Current Connection 10/8/20

The article of this week was by Joel Spring and he discussed the many ways Native Americans were facing deculturalization when people starting discovering the Americas and moving around the country. Something that was emphasized in the article was how there was so much “Americanizing” of these native people. They were being forced out of the land they had been inhabiting because these Americans claimed it was theirs. Along with this, the Native Americans were forced to adapt to the American culture, and essentially forget their own. For example, many Native American men had longer hair and they all wore their native clothing, but they were forced to cut their hair very short and wear clothes that the Americans wear and they looked like totally different people. Overall, this article gave a lot of information on how things were done to basically try to eliminate the Native American culture as a whole and it was quite saddening to read about.

The article that I found to relate to the one by Joel Spring is titled, “5 Things Public Schools Can and Can’t Do When It Comes to Dress codes” by Galen Sherwin. This article is from 2017, which is 3 years ago, not 2, but when I came across this I knew I had to use it because it was so pertinent to what we have been discussing in class this week. This article discusses many instances of deculturalization in schools across the United States. It gives specific examples of when children were being discriminated against for how they wore their hair. One example was from a school in Florida where an African American student was sent home for having their hair styled as an afro. The school claimed the hair style was “extreme faddish and out of control” which is insane for a school to discriminate a child for their hair. This article was written by an attorney so I think her point of view is interesting because she is not coming from the perspective of a school and why they may discriminate against a student for such reason. She has a legal point of view and brings in many of the laws that have been established by the government that prohibit discrimination of students based on the dress code of a school. She also sticks to her legal views the whole time which is interesting to me but I think this was done so she does not speak on behalf of any of the schools involved in the dress code incidents given in the article.

I chose this article by Galen Sherwin to relate to the one by Joel Spring for many reasons. One of these reasons was both of them obviously discussed deculturalization, specifically within school settings. Another reason is that in both articles, the victims were forced to change their appearance in order to be accepted again by society. This “acceptance” was basically forcing the Native Americans and the African Americans to conform to society and essentially ripped them of their cultures. Native Americans were forced to change their clothes and whole appearances and the African Americans in the article I found had to change their hair in order to be allowed into school again. Native and African Americans use clothes and hair styles to embrace their culture and this was being taken away from them. Both of these articles were a great learning experience for me because these injustices were never really discussed in my high school experience. I believe that there should be more taught about the injustices faced by the Native and African Americans with the hopes that it stops, because as the article I found shows, deculturalization is still happening today,

Overall both of these articles highlighted some pretty heavy topics, but I feel like these need to be addressed because of current situations going on today. We all need to embrace all cultures because we all have our own culture of our ancestors and we would not be here today without them. Schools should not discriminate anyone based on their cultural background and should embrace the diversity of the world.

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