In a recent article, an author presupposes that vitamin D is a primary reason for continued racism which ultimately will have an impact on racism in education. Historically, many racism allegations are publicized as differences in skin color. The primary reason that racism in education continues to plague schools is not limited to the differences in the skin color of teachers and students. According to the article, differences in skin color are derived from an evolutionary gateway to vitamin D. People with darker skin are a product of existence in tropical areas that receive an abundance of sun. It only took the Natives Americans 15,000 years to adapt to the abundance of sun which is minute when compared to the lifespan of the earth. It is only a matter of time before people of lighter pigmentation will have to metamorphosis into a state of required darker skin color. What are some of the other factors that contribute to the continued racism in education?

Education is a communication process that is not limited to transmitting knowledge but also involves interpersonal communication behaviors and nonverbal behaviors that are the major aspects of interpersonal relationships, which are critical in all learning situations to avoid racism in education.

The teaching-learning process is essentially a communication event that includes verbal and nonverbal communication. Teachers and students are verbal and nonverbal message senders and receivers. Developing respectful relationships with students requires considerable knowledge of their verbal and nonverbal communication styles.

Schools and Black student conflict that result in racism in education can develop from expectation differences related to communication styles. The general public fails to accept that Blacks have different communication norms and conventions by assuming that Blacks communicate using standards set by socially dominant Whites. Whites’ dispassionate and detached communication mode creates distrust among Blacks due to its similarity to Blacks who front which occurs when Blacks perceive there is a communication risk factor and chooses to remain silent in Black-White communication encounters. Most Black educational failure arises from the teachers’ inability to understand how the students communicate.

What are some of the verbal communication differences that can lead to racism in education?

Black students use several verbal techniques to discover a teacher’s strengths and weaknesses in order to evaluate a teacher’s racial attitudes and locate teachers’ breaking points to help the students empower themselves in the situation between them and the teacher . If a Black student expects to rise to a leadership position, he must know how to keep his cool. If he cannot respond to the challenge of a teacher without becoming frustrated and unnerved, he is not likely to have the respect of his peers.

Furthermore, in the classroom, Black students power play by loud talking or back-talking to make teachers lose their cool and get the last word in.

What are some of the non-verbal communication differences that can lead to racism in education?

Teacher questioning techniques can cause problems in the classroom. Black and Hispanic students have cultural experiences that can impede classroom question-and-answer sessions. Cultural conflicts between the teacher and Black students may surface because of basic question-and-answer sessions because question-and-answer sessions develop when an adult is angry with them. Blacks learn that question-and-answer sessions result when an adult is angry with them, and this process may inhibit students from classroom involvement.

Cultural differences can affect teacher-student classroom relationships when debates occur in the classroom. Blacks and Whites ignore communication failures because Blacks and Whites assume they are communicating with the standards set by socially dominant Whites. For Whites, the purpose of an argument is to ventilate anger and hostility. However, Blacks distinguish a difference between an argument used to debate a difference of opinion and an argument used to ventilate anger and hostility. Whites misinterpret Black intentions to solve a disagreement and do not believe Blacks who want to solve a disagreement.

In some cases, a request from a Black person to a White person may be encountered as a demand. Blacks communicate in debates by becoming high-keyed, animated, interpersonal, and confrontational while middle-class Whites communicate in debates by becoming low-keyed, dispassionate, impersonal, and non-challenging.

While many believe that racism in education is limited to the color of our skin, the reality is that the hidden factors related to verbal and non-verbal communication continue to fuel a perpetual cycle of classroom racism (Pertcrism).

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.

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