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Systematic oppression and structural racism have been a core aspect of daily living for members of Black, Latino, and Native American Indian communities and shape their psychological dispositions toward education and schooling.
The American education system has been used as a key vector for systematic oppression and structural racism. Even the most well-intentioned individuals will continue the traumatization of Black, Latinx, and Native American Indian Children. Structural racism is so well woven into educational system that it has become hard to detect.
Therefore, it is imperative that educators, clinicians, parents, and community leaders actively and aggressively and collaboratively work to excise structural racism from the educational and home settings in order to promote emotional well being, academic achievement, and empowerment, amongst children of color.
Children and families and resilient in the face of oppression. Educators and clinicians need to tap into the cultural forms of resistance that promote coping and self-actualization. Many of the behaviors that are typically labeled as maladaptive are often healthy responses to intentional or inadvertent acts of terrorism and, therefore, these behaviors should be used as important feedback that should be changed in the educational or home setting instead of pathology.
It is important not to adjust your expectations for what the child can achieve (benign racism). Rather, change or innovate, use different strategies and tools. Children, despite numerous traumatic events, can still have high levels of achievement, neither genetics nor intensive/chronic trauma exposure are acceptable excused for lowering expectations about their possibilities. Still aim for excellence.
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