Experts: Racism exists in your school and few teachers are trained to handle it

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  • keithlue Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 8:20 p.m.

    How do we fix the problem? First, acknowledge that racism exist. Next, seek to discover the root-cause of your problem and then fix it. WWJD or WWGD? Some people continue to believe that training is the answer for everything. Honestly, sometimes you just have to ask why.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 5:39 p.m.

    @BYGardner: "My metric is equality of opportunities."

    Good. How do you measure that? Right now, my grand-daughters have more opportunities for STEM college education than do my grandsons.

    "But, I also believe minorities are fully capable people, and thus outcome and opportunity are correlated. So, I believe a lower outcome is indicative of lower opportunity."

    Does that apply equally to dangerous, but high paid work? Are women provided fewer opportunities to mine coal, work as under-water welders, and as high voltage power line maintainers? Do men lack sufficient opportunities to work as nurses, grade school teachers, and nannies?

    Or is it possible that men and women, and those in different cultures (with membership often defined by race), want different things in aggregate?

    Some families highly value classical learning and spend discretionary money and time on books, visiting historic sites, etc. Others, don't want to learn about dead white guys and spend their time and money on video games, DisneyLand, and watching sports.

    Do we respect different cultural values? That leads to difference in outcome.

    Equality of outcome comes only with (force?) cultural assimilation.

  • FelisConcolor Layton, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 5:36 p.m.

    It's amusing to read an article that decries the prevalence of "tone deaf gaffes and insults" in our society, and then uses terms like "re-education" without a hint of irony.

    While that term might bring to mind a benign course in racial tolerance, for those of us old enough to remember the Cold War, and the millions who suffered under Communism, "re-education" meant state-sponsored coercion to eliminate "bad" thoughts or political views.

    "Re-education" is the process of forcing someone to change their beliefs -- or else. "Re-education camps" in the Soviet Union and Maoist China were not places of enlightenment and understanding and brotherhood, but torture and starvation and death.

    So, if Dr. Miller and others are mystified as to why people would react so negatively to the idea of achieving racial tolerance through "re-education", then perhaps they should stop using the language of brutal totalitarian dictatorships to describe the process.

  • Procoug Layton, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 4:53 p.m.

    We have a couple of plagues in this country:
    Stupid people and
    Over sensitivity to stupid people.

    We can solve this by:
    Thinking before we speak and
    Not taking everything people say with all seriousness.

  • Keen American Fork, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 4:37 p.m.

    Can we be truly fair & equal to all? Do we monitor every conversation to verify races is eliminated? I highly doubt both objectives.

    My background: Polynesian [w/ a caucasian step-father]), grew up in Hawaii & mainland, & Europe, & married to a white female. We reared our multi-racial kids in UT & TX, & teach college courses.

    BTW I've been called the n-word & made mistakes: Asked lady if she was pregnant--she wasn't. Said "thank you, ma'am"--she was a guy.

    My advice:

    1. Include everyone (ie gender, race, ability, etc.,) in announcements, challenges, classes, exams, etc.
    2. Be kind & courteous. People will be offended no matter what is said; sadly, it's our political climate.
    3. Be sincerely curious. People appreciate when I learn about them: this results in a safe(r) learning atmosphere.
    4. Apologize quickly--Mistakes happen. No matter how/what we communicate, we make mistakes.
    5. Do NOT touch people or use inappropriate language (no matter the media).

    When I've followed these tips, I usually get good results & good relationships w/out feeling like I can't get to know people for fearing of saying / doing something inappropriate.

    Bottom-line: be inclusive, don't be a jerk

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 3:09 p.m.

    "My metric is equality of opportunities. But, I also believe minorities are fully capable people, and thus outcome and opportunity are correlated. So, I believe a lower outcome is indicative of lower opportunity."

    Yes, minorities and women are fully capable. We're not saying that they are not. If fewer women are in engineering programs, is it because they can't get in? Or is it because fewer women are applying to get in? I'm all for them having more opportunity, or in the more likely case that it's the latter, being more informed of the opportunities they already have.

    But trying to push more women and minorities into STEM fields just for the sake of having a higher percentage of minorities and women in STEM fields really does nothing to address the whole racism issue.

    In fact, the argument can be made that Affirmative Action implies the exact opposite of what it preaches. After all, if no race/group is superior to the others, then why would admission standards be lower for some races/groups? If they were just as capable, and admission standards are based on capability, then they are already have equal footing. Lowering the standards for some implies that they can't compete.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 2:55 p.m.

    I'm glad they pointed out the need to define racism.

    Yes, racism exists, but often what people say are racist are actually not. Too often, people take "racism" to be things like there being "too many" whites in such-and-such a field or comments like "the most qualified person should get the job".

    Of course, one side of the political spectrum is far more guilty of this than the other. They seem to think of themselves as the experts on racism and social issues, and that anyone who disagrees is wrong. I know someone who was chided by someone whose leanings are in line with this side of the spectrum and was called a racist because of her political opinions. This acquaintance of mine (who is white) actually married a black man (something I don't think a true racist could do), but still the other person said she was still racist and said something along the lines of "I can't talk to you about racism until you educate yourself on the subject matter".

    So yes, let's define racism. And while we're at it, let's compare how Affirmative Action meets the standards.

    Dec. 27, 2017 2:46 p.m.

    @MacMama And if you don't want to see something, than you won't. If you don't want to see racism, because it would imply too many uncomfortable things, than you won't see any.

    Dec. 27, 2017 2:39 p.m.

    The most girls in any of my college engineering classes 15 years ago was 2 out of 40-60. The most common number was 0. What is wrong with holding a seminar to show girls that there are women in the field when they don't know of any? Most engineers I work with (you are safe to assume they're men) support these because they know what their daughters are up against. We are currently getting only a 50% benefit from our available talent.

    My metric is equality of opportunities. But, I also believe minorities are fully capable people, and thus outcome and opportunity are correlated. So, I believe a lower outcome is indicative of lower opportunity.

    My observation has been that when minorities try to assimilate culturally, and integrate into society, they are rebuffed in their efforts.

    Dec. 27, 2017 2:38 p.m.

    @NoNamesAccepted I'll take those one at a time.

    I disagree that our racial history is behind us. When it is truly behind us, it will be a glorious day. Not only has it been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act, it’s been 150 years since the 13th amendment. But how many years since the Supreme Court gutted the voting rights act? We just had here in San Juan county, those arguing that the white minority should have more representation than the Navajo majority. Also, our schools are more segregated than ever.

    I would say our people were driven out of Missouri as a persecuted religious minority. Yes, the saints were generally against slavery, but few were abolitionists, and some were actual slave holders. For the record my 5th generation ancestor arrived in the valley on July 22, 1847, and I'm still a card carrying, dues paying member.

  • MacMama Sandy, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 2:29 p.m.

    Whatever you are looking for is what you will find. If you are sure that racism is to be found around every corner, then you will find racism in every corner.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 1:34 p.m.


    It has been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act became law. At what point is our unfortunate racial history far enough behind us to stop harming innocent white boys in an effort to help girls or racial minorities?

    My people were driven out of Missouri largely for being abolitionists. That was 5 generations ago for me, 6 for my kids, 7 for my grandkids.

    But my grandsons constantly hear, "there are too many white men in STEM." What is said is there are not enough girls or minorities in these fields. But the result is the same. Outreach programs and scholarships clearly discriminate against my grandsons in favor of my granddaughters and non whites.

    When do we get to stop this? What is the metric you and others will accept?

    It had better be something other than equality of outcomes.

    Outcomes depend as much on culture and individual choice as on opportunity. Other posters have made clear that we cannot require cultural assimilation. So we will always have a diversity of cultures and thus a diversity of outcomes.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 12:49 p.m.

    I think the classroom teacher can:

    --make sure they are grading and disciplining all students fairly.
    --make sure students show respect to each other in classroom activities especially during discussion and debate.
    --make sure they are not allowing racial slurs, profanity and sexual talk and innuendo in their classroom and that any use gets immediate and forceful attention.
    --if the curriculum of the class calls for it, there can be ways to celebrate culture. In Geography, you can let ALL the students celebrate their culture whether it be Latino, African, Asian, European, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander or Native American etc. But if it's a math class, stick to math.
    --In history classes, present an accurate and complete picture of Civil Rights from educating on its leaders, its divergent points of view in the movement, its spread from African-American focused to other groups facing discrimination.
    --educating students that change of heart is possible. That people once educated or exposed to different cultures and points of view can leave racist belief systems behind.

  • pragmatistferlife Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 12:03 p.m.

    As I read the article I was eager to see how quickly it took for the traditional anti government crowd to show up here with their anti discrimination policies and actions do more harm than good mantra.

    Not bad #1 out of the shute.

    Dec. 27, 2017 11:10 a.m.

    @DN Subscriber. I agree with you that the ideal and goal is to have a society where people are not judged on the color of their skin, but on the quality of their character. But to get there we can't ignore that from the beginning our country has been established with the assumption that some races are better and more deserving than others. We must understand our past to comprehend our current society. Examples like access to the ballot, prosecution and sentencing disparities, red-lining on mortgage applications, career mentoring and contacts, and access to education are some ways that society places obstructions in front of minorities. These things are still with us. We can't just wish them away. Sunlight is a great antiseptic.

  • jakeco Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 9:47 a.m.

    DN Subscriber: we absolutely cannot ignore race and ethnicity. To do so would deny the uniqueness of each person's identity, heritage, experience, world view, etc. Forcing assimilation hurts all of us: we all lose out on the breadth and depth of experience of those who might be different from us. By recognizing and respecting diversity and difference, we are all better. Kindness precludes us from ignoring others differences.

  • mightyhunterhaha Layton, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 9:26 a.m.

    Why do we keep adding things on the teacher's shoulders? When are we going to hold parents responsible for their children?

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 27, 2017 9:14 a.m.

    There is a fine line between "dealing with racism" and succumbing to the demands of the "diversity industry" which seeks to perpetuate its empire building by demanding everyone be in some sort of "victim" group. This can, and too often does, lead to a climate of "All animals are equal but some are more equal" where racially charged words, attitudes and actions by minorities are tolerated or encouraged and the slightest action by a white which might possibly be twisted to be remotely offensive to a single person is treated the same as if they were burning crosses in full Klan regalia.

    The race-baiting shenanigans of some self-styled "community" leaders (e.g. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson) has done more to hold back progress than anything else.

    The only acceptable course is to ignore race and ethnicity and treat every American as just that, no more, no less. And, the goal should be to assimilate new arrivals into full American "melting pot" culture as quickly as possible. Too often the well-intentioned "diversity" and "anti-discrimination" programs do just the opposite.

    It sounds like this program does more good than harm, but be careful.