This week there has been quite the headlines about justice towards racism, is it being served?

A few years ago if you had asked me whether or not racism was dead in this country I would have said, yes! Now without doubt I say, no!  

I have taught in some very diverse schools and in some not so much.  I have taught all one race classrooms in fact. I am not proud of it, it was just the students I was given at the time. I have seen one big difference, which of course could be argued a big difference between all these classrooms, which of course could be argued but this is how I saw it. 

Some students were told by their parents you may be a slob, messy and disrespectful at home but once you are out there you are on your best behavior not matter who it is and the discipline that would follow would always be the power of disappointment and your grounded. Whereas the culture in another home might be if you don’t treat your parents or the leader of a gang as your king or queen fears of spankings, tugged away by ears and even worse threats or acts issued was the punishment.  Then there was also the culture of raising your kids to stand up for injustice, no matter what.  This is how I was taught,  I could easily get into a screaming argument with my mother if I thought she was being unfair.  

So how do teachers, principals and cops deal with these differences of attitude toward authorities!  As with anything, the situation, the person, background knowledge along with what is the ultimate end result decide how a person should respond to misbehavior.  For the simple reality if the student grew up with the idea well your not ________ so I don’t have to listen to you or they grew up thinking to respect authority even when they never met the person each requires a different response. To put it another way, in the teacher world there is this saying you can’t change the behavior until you know the cause of the behavior. 

Have you noticed so far I have taken out labeling certain cultures and that is because I have seen it isn’t just one culture that does one thing, it is the culture the family has adopted that decides how they raise their kids and respond to authorities. I also don’t say it because I think labeling adds to racism rather than recognizing how you treat someone.  I believe what is extremely important is the behavior over all else.

That is why teachers are told remain calm, model correct behavior, and use redirection often. Teachers or maybe even yourself may have feelings of rage, if they didn’t at least once throughout their career they have or they couldn’t be human.  Though even then most teachers, cops or even professionals often don’t show it.  How you vent your anger determines your level of professionalism, even if you are in competitive career.  I have heard that when learning martial arts most instructors will tell you it is for self defense only and a true martial artists only fights if they absolutely when necessary.  Fight or flight is what they call those situations, a person broken down to their most primal response fight or flight.  Now again even in martial arts or in the culture you were raised you are taught a true character of a person is determined by the words chosen even in the worst situation. What is the saying fight with might versus braun, something like that, I have heard it so many different ways but the meaning is still the same body slams and fists are not as effective as language used. 

Therefore I have come to the conclusion that even I need to remind myself to protest smart and calmly, everyone will feel safer.  

As for the racism issue, if you trust a person to drive your car, build your house, prepare meals, wash your clothes, take care of your children, sick and elderly then you can trust them to be CEOs.  I will also think the issue of racism is over when we have diverse rich neighborhoods.

-Jennie Nawrocki 

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