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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Minority Male Mentoring Conference: Encouragement and despair all in one!

I presented today at the 7th annual Minority Male Mentoring Conference, held in Durham, NC. This is the second time I have presented at this well planned and well attended conference. My session was standing room only, several people told me at breakfast they enjoyed my presentation the last time and that they were looking forward to hearing me present this time. I was, of course, flattered, but told them it would not be a pretty picture I was going to paint about minority male academic achievement, college going and graduation rates.

Nor was it. Fewer than half the minority males in NC graduate from high school. If you do not finish high school it is obvious you will not graduate from college, at least not without something extraordinary happening. Back in the day one could read law or science and what your preparation was before that was considered irrelevant, if you could master the material you could get the degree. That is not the world of the 21st century. Our schools are more segregated than they were in 1972 and the higher the minority population the lower the school’s academic performance with only the rare exception.

Black and other minority males ( Latinos and American Indians) tend to be overrepresented in low track classes, vocational tracks and suspensions and expulsions. Depending on your point of view, and/or your knowledge base, this is because they are dumber and more rowdy than white boys OR the system is stacked against them. I am sure you know which side I happen to be on.

Americans, still in love with that myth of the meritocracy ( read some of my earlier posts about MY experience with getting rewarded for doing well–NOT) believe that if you try hard, do your best and expend sufficient effort you will be successful. Actually a lot of the time other people decide whether or not you will be successful and how successful you will be allowed to be. Sometimes it is your parents, sometimes it is your teachers, sometimes it is school administrators, sometimes it is college admissions officers, sometimes it is the person trusted with hiring.

You can be all that and a bag of chips and still get dissed. Minority males are the poster boys for dissing. Let’s start with kindergarten. Minority populations  ( defined as black , American Indian and Latino) tend to be overrepresented among the poor. Research has shown that children from low income families hear about 4 million fewer words before kindergarten than middle class children. Because females tend to develop linguistic skills earlier, boys probably have less verbal interaction than girls. If they are poor boys one can only imagine what a disadvantage they have before kindergarten.

Okay, time to start school. Your teacher is likely to be white and female, both of which could be an issue.  Given the picture that society paints of black males, it is unlikely that many of the teachers will expect much of the young man. If he is well behaved that is probably all that will be required, no need for him to excel academically, not expected, not accomplished. And, what are kids told immediately in school? You have to be still and quiet. We have known for forty years or more that males are kinetic learners. Now we have you. You have few words to interact with your verbal, probably raised middle class, white teacher. You are itching to move, but you have to stay still. You notice almost immediately the girls get better marks for both attention and obedience and you notice your teacher seems a tad bit wary of you. Welcome to school.

Because you feel alienated and marginalized almost immediately you end up not being very engaged, which means you end up being diagnosed as having ADHD, or being a discipline problem, or simply being delayed. The remedy for any of the above? Special classes! Not the route to college.

The conference had some good presentations, but there seems to be a continuing issue of the attendees being sure that what is wrong with the black male is the black male. Lots of presentation on what THEY need to do rather than the systemic racism and in some cases sexism ( anti-male this time) that exists in the education system.

I do not care how much motivation you give ( more about the opening motivational speaker who was a disaster later) motivation will not get you there. Wanting to do well counts for nothing if you do not have access to the tools and resources to do well. Sorry motivational/reach for the stars/you can do it/ speakers, you are selling snake oil.

Curriculum in k-12 and higher ed is not generally written by people of color. Admission to institutions that are not HBCUs is rarely granted by people of color. The rules of education are not made by people of color. Most grades are not given by people of color.

I have some hope that some of the good people there today will ontinue to work on the problems and perhaps one day realize they need to change the system, not the person.

Unless and until we fix the system trying to make minority males successful will still be a task to rival Sisyphus.

Postscript: I do not care if the person has a PhD, if they cannot speak standard English do not invite them to speak at a conference with education as its focus. Terms like ” my momma house” and phrases like ” I seen him come in” should not be spoken into a microphone at any event. The continuing battle for the black mind, the presumption that we are all escapees from some ghetto and have to be reminded of “where we came from” is growing tiresome. We do not need to hear from people who were in prison, people who were raised with only  air soup and wind pudding to eat, or any other downtrodden refugee from the streets unless he/she has something besides their own personal triumph over the odds to share.While blacks are overrepresented in poverty, the latest data I have seen says that 68% of us live above the poverty level. Quit acting like degradation is the normal status of all blacks.

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Reunion of the Class of ’66: Xenia is home!!

I love going back to my hometown of Xenia. Even though it has changed a lot over the years and is very different from Cary, NC where I live now. Cary is a town of 112,000, basically a bedroom community for the Research Triangle and Raleigh. It is tony, mostly upscale, safe, quiet and slightly snooty. Xenia is a town of around 28,000, that used to be a center of agriculture, is the county seat and is not mostly upscale. As a matter of fact, the devastating tornado in 1974 changed the demographics of Xenia drastically.

People who owned their homes, particularly nice homes, found themselves with insurance checks in hand ( remember the insurance adjusters writing checks in the backs of semis they were using as temporary offices?)  and offers of 4% interest loans from FEMA. Why should they wait to rebuild when they could take the money and run to Beavercreek or Centerville? As a result much of the wealth and many of the professional level workers left Xenia never to return.

The median annual income in Cary is $98,360. The median annual income in Xenia is $19,490, at least it was in 2009, the latest figure I could find.

So my two hometowns are drastically different. In Cary, which fairly routinely places in the ten best places to live in the country, there is plenty to do, plenty of shopping, too many restaurants to count, a thriving school system, although the school system has taken some lumps recently since some anti-public education loons managed to pack the School Board, but no worries they were voted out this year.

My husband loves Cary. He walks in the mall in the morning and chats up other retirees, he enjoys the variety of people–Cary is one of the most diverse towns in NC, and he enjoys the mostly gorgeous weather.

I, on the other hand, miss Xenia and Wilberforce. Yes, it is mainly poor, yes, it is often rainy and/or cold, but it is home.

Nothing brought this home to me more than our recent 45th class reunion. Seeing my old classmates ( and we really are getting to be old classmates!) and talking about growing up in Xenia and the high school and our teachers, most of whom have joined the choir invisible of course, made me even more nostalgic for Xenia. The people in Cary are transients . Hardly any of them are from NC. Some of them love NC and have adopted the state, but a lot of them are here for work ( we had 15% job growth in the area in the last couple of years) and for sun. They have no roots here.

My mother is from NC, but not from Cary. I have no roots here. I miss my garden in Wilberforce. I miss hearing the chimes at Galloway Hall on CSU’s campus. I miss the cold weather believe it or not, coming outside in January and having the mucus freeze in your nose. Watching snow fall and hoping you have enough milk and bread to make it until the road is clear again, hoping your century old furnace still has another winter in her. I miss it all!

I miss the people most of all. Regular people, down to earth people, people who are not living their lives trying to impress other people. People like most of my classmates.

I do not think my longing for X-town is due to any fault of Cary. I am simply not at home here. I am a visitor. I am a fortunate visitor. I have a good job and I live well, but I would rather be back in Wilberforce living less well than in Cary living in, as we say here,  high cotton!

So classmates if I survive the next couple of years ( physically and mentally and do not go off on anyone because of their lack of understanding of social justice)  I will be moving back to Wilberforce.

I enjoyed seeing all of you last weekend. Sorry to have missed a few who did not come and very mournful for the few who could not come because they are no longer with us. Hopefully I will be back living in the area like some of our classmates who wandered away, but are back now.

Those of you who know what I am talking about come on back too! The Class of 66 can still make a difference in our hometown!

Hugs to all!

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Old friends, new times: Fun at the pre-reunion activities

 

Last night we followed tradition. We ate a Frisch’s before a home game at Cox Field. Every time I go back to Cox Field I am transported back to my high school days, or, in some cases my younger adult days. We spent so much time there, hardly ever missing a high school football game when I was in high school and after. When our oldest son Mike, played football  (and was a star to our delight) there  we served as co-presidents of the Booster’s Club for several years.

 

We organized decorating the stadium before games, sold raffle tickets, worked the different booths selling everything from pom-poms to caps in the school colors of royal blue and white.  After Mike graduated and went on to play football at Wittenberg University I took some time off from the XHS games. We went to all Mike’s games at WU, home and away, so I claimed Friday night for rest.

 

After he graduated, however, I started going again. Nothing like sitting out in the crisp fall air, listening to the band play the fight song and hearing the whine of trucks on 35 starting up after they have had to stop at the red light on the corner. A lot of the semi drivers slow down and watch a little of the game as they go by. I am sure it appears to be such a slice of Americana, small town football games on Friday nights are iconic, that they want to watch.

 

But things are not the same in Xenia. After the tornado the town changed. I do not know if was simply the dreadful disease that has struck most American small towns and was just exacerbated by the tornado  or if it was the devastation of the tornado itself. I know that the town has never been the same, either visually, economically or spiritually. The schools used to be the close to the core of the town. The teachers were from Xenia, almost everyone had known each other for years, most of us who taught together had gone to high school together.

 

Friday nights Cox Field would be packed. It was the place to be, parking was coveted, the merchants near the stadium had to be vigilant to see that game goers did not take up all their parking spaces and cost them business, restaurants in the area did a booming business before the game.

 

Now it seems the main people who attend the games are a few teachers, the parents of the players, the parents of the band members and legions of preteens flexing their wings of independence and beginning to flirt with each other. There are not a lot of high school students in the stands. When did your school’s football team become irrelevant to the high school students? Aren’t the people of the town involved with the schools anymore? If not, why not?

 

Anyway it was fun to see the Bucaneers take the field, to see and hear the bands and relive some old good times.  One of my former students was the official coach of the game being honored for being an outstanding teacher. I , of course, take partial credit for that!

 

 

We left around halftime to go to a local watering hole, “Smokin’ Aces.” No, I have no idea why it is named that. I thought perhaps they played cards there, but nope it is what we would have called a bar and grill at one point. Lots of my classmates showed up. The black people all sat together, of course, huddled at the table like they were virgins at a stag party. I made my rounds hugging classmates of all hues and catching up on how many grandkids we have and whether or not we are retired. At first I was dismayed by the way some of my classmates have aged. I was stunned when a couple of them reminded me of their names. After talking to them for a few minutes though something funny happened. If you looked at the center of their faces the old face came back, the old smile was still there. My classmates may be in their 60’s but the spirits that were shining through last night were still young, eager, friendly, curious and welcoming.

 

The gathering was distinctly Xenian, including the fact my Cosmo was served in a plastic cup! Such fun to catch up with people you have known for more than half your life and who still have the ability to make you feel good.

 

Some of them have been ill. One of my classmates who has survived breast cancer twice was up and dancing most of the evening, and the comment I received from many of them was, “well, I’m still here.”  I expected to come away from the event feeling old, after all we are celebrating our 45th!!! Class reunion, but I did not, I came out of that bar feeling like a teenager again, and it was only partially due to my Cosmo!

 

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Holy Fashion Police Batman!: Teachers, retail clerks and others are dressing badly!

I am home in Ohio at the moment to attend my 45th (!!!) high school class reunion. I remember distinctly thinking when I was in high school that the people who appeared in the Xenia Daily Regret, as we called the local paper, celebrating their 25th class reunions were older than Methuselah. Now here I am celebrating the 20th anniversary of my 25th reunion! As one of my dear friends is fond of saying, “Yikes!” Waiting to go to the Homecoming Football Game ( Go Bucs!) and then to a local watering hole for adult beverages with classmates, I was watching the news. A woman who has obviously not missed any meals, was surprised at her school by her son, a Marine coming home from Afghanistan. This woman had on a red sweatshirt and a pair of jeans. I was horrified. There is no way, no how, no reason, no excuse for a teacher or other adult worker who is not cleaning floors, to wear jeans to school. Ditto the sweatshirt. There are times I wish I had put my doctorate in educational leadership to a different purpose and become a principal. My teachers would not wear jeans to school. They would not wear sweatshirts or tee shirts or anything else that would denigrate the status of the teacher. They would not have to wear high heels and party dresses, but they would have to be neat, clean and wear what one would wear to perform any kind of business service. Ties are definitely optional for the men and women are welcome to wear pants at my school, but no jeans, no chinos for anyone. Pants mean dress pants, and men need a collar on those shirts.

In NC, and I am sure in other places, they feature a teacher of the week or month. I am always mystified and dismayed when they show some supposedly wonderful teacher addressing her charged clad in a sweatshirt and jeans. When did this become appropriate professional garb? Teachers often complain these days of not being respected. Well, perhaps if you started looking like a professional people would treat you more like one. When the young men and women who work at Starbucks outdress you, you need to check yourself!

I was equally horrified to walk into the fancy emporium known as Walmart and be greeted by a woman wearing what could only be described as something one would find in a rag bag. Now, do not get me wrong. I know it is Walmart, but even so it is a business. The woman in question weighs at least 300 pounds, but that is no excuse, they make and sell  big clothes, even at Walmart. She had on a dark blue, faded tee shirt that had been washed so many times it was stretched out at the neck and uneven at the hem. Under that she had on a brown skirt that might have, at one point, consisted of layers of fabric meant to look like ruffles, but they had given up the ghost long, long ago. It too was misshapen and crooked hemmed and faded.

Just on a whim, after being smacked in the face with this poor creature’s appearance I wandered back to the ladies department. There were perfectly good plain cotton tee shirts on sale for $4.88 in sizes up to 3X. There were also capacious skirts starting at $7.99. With her employee discount I am confident she could have pulled off a new outfit ( the grungy sneakers could be replaced for $9.99) for less than $20. I do not know how much she makes, but clothes for your job have to be included in anyone’s budget, albeit not at the rate they are included in mine. Ironically one of the people who presents a most professional image and is very stylish is one of the managers at Walmart. I remember when she was in high school that her family was desperately poor and she could not dress well. Now that she is making enough money to present herself as a professional she does a great job. I just wish she would spread the wealth and talk to some of her employees. It makes one feel very low shelf ( hey, I know it is Walmart) to be waited on by someone who appears to be homeless.

I realize more and more that I am, indeed, a dinosaur. I expect people to dress like they are going to work and appropriately for the kind of work they do. Being waited on in department stores ( Elder Beermann’s at home, Dilliards and Belk in NC ) by people who either look like they have just rolled out of bed and grabbed the first thing to come to hand, or who look like someone promised to take them to a nightclub immediately following work and they will not be able to go home and change is annoying to me.

I have to insert here that the folks at Macy’s have never, in NC or Ohio failed me in dressing appropriately and tastefully, thank you ladies and gentlemen! Adding insult to injury, today when I went to Elder Beerman’s to buy a coat, the woman who finally deigned to wait on me, after me standing at the checkout area calling “ Hello?’ for three minutes until she wandered up, was about 80 years old and sporting blue jeans. Her top was ill-fitted and for someone much younger. She chatted me up about NC after I supplied her with my zip code ( why do they ask you for all these random things? Phone numbers, zip codes, emails? I do not want to be friends with them!) and then proceeded to ask her co-workers who had wandered up like gnus looking for pasture, did she look sexy in her jeans! This last exchange precluded her thanking me for buying the $280 coat, by the way.

So people. Buy a full length mirror if you lack one. Comb your hair or pull it back. Put on some lipstick, wear earrings ( these two are optional for males) , make certain your clothes fit, are clean, age appropriate and reflect your pride in your position. If you do not I am going to start citing people. One surely  can make a citizens’s arrest for the fashion police, I just know it!

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Why I am not going to the MLK monument dedication: tired of symbolism, give me progress!

My husband told me this morning he is surprised, given my passion for social justice and my love of the District of Columbia, that I did not go to the MLK dedication this weekend. I told him I want to go to the monument one of these days, but I would not participate in the pretend honoring of MLK represented by a statue.

If this country wanted to honor Dr. King they would be making way more progress towards ending racism, discrimination, xenophobia, homophobia, ethnic intimidation, poverty and all forms of oppression. Instead they carve a rock.

Median household income, adjusted for inflation, fell by $1,860 from 2007 to 2008. But look under the hood and you’ll find great disparity among American families. White family income stands at a median of $55,530, while the African-American family median is at $34,218. Hispanic families are faring only a little better, at $37,913. ( NPR). If America wanted to honor Dr. King it would not abandon its quest to stop income disparities and wipe out poverty. Instead we have become a society that looks down on the poor rather than realizing that their situation is an indictment of our society. In a land of plenty, only a few have plenty.

In 2009 5.2% of whites dropped out of high school ( this is going to be heavily populated by poor, male, whites by the way), 9.3% of blacks dropped out ( ditto on poor and male),17.6% of Hispanics dropped out ( same demographic) and 13.2% American Indians dropped out ( male and poor mainly.) If America wanted to honor Dr King it would be working to see that almost twice as many blacks and three times as many Hispanics and Indians did not find it necessary to drop out of high school.

One third of the children born last year in America were born to women who were not married. I have said before, I do not care who you have sex with–not my husband please, but otherwise help yourself. I do not care if you try to bed everyone on the Eastern seaboard, but having babies you cannot afford is unfair to yourself, your child, your fellow citizens  ( or residents) and your country. If America wanted to honor Dr. King it would spend more time making sure young people understood the economics of early births to people who had not yet established themselves in virtually any way, economically, emotionally, psychologically , educationally or career wise.

In other words, honoring Dr. King with a statue is like building a church to Jesus or to God or to Allah or to Buddha or to whoever and then ignoring what the said deity was about.

You want to honor Dr. KIng? Wipe out racism and prejudice, wipe out poverty, wipe out injustice of all kinds, wipe out privilege based on undeserved categories, wipe out apathy, wipe out hatred, wipe out war.

Rocks are for climbing, they are not sentient, and over time even the strongest one will wear down to nothing, social change endures, people matter, not rocks.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

High School Reunion: The agony and the ecstasy

I am going home next week to attend my 45TH!!!! high school graduation class reunion. The Class of 66 was a special bunch. I know everyone thinks the people they went to high school with were special, but mine were extra special. From my classmate Nedra whose palms sweated so badly on test days that she had to carry wads of paper towels to blot them to keep from ruining the paper the test was on to my friend Mary Beth who was so much better at basketball than the rest of us that only I could guard her–not because I was athletic but because I could make her laugh and miss the shot.  We had the first prom where two girls ( no they were not gay, just tired of missing dances) attended together, we had some of the first sit-ins and protests and we had some friendships made that have stood the test of four plus decades.

Unfortunately, we also had some enemies made that have stood the test of time. There are only a few people in my class I sincerely dislike, but I disliked them in the 60s and I dislike them now. Racism is the primary cause, but a couple of them are just nasty. Fortunately, most of the people I do not like ( and they number fewer than five out of a class of more than four hundred) will not attend the reunion. They are flawed enough people that they do not want to associate with their classmates.

Most of my classmates are great people, thoughtful, caring, decent folks. True, some of them are Republicans, but we cannot hold that against them, they were probably raised that way.

At our last reunion ( at least the last one I attended) , the 40th, I was amazed to see how good some of my classmates looked and how bad some of them looked. How you looked in high school evidently is not a measure of how you are going to look forty years later. Some of the cutest girls look  like they have been “drove hard and put up wet”, to use a country saying. The men generally have aged better, some have lost hair and gained pot bellies, but I could still recognize the faces on most of them, not so much the women.

It is unfair but we do not age as well as men in general. Maybe they simply were not as cute as us in the first place and therefore the decay is not as noticeable, I have no idea.

Anyway, I am going to look forward to going to the Homecoming Game  (Go Bucs!) on Friday unless it rains, and to the dinner on Saturday. I will sing the fight song and alma mater at the game and hug dozens of classmates at the dinner. Eventually if it is a typical reunion people will begin to cluster in friend groups. My table will be the one where the blacks will congregate. After a while some of our white friends will brave the divide and come over to chat too. The few of our classmates who never managed to understand race  and leave behind racism will not be among them.

I doubt sincerely my racist classmates have any idea they are racist. They simply think black people are not as good as white people and do not understand why that belief should be held against them. Fortunately as I said earlier they are few and far between in the class of  ’66.

So get ready classmates. I will be the one in the velvet pants and black and white zebra striped top with a beaded neckline  and velvet blazer with a big rhinestone button. Depending on the weather I will either have on black heels or mules with a zebra striped wedge.  Get ready to be hugged and screamed at; ” Oh my goodness, look at you! ” ” I am so glad to see you, you look great!” ” How are the kids?” “Tell me what you are doing?”  “Where do you live?”  And get ready for lots of sentences that start out ” Do you remember…..?”

I remember. And the memories are almost 100% good, I loved high school, I liked my classmates, my teachers, my school and my town. I still do.

Hooray, for Xenia High School, for she’s all right.

Keep Colors Flying, Go on with the fight!

Hooray, for Xenia High School, Never give in!

Hooray for Xenia High School, For she will win!

And so will the members of the Class of 66!

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in Childhood, Education, Xenia

 

If only we knew: The mysteries of our fellow human beings!

This morning my husband was watching a piece on ESPN on Fernando Valenzuela. I was not particularly interested in the fact that he (Fernando, not Wayne)  was the first Latino superstar professional baseball pitcher. I was much more interested in the cultural nuances of his story. For example, I had no idea that when the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers was looking to relocate them to Los Angeles that he targeted an area known as Chavez Ravine, occupied primarily–surprise!–by poor Latinos.  Of course, the general practice of “urban renewal” ( shorthand for tearing down the homes of people of color and erecting buildings and businesses primarily catering to a white crowd) required that they tell the people of this barrio that they were going to tear down their houses for the stadium–true, but that they were also going to build them better, affordable housing–false.The houses were torn down okay, but no housing was erected for the displaced population. A sad story that has been repeated, and is being repeated even as you read, all over the country.

As long  as the population is of color and/or poor, they have few rights and fewer champions. The novelist Henry Miller said it best, “When shit becomes valuable,  the poor will be born without assholes. ”

When I was a Library of Congress Fellow in 2002 we had n urban specialist come to talk to us about what he called racist diasporas. His example was the Metropolitan Opera complex in NYC. According to him the Met was built on land that was previously occupied by a majority of black people. There was no intention of putting up an opera house complex there. It was supposed to be an attempt to improve the housing for the black tenets, which was substandard. After the buildings housing the blacks were torn down, however, very similar to the events of Chavez Ravine, it was decided the area was too nice and had too many other possibilities. So the displaced were on their own and the Met was built.

To make certain the same kinds of folks who used to live there did not wax nostalgic and come back, they constructed highways so that virtually the only way into the complex is via automobile, not on foot, unless you want to brave crossing several lanes of highway traffic.

Both of these stories, neither one of which I was familiar with before 2002 ( the Met) and this morning (Chavez Ravine) spotlight one of my primary contention. You do not know what people have gone through unless you are intimately familiar with their histories. Therefore you do not know about their grudges and their resentments and their remembered injustices. And herein lies the problem of race and other kinds of relations across difference. Most of the time the oppressed population , and I am not suggesting that oppression is only the purview of people of color, by the way, knows about the oppression. They tell their stories to their children, who tell them to their children.

I have taught many a class on race where someone white in the audience piped up with tales of oppression experienced by their Italian/Irish/German/Easter European/Polish relatives. The fact that those populations were eventually declared white and ergo had their oppression reduced does not diminish the memory, or the resentment or the pain.  But, what of use are such stories of past wrongs, besides, of course, indulging in the Oppression Olympics– my oppression is worse than yours!

The Buddhists have a saying, ” To understand everything is to forgive everything.” If I understood the history of my fellow Americans I could forgive their insensitivity, their  hostility, their ignorance of my history. Conversely, if they knew the stories I had in my memory bank they would understand me much, much better.

The idea of that that was then, this is now, forget about it, is not valid. The Latinos in LA have a right for all of us to understand why the Latinos boycotted games at Chavez Ravine until the rising Latino star made them drop the boycott in order to see and support him. The black folks who had their homes torn down so rich, mainly white, people can enjoy opera in a spectacular facility have the right for us to know that and acknowledge the injustice of it. That does not mean we can correct all the wrongs done to various people, but it does mean we can acknowledge that what was done was wrong and should not have been done!

I recently pulled book chapter from a publication because the editor, who is white and male, objected to one of my examples of bigotry, e.g. having only pictures of white males hanging in a school of government lobby. His remark in the margins of my manuscript was, ” perhaps there are legitimate reasons that there are only pictures of white men hanging in the foyer of that building.” I decided if he was that clueless, that he did not understand that any iconography in any edifice at a PUBLIC university should have pictures that represent the PUBLIC, then I did not want to be associated with him.He was shocked and begged and told me that my withdrawal might endanger the success of the project. I wished him luck in his future endeavors.

He did not understand my history.

We need to stop having sensitivity training and teach history instead. If you understand history you will find it easier to forgive those who do not. Some pundit has said that every person you meet is carrying some kind of burden. I would modify that to “Every person you meet is carrying some history you have no idea about.”

Ask them about it, listen, learn. It is the right thing to do and you can have a heck of a good time doing it. Solve the mystery of your fellow human beings, almost all of them are well worth your effort.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Uncategorized