There are definitely a few things that I have learned this semester on the topic of social justice. A couple main things being a new definition of racism and the difference between fair and equal. The new definition of racism was presented to me by Khalil and that definition being discrimination plus power equals racism. There was also a thought that African American people can not be racist towards whites because there is no position of power. However, I am not sure if I completely agree with this statement. Although looking at the big picture that makes sense, there are scenarios where I feel that African Americans do have a position of power. In class we discussed PatMarie’s story about how her dad ran for mayor and the people of the town said they would not vote for him simply because he is white. I feel like this is a position of power because the town we are referring to is majority African American. I am not making this argument simply to prove a point but more so to challenge the way we think and perceive certain people’s ideas. Far too often do we just believe the first thing we hear instead of creating our own thoughts and ideas. In order for us to grow and mature in the way we think we have to consistently challenge the way we think and the way people around us think.
The other main thing that I have learned on social justice is the difference between fairness and equity. The definition that we have talked about for fairness would providing students with the same exact things without regard to their background, family situation, or financial situation. Although this sounds like an unbiased way to approach a classroom full of students, as future teachers we have to dig down a little deeper and provide for our students and meet them actual needs. This may mean that we give a student a little more than the next but it is only because that student needs a little more to obtain success. For example, if you gave a the same size stool to 3 different sized students they may not all be able to reach the top shelf. However, if you take into account their height and give them a stool according to their height they will all be able to reach the top shelf. Although this may be one of the hardest things we do as educators we have to give it our best shot at trying to meet student’s needs in order for them to obtain success.