Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Racism and Adverse Discrimination in Education

Thursday, August 31, 2017, 21:19
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by Dr. Joe Renfro EdD

Our society is all hung up on the so-called evil of racism that is defined in all kinds of ways, so much so, that has become harmful to true learning and has created an adverse influence in thought, not just in schooling, but in our entire society.  The liberal media is painting a picture of a battle between ignorant, racist, Bible-thumping right-wingers, and genuinely moral, compassionate enlightened progressives.   Social activism has become the focus of many instead of true inquiry into the quest for true learning. There has developed an adverse discrimination throughout our land in all forms of education!

Education relates to what is learned in our schools, but it also relates very much to what is taught to our society by the total influence of various factors in society, the cultures, the nation, and the world itself, whether through social groups, the media, institutions, or whatever. Education, however, is concerned not just what is taught, but rather it is what is learned, having an effect on what one thinks and in turn what one does.  Discrimination means the ability to make sound judgments, but it has taken a turn in our land to the concept of “reverse discrimination,” to seeing people not as individuals but as categories demanding special treatment.

There is racism, and the prejudice and adverse discrimination that associates with it is harmful not only to the suffering from it, but the one enslaved by it.  This theme is being broadcast all about as the greatest of all evils, and one of the central areas of focus is in the context of “education.” But reverse discrimination can very easily turn into adverse discrimination, not just in the school setting, but in the society as a whole!

Galatians 3:28 points to a focus that destroys what is categorized as racism, and it sets a planform for education, a directive and power to learn the richness of seeing all through the lining of faith in Christ who is the “Word,” the core to true learning, as it says: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  However, in that our society seems to feel it has matured past the teachings of Christ, this remedy to address the problems of racism and the adverse discrimination in education is ignored or even attacked. 

In respect to the two terms, “racism” and “adverse” it can be said that according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the term “racism” gives three definitions, which are:  “A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race,” and “a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles, as a political or social system founded on racism,” and then thirdly there is “racial prejudice or discrimination.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “adverse” in two ways which are: “Acting against or in a contrary direction, “ hostile, as hindered by adverse winds,”  and “to be opposed to one’s interests, as an adverse verdict heard testimony adverse to their position; especiallyunfavorable adverse criticism:  causing harm:  harmful adverse drug effects.”

In an article in Quora, May 1, 2016 entitled, “What is racism, prejudice and discrimination? Why are they so hard to overcome?” it gave forty-three responses to what was “racism” and how it can be overcome. Racism is defined individually most often basically from one’s own personal perspective..

Amina Moss, a black woman, wife, and researcher addressed it by saying:  “What really is racism?  As many have said, it is difficult to accurately define racism…As a black woman, I never truly know if someone is being racist or sexist or just doesn’t ‘like’ me specifically, because in many situations I was the only the black woman present. As Michelle Galeas-Pena wrote, racism is also grouping a whole race into one category and making an assumption about one person based on their race. This is what makes it contradictory because then, that would mean that we are all somewhat racist, and I do feel as if we do all possess some sort of prejudice (even if unconsciously).”

She went on to say, “A way to combat that unconscious prejudice is to face the fact that we are all individuals and our country of origin, our ethnic background, our neighborhood, our skin color are not the only things there is to us. We are so much more than our physical appearance. Each person is an intricate human being with different experiences, thoughts, ideas, views, etc. There is no one else out there like you, you are unique. Someone may share ninety percent of the things about you, but it will never be 100 percent because there will never be another you. That fact alone makes you worth exploring and getting to know because I will never meet anyone like you.” This way Amina Moss address it seems like a good away to address it!  It seems to me to say we need to see people as people, not categories, and adverse discrimination is to classify people in categories instead of as individuals!

Politically correct thinking uses the term, “racism” as the springboard of much of its program. ESPN pulled an Asian-American announcer from Virginia football game because he had a Confederate general’s name, “Robert Lee,” and in the wake of the disaster created by both the left and the right they replaced Mr. Lee. Now if the announcers name would have been “Mohammed” there is no way he would have been replaced.

It was observed in the American Thinker that: “President Abraham Lincoln among others, wanted to maintain the United States and secession by the south was an act of treason in an effort to protect slavery.  It was because of the South’s treason that we went to war…not because of slavery.  Lincoln spoke of honoring the fallen, the injured, and those who were good men that took a wrong path as it related to the preservation of the Union. It was to honor the fallen, not slavery, that monuments were erected, and to tear down those statues will not change history, nor will it heal any wounds that may still exist 150-years since the first Civil War.  The tearing down of statues, the marches, the riots, and the vitriol have nothing to do with slavery or even the words spoken by Trump or other conservatives; what’s going on as we again inch toward another civil war involving Right vs Left is the attempt by the Left to destroy the America that is based on the Constitution and current laws.  What’s ironic is that the marchers and rioters who are paid to create havoc are truly useful idiots and slaves to the promise of a dollar. Funny how slavery has so many forms.”

I wonder how much many of those radical demonstrators know about the history of slavery in this country. Do these social activists know that Lee did not fight to preserve slavery.  It has been brought out that, “Nothing could be farther from the truth. Lee abhorred slavery, and he freed the slaves he inherited; he was also offered by Lincoln, command of the Union Army, but chose the South because he could not abide attacking and fighting against his family, friends and birthplace – Virginia. So much of what is being reported is worse than fake news, it’s composed of outright lies.”  (American Thinker, “The Great Robert E. Lee,” August 2017).

Many of the rapid social warriors are intent on tearing anything that might honor the Confederacy that is pictured as the ultimate champion of the sin of racism. Calls have been rising from many liberal, progressive figures and even on gubernatorial candidate to tear down Confederate statues and memorials such as the carvings of carvings of three Confederate war figures — Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis — on Georgia’s Stone Mountain, which is very much part of the history of Georgia and our nation.

Robert Lopresti, librarian at Western Washington University, based on well-documented research brings out that twelve of our presidents owned slaves and eight of them owned slaves while serving as president.   Zachary Taylor, who was the last sitting president to own slaves, owned 100 of them and a Mississippi plantation, but he also opposed the extension of slavery in the new territories in our nation.

George Washington, whose picture is on the dollar bill had slaves.  Thomas Jefferson whose picture is on the two-dollar bill, Alexander Hamilton on the ten-dollar bill, Andrew Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill, Ulysses S. Grant on the fifty-dollar bill, and Benjamin Franklin on the one-hundred-dollar bill.  All had slaves. Now Ulysses S. Grant freed his one slave before the Civil war and Robert E. Lee freed his slaves, all whom he inherited ten years before the Civil War.

The last president who ever owned slaves was, ironically, Ulysses S. Grant, elected in 1868 after he had commanded Union forces to victory over the Confederacy in the war that led to the abolition of slavery. Grant owned a slave named William Jones, whom he freed in 1859. Between 1854 and 1859 Grant worked and lived on an 850-acre farm in Missouri, near St. Louis, that was owned by his father-in-law. Grant’s wife, Julia, also owned slaves, and during Grant’s management of the farm he worked along with one of them, a man named Dan. The farm is now the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, part of the National Park Service.

Slavery was once very much prevalent in all the world.  We read about throughout the bible, as the Children of Israel were slaves in Egypt for about 400 or 430 years, although some have argued it was only about 215-but a lot of this, however, depends on what is actually meant by the sojourn in Egypt.  But, it was a long time, a time near the age of our nation or twice that long.  They were in bondage a great deal of that time, slaves.

Slavery goes back throughout all human history and far beyond that.  In the WIKIPEDIA  it brings out that – “Slavery has existed in Africa for many centuries, and still continues in the current day in some countries. In the New Internationalist, “A Brief History of Slavery.”, August 5, 2001 it brings out that: “Slavery began with civilization. For hunter-gatherers, slaves would have been an unaffordable luxury – there wouldn’t have been enough food to go around. With the growth of cultivation, those defeated in warfare could be taken as slaves. Western slavery goes back 10,000 years to Mesopotamia, today’s Iraq, where a male slave was worth an orchard of date palms. Female slaves were called on for sexual services, gaining freedom only when their masters died.” 

Slavery is very much still prevalent in the world today. In are article, “10 Countries with the Most Slaves” in the Huffpost, November 23, 2014  brings out a lot of contemporary areas where slavery is still very much practiced.  The first ten are India, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Thailand.”

The study states that: “While many believe slavery is an issue of the past, it remains a real, yet largely hidden, problem. An estimated 35.8 million people are enslaved worldwide, according to a recent report by the Walk Free Foundation, a human rights organization…Modern-day slavery differs from traditional slavery. In traditional slavery, which is illegal in each of the 167 countries reviewed in the 2014 Global Slavery Index, people were considered legal property. In some countries, the number of enslaved people is especially high. Five countries alone account for sixty-one percent of all people believed to be living in modern slavery, and seventy percent of all enslaved people live in ten countries. India had the highest number of people living in modern slavery, at over 14 million. Based on figures from the 2014 Global Slavery Index, these are the countries with the most slaves…More than one percent of the populations of India, Pakistan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were deemed by the Walk Free Foundation to be enslaved, a higher percentage than in most nations. In Uzbekistan, four percent of all people live in modern slavery, the second highest percentage in the world.”

Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of Africa, as they were in much of the ancient world. In most African societies where slavery was prevalent, the enslaved people were not treated as chattel slaves and were given certain rights in a system similar to indentured servitude elsewhere in the world. When the Arab slave trade and Atlantic slave trade began, many of the local slave systems began supplying captives for slave markets outside Africa.” The basic slave trade was from the Islamic lands, for slavery was very much part of their culture and the teaching of Mohammed.

White indentured servants first arrived in America in the decade following the settlement of Jamestown by the Virginia Company in 1607. One-half to two-thirds of the immigrants who came to the American colonies arrived as indentured servants. Servants typically worked four to seven years in exchange for passage, room, board, lodging and freedom dues. While the life of an indentured servant was harsh and restrictive, it wasn’t slavery. In 1619 the first black Africans came to Virginia. With no slave laws in place, they were initially treated as indentured servants, and given the same opportunities for freedom dues as whites. However, slave laws were soon passed – in Massachusetts in 1641 and Virginia in 1661 –and any small freedoms that might have existed for blacks were taken away.

As demands for labor grew, so did the cost of indentured servants. Many landowners also felt threatened by newly freed servants demand for land. The colonial elite realized the problems of indentured servitude. Landowners turned to African slaves as a more profitable and ever-renewable source of labor and the shift from indentured servants to racial slavery had begun. (Indentured Servants in the U.S. –History Detectives)

Slavery thus developed during the development of the United States.  Before the Civil War, slaves and indentured servants were considered personal property, and they or their descendants could be sold or inherited like any other personal property. Like other property, human chattel was governed largely by laws of individual states.

Generally, these laws concerning indentured servants and slaves did not differentiate between the sexes. Some, however, addressed only women. Regardless of their country of origin, many early immigrants were indentured servants, people who sold their labor in exchange for passage to the New World and housing on their arrival. Initially, most laws passed concerned indentured servants, but around the middle of the seventeenth century, colonial laws began to reflect differences between indentured servants and slaves. More important, the laws began to differentiate between races: the association of “servitude for natural life” with people of African descent became common. Re Negro John Punch (1640) was one of the early cases that made a racial distinction among indentured servants.35  (Slavery and Indentured Servant—(American Women-2001)

The message of the Bible is the deliverance from slavery to freedom.  Deuteronomy 6:7 is God’s instruction to teach the history of his deliverance to the Israelites.  It says, “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” The history of Israel commences with God’s covenant with Abraham in approximately 2000 B.C., “I will make you into a great nation” (Genesis 12:2).

 It was God’s plan from the beginning to bring forth the Messiah through Israel to act as the savior for the entire world. The history of Israel as detailed in the Bible encompasses around 1800 years. It proclaims a dynamic account of God’s miracles, judgments, promises, and blessings. Israel begins as a unilateral promise to one man, Abraham. God delivers the Israelites of out Egypt in the Exodus (Hebrew: “a going out”). The Exodus is the occasion that most Jews look to as the foundation of the nation of Israel. Once the Exodus was completed, God established a conditional covenant with the Israelites at the Mountain of Sinai. It is there that God proclaimed His Law (the Ten Commandments). 

God’s miracles for Israel, such as their dramatic deliverance from Egypt, were intended not only for the Israelites themselves, but as evidence of God’s absolute power and uniqueness for a watching polytheistic world (Exodus 7:5; 14:18; Joshua 2:9-11). The Messiah that would come through the nation of Israel was always intended to be the Savior for all mankind (Isaiah 49:6). The Old Testament also contains many invitations to the entire world to come and worship the one living God in Israel (Psalm 2:10-12; 117:1).  Here was the message of not only the deliverance from the bondage of a people to deliverance from the enslavement of sin and the judgment from sin.

In an excellent article by David Kupelian in the Whistleblower, August 2017 he writes: “Speaking of racism, the left’s foremost narrative today in America is a deeply racist country…America’s police and criminal justice system are racist, the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism.  America’s founders including Washington, Jefferson, and Madison were slave-holding white racist, so statues of them should be torn down and buildings bearing their names should be renamed…But in reality, the  United States of America is the least racist nation on earth and throughout all of history.”

America is a composite of all types of racial groups, WICKIPEDIA observes as of July 2016, white Americans together with the White, non-Hispanic and Latino population make up 61.3 percent.  The Hispanic population is 15.6 percent and African Americans make up 13.3 percent of the population. White, non-Hispanic or Latino population make up 61.3 percent of the nation’s total, with the total white population (including White Hispanics and Latinos) being 76.9 percent. This is not much different from a 2010 percentage that showed sixty-four percent white, sixteen percent Hispanic, twelve percent black, five percent Asian, and three percent other.  However, so much of our population is amalgamated between multiple races, it really is difficult is isolate many people. People very often share and increasing so in multiple races. In fact, most all Blacks in America are part White, American Indian, or Hispanic. This focus on racism is really not so much on race, as it is on economics, as masses want a share of pie, but want it without working for it.

There is neither evidence nor rational argument to support the claim that America is a “racist nation.” America fought the bloodiest war even to end slavery, and racial segregation ended, when during the 60s Civil Rights Movement, the great American middle class literally changed its views on segregation in a single generation and embraced Martin Luther King’s “dream” of a color blind-America, where people would be judged by the content of their character” and not the color of their skin.  We need to get beyond all this talk about “racism” for it is having a negative, divisive effect over our entire land. But reverse discrimination can very easily turn into adverse discrimination, not just in the school setting, but in the society as a whole.  It is judging people by the color of skin which really impossible for we are all varying colors, instead of the content of their character.  The best way to overcome racism is to get off the color of the skin and focus on the cognitive development of the character, which can most fully be done by the new life in Christ.

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