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Racial Prejudice And Our Children Essay

1453 words - 6 pages

Racial Prejudice and Our children stopping, or at least, reducing the effects of racism on American society begins by teaching our children that differences should not be a threat, but that differences are "what makes the world go around". Racial discrimination has plagued our country for the entirety of its existence. It began with Christopher Columbus in 1492 when he took the friendly Native Americans captive and enslaved them as they swam out to greet his entourage. This is an issue that bears much consideration because it is not going away by itself. We were created equal in the sight of God, and when every American recognizes that to be a fact and teaches their children, we will be well on our way to a peaceful existence.On April 15, 1968 a group of eight-year-old children were taught an important lesson, about discrimination and racism. A brave teacher by the name of Jane Elliott wanted to find some way for her class to understand the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. First, she divided the class according to eye color. Next, she wrote the word "melanin" on the blackboard. Mrs. Elliott explained to her class that melanin was the chemical that caused eye, skin, and hair color. She told them that this chemical also causes intelligence. Therefore, brown-eyed children were smarter and better than blue or green-eyed children. This immediately caused discrimination within the classroom. The "blueys" or blue-eyed children that once excelled in class began to withdraw and fail. The "brownies" or brown-eyed children that once struggled and were quiet became confidant and made better grades. The brown-eyed children were also mean to the other children and even began to blame them for all the bad things that happened in the classroom. (Bloom)This experiment shows just how easy discrimination can begin and how necessary it is for society to take notice and make some changes. Our children are always watching and listening and they learn from what they see and hear, whether that is the intention or not. If a child grows up in a home believing that it is a woman's job to do dishes and a man's job to cut the grass, ultimately the child will more than likely demonstrate this in his/her own home when they are adults. The same can be said when speaking of an entire race.When the English first came to the continent of North America, they were confident in the venture. They came to discover and claim the new land for England. Eventually they came to dominate the whole continent in spite of the previous inhabitants. They were white and they believed themselves to be the "better race. On the other hand, when the Africans came to North America they were brought by slave-traders and sold as property. This caused them to believe that they were less than the white man and the whites believed the same. African Americans would be suppressed by the white race for many years to come.This goes to show that people can be taught to think less of them selves and also...

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