In the past few weeks, racial tensions have risen like never before after the tragic killing of George Floyd. It’s been all over your newsfeed, it’s been a constant topic on TV and it’s a permanent discussion that we’re certainly glad is here to stay.
But while there seems to be quite a unanimous, global position on the treatment of Black, Indigenous and people of colour – how have students responded to tensions globally?
In a recent study between Business Insider, Yubo and StuDocu, it revealed how Gen Zs and students have not only felt about racial inequality, but also what they’re doing to make things better.
A Clear Divide
In the poll, which surveyed some 40,000 young Americans between June 5 and June 7, the vast majority agreed that they believed there was a vast difference in the way black Americans are treated, compared to others. Nearly 90% said they believed black Americans endured a different treatment compared to non-blacks – with a similar percentage saying that they supported the wider Black Lives Matter movement.
We certainly get the feeling that we’d see similar agreements from Australian Gen Zs if it came to Indigenous treatment in this country.
Educating And Expressing Themselves
Instagram is no doubt the official expression form of social media for Gen Zs. With 73% of people surveyed saying they are expressing their thoughts on race during this time via the social media channel. A further 25% saying they use Tik Tok, 23% saying they use Twitter and only 13% saying they use Facebook to express themselves.
On top of that, 44% of the survey participants said that they had taken further action in educating themselves on race, racism and injustices against BIPOC. It’s a trend that we’ve been seeing on 5Why, with an increased interest from our Gen Z audience on reading content related to race education and conversation. Additionally, 68% of students want to see more inclusive topics included in education curriculum.
Finally, the mental strain of an intense period like this is really starting to mount up for Gen Zs. We’re still in the thick of a pandemic, and students face the looming prospect of being back on campus soon for physical classes; not to mention exams. So the race tensions have added another layer of mental pressure.
The study suggested that 60% of participants said that racial tensions had impacted their overall mental health, no doubt many of them were already fragile from some of the aforementioned problems.
But we’ve spoken in the past about how Gen Z and students these days are leading a new political revolution, and this only seems to further justify that.