Reflection 1: Do you think these historical events, rules, and laws still impact our society today? What are your thoughts after viewing these videos?
I was a history major in college, so I thought I was better educated than many people in terms of our history. I was wrong.
I was constantly surprised by the information in the videos.
In The Origins of Race: I knew Americans didn't give slaves citizenship, but I didn't realized that the Naturalization Act of 1790 gave citizenship only to white people.
In How the US Stole Thousands of Native American Children, I knew about the boarding schools, but not the foster/adoption plan.
In the Racist History of Illegal Immigration, I knew we had racist quotas and acts, but I didn't realize how deep it ran and how early it started.
In Racism in American Housing, I knew about redlining (recently aware of its history), but I didn't realize the differences in income to this day (wealthier black families living in equivalent neighborhoods to poorer white families)
In The Disturbing History of American Medicine, I didn't realize that doctors experimented on slaves.
In The Dark History of Gasoline Baths, I knew nothing of this before today.
In Ugly History: Japanese American Incarceration Camps, I knew of it, but I didn't realize how little they were given upon leaving the camps.
In What is Environmental Racism?, I had heard of Flint, MI, but I didn't realize that black people are more likely to have neighborhoods in polluted environments
Reflection 2: Reflect on the discussion about history, our foundational structures, the "red lining" of families of color out of opportunity for economic advancement, the connection between poverty, educational opportunity, and incarceration. Are you able to see those connections?
Our system is set up to benefit white people. We don't like to talk about all these negative aspects of our history, because it makes white people feel bad. We don't realize how recent examples of discrimination and racism truly are. Because of the history of redlining and the fact that schools receive funds from property taxes, minority education opportunities are limited. We have a punitive prison system instead of working towards restorative justice. Some people see high rates of incarceration of black people as proof that they are dangerous (wrongly) instead of proof that our system is broken.
Reflection 3: How much do you believe our history informs people's beliefs and behavior today? What information in this module stood out to you or impacted you the most?
I believe our history still shapes our presence, even though many white people do not acknowledge it. We cling to our biases because we don't want to face the responsibility of our history's actions.