Institutional Racism Today – the “New Racism”
In modern times, “New Racism” has emerged; hidden, more subtle, and far more difficult to identify, this New Racism operates deep behind the radar. The Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the impending Trump administration, have pushed the discussion of race and racial concerns to the forefront of American consciousness. However, it is argued that, while these discussions are important, we are failing to recognize the systematic racism that has been in our educational system for decades. Racism is so firmly ingrained in our culture that many people feel it no longer exists. But another story is being told in our public schools.
Blame for underachieving learners of color is shifted on their parents in this New Racism, who are represented as lackadaisical or uninvolved in their children’s education. This takes the focus away from the policies and systems in place that disadvantage learners of color.
The reality of Everyday Racism is a major component of New Racism. This comprises tiny contacts in ordinary life where racism is practically seen as a reflex. It can be seen in a learner of color who is regularly disregarded in class since it is assumed that they have nothing to add. It can be noticed at a counselor’s office a counselor discourages a learner of color from applying to an Ivy League institution because they would be “reaching too high.”
Furthermore, many African-American families have relocated to the suburbs in search of safer surroundings and better educational opportunities. African-American students are occasionally the minority at a predominantly white school. According to studies of such students, while they understand that they are free to pursue their education at any institution, they nonetheless experience a sensation of being an outsider, of not feeling like they belong. The pressure to perform in such a situation is frequent among these students of color.
Throughout the history of the United States, institutional racism has formed an invisible chain that has kept students of color in the educational system at a disadvantage. Limitations and denial of access to education established a culture in which learners of color were viewed as less than equals, a mindset that persists in our educational system today. While history has provided useful lessons, there is still work to be done to affect change in our educational system.