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Discussion Topics

Overt Racism

Definition: Intentional and/or obvious harmful attitudes or behaviors towards another minority individual or group because of the color of his/her skin.

Media Links and Discussion

Each of the following topics includes a link to a piece of media and discussion questions that can be used in discussion.

Racism in a bakery in New York

Audience: high school, college and beyond
Discussion questions:

  1. Have you ever seen anything like this in your community? How did you respond?
  2. If you have never seen anything like this in your community, how did you respond when you saw this clip?
  3. Would you have spoken directly to the owner of the bakery?
  4. What would you have said if you would have?

Dave Chappell - "Open Racism"

Audience: 10th graders and beyond
Discussion questions:

  1. What terms used stand out to you?
  2. How do you feel about these terms?

Dave Chappell on putting racist beliefs out in the open

Audience: College students and adults
Discussion questions:

  1. What are covert and overt racist and prejudicial behaviors?
  2. What are the racial stereotypes we hold in our heads? What are the things we think but donít say?
  3. Do we act on these thoughts/beliefs? How do you know?
  4. What would happen if we respectfully discussed our thoughts on and questions about different ethnic groups in a multiethnic setting? What would you ask? What would you say?

Boondocks - Teacher Calls Student the "N" Word

Audience: 9th graders and beyond
Discussion questions:

  1. Have you ever been belittled because of the color of your skin?
  2. Has someone from within your race ever called you the N word?
  3. What are the benefits of using the N word?
  4. What are the disadvantages?
  5. Has someone from outside of your race ever called you the N word?
  6. Have you ever been called an N word by your teacher/supervisor/etc?
  7. What was that experience like?
  8. How can you share your views about the N word?

Campus parties to mock black people on MLK Day at Tarleton State University in Texas (Anderson Cooper/CNN) (Fox News)

Audience: 9th graders and beyond
Discussion questions:

  1. What is the responsibility of the white students to respond to an incident like this?
  2. What should be the consequences of such an event?
  3. How should administration respond?