Justin Low

Dr. Miller

HIST 128

March 12, 2019

Discrimination Remains

The eye-opening experience I was able to receive by Dr. Monique Morris was an opportunity to learn not only about the discrimination on young black girls in today’s society but also shined the light on a form of racism I had no idea still existed. During the hour discussion given by Dr. Morris on her latest novel Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools she speaks of various girls around the country who have gone through and faced all different forms of racism and discrimination in schooling from other students, faculty, and many adults in their lives. She brought up many shocking statistics and many powerful stories of the discrimination each young black girl had faced in their life. One of the most appalling numbers she brought up into her discussion was that black girls are seven times more likely to face suspension than white girls. Yet, even more surprising was black boys were only three times more likely than white boys. Still just horrible to hear that both black boys and girls continue to face the discrimination, but to see girls at such a worse number shows this reoccurring theme of suppression and racism towards these girls. We have seen racism in American for hundreds of years, with each law and activist we get closer and closer to equality, yet in so many ways this country is so far from that. When African Americans first entered the country it was very hard for them to obtain an education and even most were not allowed, yet is this limited and stress-induced education that African Americans are now “freely” allowed to have any different? The struggle to focus on classes when you are worried for your own safety or equal treatment from your teachers and all superiors begins to take a toll on most of these girls, as Dr. Morris puts it, “You have to feel safe, in order to be able to learn.” Many students, in fact most, have to deal with stress in school, at home or with friends, but to add on and receive that mistreatment from the people and the place that is supposed to help you learn and grow as a person, creates an even larger distraction and struggle to focus and retain information. Another large purpose of the discussion was to show how a lot of the discrimination onto young black girls can be caused due to the stereotypes and almost objectification onto them. As we see a lot of problems with dress codes in schooling, which invites the “policing of girl’s bodies” as Dr. Morris states, but in most cases, it is still only shown towards black girls and allows white girls to wear and get away with much worse. The assumption that a black girl wearing something as revealing as a white girl would cause more problems and distractions objectifies these girls and puts them in an uncomfortable and harmful environment. All of which shows that nothing has changed in that aspect, as we learned about the sexualizing of women in the early 1900s, at which they were being used for their bodies and only seen or described by that. With women who had to suffer through sexual abuse simply due to their body or even how they dressed, no matter their occupation or marital status, just the color of their skin decided their fate. Although great change has come over the years, it still becomes very difficult to fight these issues with social media being a large factor in stereotyping black girls with many different “memes” brought up by Dr. Morris. This was one of her points at which I felt had the most relevance in today’s society, as we live in a world that is driven by social media. Whether we are talking through messaging, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or trying to know more about a person through their profiles on social media and posts, it drives our opinions and how we judge people. Years ago, it was word of mouth and reputation that would be the changing factor of the discrimination and mistreating’s of black girls, but today it becomes more difficult to push away our country’s troubled past of racism when social media gives a louder voice to those whose voices do not deserve to be heard.

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