Our high school experiences shape a lot of our early adult lives. And dating is no exception.
Stereotypes and harmful habits can develop when we’re teenagers and grow from there. We saw that very plainly in a racist video posted by students at Lincoln Park High School a few months ago where teenagers laughed about which races they wouldn’t date.
A student who identifies as Filipino-American said, “For mostly Asian students, I’m pretty sure that we are viewed as a fetish. People say, ‘Oh, I’ve never dated an Asian before.’ [They] view us as this completely alien, exotic kind of thing, commercial good that we’re supposed to provide for them.”
A Black student said, “I feel like as a girl, it’s a little bit different when it comes to dating because guys can be really picky. They have stereotypes about different races in their head. Like, ‘Oh, she’s Black, so she’s ghetto. I don’t want to date a ghetto girl.’”
And a few teens drew a connection between those dating stereotypes and microaggressions they’ve faced in classes, like a teacher mixing up the names of two Asian students, or a curriculum that’s whitewashed and doesn’t teach the rich history of Black Americans. Encouragingly, quite a few kids felt they had at least one teacher who was comfortable leading difficult conversations about race. But most said there was room for improvement.
Take a read when you have a few minutes, it’s a great look by Susie and Adriana at a really interesting topic. You can also check out our other top stories of the past week, including a new law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week that grants vaccinated teachers COVID-19 sick days, and the latest on a controversy at Whitney Young Magnet High School.
Until next week,
Nader Issa, Sun-Times education reporter
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