In a recent article, Frank Denton attempts to recommend strategies for overcoming structural racism in Jacksonville, Florida. He outlines several of the symptoms of structural racism which include employment, education, and law enforcement relations. Jacksonville can eliminate structural racism by eliminating it at the source.

Denton uses the structural racism definition outlined by the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute describes as “subtler racialized patterns in policies and practices (that) permeate the political, economic, and sociocultural structures of America in ways that generate differences in well-being between people of color and whites. These dynamics work to maintain the existing racial hierarchy even as they adapt with the times or accommodate new racial and ethnic groups.” The challenge with this definition is that it entertains the thought that averting structural racism requires a microscopic look at polices and procedures that contribute to continued racism.

A better definition than structural racism is institutional racism. Institutional racism is any system of inequality based on race. It can occur in institutions such as public government bodies, private business corporations (such as media outlets), and universities (public and private). The term was introduced by Black Power activists Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton in the late 1960s. The definition given by William Macpherson within the report looking into the death of Stephen Lawrence was “the collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin”.

The major difference between structural racism and institutional racism is that the structural racism definitions enable the major racism contributors to avoid receiving the blame. This is a primary example of a dysfunctional organization. The final phase of a dysfunctional organization is organizational malaise.

During the organizational malaise phase the individuals in the organization seek to find fault within the organization rather than accept responsibility for their actions and correct their behavior accordingly. The individual continues the process by accentuating the negative and deemphasizing the positive in an effort to cover up their actions. The organizational malaise is further exacerbated by a refusal of one or all the members to discuss their area of responsibility.

Who are the individuals who are finding fault within the organization rather than accepting the responsibility for institutional racism for which Frank Denton calls structural racism?

Who are the individuals who are accentuating the negative to cover up their racist actions?

Who are the individuals who refuse to discuss that they are the main contributors to institutional racism for which Frank Denton calls structural racism?

Those individuals are our teachers. Seventy-eight percent of the teachers in the United States are White female. Therefore, it is the White female teacher that contributes to the institutional racism that exist in the United States.

The outcome of this White female dominance in our schools has resulted in the over discipline of Black students. According to the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights this institutional racism begins in preschool. Black preschool students represent 18% of the enrollment, but 48% of the children receiving more than one out-of-school suspension. While White preschool students represent 43% of the enrollment but 26% of the students receiving more than one out of school suspension. This eventually contributes to the lack of employability for the Black community as well as future education success.

White female teachers contribute to the present lack of positive relationships between White police officers and Black teenagers. According to the united States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, Black students represent 16% of student enrollment while representing 27% of students referred to law enforcement and 31% of students subjected to a school-related arrest. In comparison, White students represent 51% of enrollment, 41% of students referred to law enforcement, and 39% of those arrested. This becomes the introduction for many Black students to law enforcement for which White females contribute by the submission of discipline referrals.

The only way that Frank Denton and the structural racism advocates can enhance the quality of life for Jacksonville Blacks is to eliminate classroom racism (Elcloomism) by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).

Related Articles

Frank Denton: Focus on education, jobs, criminal justice to overcome structural racism

Winnipeg’s racism challenge: Addressing structural racism

Study finds ‘structural racism’ at LI schools

 

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

 

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