education, racism and white privilege

A few days ago came to my hand a magazine called School House. I don’t have children at school age, my son is already at university. However, curiosity made me open the publication and passed my eyes around the schools, editorials, and news displayed. It was a journey to another world. My husband was passing by me and glanced to the publication commenting the children in the pictures looked like fashion models. I smiled.

During my professional life, I had the opportunity to work with education. The photos I saw in the magazine were so similar the thousands I crossed in other countries when the establishment showed was private. The publication has 255 pages most of them, around 98%, had photos. Form those photos only 1% had a black, Asian, or other minority faces. Most of the black children wherein the Primary School age and the others were, clearly, on boarding schools. 

Another fact that call my attention was no children with any disability was on the photos. Only healthy, perfect, blond, light eyes children using smart clothes and smiling. An article talking about how inclusive and clearly multicultural the schools have become makes me laugh. In 255 pages, I couldn’t see one (maybe I let it pass, I am not perfect) even on black teacher or headteacher. Notable, isn’t it? The future of the country is being created in a fantasy world where every child is perfectly healthy, without any difficulties, and the vast majority is white. Don’t surprise me the problem the upper-class in this country had a considerable prejudice towards people who looks different from them. 

Why? Because two factors determine who will enter those schools: money and money. More, most of those schools only accept children who passed their rigid and unfair tests. Add this the inherent and subdue problem with skin colour diversity you will have a place where children aren’t leaning who to related with different cultures, looks. Above all, the lack of representation leads to the idea people with different skin colour (black, brown) are less capable or intelligent than them. Nobody thinks that white privilege and discrimination is the cause. 

I was always against private education. In between line, private education creates an elite disconnect from reality. This group will support each other without putting in the scale competence and morality of put people in high position only because they studied on the same school than you. When a young person comes to work in a real-world, working with people with different skin colour, religion, the financial background is a reality. Students coming from those schools will have enormous difficulty to put the bias under they were educated aside.

I know the country is 87% white, with only 13% from other ethnics. However, learn implies in widening your views about the world. Not see only stereotypes from tv shows or Hollywood movies, learn is be able to see beyond the bias the society you live. Learn is to be capable of analysing and changing opinion. Working along different people with different backgrounds enrich life. Still, if you never had learned how to respect and accept difference, you will face difficulties. Probably you will take all the garbage published by alt-right sites, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, and be happy to fuel even more those flames. You will not see we live in a world where all of us had the same origin, are the same species, and live on the same planet. And yes, rich people believe in white supremacy, their superiority above others too. Sometimes, they even pay for them to be divulged. They make stands trying to explain why racism is right and how white people is superior. 

The middle class who live on the glories of the upper-class success, embrace the same prejudices and making inequality, poverty something not their responsibility. Pointing fingers to the poor, the refugee only shows us how the educational system is failing. Not, only the private one, but the public as well. Not having money to enrol their children in private schools, people look for homogenous schools, where the same narrow views from the other prevail. The government help it, investing much more on grammar schools and some elite free schools than on the system as a whole.  

Only changing education and how we do education will change the framework where white people are privilege (even if low), and the others are put in another basket apart from the human race.

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