In todays world we have one common phenomenon which can be found in everywhere because of some political and sociological situations that our world has. The phenomenon is called as an ethnicity or racism, and normally the problem that we have can be called as ethnic conflict. As we know that conflict refers to some form of friction, discord arising, or disagreement within one specific group or between two different sides. Normally in order to have a conflict, there has to be some relationships, and all kinds of relationships can create one or more conflict in a given society as a group. According to Ross ; “Conflict occurs in virtually all communities, but there are important cross-cultural differences in its levels and forms” (Marc Howard Ross 304). As how Ross pointed out the importance of cross-cultural differences related with conflict, we have to know more detail information about one specific conflict to understand how it started and what kinds of effects does it has. As we know that ethnic conflict also shows a lot of differences from culture to culture. Therefore, firstly we have to define what ethnic or race conflict is. According to Ross ; “The term race refers to groups of people who have differences and similarities in biological traits deemed by society to be socially significant, meaning that people treat other people differently because of them” (Ross 308). Defining one phenomenon is one of the most challenging things, because all experts explain ethnicity or race in different ways owing to their different perspectives and knowledge background. The ethnic conflict mostly can be found in America and Africa continent. According to Payne ; “While it is common to associate racial and ethnic discrimination with blacks in United States, it must be pointed out that there are other groups which have experienced some things as blacks. Such as Native, Mexican, Puerto Rican Americans” (Charles Payne 1). Most specifically I focus on the conflict that America has between blacks and whites as an ethnic conflict, because the historical background of ethnic conflict is very ancient in America. Owing to the conflict that American society had in the past, we can see some irrefutable and irrepressible effects on people who live in America, most importantly on black people. As we know that the problem did not solve since the time period of American Civil War. This is because as I mentioned that the socio-cultural differences and the relationships between blacks and whites have different variables. Since the time of problematic period which can be called as inequality between black and white people or seeing black people as secondary American citizens, nobody can find reliable solutions for this case. Because of this unsolved problem, black American citizens who are also called as African Americans have been suffering both morally, politically, educationally and economically. In this research, my main concern is education related with how African American students are affected by ethnicity and racism in schools. Briefly, black students can be humiliated because of some ethnic problems that they face in their schools and I believe that the successes of African American students are affected by ethnic conflict because of three reasons which are historical background of ethnicity in America, social identity problems that African American students have and the problem of educational utility which is related with how African American students are educated and does the education effective. With these three reasons, mostly I focus on the effects of ethnic conflict in America between black and whites and related with all these information I will try to find most reliable and successful solution way in education to protect African Americans.
First of all, as we know that the historical background of ethnicity in America includes a lot of variables, and related with these factors I believe in the African American can be humiliated. This is because tribes about black people in America which play crucial role in decision making processes which are done by mostly white American people. In America we have general tendency to see African American people as a weak owing to the historical knowledge, Ä±f we look the side of racist white American people. Firstly, we have to point out that some things have changed and some things have not related with ethnic conflict case in America. According to Jim Wallis ; “What has not changed is the systematic and pervasive character of racism in the United States and the condition of life for the majority of African Americans. In fact, those conditions have gotten worse” (Wallis 198). Basically we can understand that the situations of African American people are still bad and can be worse than how it is now. As I mentioned that the tribes which cause worse conditions of African American people come from the past which is the time period of 1400 and 1500, and the ethnicity / racism started with slavery in American continent. Wallis explains the historical background of slavery very clearly with these sentences; “In the United States, the original purpose of black racism was to justify slavery and its enormous economic benefit. The particular form of racism, inherited from the English to justify their own slave trade, was especially venal, for it defined the slave not merely as an unfortunate victim of bad circumstances, war, or social dislocation but rather as less than human, as a thing, an animal, a piece of property to be bought and sold, used and abused” (Wallis 198). The thing is clear without any doubt, as we can see from Wallis’s thoughts that the slaves in the past were seen as an animal, and they did not have any civil right as human beings. As I mentioned that some things have changed by the time, according to Wallis what has change is described in this way ; “The personal racial attitudes of many white Americans and the opportunities for some African Americans to enter the middle levels of society. The word “middle” is key here, in so far as African Americans have yet to be allowed into most of the upper echelons and decision-making positions of business, the professions, the media, or even the fields of sports and entertainment where black “progress” has so often been celebrated” (Willis 199 ). As how Willis asserts that we have some recoveries, however despite the improvement of black American’s conditions in society, we have one problematic area which is not solved yet. This is also again related with the historical background of ethnic conflict in America. This area is called as education. In brief, historical background of slavery and the tribes that American society has related with racism are two important key feature of racist conflict which can be found in education.
Secondly, as I mentioned that ethnic conflict can be found in education, most specifically ethnic conflict force student to select their sides as an identity and it creates identity problems related with African American students, and also this problem affects African American youths’ academic performance. According to writers; “Although African American youths’ academic performance has received a great deal of attention from both popular media and research scholars much of this attention has focused on how African Americans compare academically to other racial groups” (Ciara Smalls, Rhonda White, Tabbye Chavous and Robert Sellers 299). We always compare the successes of different ethnic groups, owing to this tendency we have little concern about the causes of academic success or failure related with African American students. Rather than compering how Afro-Americans are more successful than other groups or not, we have to focus on the primary causes of academic success which can also be called as academic engagement. According to researches about this case; “Academic engagement encompasses linking one’s personal identity to the roles of student and learner , showing sustained curiosity and interest in class, and displaying intense efforts in learning tasks” ( Sellers et al. 300). However the ethnicity problem sets indestructible borders in front of African American students, because of their beliefs about race and ethnicity. It is explained by writer in this way; “it is likely that African American adolescents’ levels of academic engagement are influenced, in part, by their beliefs about the meaning of race and their experiences with racial discrimination” ( Sellers et al. 300).
Thirdly, educational utility is also main problematic issue which is related to how African American students are educated and does the education effective on Afro-American students despite the ethnic problems that most schools have. According to Rowley; “Educational utility is defined as the value that student places on doing well in school and on getting a good education” (Rowley 4). However in most part of United States, African American students show tendency to lower academic success, and all experts and sociologists like Rowley have been trying to find main causes of this unsuccessfulness. Basically Rowley evolved Cluster Analysis to easily understand the relationship educational utility, African American’s performance and the ethnic conflict’s effects on these students’ academic performances. According to Rowley; “Utility as having two dimensions that are relevant to African American students. The first dimension, idealistic educational utility, is based on the Protestant work ethic-hard work in school is directly related to success and the second dimension of educational utility values, is context-specific educational utility, and reflects the idea that education does not always result in occupational success-that because of discrimination, education is less useful for African Americans than it is for members of other racial or ethnic groups” (Rowley 5). Normally we can understand that we have two different dimensions for African American students. Firstly, hard working in schools like schools which have protestant work ethic can bring success to Afro-American students. Therefore according to Rowley’s analysis, African American students can only be successful in this type of schools. However this analysis also gives counter argument by saying that the context-specific educational utility cannot always be the way of successful education for African American students, this is because of contextual factors such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status constrain the value of education. Basically, we can say that the context-specific educational utility is not suitable as much as others, because the context-specific educational utility component also refers specifically to race and education.
If I take all these point into consideration, I can say that without any doubt ethnic conflict is one of the greatest problem in American society. They have been trying to solve it by using different ways. For example, African American students’ families try to protect their children by providing some new ways against the racial things that occur in American education system by using homeschooling. However educational problems related with ethnic conflict unfortunately is not solved yet. African American students suffer so much. For instance, they cannot take adequate education as much as how White American students are educated. Huge conflicts can be found in America, most specifically in education because of the historical background of ethnic conflict, identity problems that African American students have and the education utility related with how African American students take education and how does education affect their social condition. To solve these conflicts between ethnic groups in America most specifically between blacks and whites in education, we have to know historical background of ethnicity and effects of its on American society very well to find most reliable solution ways.
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