Is Racism Learned Behavior?

Why Has Racism Been Described as Learned Behavior?

Since we don’t learn in a vacuum, today’s training environments are as varied, as the trainee’s themselves. Unlike Pre-K – 12 educational systems, adult learners bring a different set of variables and challenges to the experience. Oftentimes as facilitators in the technical field, employers have gleamed candidates after a series of online technical diagnostic and Behavioral Analysis testing tools. These tests, while useful, are not conclusive of the candidates ability or desire to learn new skillsets necessary for working in a given technical field. And while hands on task driven processes are in many cases chronological in orientation; it is in the analysis and application of precepts and standards to diagnose and repair problems which require a better understanding of learning intelligences.

My personal experience from High School was driven by peer pressure, and cultural acceptance. Teen learners are very easily impacted by peer pressure, and the need to be accepted as part of the social diaspora. Labels such as Nerd, Geek, Brain, are well known and used to more often denigrate, rather than celebrate the student’s ability to understand and learn certain skillsets. In the 1970’s, my experience with High Schools' counselors in the urban educational setting in a General Motors “GM” town were slanted towards vocational education and not Higher Ed. At that time, my hometown “Saginaw Michigan” proudly hosted 9 Automobile Parts Factories, a Pickle and Sugar Beet factory. From brake parts to sugar beets, the middle class sector thrived! With the Post World War II veterans being able to send their children to public and private universities both in and out of state. Yet even with access to better education and employment opportunities, some of my peers fell through the cracks in the Public education network. Young men with athletic ability in sports such as Football or Basketball were considered heroes, regardless of their ability to solve algebraic equations, or write short stories effectively. “That was something that the “White Boys” did” was a common mantra overheard in predominately African-American school systems! From Public Speaking events at the Rotary International Club or Chamber of Commerce to Science club field trips to Midland Dow, a huge employer in the county, it represented a racial disparity that wasn’t reinforced due to imposed racist intent, it was a direct result of social conditioning and misperception on role development of the individual.

Even the City had a history of racial disparity amongst the French Trappers and the indigenous Ojibway, Saginaw and Chippewa tribes. East side verses the west side. Today’s workplace is dynamic and ever changing. It’s workers are just as dynamic, having to deploy a variety of skillsets, intellectually diverse, technically capable, and interpersonally skilled at meeting the needs of all customers. Regardless of racial makeup, languages spoken, age or social leaning. Companies are asking more of their employees, which means that employees are being asked to create and take responsibility for their own knowledge and career progression! Skills certifications such as in the cable industry thru the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers are essential for advancement. They represent completion of a valued course of study, in addition to the individual drive for advancement and technical competency.

Having a racist attitude in learning can give you a jaded and very short career. Many companies are multinational, liken unto those within the call center industry. The prerequisite technical knowledge and ability for meet standards do not require the ability of foreign owners to speak the queens english, however cultural differences in work ethnic and social norms do matter.  Today’s new hires and long term employees should embrace change within the workplace and never stop learning!

Why Has Racism Been Described as Learned Behavior?

(Learned behaviors) Behavior or behaviour is the range of actions and mannerisms made by organisms, systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with their environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment...

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