What’s the difference between being racist and classist? I came across an article that discussed the problems that minority children had with assimilating into preparatory high schools. The author suggested that the schools, though they may provide an excellent college ready education, they make minority students feel uncomfortable because they are not able to participate in the extracurricular vacations and activities that are costly such as graduation celebrations in the Bahamas. The author then goes on to say that the minority students find solace with the minority population at their school. Furthermore, they always exist outside of the majority community.
So then the question is how much is that class separation not race separation? I can not really say that there are middle class white families who can easily afford to send their 18 year old on a trip to the Bahamas knowing that college costs are looming. On the flip side I know some upper class “minority” families who can very well afford to send their 18 year old to the Bahamas after paying for a private high school and prestigious 4year university.
My issue is that there is this assumption that all minorities who attend these private schools and hang out with each other must be poor and exists outside of society. Actually the sociologist in me says that people gravitate toward others who are in the same socioeconomic class as themselves. Often times those people are the same race. It isn’t enough to say it minorities, but rather it is people of a certain socioeconomic status.