The Most Appealing Ideas Expressed by the Author
The book “Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race in School” by Mica Pollock was written for the purpose of presenting a very thorough and detailed discussion of the issues of race and the problems of racism in schools. Reading this book, I found it clever and appealing that the author started her writing by dedicating several chapters to the exploration of the concept of race and some of the related notions and terms. To be more precise, at the very beginning of the book, the author characterized race as an impractical and old-fashioned concept in relation to people’s biology and the ways their brains function.
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The author made her readers understand that racism, as a social phenomenon, was initiated based specifically on false beliefs about the alleged intellectual differences between people with different skin colors. Such beliefs were popularized as the only correct perceptions that eventually grew to dictate social attitudes in multicultural societies. In reality, due to the development of science and research, it became possible to find out that there are no differences in people’s brains that could be attributed to their racial backgrounds.
Apart from this scientific approach taken to the explanation of the dynamics of races, I found it interesting how the author emphasized that the primary differences between people of various racial backgrounds are related to their socioeconomic status. As a result, since the differences between races present in the contemporary society are tangible and quite significant, the author states that simple awareness and nice attitude towards vulnerable groups are not enough and some practical changes have to take place in schools in order to address the problems.
In addition, I found it appealing that the author mentioned that the concept of race is flawed as a set of categories describing people based on their background. Specifically, many ethnicities that exist in the contemporary world and have numerous representatives cannot be associated with just one particular race. Also, there are people who come from biracial families and cannot be associated with a single race as well. As a result, living in the modern globalizing world, one must always remember that diversity is a complex issue that requires complicated approaches and solutions in order to avoid unequal treatments and discrimination.
The Implications of the Ideas in the Book for Me as an Educator
The issues explored by Pollock in her book are directly connected to the profession of an educator and have many implications for teachers and school administrators. In particular, in multinational countries such as the United States, the problem of racism that is present not only on social and individual but also on the institutional level is one of the biggest current concerns. As a result, educators who work in public and private sector educational facilities are to become involved in the creation of solutions to the problem of racism by means of addressing all of its manifestations.
Many educators work in multicultural classrooms where, if responded improperly, the problem of racism can aggravate and cause multiple issues. In addition, as institutions, schools are regulated and administrated based on a set of policies that, in turn, are formed by educational leaders. In many aspects, such policies are shaped in accordance with individual attitudes and perceptions of policymakers.
As a result, if the latter hold racist biases and misconceptions, the entire law applied within a school could become driven by unfair, unethical, and discriminatory ideas. This tendency is what comprises institutional racism. As a result, one of the major implications of thoughts expressed in the book is the need for educators and educational leaders and policymakers to reevaluate their attitudes towards diverse people and groups and, especially, reflect on all the prejudices and stereotypes that are powered mainly by such conceptions are race, background, ethnicity, and social status.
Ideas That I Challenge
In one of the chapters in her book, Pollock provides instructions and discussions of what kind of effort is required in order for an educator to be able to construct what the author calls “a colorblind classroom”. I would like to challenge the idea of establishing colorblindness in regard to racial background. First of all, it is important to notice that colorblindness is not what the author promotes in the rest of her book. Specifically, Pollock writes that conversations about race and racial issues need to continue, even concerning the most controversial or sensitive aspects. This means that color is important and has to be seen in order for the members of any diverse society to start acknowledging racial differences.
The idea of colorblindness is based on ignoring any particular color or dissociating from it and what it represents for the individuals of color. Respect for different cultures, communities, and backgrounds cannot happen in a colorblind environment. Moreover, in a society where racial problems are still some of the topical issues, it would be simply wrong to start treating them by ignoring the color because, for many people of color, it still stands for vulnerabilities. Colorblindness is a concept that can be applied only when all the social differences between racial groups are fully eliminated.