I am in a kindergarten classroom. The teacher in my classroom, but also all of the adults I have met, use a harsh tone with their students. This has been the most difficult and problematic part of my praxis. I was not yelled at a lot when I was a child, and when I was, I did something severely wrong first and often my parents had tried many other options before they decided to raise their voice. Unfortunately, the children have become accustomed to this severe mode of giving directions and often will not listen or follow instructions until they are delivered in this manner.
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Reading the introduction of Kumashiro's Against Common Sense really struck me for a number of reasons. I was especially struck by Kumashiro's conflict with the kind of education he wanted to promote in his Nepali classroom; one that focused less on testing and imparting knowledge onto the students and more on developing dialogue and critical thinking as a group.
I couldn’t help but thinking whether or not a white racial autobiography could be written. Are there not enough or no limits to the culture of “whiteness” after someone’s skin tone has been accepted in society?
Who is the audience when talking about racial issues? Who should be educated? Who is listening? Who is talking/writing?
I thought it was interesting that when the author spoke with her mother, the writer’s mother could only remember events where the author’s mother questioned/ spoke up/ challenged racism. I don’t know if we suppress what we are ashamed of completely.
I appreciate how Michelle Alexander talks about the importance of learning about the truth, about discovering the roots and complexities of race and class issues in particular, but I question whether there is one eternal truth. Whose truth? Can’t there be more than one right answer or account of an event? Is there a way for one’s sociopolitical background to affect his or her or their account of what happened and it still be the “truth?” Is it possible to embrace all of these truths equally and not disregard them?
I think one of the main issues addressed in this article confronts the idea of difference and how it is either manipulated for individual or a company’s financial interest or ignored and misunderstood. How do we find a balance between exotifying the “other” and celebrating different perspectives, customs, traditions and beliefs?
I was particularly interested in the use of vocabulary to describe ideas about intersecting cultures and heritages. Hall explained that is important to be accurate and true when discussing issues of diversity, but also not to explain or describe them in ways that are difficult to relate to or understand.
While reading Boler's chapter on empathy, I was reminded of a conversation that I had in one of my classes last semester. My class discussed the notion that in order to truly empathize with another, you must experience a similar emotion to their own. The example we toyed with was marignalized identities. One of my classmates explained that she always felt for the struggles of African Americans in the United States, but never really "got it" until she started outwardly identifying as a dyke (sic) and becoming an outspoken activist for the LGBTQ community. Immediately, we talked about how flawed this line of thinking is.
On the bulletin board in the Campus Center there were signs that read, “Stop Demonizing My Skin Color,” and “Who Do You Think of When You Hear Gang/Theft?” At first glance, I appreciated the shocking reminder of the racist, unequal, and detached society I live in. There were many short biographies of some of the African American people in the United States who were killed in the last year. Above Tamir Rice’s photograph a poster read, “Were you also defending yourself against him?” and below his picture, the poster read, “Just Curious.”