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Mom in Va. who lived through Cultural Revolution addresses school board regarding Critical Race Theory


Fritz
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1 hour ago, Plum said:

Culture in this country varies wildly. The south is nothing like the NE is nothing like the west coast is nothing like the mid-west is nothing like TX. 😉 I grew up in an area that is 50% Hispanic. I lived in Santa Ana for a time as an adult. I also lived in the bay area for a couple of years. Talk about varied culture. All within CA. I am as much a product of where I lived as who I knew. 

Yes, it varies widely but it's not true to claim that they are nothing like each other. 

There are plenty of examples of racism in California. 

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Historically, there has been a persistent idea that California is progressive in comparison to the rest of the country, particularly the South, beginning from its creation as a “free” state, where slavery was illegal. But when you look a bit deeper, anti-Black oppression has been legal in California throughout its state history, along with other forms of racist oppression, such as anti-Indigeneity, that continue today. You write about this contradiction, and how free Black people who came to California in the 19th century pushed against this mythology. Where was it was coming from, this desire to make California not merely just comparatively better, but actually live up to its values? 

California's history of anti-Blackness hides beneath its progressive education

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Burnett wasn’t alone in his vision of a California that banned black people. Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, California citizens and legislators fought to ensure that free black people would be prohibited from immigrating to or living in California. And though their efforts eventually failed, they reflected thefear and racism faced by black people in the American West.

California Once Tried to Ban Black People

I don't understand the fear of acknowledging our racial prejudice. That's what Kendi is getting at. We're either racist or anti-racist. Anti-racist being that we acknowledge our racism and try to overcome it. It doesn't mean that someone is evil or a member of the Klan. 

 

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1 hour ago, Plum said:

It would be a nightmare of a line and exclude people with transportation problems, but you could get your ballot at the post office. There could be other official places to pick it up. Show ID to prove you live at that address and get your mail-in ballot. Or make it an opt-in like absentee ballots. 

My sister received 4 mail-in ballots from the family that lived in her house before her. That doesn't work. 

Our state has default voting by mail. It's so easy. We've only received our own ballots. We've lived in this house for 6 years and still receive mail for several people who used to live at this address but we never got their ballots. 

About 80% of the voters here vote by mail. I find it so much easier to participate in local elections. 

 

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16 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

We have 100% mail in voting here, a GOP Secretary of State and no issues with fraud.  I have no clue why they don’t just go to mail in everywhere.  Standing in line to vote sounds like a stupid joke to someone who has always enjoyed a mail-in ballot. I vote at my kitchen table.  I have always voted by mail.  It’s great. Everyone should join us- you’ll never have to worry about who allowed to do what and when near a polling place ever again.  The idea of standing in line to vote long enough that I need a sandwich and hydration makes me angry TBH.  It’s 2021.  Polling lines are only a problem if we accept the absurdity that there’s no secure way to vote except cueing up to vote in a high school gymnasium or church basement.  Again, the year is 2021.  We can do better.  

I’ve been a permanent mail in voter for years, but I always take my ballot to a polling place.  I like that combination because I can vote anywhere, not just (or very much most easily) at the polling place I am assigned to, which changes every single year, annoyingly.  This also avoids the requirement to mail them back early enough to arrive by Election Day, which bothers me as there is often some late information that effects my decision making, particularly for propositions here in CA.

I think what people were suspicious of is the states that suddenly decided to mail out ballots to every voter and extended the return date beyond voting day.  And there are in fact some problems with that.  Although I dislike the ‘return by election day’ requirement, I think that it is important.  The system falters a great deal when there is uncertainty for weeks on end, and having an actual Election Day requirement is helpful in minimizing that, although it does not eliminate it completely in close/contested races.  And sending ballots by mail to people who have not requested them is a recipe for weird stuff happening—people not being able to figure out how to vote, people not really understanding that they have the actual ballot rather than a sample in hand, or people still figuring they should be able to find a polling place and vote on Election Day, which may or may not be true.  

The states that have transitioned to voting by mail entirely had to do some educating before getting there.  That’s wise and prudent.

I think that the bulk of votes should be counted with live observers present and all at once.  That is one of the reasons our system is more or less trusted.  If we are going to move toward mail in ballots, there has to be pre-implementation education, some kind of chain of custody control that is widely understood, and a rapid counting system with observers, to ensure the legitimacy of the results in people’s minds.

 

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1 minute ago, Carol in Cal. said:

 That is one of the reasons our system is more or less trusted.

I think the reason our system is more or less trusted is that until recently, it was important to everyone that it be trusted. People don't trust things for "reasons." People trust things because it's part of their culture. 

I'm worried about what happens now that this isn't something there is bipartisan agreement on, I have to say. 

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7 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Yes, it varies widely but it's not true to claim that they are nothing like each other. 

There are plenty of examples of racism in California. 

California's history of anti-Blackness hides beneath its progressive education

California Once Tried to Ban Black People

I don't understand the fear of acknowledging our racial prejudice. That's what Kendi is getting at. We're either racist or anti-racist. Anti-racist being that we acknowledge our racism and try to overcome it. It doesn't mean that someone is evil or a member of the Klan. 

 

There are more recent examples actually.  There were sunset laws in a neighboring town up through the mid 1900s.  There was fairly active police driven de facto segregation in the East Bay Area pretty late in the 1900s, maybe in the 1970s or so—see for reference “Not A Genuine Black Man”, an excellent read and an even better one person play if you ever have a chance to see it.

Still, CA is where at least two of the Little Rock Nine fled to in fear for their lives, and the palpable relief of not having to worry about physical torture/death was noteworthy in the memoirs of one of them.

Also, Kendi goes far further than what you say above, and that is why I don’t like the adulation that his work commonly receives in corporate and educational settings.  He calls anything that reduces the effects of prior systematic racism anti-racist, and anyone who opposes anything like that as racist.  That means that the only lens to look through in decision making should be whether it reduces the effects of prior racism—not morals, not law, not anything else.  One lens to rule them all.  And that means that he broadly defines as racist anyone who objects to anything that could be construed as intended to reduce racially differentiated outcomes.  That’s counterproductive at best, and immoral at worse.  It goes far beyond ‘acknowledging our racism and trying to overcome it’.

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12 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I’ve been a permanent mail in voter for years, but I always take my ballot to a polling place.  I like that combination because I can vote anywhere, not just (or very much most easily) at the polling place I am assigned to, which changes every single year, annoyingly.  This also avoids the requirement to mail them back early enough to arrive by Election Day, which bothers me as there is often some late information that effects my decision making, particularly for propositions here in CA.

I think what people were suspicious of is the states that suddenly decided to mail out ballots to every voter and extended the return date beyond voting day.  And there are in fact some problems with that.  Although I dislike the ‘return by election day’ requirement, I think that it is important.  The system falters a great deal when there is uncertainty for weeks on end, and having an actual Election Day requirement is helpful in minimizing that, although it does not eliminate it completely in close/contested races.  And sending ballots by mail to people who have not requested them is a recipe for weird stuff happening—people not being able to figure out how to vote, people not really understanding that they have the actual ballot rather than a sample in hand, or people still figuring they should be able to find a polling place and vote on Election Day, which may or may not be true.  

The states that have transitioned to voting by mail entirely had to do some educating before getting there.  That’s wise and prudent.

I think that the bulk of votes should be counted with live observers present and all at once.  That is one of the reasons our system is more or less trusted.  If we are going to move toward mail in ballots, there has to be pre-implementation education, some kind of chain of custody control that is widely understood, and a rapid counting system with observers, to ensure the legitimacy of the results in people’s minds.

 

Arizona's results have been questioned from the beginning but we've been voting by mail for years. 

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On 6/11/2021 at 11:57 PM, Ordinary Shoes said:

The presidency is less likely than the rest of it. But even if a democratic president is elected his/her power will be limited by a Republican congress. Look at what's happening in states with Democratic governors. 

And I don't think this is because of core conservatives believing in the "evils" of CRT. It's much more likely based on ordinary moderate people becoming concerned about CRT and the illiberalism of the Left. 

Yeah, but what if they can't vote because their name is stricken from the voter rolls or they don't have an ID or whatever? 

And even if they do get out and vote, what difference will it make if their votes are gerrymandered away? The majority of votes already go to Democratic congressional and senatorial candidates but the Democrats do not always control congress. 

My and my DH's ballots are being "audited" by a bunch of crazy people looking for bamboo fibers. That doesn't make me feel very confident in the democratic process. Our county went for Biden but there's been relentless attacks on the integrity of the vote since November. 

So would you tell an African American man in 1900 to "get out and vote" and organize to end Jim Crow? That might get him killed. 

And there was more to the Civil Rights movement than non-violence. 

 

How 'Crazy Negroes' With Guns Helped Kill Jim Crow

I quoted just to say, I wish we could hang out 🙂  We could talk about progressive Christianity and all sorts of theological stuff, and this stuff, and whatever else. I really wish I had a local friend like you. Locally, almost all my friends are full on athiest, and I adore them, or hard core Catholic, but none who are really open minded progressive religious. And so, although this time has been hard for you, because I imagine decontructing is always hard, I see you and admire you. And that post reminded me of that again. 

On 6/12/2021 at 6:34 AM, Harpymom said:

construct of White is legally favored by law, health care policy, education practices, policing and voting, commercial banking, real estate and lending, non-profit organization, environmental policies, and every other social scaffold.  To confine teaching about race to history is to miss the entire point.

 

Yes. To ignore this is to promote ignorance. As they say, you can't change things until you know there is a need for change - and if we avoid teaching kids that we do them a terrible disservice. Age appropriate ways, sure, but even young kids can understand the basics. 

This does NOT mean demonizing white people. Nor does it mean making them oppressors. I teach my kids that people tend to want people who are like them around them. So they may naturally favor people of their own race, gender, background, culture, accent, etc. People of ALL backgrounds/races/etc do that. But...when one particular race has held the power to hire people in a company for a long time, that means that by default they hire people "like them". So it is important to come up with ways to control for this, either by having more diverse hiring committees, or actively seeking to diversify with new employees, etc etc. 

And we talk about other priviledges, like having two parents at home, having a mom who can stay home with them, ability to go to the doctor when we want, internet access, etc. 

None of it is about making them out to be the bad guy. 

 

On 6/12/2021 at 11:32 AM, Fritz said:

Paraphrasing from the video, "If you believe in kids and teach them to believe in themselves they will rise to the occasion and succeed." IMO, that's the secret sauce no matter gender, race, or sex! This starts at home with the parents. I realize not every kid gets that from their parents. Having the schools do a better job of this rather than studying the wheel of privileges' or focusing on our perceived differences based on race seems likely to bring about a better outcome for all kids. 

Having kids raised to not know about the systemic issues favoring men, favoring white people, etc is to raise them ignorant of the world they live in. 

On 6/12/2021 at 11:33 AM, Sneezyone said:

 

Maybe so, but there’s no question in my mind that the intersection of wealth is a major issue in some of these communities. The assignments being highlighted aren’t even all about race. Plum posted one that didn’t even mention race at all. It’s as if the very notion of introspection is taboo. That’s ridiculous on it’s face.

True! 

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2 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

. . . I think what people were suspicious of is the states that suddenly decided to mail out ballots to every voter . . .

 

Did any states actually do that?  I thought those accusations all turned out to be false and the states were mailing a ballot request form to every voter.  

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8 minutes ago, Danae said:

Did any states actually do that?  I thought those accusations all turned out to be false and the states were mailing a ballot request form to every voter.  

This. My state was accused of this and it was a flat out LIE from a certain party. Since townships expected an epidemic request of absentee ballots due to the pandemic, they requested the S.O.S. send ballot applications to each registered voter. Those had to be filled out and signed, then mailed. Only then did the voter receive an actual ballot in the mail.

For the record, Michigan did not mail ballots to every.single.eligible.voter. They sent out applications for absentee ballots. And those were reviewed against voter rolls and required signatures as well. My state approved "no reason" mail in voting by WIDE margins and bipartisan approval long before the presidential election. We have whole areas that get ice and snow, bad ice and snow by November and sometimes roads and weather are hideous when we vote on local issues or for the primaries in March. I would like people to stop and consider what it means to stand outside a building waiting to get in to vote when it is 15 degrees, wind hills below that, snowing and sometimes freezing rain. Infreakingsane to expect it of anyone much less the disabled and elderly!

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7 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

This is a thoughtful article; thanks for sharing. I think there are many people who think examples like the leading one in this story about the “Not my Idea” book are what most schools are doing, and it’s understandable there would be some major issues with that. That doesn’t seem to be  the case though. Those are just the ones that get attention, and they are the ones that should be addressed.  As the article says (but not until a good way into the piece, which means I expect a lot of people miss it because these Atlantic articles are always long):

 “And that influence shows in Evanston, where, starting in the spring of 2019, the District 65 Educators’ Council––the local teachers’ union––proposed to work with administrators to develop a local BLM at School curriculum. By autumn, the school board had approved a week of lessons. The curriculum—which district leaders say aligns with Illinois social-studies standards and guidelines—draws on the materials and guiding principles of the national initiative while also adding texts such as Not My Idea, which doesn’t appear on the national BLM at School’s current list of recommended books.” (Bolding mine)

 

6 hours ago, Plum said:

I put medical records in there because it seems like a no-brainer, right?

Dr. David Reich, Professor from Harvard and Mt. Sinai says there's no race gene. Race doesn't exist. Any differences come from lifestyle and circumstance which of course caused a bunch of other scientists to disagree and post a public letter. 

https://scijust.ucsc.edu/2019/05/30/developing-debate-on-race-and-genomics/

I'm a little confused. With covid we saw the differences between race. Was that all purely mistrust of medicine, lack of access, lifestyle and circumstance? 

 

There are certainly medical issues that affect certain groups disproportionately due to genetics. Which is different than saying there is a race gene. There are genes that are more prevalent in certain ethnic groups. Sickle cell anemia, for example. I don't think we can say yet how much of the difference with Covid is due to circumstances and how much is genetics. It would be interesting to see how the outcomes for minorities differ depending on their living situations, and if their outcomes were more similar to other people of their race, or of other people living in the same areas in equivalent living circumstances.

4 hours ago, Plum said:

You don't see how someone who is a Critical Race Theorist and teaches CRT at Boston U could have any influence on the CRT framework in K-12? It says right in the quote that he has an influential opinion. His book has already been linked in this thread. 

As mentioned in several links, including this particularly helpful one Sneezyone posted Accusations about teaching ‘critical race theory’ in Connecticut often lack evidence, used as a vehicle for broader attacks on equity and inclusion, K-12 schools aren’t actually trying to implement CRT. 
 

Quote

 

But many of those arguments, educators say, are long on hyperbole and short on facts. School superintendents under attack in the state say that critical race theory is not a part of their curricula — and that their critics fundamentally misunderstand their efforts to create inclusive educational environments and teach students to approach history with nuance.

“At a national level now, people are making broad assumptions and making allegations that any discussion of race, or equity, or social justice among students or in a school system means that students are being sorted, or judged, or shamed based on their race or ethnicity,” said Guilford Superintendent Paul Freeman.

 

 

 

3 hours ago, Plum said:

It would be a nightmare of a line and exclude people with transportation problems, but you could get your ballot at the post office. There could be other official places to pick it up. Show ID to prove you live at that address and get your mail-in ballot. Or make it an opt-in like absentee ballots. 

My sister received 4 mail-in ballots from the family that lived in her house before her. That doesn't work. 

There would be little point in that. Time and again, mail-in ballots have been shown to have a very low incidence of any kind of fraud, and they allow more people to be able to exercise their right to vote, especially people that are disenfranchised by the current voting process. Your sister would not have been able to use the ballots that arrived. Every ballot is checked against the signature on file, and everyone only gets one vote. My husband and I have each had a ballot where our signature didn't match and we were contacted to resolve. For both of us, our signature had drifted since we first registered. Our signatures are now updated. I've been on a tour of a local mail in ballot counting facility, and my faith in the system was bolstered even further by seeing how it's done. It's an excellent system that works well and ensures people aren't disenfranchised.

 

1 hour ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Although I dislike the ‘return by election day’ requirement, I think that it is important.  The system falters a great deal when there is uncertainty for weeks on end, and having an actual Election Day requirement is helpful in minimizing that, although it does not eliminate it completely in close/contested races.  And sending ballots by mail to people who have not requested them is a recipe for weird stuff happening—people not being able to figure out how to vote, people not really understanding that they have the actual ballot rather than a sample in hand, or people still figuring they should be able to find a polling place and vote on Election Day, which may or may not be true.  

The states that have transitioned to voting by mail entirely had to do some educating before getting there.  That’s wise and prudent.

I think that the bulk of votes should be counted with live observers present and all at once.  That is one of the reasons our system is more or less trusted.  If we are going to move toward mail in ballots, there has to be pre-implementation education, some kind of chain of custody control that is widely understood, and a rapid counting system with observers, to ensure the legitimacy of the results in people’s minds.

 

I don't think return by election day is necessary. It's only in modern times that we have come to expect such rapid turn around of voting results. It's not built into our system. In fact, our system is built with lots of time in between voting and certification and inauguration to give time for these things. As far as needing it "to ensure the legitimacy of the results in people’s minds," the only thing that called into question the legitimacy of the results was people insisting the results were not going to be legitimate starting months before an election even happened, for the express purpose of sowing doubts. Terribly damaging to our democracy.

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3 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

But sometimes "privilege" just means something like "white skin," and you wouldn't really want to describe a lack of this as an injustice or a disadvantage. 

I personally don't think there was any way to describe this concept to not make people bristle. People get defensive and angry when you imply they don't deserve their good fortune. Thus it is now, thus it always has been. 

But is having white skin a privilege?  Being discriminated against for having a different color skin would be an injustice.  I don't think my kids who take after my side of the family have a "privilege" over my daughter who takes after the other side of the family for having lighter skin.  Frankly, my pale daughter envies her sister's lovely brown tan, and not having to be so careful about sunburns.  My one daughter may someday encounter injustice over this in her life.  But does that mean that my pale, freckled kids are privileged?

I think of not being discriminated against as a right, not a privilege.  

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3 minutes ago, Condessa said:

But is having white skin a privilege?  Being discriminated against for having a different color skin would be an injustice.  I don't think my kids who take after my side of the family have a "privilege" over my daughter who takes after the other side of the family for having lighter skin.  Frankly, my pale daughter envies her sister's lovely brown tan, and not having to be so careful about sunburns.  My one daughter may someday encounter injustice over this in her life.  But does that mean that my pale, freckled kids are privileged?

You're going to have to define a "privilege" for me before I can answer your question. Also, you're going to have to define "white skin." 

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16 minutes ago, Condessa said:

But is having white skin a privilege?  Being discriminated against for having a different color skin would be an injustice.  I don't think my kids who take after my side of the family have a "privilege" over my daughter who takes after the other side of the family for having lighter skin.  Frankly, my pale daughter envies her sister's lovely brown tan, and not having to be so careful about sunburns.  My one daughter may someday encounter injustice over this in her life.  But does that mean that my pale, freckled kids are privileged?

I think of not being discriminated against as a right, not a privilege.  

If the less melanated and more melanated members of my 1st cousin cohort are asked that question it’s a resounding yes. Our family situations are all similar, genetics, intelligence, location, etc. also, by the way, black people burn in the sun.

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1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

The idea that some teachers teach this badly so we shouldn't do it seems odd to me. Some teacher teach math badly...but that doesn't mean we shouldn't teach math in school. 

I think it is an inappropriate way for framing U.S. history, especially for younger kids, so it is inevitable that it will be taught “badly.”

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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

You're going to have to define a "privilege" for me before I can answer your question. Also, you're going to have to define "white skin." 

Privilege: a special favor, honor, or right granted to a person or persons

I just used the term "white skin" to echo your wording in your prior post.  I assumed you meant having a complexion that people see and assume you to be white.

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3 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

If the less melanated and more melanated members of my 1st cousin cohort that question it’s a resounding, yes. Our family situations are all similar, genetics, intelligence, location, etc. also, by the way, black people also burn.

I know they do.  Just in my family personally, though, my paler kids burn way faster and worse than my daughter with a more hispanic complexion.

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3 minutes ago, Condessa said:

I know they do.  Just in my family personally, though, my paler kids burn way faster and worse than my daughter with a more hispanic complexion.

I walked around NYC with my kids and SIL last month and peeled for a solid week afterward. It’s just one of those trite things people say, like black peoples have higher pain tolerances, that is patently false. Tribes in sub Saharan Africa coat their skin in oils and mineral pigments to prevent sun damage.

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3 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

I walked around NYC with my kids and SIL last month and peeled for a solid week afterward. It’s just one of those trite things people say, like black peoples have higher pain tolerances, that is patently false.

Ouch!  

I recall once when I was a daycare teacher before I had kids, my coteacher wanted to skip sunscreening the little black girl in my class before going out for recess because she "didn't need it".  Idiot.

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2 hours ago, ktgrok said:

The idea that some teachers teach this badly so we shouldn't do it seems odd to me. Some teacher teach math badly...but that doesn't mean we shouldn't teach math in school. 

I have the same views about the idea of teaching the Bible as literature. There are too many ways for that to go wrong in a public elementary or middle school for me to want it to be done.  I feel like chances are it will do little good and possibly a fair amount of harm.

Lots of things are like that.  This current issue just happens to be about a fairly taboo subject which makes it harder to discuss.

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2 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

I walked around NYC with my kids and SIL last month and peeled for a solid week afterward. It’s just one of those trite things people say, like black peoples have higher pain tolerances, that is patently false. Tribes in sub Saharan Africa coat their skin in oils and mineral pigments to prevent sun damage.

Pro tip (not directly for you, S1 but in general), As a redhead who can burn pretty fast at sea level but likes to hike at 5000-8000 feet where the sun is much stronger, if you forget your sunscreen you can smear mud onto exposed skin and it works pretty well.  I did this on my feet once, when I decided to wear water sandals instead of trail runners but did not have any sunscreen for my feet, and even that previously very unexposed skin pointing straight at the sky did not burn.  

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49 minutes ago, Condessa said:

But is having white skin a privilege?  Being discriminated against for having a different color skin would be an injustice.  I don't think my kids who take after my side of the family have a "privilege" over my daughter who takes after the other side of the family for having lighter skin.  Frankly, my pale daughter envies her sister's lovely brown tan, and not having to be so careful about sunburns.  My one daughter may someday encounter injustice over this in her life.  But does that mean that my pale, freckled kids are privileged?

I think of not being discriminated against as a right, not a privilege.  

I have olive skin even though I'm not Hispanic. My 23 and Me results show I'm 99% European and about 80% British. But somehow I have very dark eyes and olive skin. 

I don't need to worry about sunburn although I do burn. But I've struggled with hyperpigmentation. 

I can't count the number of times I've been asked about my ethnicity. Everyone likes to speculate about my ethnicity. 

When I was in the 4th grade, a little boy called me the n word because of my skin. I was much darker in those days because I was outside all of the time. 

I'm completely white but the message that I picked up all of my life was that it was *better* to be light-skinned. 

My brother and sisters are all paled skinned with freckles (genetics are weird). We look so much alike except for a different coloring and people speculated that we weren't related. People rarely see past skin color. 

So yes, I would say that my pale, freckled siblings have a privilege that I didn't have. 

 

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2 hours ago, ktgrok said:

The idea that some teachers teach this badly so we shouldn't do it seems odd to me. Some teacher teach math badly...but that doesn't mean we shouldn't teach math in school. 

It does mean, however, that when parents and teachers in individual schools complain about what their children are being very poorly taught eg the 'whiteness is a contract with the devil' picture book for Kindy students, schools stop, listen, and do a hell of a lot better. 

I mean, c'mon, what made a school think that was a good idea? 

Schools could almost completely calm the situation by meeting with parents, and showing them the (non-devil) curriculum they are using that doesn't do what others are claiming.

They could understand that maybe it's not such a great move having "passionate" teachers improvise outside the curriculum. 

And they could allow opt-out for activities that involve students of any age having to declare and rank identities. 

But you know, if schools are gonna close ranks, and treat Asian mothers (OPs article) as demonstrating malign Whiteness and shut them out...expect to see the situation escalate, not de-escalate. 

Parents do retain a right to know what their children are being taught. Imagine your kid has a science teacher who trashes evolution as heathen nonsense - you want to know that, right? It's not so good when the off-curriculum 'teaching' is stuff you don't agree with.

I've asked to see the curriculum before.It was sex ed, and I wanted to check that DD was correct it did not teach safe sex for same sex couples. She was right. So I went and talked to the school, and because they didn't treat parents like the enemy, they listened and agreed to remedy the curriculum by the next year, which didn't help us but did help the students coming after her.

 I honestly meant to think that this recourse is ok for me, because I was on the 'right' side of the issue, but not for people who are on the 'wrong' side?

 

 

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Whiteness is an advantage in an historically white racist society. Blackness, a disadvantage. 

My advantage is experienced mostly as an absence - things don't happen to me because of my skin. For example, not getting followed in shops. 

Advantages don't always manifest materially in terms of power and resources (though they can). For example, theoretically, in a sexist society, all males are advantaged. For example, they can generally rely on the fact that medication has been trialled on others of their sex. 

However, when I walk past a homeless guy on the street, it is clear that his male advantage hasn't caused a corresponding leap in his power and resources over me, a woman with a bed to sleep in. 

That's because of his disadvantages intersecting with his male advantage. Functionally, he is not experiencing privilege as we would understand it. 

The same occurs in the classroom. No-one is a single set of advantages or disadvantages. Identities cannot be 'ranked'. That wealthy white girl with an eating disorder? Does she functionally have power when she's back in hospital being tube fed against her will? Of course not. And that's why skilful practitioners matter in the classroom. 

If you've taught in such a way that your biracial student is suing you, well, you weren't very skilful, were you? 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I have olive skin even though I'm not Hispanic. My 23 and Me results show I'm 99% European and about 80% British. But somehow I have very dark eyes and olive skin. 

I don't need to worry about sunburn although I do burn. But I've struggled with hyperpigmentation. 

I can't count the number of times I've been asked about my ethnicity. Everyone likes to speculate about my ethnicity. 

When I was in the 4th grade, a little boy called me the n word because of my skin. I was much darker in those days because I was outside all of the time. 

I'm completely white but the message that I picked up all of my life was that it was *better* to be light-skinned. 

My brother and sisters are all paled skinned with freckles (genetics are weird). We look so much alike except for a different coloring and people speculated that we weren't related. People rarely see past skin color. 

So yes, I would say that my pale, freckled siblings have a privilege that I didn't have. 

 

This. My best friend growing up was white of European ancestry, but had the same coloring as you describe, and she was ridiculed often. When we were in third grade she told me how lucky I was to be so white, and how she was sad to know she was a bad person because of her skin because she didn't feel like a bad person.

I am sick of people arguing over stupid semantics and getting their feathers ruffled every time there is a discussion about it.

As for school, if I made a list of every subject that should never be taught because some teachers somewhere do it badly, there would be no math, no science, no English, no reading, no music, no art, no foreign language, no history, no geography, no nothing. No school. This is an excuse to not even try, and that is wrong on every level.

Even if CRT turned out to be radical, liberal, leftist, whatever the insult du jour is, so what. Maybe radical is what we need. Maybe progressive and liberal and leftist is going to be the push we need as a society to get over our fragile feelings and take serious aim at the problem instead of kicking the can another generation down the road. And I am not convinced it is any of those things either, I just think that a certain block of politicians and journalists get a lot of mileage making hay out of riling the electorate up about it.

 

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7 hours ago, HeartString said:

I wonder if benefits would feel better than privilege, since privilege has been weaponized.  I benefit in our society from my white skin and middle class income.  I benefited from my parents and grandparents choosing to stay married.  I’m bestowing that benefit on my children. I benefited from a good education, which was a benefit of my parents education and income.  
 

Not everyone has the same benefits.  Some have more, some have less.  

I think one problem is that some people squish their socio-economic advantage with their racial advantage and call it all Whiteness. 

Way back, LucyStoner shared a link about how as progressive whites learn about White privilege, they simultaneously harden their attitudes against poor or otherwise disadvantaged whites....I've heard that attitude here on the board. "You got a head start, only yourself to blame if you didn't win.'

Part of my issue with privilege discourse is that it isn't intersectional enough! It elides class. It skims over disability, particularly addiction and mental illness. It frequently ignores sex. It plays an unskilful game of Top Trumps. 

 

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6 hours ago, Fritz said:

The big difference I see here is this, the speakers on college campuses and the posts on social media are optional. You can choose to attend or follow those events/posts. Teachers and curriculums are not optional.

Those students, professors and outsiders that show up at these on campus events to protest speakers in an effort (usually successfully) to shut down free speech have the option to just not attend the event. Students in classrooms that are presented with a curriculum can not opt out. As we have seen in some of these cases the curriculum is being hidden from parents. That in particular raises red flags for me.

I'd agree with this. 

Curriculum should not be hidden from parents. 

100% blame on schools that do this.

Education works best as a three way partnership - students, teachers, parents. Start cutting parents out of the loop, you'll get problems. 

Schools have the power to de-escalate 99% of these parent outcries. 

I mean, seriously, call a meeting. Lay out all the resources you're going to be using. Have copies of the curriculum to read. Let parents browse the materials.  Talk about how those materials will be implemented in the classroom. Have a Q and A where parents can ask clarifying questions. Conclude with the reminder that your doors are always open should parents have further concerns. 

If you back your curriculum and teaching staff as pedagogically sound, the above should be zero problem for you. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I'd agree with this. 

Curriculum should not be hidden from parents. 

100% blame on schools that do this.

Education works best as a three way partnership - students, teachers, parents. Start cutting parents out of the loop, you'll get problems. 

Schools have the power to de-escalate 99% of these parent outcries. 

I mean, seriously, call a meeting. Lay out all the resources you're going to be using. Have copies of the curriculum to read. Let parents browse the materials.  Talk about how those materials will be implemented in the classroom. Have a Q and A where parents can ask clarifying questions. Conclude with the reminder that your doors are always open should parents have further concerns. 

If you back your curriculum and teaching staff as pedagogically sound, the above should be zero problem for you. 

 

That might work *if* one particular news network didn’t pick it up as an issue and run with it to juice ratings.  You might leave a meeting such as you described feeling ok about the whole thing, but how many hours of “news” do you think it would take to turn that? 

It also ignore the fact that there are out and proud racist still around who would NEVER be ok with this, no matter how well thought out.  I grew up in the south, these people are real, they aren’t shy and they aren’t as rare as some might think.  

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4 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I'd agree with this. 

Curriculum should not be hidden from parents. 

100% blame on schools that do this.

Education works best as a three way partnership - students, teachers, parents. Start cutting parents out of the loop, you'll get problems. 

Schools have the power to de-escalate 99% of these parent outcries. 

I mean, seriously, call a meeting. Lay out all the resources you're going to be using. Have copies of the curriculum to read. Let parents browse the materials.  Talk about how those materials will be implemented in the classroom. Have a Q and A where parents can ask clarifying questions. Conclude with the reminder that your doors are always open should parents have further concerns. 

If you back your curriculum and teaching staff as pedagogically sound, the above should be zero problem for you. 

 

 

My concern with the parent who was suing the school in NV is that the school is a charter school with "Democracy" in the name. That implies a focus on history and civics that the students would not have at a neighborhood zoned high school. If it is like the charters here, that senior year sociology class was likely listed as part of the plan of study and was bragged about precisely because it was not the typical curriculum. It's kind of like enrolling in a math/science charter and complaining that Calculus is too hard and they expect your kid to do math in Chemistry and that's not fair! Charter schools are generally MORE transparent than zoned schools, not less. 

 

Now, was it done right? Maybe not. Probably not, if the statements in the reports are at all accurate.

 

But if I enrolled my kid in a school with a name like Democracy Prep,the idea that they would discuss that freedom and democracy isn't the same under historic or current conditions for all groups  equally would be a feature, not a bug, even if it makes my child a bit uncomfortable because they are in a place of percieved privilege in that day's discussion.

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6 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

 

 

My concern with the parent who was suing the school in NV is that the school is a charter school with "Democracy" in the name. That implies a focus on history and civics that the students would not have at a neighborhood zoned high school. If it is like the charters here, that senior year sociology class was likely listed as part of the plan of study and was bragged about precisely because it was not the typical curriculum. It's kind of like enrolling in a math/science charter and complaining that Calculus is too hard and they expect your kid to do math in Chemistry and that's not fair! Charter schools are generally MORE transparent than zoned schools, not less. 

 

Now, was it done right? Maybe not. Probably not, if the statements in the reports are at all accurate.

 

But if I enrolled my kid in a school with a name like Democracy Prep,the idea that they would discuss that freedom and democracy isn't the same under historic or current conditions for all groups  equally would be a feature, not a bug, even if it makes my child a bit uncomfortable because they are in a place of percieved privilege in that day's discussion.

I'd expect that my biracial kids would not be caused harm or distress in the teaching of freedom and democracy. 

I don't think that's unreasonable. 

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9 minutes ago, HeartString said:

That might work *if* one particular news network didn’t pick it up as an issue and run with it to juice ratings.  You might leave a meeting such as you described feeling ok about the whole thing, but how many hours of “news” do you think it would take to turn that? 

It also ignore the fact that there are out and proud racist still around who would NEVER be ok with this, no matter how well thought out.  I grew up in the south, these people are real, they aren’t shy and they aren’t as rare as some might think.  

Ok, so what's the alternative? Shut out parents, allow teachers to continue to 'improvise', use crappy, simplistic resources...and just shrug? Because Fox? 

Double down on devil talk? Damn the unintended outcomes of prmoting an essentialized White racial identity? 

I'm out. I just wish the US wasn't so culturally hegemonic that these ideas get imported here wholesale. 

 

 

 

 

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re Cancel Culture Collides with CRT, Unintended Consequences Ensue

6 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

I do think there will be some serious unintended consequences from these laws tho. The way the laws are written, the state may even be challenged on the existence of Columbus Day and Lee-Jackson day. Teaching about these holidays and individuals would cause discomfort. Can you even discuss the civil war without making children feel bad that their ancestors enslaved/were enslaved by others? Maybe but brace yourself for complaints and efforts to excise that whole shameful time period from history courses.

 

Here is the text of the Florida Board of Education ban.  Its second full paragraph reads:

Quote

(b) Instruction on the required topics must be factual and objective, and may not suppress or distort significant historical events, such as the Holocaust, and may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.

What could possibly go wrong?

 

Last night I considered passing along here some of the highlights from this thread and at the time thought better of it.  And somehow now, something is moving me to do so...

 

 

And the comments...   😂

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

re Cancel Culture Collides with CRT, Unintended Consequences Ensue

 

Here is the text of the Florida Board of Education ban.  Its second full paragraph reads:

What could possibly go wrong?

 

Last night I considered passing along here some of the highlights from this thread and at the time thought better of it.  And somehow now, something is moving me to do so...

 

 

And the comments...   😂

 

 

 

Perverse but genius! Also, agreed on the plain text of the FL law. It’s plainly designed to erase large swaths of American history. DD has FSU and FAMU on her list. We’re supposed to visit next week. I have questions.

Edited by Sneezyone
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2 hours ago, Condessa said:

But is having white skin a privilege?  Being discriminated against for having a different color skin would be an injustice.  I don't think my kids who take after my side of the family have a "privilege" over my daughter who takes after the other side of the family for having lighter skin.

I think of not being discriminated against as a right, not a privilege.  

 

1 hour ago, Condessa said:

Privilege: a special favor, honor, or right granted to a person or persons

I think two meanings of the word "privilege" are being conflated. There's the definition you gave, that means getting something extra or a special favor, but there's the other meaning that means something more akin to an advantage or a benefit. It doesn't mean that it's an extra that everyone shouldn't enjoy the same benefits of, like a child's reward for showing a certain level of responsibility, it just means it confers some advantage to the person holding it (an advantage that can, as Melissa has been saying, be cancelled out or mediated by some other disadvantage). So, a child coming from an intact family isn't an extra reward, but it does most often confer an advantage that a child from a non-intact family doesn't have. To your final sentence, not being discriminated against is a right, but it's one that in our society, people with white skin are more likely to have the advantage of that right being granted and respected.

1 hour ago, pinball said:

I think it is an inappropriate way for framing U.S. history, especially for younger kids, so it is inevitable that it will be taught “badly.”

But what's the alternative? I'm not talking about CRT specifically, but about including discussions of race and systemic racism when talking about US history. I can't see a way to teach history without inadvertently (or purposely) applying some kind of lens as regards race. To leave out discussions of systemic racism is to apply a lens that centers "Whiteness" as the default in our history. I'm not advocating things like that "Not My Idea" book mentioned in The Atlantic article--I think that was a terrible choice--or having kids labeled individually, but I don't see leaving out race as a neutral decision, either.

1 hour ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I have the same views about the idea of teaching the Bible as literature. There are too many ways for that to go wrong in a public elementary or middle school for me to want it to be done.  I feel like chances are it will do little good and possibly a fair amount of harm.

Lots of things are like that.  This current issue just happens to be about a fairly taboo subject which makes it harder to discuss.

But like I was asking pinball, how do you propose to teach history while not having discussions of racism?

1 hour ago, Melissa Louise said:

It does mean, however, that when parents and teachers in individual schools complain about what their children are being very poorly taught eg the 'whiteness is a contract with the devil' picture book for Kindy students, schools stop, listen, and do a hell of a lot better. 

I mean, c'mon, what made a school think that was a good idea? 

Schools could almost completely calm the situation by meeting with parents, and showing them the (non-devil) curriculum they are using that doesn't do what others are claiming.

They could understand that maybe it's not such a great move having "passionate" teachers improvise outside the curriculum. 

And they could allow opt-out for activities that involve students of any age having to declare and rank identities. 

But you know, if schools are gonna close ranks, and treat Asian mothers (OPs article) as demonstrating malign Whiteness and shut them out...expect to see the situation escalate, not de-escalate. 

Parents do retain a right to know what their children are being taught. Imagine your kid has a science teacher who trashes evolution as heathen nonsense - you want to know that, right? It's not so good when the off-curriculum 'teaching' is stuff you don't agree with.

I've asked to see the curriculum before.It was sex ed, and I wanted to check that DD was correct it did not teach safe sex for same sex couples. She was right. So I went and talked to the school, and because they didn't treat parents like the enemy, they listened and agreed to remedy the curriculum by the next year, which didn't help us but did help the students coming after her.

 I honestly meant to think that this recourse is ok for me, because I was on the 'right' side of the issue, but not for people who are on the 'wrong' side?

I don't know who thought that was a good idea. I hope most people here can agree that was not a good choice (but expect there are some that don't). However, I still maintain that in the US right now, most of the people upset about this aren't just upset about these poor applications, they are upset about the whole idea of a more complete history being taught, with racial injustices being a part of it. A large number of them hold strong to the "talking about race is racist" idea, and these examples of terrible application are just being used as political pawns. For parents in any school district where these things are actually happening, absolutely they should be able to do as you say above.

23 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I'd agree with this. 

Curriculum should not be hidden from parents. 

100% blame on schools that do this.

Education works best as a three way partnership - students, teachers, parents. Start cutting parents out of the loop, you'll get problems. 

Schools have the power to de-escalate 99% of these parent outcries. 

I mean, seriously, call a meeting. Lay out all the resources you're going to be using. Have copies of the curriculum to read. Let parents browse the materials.  Talk about how those materials will be implemented in the classroom. Have a Q and A where parents can ask clarifying questions. Conclude with the reminder that your doors are always open should parents have further concerns. 

If you back your curriculum and teaching staff as pedagogically sound, the above should be zero problem for you. 

 

In all the school districts around me, they actually do this. They have curriculum nights, and parents can come and look at all the curriculum that will be used. I don't know how responsive schools are to calls for change though, not having used the public schools. I do know when I followed the elementary math adoption process closely, I thought it was a mess and largely the blind leading the blind. Very frustrating.

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Our local district has an open house (well they tried to do something virtual for the pandemic) at the beginning of the year, and all of the curriculum is out and teachers and administrators are available to ask questions. A handful of parents come. That is it. And these are never the parents that end up raising cain later. 

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19 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I'd expect that my biracial kids would not be caused harm or distress in the teaching of freedom and democracy. 

I don't think that's unreasonable. 

This is from the school’s public facing website. I think it was very likely that a light skinned child who chose to attend would potentially feel disconcerted by some of the discussions, and needed to be emotionally prepared for it. And this isn’t what parents were given at back to school night, individual teacher websites specific to the class, or curriculum night, which will tend to be more detailed. Again, charter schools, in the US, are schools the student and family have to apply to attend. They tend to really, really, push the benefits of that particular school and specific differences in curriculum so they can differentiate themselves from the regular zoned public school that would be the default. 

Quote

BlackLivesMatter

The Democracy Prep community stands in solidarity with all social justice movements. We stand–unabashedly against racial profiling, police brutality, and any other form of racialized disparity in the criminal justice system. We will continue to engage in these painful but necessary conversations about structural inequity, community empowerment, and racial identity to prepare our scholars to be the next generation of changemakers.  Please visit the black lives matter civics page to view resources and actions steps that can help make a difference.

https://democracyprep.org/programs/civics/
 

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20 minutes ago, KSera said:

 

 

But like I was asking pinball, how do you propose to teach history while not having discussions of racism?

 

I did not propose this.

What I did was say that the argument that a particular way of approaching teaching about an issue is inevitably going to cause more problems than it fixes is a reasonable one to think through when anything new is being added to curricula.

Unlike a lot of people here, I actually did homeschool, and I absolutely taught history in such a way as to include discussion of racism.  It doesn’t have to be done badly to be done.  Rather it has to be done truthfully.

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3 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

This is from the school’s public facing website. I think it was very likely that a light skinned child who chose to attend would potentially feel disconcerted by some of the discussions, and needed to be emotionally prepared for it. And this isn’t what parents were given at back to school night, individual teacher websites specific to the class, or curriculum night, which will tend to be more detailed. Again, charter schools, in the US, are schools the student and family have to apply to attend. They tend to really, really, push the benefits of that particular school and specific differences in curriculum so they can differentiate themselves from the regular zoned public school that would be the default. 

https://democracyprep.org/programs/civics/
 

All that tells me is that I can see why a Black mother chose it. Presumably, she thought it would be a better environment for her biracial son. 

If schools feel it's important to 'disconcert' their biracial students, I don't know what to say about that, except I'm glad I homeschooled. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

All that tells me is that I can see why a Black mother chose it. Presumably, she thought it would be a better environment for her biracial son. 

If schools feel it's important to 'disconcert' their biracial students, I don't know what to say about that, except I'm glad I homeschooled. 

 

In a classroom discussion, you’re  likely to hear disconcerting things from teachers but, even more likely, from your fellow students. I know I did. But, you’re right. The point of these bans is to prevent any discomfort whatsoever and, in that vein, all discussion should be halted. Someone may accidentally, on purpose, curse too.

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Just now, Sneezyone said:

In a classroom discussion, you’re  likely to hear disconcerting things from teachers but, even more likely, from your fellow students. I know I did.

I hope none of my students hear things from me that cause them to be 'disconcerted' aka distressed.

Distress is an emotional state inimical to learning. 

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9 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

 

Unlike a lot of people here, I actually did homeschool, and I absolutely taught history in such a way as to include discussion of racism.  It doesn’t have to be done badly to be done.  Rather it has to be done truthfully.

I homeschool and feel like I did a decent job at history, but I’m pretty sure the part where I sent the little brother to “discover” and lay claim to the bedroom of my kid that was studying Columbus wouldn’t be allowed. Trying to imperfectly demonstrate the injustice of laying claim to land that already had people on it would not be allowed under the FL law described up thread.   

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9 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I hope none of my students hear things from me that cause them to be 'disconcerted' aka distressed.

Distress is an emotional state inimical to learning. 

And yet, it’s also completely human and common and impossible to eliminate/eradicate.

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12 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I hope none of my students hear things from me that cause them to be 'disconcerted' aka distressed.

Distress is an emotional state inimical to learning. 

How on earth does one learn about wars, the Holocaust, etc without being distressed in some way? They are distressing. So is racism. 

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Just now, Sneezyone said:

And yet, it’s also completely human and common and impossible to eliminate.

Possible not to deliberately go about inculcating it in the classroom. I mean, I could let my pro biracial, anti male bias fly in the classroom too, and call reactions 'mono-racial male fragility', but I don't do that because I'm not a d*ck, and every one of my students deserves to be treated as an individual. 

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11 minutes ago, HeartString said:

I homeschool and feel like I did a decent job at history, but I’m pretty sure the part where I sent the little brother to “discover” and lay claim to the bedroom of my kid that was studying Columbus wouldn’t be allowed. Trying to imperfectly demonstrate the injustice of laying claim to land that already had people on it would not be allowed under the FL law described up thread.   

Imagine how much more fun it would have been if little brother had worn a blindfold and been directionless. 😂

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2 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Possible not to deliberately go about inculcating it in the classroom. I mean, I could let my pro biracial, anti male bias fly in the classroom too, and call reactions 'mono-racial male fragility', but I don't do that because I'm not a d*ck, and every one of my students deserves to be treated as an individual. 

Who says all of these things are deliberate causes of distress tho. I think the vast majority of teachers have the best of intentions. I’m sure the teachers I had when we discussed Twain thought they were 100% neutral and kind. I still felt EXTREME distress and hate the author to this day. As I said upthread, the one highlight for me is that he, too, is now canceled. It brings me joy.

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1 minute ago, ktgrok said:

 

How on earth does one learn about wars, the Holocaust, etc without being distressed in some way? They are distressing. So is racism. 

Firstly, we introduce distressing CONTENT in an age appropriate way.

Secondly, we don't personalise that content by assigning agency and responsibility for those distressing topics to the students sitting in front of us, via a focus on their identity. 

 

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