The concept of institutional racism had taken a break from political discussions until the late 1990s (Coretta 173). Since its re-emergence, it has received significant attention with numerous scholars researching on the topic. Racism is a view that divides humanity into different biological origins. It is a belief that some races are more superior than others. The behaviors meant to discriminate or injure another person’s feeling amounts to racism. Learning institutions such as universities are among the places that people experience racism. Universities bring together students from across the globe; moreover, these students have diverse cultures and beliefs. Racism in universities is the discriminatory access to equal opportunities and services. In his definition of racism, Coretta argues that it refers to observed ethnic inequalities in the attainment of education (173). According to Jones, three kinds of racism include personally mediated, internalized, and institutionalized racism (16). Personally mediated racism includes discrimination and social attitudes such as disrespect and dehumanizing of others. Internalized racism occurs when the victimized student accepts his or her shortcomings; therefore, it makes them experience low self-esteem. Institutionalized racism involves inequality in the application of policies by favoring only certain sections of the population. When racism dominates universities, it leads to loss of hope, school dropouts, and engaging in risky practices as a way of seeking consolation. Universities should devise and implement appropriate strategies to fight the vice.
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It is appropriate to collectively deal with racism, because students tend to act in groups making it difficult to identify the sole perpetrators (Coretta 178). Dealing with racism is a process that involves a systematic implementation. The suggested solutions need a follow up over a long period of time to experience changes in different levels. Such solutions could include the university encouraging the formation of clubs or task forces that work closely with the management to mark important events on the school and national calendar. This is critical in recognizing events from different cultures at the university. Students also get to learn and appreciate the history and values of different races. Through active involvement, they erase misguided perceptions or values. The other area of support is research work through the provision of funds. This involves organized field trips to areas that are known to have documented struggle against racism or places that have preserved rich cultures on racism. Moreover, the university management should also work to include anti-racial studies in the curriculum. Such studies should recognize the values of other cultures and aim at changing the policies that exclude or discriminate other cultures. Furthermore, the university should also ensure that it admits students and employs staff from diverse cultural backgrounds; this provides an opportunity for students to learn and appreciate the diversity in culture and is a critical tool for fighting racism.
The implementation of the proposed solutions is a systematic process that should be implemented gradually (Chison & Washington 86). First, a background check should be conducted on the students. This will assist in knowing their behaviors and history of negative practices. The activities that relate to racism should be documented; this is important since it helps in keeping track of the vice especially where there is no prior prove of racism at the university. The next step is to involve people in the planning process. The use of lobby groups that always take action is crucial at this stage. The affected groups should be involved to understand the depth of the problem. For example, this step will be critical in establishing whether the problem is a new or a historical problem that is deep-rooted in the university. The next phase entails the formulation of both short and long term strategies to solve the problem. Short-term goals may entail efforts that are aimed at changing the student’s and other members of the college fraternity attitude towards different races while the long-term strategies could require a change of the institution’s policies. This phase also involves evaluating the effect of the undertaken decisions on all the affected parties. The affected parties need to be educated on the positive and negative implications of both the short and long term changes. It requires wide consultations, which may involve taking into consideration the views of the majority; also this could entail a democratic process such as a voting process to ensure that the popular decision is adopted. On the other hand, the time available needs to be considered to prioritize needs. For instance, whether the policies entail responding to an emergency that requires immediate attention or formulating strategies to counter an impending problem or the motive to improve diversity. The last phase entails the review of the strategies in order to ensure that they affect individuals positively and that the strategies are adopted and practiced at the institution.
The solutions provided will have positive effects on the reduction of racism, because the solutions involve the persons perceived to escalate racism directly. The strategies involve their active participation and offer them an opportunity to learn to correct the misinformation they have on other cultures from different races. The proposed solutions may face some unforeseen challenges, and this is the reason why racism continues even after clerics, politicians, and other world leaders have continually shunned racism. The opposing views on the solutions are that the university’s primary objective is to provide education skills and not to get involved in the student affairs. Universities can only run smoothly when all the students are comfortable. Comfort comes when the management provides guidance such as encouraging students to appreciate different cultures; thus, making them form interrelationships. Furthermore, people share resources at the university; this requires tolerance among the students and they all must learn to coexist with each other irrespective of the diverse cultural backgrounds and beliefs. The other argument is that the university’s management is the supreme authority and should make policies that it deems fit. It is important to note that most learning institutions formulate policies that conform to their domestic operations; this has been the conventional goal of all the policies formulated at the university. On the contrary, this needs to change; universities are fast becoming international platforms as they admit more international students. This trend calls for some readjustments to ensure that they accommodate diverse cultures from different races. Duvall encourages the youth population to be more tolerant and appreciate the diversity of the ever-changing American culture (48). This will not only make the students comfortable, but also avoid conflicts that arise due to cultural misunderstandings.
In conclusion, racism is a reality that exists at different universities. Therefore, the entire university fraternity should learn to tolerate and appreciate the existence of different beliefs and cultures. The support from universities comes in handy to counter the devastating effects of racism. It is critical that universities embrace unity and friendship among students for them to succeed in stumping out racism. The institutions should practice a combination of strategies as any of the single solutions discussed cannot succeed on its own. The universities should work towards building coalitions in order to achieve a more unified force as they deal with people from diverse backgrounds. The institutions should speak publicly as universities that keep quiet on racism are perceived not to care about the vice. Speaking and condemning the vice in public discourages the development of the vice. Finally, universities should match the problem to a structured solution. The institutions should be flexible to change their policies to conform to diversity and eliminate racism.
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