After looking at all the material in Module 1, I think I have been most surprised by how recent a lot of the institutional racism has been. I got that Native Americans were asked to give up their babies for adoption, but seeing a video (in color) of a mom discussing how she was asked to give up her baby surprised me. Color video is within the last sixty or so years.
I was also impacted by the idea of mass incarceration. I just always assumed people broke the law, so they went to jail. But the amount of incarcerated people has increased dramatically in the last 10 years. Why is that? What are alternatives to incarceration? There are definitely people who need to be incarcerated, for the protection of the rest of us, but how do we decide who that is?
Before starting this class, I knew that high school history classes ignore this part of our past, so I wasn't as surprised as many people were at the facts of the history of racism. Now that we've looked at the past, I want to look forward. How can we change what have become the societal norms? I think it will be a gradual process, that happens one conversation at a time.