In a recent article, the Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators reported Black educators are victimized by racial discrimination in the Ontario Schools. Racism against Black educators is not unique to this educational institution. Ontario Schools can eliminate racial discrimination against Black educators by improving supervisor employee relationships.
According to the 63-page report, The Voices of Ontario Black Educators, one-third of the Black teachers, vice-principals, and principals believe that racism has played a major role in denying them promotions. Almost one-third of the surveyed believe that racial discrimination by their colleagues has a direct impact on their day-to-day operations. While a little more than half surveyed believe anti-Black biases at the school board level impacts the promotion process.
What strategies have had a limited impact on racial discrimination?
We only need to look at the outcome of racial profiling and present employment statistics to prove that many past strategies to eliminate racial discrimination have been limited.
Racial Profiling is a racial discrimination practice by law enforcement officials which target individuals for suspicion of crime based on the person’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.
Racial profiling dates back to slavery. In 1693, Philadelphia’s judicial system gave police legal authority to stop and detain any Negro (freed or slaved) seen wandering around on the streets. In 1996 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial profiling is constitutional in the absence of data that “similarly situated” defendants of another race were disparately treated. Even though the FBI has set policies to eliminate racial discrimination in the form of racial profiling it continues to exist.
It does not matter what laws or policies are put in place in the United States or Ontario, racial discrimination will continue unless the perception that Whites have regarding the intentions of Blacks is transformed.
Another strategy that has had a minimal impact of racial discrimination is the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, job training, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
According to the Poverty Action Lab, a recent study indicated that when all other things are equal, race is still an important factor in the American labor market. A Black applicant’s race has a negative impact on employment possibilities.
For example, resumes with White-sounding names received 50 percent more callbacks than those with Black names. In addition, federal contractors and employers who listed Equal Opportunity Employees as part of their employment ad discriminated against Blacks as much as other employers.
Factors that were designed to level the playing field had minimal impact. For example, improved credentials enhanced employment opportunities for Whites, but not for Blacks.
Higher quality credentials for Whites increased call backs by 30 percent. For resumes with Blacks names there was no significant increase of call backs.
Whites who lived in richer, more educated, or Whiter neighborhoods also have higher callback rates, but Blacks do not benefit any more than Whites from this neighborhood effect.
According to CNSNews.com, the unemployment rate for Blacks is 11.4% which is more than double the rate for white Americans. The unemployment rate for Whites is 5.3%.
What strategies can Ontario Schools utilized to eliminate racial discrimination against Black staff members?
- Eliminate the tragic effects of the Raccelerate Phenomenon by a marketing program that places a positive image on Blacks. Many of the problems that Blacks face is due to the negative image that the media portrays of Blacks.
- Promote positive racial relationships between mangers and employees. This process will transforms many of the perceptions that Whites have regarding Blacks.
In this case, eliminating racial discrimination will require promoting positive racial relationships between the board members and Black employees.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D. www.positiveracialrelationships.com PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships
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