Since most private schools are funded and attended by white people, why the sudden urge to feel the need as to “blend in” and seem diverse? In the show, Shameless Liam Gallagher is the only attending black student at Hopkins Academy and the only one receiving a free education. Liam plays a big role in the portrayal of the show since he seems to be not only the outcast at his school, but at home as well. Liam happens to be the only black member of his family yet is 100% related to all of his white family members. While to white people it may not seem that racism is still an issue or as prevalent as it was in the past, the treatment of Liam Gallagher at school is a clear example that it still exists.

To begin with, Liam is the youngest member of the Gallagher family and seems to be the most respected child by his father, Frank. Liam was supposed to start first grade at his local public elementary school, but had soon found out that it completely shut down. He then went to Frank for help and due to an influx of wealthy gentrifiers, Hopkins Academy had opened as a result. Frank initially came to protest against the new school, but instead Liam was offered free attendance at Hopkins.

As it may seem that it was a kind gesture by Hopkins Academy to allow Liam to attend, he is taken out of class every day to appear as one of the students who makes up for this so-called “diverse” school. Gentrification in Chicago occurs not only in the show, but in reality as well which is why minorities continue to struggle economically. Liam happened to be the only person of color with the opportunity to attend Hopkins, but there are still so many other students that wish they could have the same opportunity at education as him.

Ultimately, racism is very much prevalent in modern-day society and schools especially based on demographics. Shameless is only one of many shows that actually addresses this issue since many producers do not want to deal with controversy or backlash. Schools are the one place where people get their main source of knowledge from. By attending a diverse school, the students become more aware of their surroundings therefore, more educated on what to and not to say to a person of color. It has been 61 years since schools became desegregated, yet racism has been around for centuries and does not seem to be leaving anytime soon. There are still long ways to go as to end racism and just pretending like it is not there will not do any justice to the situation.

Adam Levinson

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