How Compassionate Education can Assist in Repairing Injustice: A Study into the Enduring Injustices of Black People

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Videchak, Krista
Injustice , Race , Epistemology , Compassion , Buddhism , Education Reform , Epistemic Injustice
The focus of this project is to think more deeply, and also differently, about the injustices experienced by Black people. One initial problem is that of reparations: why have reparations never been given to Black people despite their enslavement, continued dehumanization, imposed poverty, and colonization? Given that Black people comprise a group that has endured racially based injustices for centuries, and continue to face grave injustices, it must be the case that something is being misunderstood. This misunderstanding is an epistemological problem, one that perpetuates epistemic injustice for Black people. Some deny that these injustices still exist, but even those who acknowledge their existence do little to address it. There are some practical, more visible ways to expose people to the injustices experienced by Black people, such as presenting facts and figures, but these methods often fail on their own. Instead, what is needed is a deeper understanding of reality. Reality reveals that although all people suffer, some people suffer because of their perceived race. This can affect Black people in many different areas of their life, as it penetrates into all of our social institutions. This ranges from politics, to language, to education. Although these injustices are normally framed politically and economically, it is important to move these discussions into other institutions like education. If we are to think clearly about the injustices experienced by Black people, we must feel clearly about the injustices experienced by Black people. It is necessary that people lose preconceived notions of themselves and of others because if we remain attached to these notions, then we will be clouded by illusions about ourselves and the world. We can find meditative practices within Buddhism that can help with this process. These practices can illuminate methods for progression and stir up movement in institutions like education. Given the epistemological issues relevant here, this can perhaps motivate conversations about the injustices experienced by Black people, including the problem of reparations.
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