Sunday, April 21, 2024
HomeGeopolitical CompassThe AmericasSystemic racism and America today & The banality of racism in education

Systemic racism and America today & The banality of racism in education

Authors: John R. Allen,  Jon Valant

Affiliation: The Brookings Institution and Brown Center on Education Policy

Organization/Publisher: Brookings

Date/Place: June 2020/USA

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count:  1545


Keywords: USA, Systemic Racism, Structural racism, African-Americans, Education


John Allen, president of the Brookings Institution, claims in his article that “unaddressed systemic racism” is “the most important issue” in today’s US. He refers to the inability of the US Constitution and the American Civil War to bring an end to Slavery, and that even the Civil Rights movement and the first Black President did not enable the US to come closer to the “promised land.”. Rather, “leftovers” of Slavery appear in the form of systemic racism that is mainly seen in police brutality, an example being the recent killing of George Floyd, and vigilante executions of African Americans, a recent example being the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. He concludes by emphasizing that racism and equity are serious matters for Brookings and urges Americans to speak up against injustice.  

Jon Valant exposes structural racism in the US education system, referring to a study he conducted with his colleague Daniel Newark regarding the opinion of Americans on test score gaps in education. The outcome revealed that Americans are more concerned about wealth-based gaps than race/ethnicity-based gaps: 44 percent believe that the score differences between white students and Black students do not have discrimination against Blacks as the cause, whereas 10 percent implied that discrimination and injustice play an important role in the test score gaps. Valant also states that the responses he received were mainly heavily loaded with prejudices and further demonstrated a lack of empathy. Valant further lists zoning policies and wealth accumulation as other manifestations of structural racism against Blacks, and refers to the lack of empowering Black students as well as neglecting to fund high-poverty schools as reasons for the test score gaps. He appeals to the education community to speak up against educational inequity since daily racism happens in classrooms and school-board meeting rooms, and concludes that the banality of racism in education is dangerous.

By: Dilek Yücel-Kamadan, CIGA Research Associate



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular