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RIP Jim Crow

Fighting Racism through Higher Education Policy, Curriculum, and Cultural Interventions


Edited By Virginia Stead

Together we can build enough momentum to see Jim Crow lying silent and still in his grave.
This book shouts out ways that we can and must respond to the sickening accumulation of racially inspired and systemically sanctioned deaths. Today, we remember the passing of young, Black Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In responding to this event, we are determined to dismantle the alexithymia (indifference to the suffering of others) that pervades our campuses. It is nothing less than a by-product of racism protected by the illusion of democracy.
RIP Jim Crow contains three sections: (1) Antiracist Theory and Policy; (2) Antiracist Administration, Curriculum, and Pedagogy; and (3) Antiracist Cultural Interventions.
Each of the 31 chapters contributes to the normalization of anti-racist policy within academic institutions, antiracist discourse within academic cultures, and institutional praxis that upholds speaking out against racist activity. The hope is that this book will also reduce racism in the broader world through academic relationships with community partners.
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Chapter Thirty-One: Even the Dirt Is Dangerous: Racism in American Study Abroad Programs



Even THE Dirt Is Dangerous

Racism in American Study Abroad Programs



Be aware that women and small children, as well as men, can be pickpockets [sic] or purse snatchers. […] To guard against thieves on motorcycles, walk away from the curb, carrying your purse/backpack away from the street.

If you have brought back shoes or clothes that have been worn at the project site, you may have to be checked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors, which is a normal practice to prevent the spread of agricultural diseases.

Water is unsafe.

We have seen all of these direct quotes in the pre-departure information packets for various international study abroad programs based out of the United States. On their own, these statements sound benign, simply warning U.S. Americans of border practices and policies, of the potential to get sick while abroad, and of how to protect oneself from theft. However, taken together, with reinforcement from program speakers, group leaders, and print sources, these messages perpetuate the stereotype that Others abroad are dirty, carry diseases, and should be feared (see, for example, Paola & Lemmer, 2013). Therefore, these warnings transmit another message: Even the dirt is dangerous when you travel abroad.

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