University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
The Student Teachers Anti-Racism Society (STARS) promotes anti-racism education at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan through the support of the College. We work collaboratively to understand, identify, and address individual and systemic racism and its interlocking forms of oppression based on gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion and other socially constructed categories. We believe that anti-racist and decolonizing education, when woven together, can create humanizing and emancipatory change for everyone.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Deficit views of racism in sports and society

After Gabby Douglas won gold, NBC aired a commercial about a monkey that does gymnastics and people were outraged. And when people commented about her hair on Twitter, others were outraged. But when Bob Costas (NBC) claimed that the barriers for African Americans in gymnastics have long been torn down, after Gabby won gold, there was a lack of outrage. He further explained that it is psychological barriers that now keep African Americans from competing in the sport. In this way, Gabby is a role model for African American youth who have low self-esteem. This is one reason why racism is powerful - the 'hidden common sense' attitudes/ideologies of whiteness that are left unexamined. In this case, it is the belief that racial inequality is caused by the low self-esteem of the victims of systemic and structural racism. 

Here is an interesting take on the matter:

This might be a great way to start the year off with students. Perhaps it will keep them thinking critically about the discourses we use to talk about race...

Photo from: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/american-gabby-douglas-wins-gold-in-womens-gymnastics-all-around-20120802

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