In a recent article, author Diana Eromosele, reminds us that Black girls continue to be subjected to racism in education. Several reports indicate that when compared to White girls, Black girls are discipline more harshly for the same infraction.
According to a Villanova Study, darker-skinned black girls are three times more likely to be suspended than black girls with a lighter skin tone. Another report, “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected,” supports the Villanova Study. The report found that black girls are six times more likely than white girls to be suspended from school.
Both studies are supported by recent incident in Georgia. In this incident, the Times detailed one particular situation that was handled very differently and seemingly showed a huge racial disparity. Two friends got into trouble at the Dutchtown Middle School in Georgia last year for vandalizing the walls of a gym bathroom. One girl, Mikia Hutchings, 12, is black. Her friend, who was not identified, is white.
Both students were suspended from school, but that is where the similarities end. Mikia went through a disciplinary hearing, which eventually ended up being a juvenile criminal case for a trespassing misdemeanor and a possible felony, the Times details. Her family was unable to pay the $100 restitution.
Accepting a deal that had her charges dismissed, Mikia spent a summer on probation, with a curfew, and completed hours of community service.
It is though that the major contributing causes to racism in education against Black girls are:
- “When a darker-skinned African-American female acts up, there’s a certain concern about their boyish aggressiveness,” Hannon told the New York Times, which did an extensive report. The concern is “that they don’t know their place as a female, as a woman.”
- Black girls tend to be disciplined for subjective perceptions such as having a bad attitude or being noncompliant.
What is paramount is that we must determine the cause for the racism in education that continues to focus on Black girls.
The results of the studies reaffirm the Raccelerate Phenomenon. The Raccelerate Phenomenon has roots in Newton’s Third Law of Motion. Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that when one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body. In elementary terms, Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
The Raccelerate Phenomenon follows the same principle as Newton’s Third Law of Motion in that whenever there is a perceived infringement by a Black male against a White female there is a negative overreaction portrayed in the media. Specifically, the Raccelerate Phenomenon states that for every action that a Black male takes against a White female there is an elevated negative reaction towards Black men. The Raccelerate Phenomenon is the cause for many of the racial tensions between Blacks and Whites.
The Raccelerate Phenomenon sets the pecking order for racism in education. That pecking order is White boys, White Girls, Black Girls, and the Black boys. This is why racism in education is much more harsh on Black boys that Black girls. It is also the reason why schools are much harder on Black girls when compared to White girls.
The challenge that many face is how do we offset the travesty associated with the Raccelerate Phenomenon with decimating the White economy?
The White economy experiences major benefits form the Raccelerate Phenomenon. For example, the graduation rate for the White female student is 88%. Therefore, many more White females have the opportunity to go to college and then qualify for higher paying jobs. Eventually, this benefits the White family economically.
The only way to offset this racism in education that continues to plague both black boys and girls is to promote positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships
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