This post from The Society Pages stuck with me because the entire time I was reading it, I was constantly thinking of a book that I wrote for my capstone last semester. In Hope and Despair in the American Society,Gerald Grant explains compares the education system of Syracuse, NY (my hometown!) to that of Raleigh, NC. He basically criticizes and bashes on all of the schools in Syracuse and worships the school system in Raleigh. Moral of the story: Raleigh > Syracuse. To summarize why, he pinpoints the cause one event that happened in the 1970s when Raleigh passed a law to merge the neighborhoods from different incomes and classes so that the children were exposed to and interacted with other children from different backgrounds. He believed that by being around people of mixed class, they were able to achieve more (especially those coming from lower income households).
I think that this book relates to the post from The Society Pages because the post talks about teaching privilege to the privileged. He speaks mostly about class; that only white students receive a high quality education and they receive it from their white teachers. “White privilege still exists, thanks largely to structural and institutional racism, and that the playing field isn’t level…educators teach how people of different races and ethnicities often live very different lives.” This statement completely goes along with that happened in Raleigh, only substitute race for economic standing. It is interesting to think about this idea and reflect on it, because it is something that I had never thought of before. We all take our education for granted, but we don’t stop to think that other people didn’t receive a high school education, let alone a college one. The reasons for some not having an education can be different for each person, but the main reasons are because of class, economic standing, and race.
What’s weird is that students of my generation don’t think that racial inequality still exists. Of course it does. Bucknell (even though I love it dearly) is living proof that it does. I’m not saying that Bucknell discriminates against different races, but we are clearly a dominantly white campus with a small international presence. I’m not also just talking about the students. I am a second semester senior, and only this semester do I have an African American professor. We are definitely racially segregated on this campus, so I think that we prove the post correct saying that we are “teaching privilege to the privileged.” It’s also no secret that the majority of Bucknell students come from privileged backgrounds, so in a way we are also guilty for taking our education for granted. I think a possible solution for this inequality is to first recognize that racial segregation still exists in education today, and then try to do something about it. We are all privileged in receiving a Bucknell education, so why not give back to those who really need it? That’s one reasons why programs like Teach For America are so great because they take college students who are passionate about giving back to others who otherwise wouldn’t receive a quality education.