Do you think these historical events, rules, and laws still impact our society today?
Absolutely. I've only been focused on anti-racism for a short time, but one of the largest problems that blows my mind is the whitewashed history that I received even as a history major in college. One of the most influential quotes that was taught to me was this: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (Santayana, 1905)" While this quote does not solve problems or provide a magic cure-all for injustice, I keep hearing it throughout my research and study of this topic. I saw it in the video about Native American assimilation, which hits home to me. Even in the short time between the start of the end of Native American Boarding Schools and the absurd policy of forced adoption, America never understood WHY schools were a bad idea. America just thought, "Hey that strategy didn't work, so lets try this one." This is a large part of why I am a history geek. If I can't understand the history behind a problem, I can't even begin to problem solve to fix it. I also think about my generational history. I have always said that I am where I am today in part because of my family. Why is it any different for people of other races who have suffered so much injustice? If your family is faced with hardship, you too are burdened with that hardship and must fight tooth and nail for something that wasn't just given to you. So yes I think all of these historical events are impacting our society today. The video about medical racism even said that we don't know what the effects of injecting kids with poison are and that was over 20 years ago. Even if tomorrow our government miraculous wakes up and eliminates every single racist policy in every level of government, those policies impact how we operate on a philosophical level for hundreds of years.
What are your thoughts after viewing these videos?
Well I think I covered most of them in my rant above... I just want to do better with my family and friends. This whole process has helped me by focusing my questions that I have for politicians, fighting injustice inside my family, and being a better advocate for my students. It has also allowed me to plan for my future. When I hire, what ways can I ensure that my hiring practices are eliminating bias (blind resume review, equal representation on hiring committees, equitable [not equal] conversations with supervisors about race during these processes)? When I have a family of my own, how can I build educational opportunities to teach them the true history about race in America ? While these are all future goals, I thin about what history I am missing and what I can do to educate myself and those around me about it.