By Josh Befort
Bullying is unfortunately a major issue in schools. For me I used to dread going to school in my awkward adolescence because of bullies in Middle School. It was bad but I cannot even imagine how it might feel to be bullied because of your race or ethnicity. However that is exactly what is going on in this rural neighborhood in Tomball, Texas.
Seventh grader Justin Howard is in just that situation. In one instance a couple of his classmates invited him to a fake birthday party. They “Put [the invitation] on his desk and said that he was invited to a KKK birthday party with lots of fun and games,” Howard said. In this article Dena Marks a part of the Anti-Defamation League stated that “Hate is like an illness, like cancer; you have to constantly push back against it otherwise it takes over.” She also stated that attacks on minority groups are at a near record high especially in southern states.
This relates to class discussion because it highlights a couple major topics one such topic is the idea of therapeutic racism. Therapeutic racism is viewed as a disease in this case the reference is to it being cancerous and thus needs to be continually fought until it has been cured. Not only this but one person tries to normalize the issue by saying that it is an inherent quality in children to bully one another. The biggest issue here that needs to be address is the fact that children tend to learn dominant ideologies from their parents or other people that tend to serve as role models for themselves. Some of these controlling images may show up in media and leads into framing theory, socially constructed images within society itself. That means that in order to solve the issue the inherent inequities found within society itself needs to be changed. Thus the change needs to be made on a larger level in order to address the problem. An example that we have talked about in class is how blacks are portrayed more often as criminals than the actual percentage that are criminals, not only this they are less likely to be portrayed as police officers. This creates a dynamic in which blacks are stereotyped as criminals and a hazard to society and almost give an “excuse” for kids to bully based on race. This explains one reason why kids in middle school are bullying in a racially charged manner. Personally I believe the problem of racism can only be solved after a long amount of education to the general masses and hopefully an adjustment to the current state of media problematizing the situation by creating a perpetual state of racism.