I Don’t Want You In My Class!!
Yes, I know the title is shocking, but I want you to imagine that you feel this from a course instructor because of your race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, ethnicity group, or nationality. what would be your reaction?
Of course mostly you will drop the course, but with an incurable wound. We don’t want this discriminative atmosphere to prevail in higher education. All of us as students demand a diverse and inclusive atmosphere in which we can pursue our studies fairly and safely. As an instructor, you shouldn’t discriminate between your students because of anything pertaining to their beliefs or origin. All of the students should have the right to learn and interact in class without being worried about how the instructor will treat them. The same thing also holds for classmates. All the students in a class should be welcoming to and accept each other.
However, in every location in the world there are some problems hindering this diverse and inclusive atmosphere. To me the most disastrous is this “unconscious bias” as described by Shankar Vedantam. The story that he mentioned about the death of Deletha Word is really terrifying! The question that needs an urgent answer now, is why the crowd on the bridge didn’t help her get rid of that assailant. Is it because of her race? Is it because of they are cowards? I believe this to be an incarnation of the “hidden brain” or the “unconscious bias” problems. I believe a fair number of people are biased towards people who are not like them in race or religion even though they are not aware of that and this is really the major problem. They don’t know about it! In higher education, we still have this problem. a fair number of instructors and classmates are having this “unconscious bias” (or may be conscious?) towards their minority classmates. This has a very bad impact on the minorities as they are not feeling safe in their classes and accordingly, they are not able to pursue their learning in a suitable atmosphere.
I want to share with you this video of an experiment that was done to see how people respond to the harassment of a Muslim woman.
Finally I want to share with you two verses from the holly Quran and one authentic speech of Prophet Mohammed (Peace be Upon Him) about racism and discrimination.
“O Mankind, we created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into tribes and nations so that you may know each other (not that you despise each other). Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah (god) is he who is most righteous of you.” (Al-Quran, Chapter 49, Verse 13)
“And amongst his (refers to god) signs is the creation of heaven and the earth, and variation in your language and colors; Verily, in there are signs for those who know” (Al-Quran, Chapter 30, Verse 22)
“O people, your Lord is one and your father Adam is one. There is no favoritism of an Arab over a foreigner, nor a foreigner over an Arab, and neither red skin over black skin, nor black skin over red skin, except through righteousness. Have I not conveyed the message?” (prophet Mohammed PBUH)