On Really Obvious Expectations from Your Professors

Hey, I’m kind of sorry for not posting for so long, but I don’t actually think anyone’s looked at this thing in ever, so, hello world! I’m just kind of getting back on my feet here, so pardon me if I’m a little shaky to start…

This is my first full year being a real veteran, and my second semester in college. I’m going to a college I really probably should have reconsidered because it is in a terrible neighborhood, but that all being set aside, I guess it’s nice to be working towards something.

So, I’m finally settling down to write a paper for my History and Significance of Race in America class (cherry, I assure you) and, well, it all sort of comes down to this statement:
“Answer the question whether structural racism leads to inequality.”
Now, if you’ve spent a minute in my class, you would know that if you don’t agree that structural racism leads to inequality, you will be made to lo…ok like a fool in front of your peers (sorry that kid, but seriously you’re a junior get with the program.) So the problem I’m seeing is thus: If you don’t say that, yes, structural racism leads to inequality, then your paper will be ripped apart and you will be given a low grade. So now the fun begins! How can I creatively write a paper on how structural racism is baaaaad and I’m bad for being born white, forgetting literally everything else there is about my situation (being poor, being a woman, not being a WASP in ‘Murica) or anyone else’s because apparently racism is the only evil in this world?
But then we reach another interesting point. After telling us to answer this question, my professor went on to add:
“Demonstrate the strength of your argument.  In order to do that, examine one of the social institutions in the United States:
 Criminal Justice system; Healthcare system; Education
How does structural racism create inequalities in these institutions?”
So, as a student, I’m not even given the option of agreeing or disagreeing whether structural racism leads to inequality. It is already assumed that I will adopt the opinion of the professor, therefore I am not required to really think very hard about what kind of answer I’m going to be giving at all. Instead, my work comes down to remembering what it was that the professor already told me about structural racism and inequality in a given institution and regurgitating it right back to her.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t gotten really good at creatively wording “I’M SO SORRY WHITE PEOPLE WITH WHOM I HAVE NO RELATION WERE MEAN TO YOU!!!!” I mean, shit, I got an A in my Women’s Studies class with the same thing (just add in “white men”). But doesn’t it sort of stifle my, and other students’, abilities to effectively write a paper if it is very clearly pointed out that anything that varies from the “white apologetics” standpoint is frowned upon?

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