareness of the racism present in schools like Penn State University. It is common to see students socializing with people of the same culture while discriminating others especially those from minority races. Others tend to decline advances from other races since they seek only those from their race. Such instances make it hard to create a community where everyone shares the same sentiment and target growth in all areas. Penn State University has been on the headlines on racial issues since the 1900s. Segregation is a major issue since most of the students are whites and the University tries its level best to keep it on a higher scale. The issues faced by marginalized races are evident from the administration corridors to the student council representation.
A collection of data that relates to racism in schools will solemnly come from scholarly articles published by different authors. Journals and magazines tend to provide better views and opinion about the topic. Apart from that, they tend to shed more light on the progress and happenings in the different institutions and laws placed to combat such occurrences in the near future. Another means of collection is online survey and questionnaires administered to different students. The materials will feature the issues currently faced in most schools, their thoughts on the matter and way ahead for schools. It will provide feedback options and hotline numbers present as a way of helping people in similar situations to contact the nearest help center.
The prior knowledge I have will come in handy when collecting and assessing the information received. Apart from that, I will be in a position to comprehend the talks with some of the affected people. The common knowledge I know comes from the history books and magazines read on racism. One learns of the inception of racism in America and the different ways people used in fighting for their equal rights. One great story that stands out is the sit-in movement back in 1960 where students sat at counters meant for white students and order their food from it. These sit-ins orchestrated a national epidemic that brought down the segregation of black students in America. However, there are several assumptions and biases that may be evident in my research, though I seek to clarify them through further research on the topics.
Some of the challenges I expect to receive while conducting the study is lack of proper cooperation with the interviewers. Most of the students might fear exposure of their thoughts and views by the study, which may lead to further segregation of other races and some of their race members. Another challenge is finding legitimate answers on the issues faced. Some of the students might exaggerate the information to make it a major concern while others might diminish the claims made on them or the matter. Some of the concerns in studying the topic include the extent of harm that I would inflict on some of the survivors. Some of the interviewers might be victims of racism and opening those wounds would be a tough option for them. It would cause an imbalance to the interview since I might not be in a position to calm down the people.
Most articles about racism in universities tend to point at Penn State. There are various incidences which outline the racist events that took place in the institution. On 27 February 2014, a sorority house in the university was shut down after the exposure of a racist photo over the internet (Kingkade, 2014). Chi Omega, a women’s fraternity, dressed up as stereotypical Mexican grab and accessorized their outfit with fake mustaches. The ladies held up a sign written that for weed and beer, they will mow your lawn. Their slogan was they do not cut grass; they smoke it. The photo was part of their Halloween collection in 2012 at a social event (Kingkade, 2014). The school placed the fraternity on probation from December 2012 through the students involved in the parade did not face any punishment. However, the girls’ supporters defended them by saying that they were making fun of the situation, and it does not in any way affect the Mexican race. In some way, the supporters are right, but the signage brought out their racist thoughts.
Such issues tend to be on the top list of racist crimes done by students from the University. The menace is common to the Student Affairs’ Vice President Damon Sims. In 2014, he and the staff received many sexual assaults, attempts, and racism cases; some being very severe and disgusting (Garrett, 2015). They had a hard time trying to bring peace between the parties involved and create a peaceful environment for all the students. In a board briefing, Sims outlines his concerns and various ways in which the university can implement in bringing down the menace. He suggests that the board look into serious punishment and offenders as they will serve as an example to the other students. The board should demolish their current reconciliation system where the perpetrators and victims hold a joint meeting which only leads to a confrontational environment. As he concluded his brief, Sims notes down an incidence where an African American lady student had to endure racist comments and insults from other students as she was jogging (Garrett, 2015). Such incidences bring down the school’s image.
The articles provide an outlook of the issues I will combat in Penn State University. The intended age group for the study is between 18 years and 22 years. Since most of the issues stipulated in the article touch on sorority houses, they would form a good base for data collection. Apart from that, I will locate students that are not in fraternity groups as they will shed a light on how they feel about racism in school. A Likert scale will be useful during surveys as it provides variety of questions which relate to the past and current relationship with the students with the school and a scale to measure the effectiveness. Most of the questions will touch on relationship, treatment, freedom and rights.
A major concern would be on sorority houses as they feature most of the racist actions as seen in the events and images available on the internet. There will be a limitation to the research project such as the number of people who will participate in the survey and representation. Most of the marginalized races would want to way in their personal opinions about the topic as it concerns them more than the white people. In the end, the research project will be useful when summarizing the topic and final report from the investigated resources and surveys.
Breslow, J. M., Wexler, E., & Collins, R. (2014, July 15). The Return of School Segregation in Eight Charts. Retrieved from Frontline: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/the-return-of-school-segregation-in-eight-charts/
D'Leisha, J. M. (2015). Segregation Now. Retrieved from ProPublica: https://www.propublica.org/article/segregation-now-the-resegregation-of-americas-schools/#intro
Garrett, M. M. (2015, January 16). Penn State Battles Issues of Sexual Assault and Racism. Retrieved from State College: http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-news/penn-state-battles-issues-of-sexual-assault-racism,1462456/
Kingkade, T. (2014, February 2). Penn State Sorority Closes 14 Months After Controversy Over Racist Photo. Retrieved from HuffPost College: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/18/penn-state-sorority-chi-omega_n_4810010.html
Mazama, A. (2015, April 10). Racism In Schools Is Pushing More Black Families To Homeschool Their Children. Retrieved from The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/10/racism-in-schools-is-pushing-more-black-families-to-homeschool-their-children/
Resmovits, J. (2014, March 21). American Schools Are STILL Racist, Government Report Finds. Retrieved from Huffpost Politics: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/21/schools-discrimination_n_5002954.html
Staff, H. (2010). The Greensboro Sit=in. Retrieved from History: http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/the-greensboro-sit-in
Staff, U. (2015). The Sit-In Movement. Retrieved from U.S. History Online Textbook: http://www.ushistory.org/us/54d.asp
Utt, J. (2015, August 26). 10 Ways Well-Meaning White Teachers Bring Racism Into Our Schools. Retrieved from Everyday Feminism: http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/08/10-ways-well-meaning-white-teachers-bring-racism-into-our-schools/
Workneh, L. (2015, November 12). College Students Across The Country Stand In Solidarity With Mizzou. Retrieved from The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/11/12/college-students-across-the-country-stand-in-solidarity-with-mizzou_n_8548284.html