Imagine that you are in your first semester in college and you are asked to attend an outside activity that is required for a class. At first you are not sure if you will be interested in any events and are nervous to meet new people. However, after attending the event you realized you have great interest in the topic and met a number of great people. That was the experience I had when I went to the workshop called Community Anti-Racism Education (C.A.R.E). I attended the event on October 27th, 2018 and when I took my first step into the room as I entered, it was nothing but welcoming and I was treated very nicely. I enjoyed my time at the workshop because it was interesting, beneficial, and appropriately organized.
The one thing that you needed to keep in the back of your head as the event went on was to look at the world through a lense and to participate with an open mind. The workshop started out by having everyone in attendance fill out an identity wheel which asks basic questions. Once everyone filled out their wheel, the leaders had each person in the room introduce themselves and mention some things they put on their identity wheel. After the identity wheel activity the leaders of the event discussed the aims, objectives, and ground rules. During the night we went through three movements. Movement one was all about discussing racism and some of the important ideas stated were that race matters as a social construct and is more than just black and white.
Also, race shapes our own identity and intersects with other “isms”. The people attending were divided into groups by the tables we were at. Each table had to come up with their own definition of race. After every group shared their definition, we came up with a definition as one big group. The definition is stated as, “Race prejudice with the power of systems and institutions equals racism” (C.A.R.E Workshop). Another thing at the event was a large outline of different events that have happened in the world taped to the wall and we went through each event and came up with ways racism and discrimination was seen in the event. The events included The Mexican American War, The Chinese Exclusion Act, The Indian Removal Act, Lynching in Duluth, Minnesota and many more. During the workshop we watched a video called True Colors. The video was a news story that was social experiment based in St. Louis, Missouri. In the story, there were two males who were best friends. The names of the men were John and Glen. John is a white male and Glen is a black male.
The idea of the story was to have John and Glen do the same tasks at the same place but at different times to see how they were treated based on their skin color. For instance, They both applied to rent an apartment and were obviously treated differently. When John (white male) walked into the leasing office he was treated with respect and was shown the showcase apartment room and was told he could have the room without a problem. However, when Glen (black male) entered the office, right from the started he knew he was not welcomed.
They property manager didn’t even allow him to look at the apartment and told him people in the neighborhood wouldn’t be happy. Throughout the film, these issues are a common appearance at just about every place they attend such as car dealerships, retail stores, and even when applying for a job. It shows the reality of how different people are treated just by their skin tone. It’s clear to see that Glen doesn’t even get a chance and lives with more hardships than his friend John. Following the film we talked about the experiences of the two and wrote down details of what each of them had faced and what could be solved to stop this issue.
The second movement of the workshop was the idea of power. The leaders explained that there are three different types of power. The first one is the power superior to the people of color. Power two is the power in which it gives privilege and advantages for white people. Lastly, power three is the power that socializes us all into the racial rules. With all of these powers put together it is racism’s goal to control and destroy all of us.