Racism in Schools

Yolanda Belman, Writer

The current political climate is a complex and delicate matter. More so due to our current president who’s words and actions embody racism and ignorance. It is especially delicate when these acts and words of racism is well and alive in communities like ours. Taking into account events like the Aliso Niguel v. Santa Ana High School football game, where the Santa Ana football team and overall staff was met with racist posters and racist chants. The posters had statements like “ We’re going to Trump you” and “Build the Wall.” As well as chants of USA and the waving of a Trump flag. This is one of the many acts of racism that our community has been faced with. There is also Marina High School v. Segerstrom High School football game that took place not so long ago. Segerstrom was welcomed by Marina High School with offensive and racist posters that claimed that “Segerstrom’s Favorite Color is Brown” and “ Segerstrom Wears Socks and Sandals.” 

Which raises the question, do we have racism here at Santa Ana High School? Upon interviewing Mrs. Reed, the ethnic studies teacher here at Santa Ana High School, she shed a light to how there is racism here that goes unnoticed. There is this projected racist narrative that inhibits service given to the students. Which is stemmed from the lack of understanding of our community. For instance various students like what many characterize as “cholos” or “gangsters”  would quickly be labeled as a troubled students and precautions would be taken. They are treated like criminals or as a risk when doing simple things like playing handball. Santa Ana High School as a whole is a good place for many to work here, but not to send their kids here. Take a look at schools like Foothill and Loara who have far more privileges and far better treatment. Students at Foothill are given the opportunity to have early dismissal at any grade level. Yet here at Santa Ana High School you must be a senior and must meet certain qualifications to even be considered for early dismissal. Could this possibly be due to this racist narrative that is highly embedded in communities like ours? Why is that schools like Loara and Foothill have more leniency? 

Furthermore such inequality poses another question; how can we as a school come to terms with this racism and generate a solution? Mrs. Reed concluded that we can all begin by understanding racism. As explained by Mrs. Reed, racism is a combination of prejudice and power. Which is very much true take our current president as an example. This man has a high position of power and goes out of his way to demean minorities and those from differing cultures. His demeaning comments limits opportunities for minorities and sets this perceptive bias to those around us. To combat this unconscious bias we must sit down and have a vulnerable dialogue of the reality of racism here at Santa Ana High School. Whether we acknowledge it or not, it is very much true. From characterizing the white kids that attend this school as wealthy. To using the n word in everyday conversation, which is an huge offense. We must change all these factors, we must understand the severity of these actions and push for change. As students and teachers as well must come to terms in what is acceptable and what is not.  Students must understand the power of their words and how offensive it is to use the n word in everyday conversation They must understand the history, the tears and bloodshed that follows that word.

Racism has always been a conflicting and truly saddening. Whether one looks at it from a global or local standpoint Racism is as as alive today as it was back in the day. We can not eradicate racism that easy, but as stated before we can take small steps to diminish it. We can start here in our school, in our community, in our friend groups. Taking small steps for change is better than nothing.