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


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8 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

This is kinda where I'm just bamboozled by my own side of politics. I'm behind protests re speech. 100%. Even if I disagree with what or how something is being said. But progressive activists - the same ppl have spent the last decade joyfully banning feminists from platforms if they don't toe the line re sex work and gender. Trying to get libraries (!!!) to ban books. 

It's one rule for me, another for thee, and it's incredibly off-putting. 

Teachers should be able to teach a full and accurate curriculum, in ways shown to be positive and effective. The bans are purportedly written in such a way as to preclude this. 

I don't think issues with the teaching are best dealt with through bans. 

I would likely back a school district of mine on principle, even if I thought they were absolutely poor practitioners of ethnic studies. 

But jeez, a little solidarity and adherence to principle would go a long way. 

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22 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

This is kinda where I'm just bamboozled by my own side of politics. I'm behind protests re speech. 100%. Even if I disagree with what or how something is being said. But progressive activists - the same ppl have spent the last decade joyfully banning feminists from platforms if they don't toe the line re sex work and gender. Trying to get libraries (!!!) to ban books. 

It's one rule for me, another for thee, and it's incredibly off-putting. 

Teachers should be able to teach a full and accurate curriculum, in ways shown to be positive and effective. The bans are purportedly written in such a way as to preclude this. 

I don't think issues with the teaching are best dealt with through bans. 

I would likely back a school district of mine on principle, even if I thought they were absolutely poor practitioners of ethnic studies. 

But jeez, a little solidarity and adherence to principle would go a long way. 

I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Progressives are not trying to ban books. They’re saying they’re not going to teach them to avoid backlash from people who don’t want diversity topics and inclusive books used in the classroom.

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32 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Progressives are not trying to ban books. They’re saying they’re not going to teach them to avoid backlash from people who don’t want diversity topics and inclusive books used in the classroom.

I was also very confused by the post and actually went back and reread both articles.

In general I’m not sure either the right or the left is great about adhering to basic principles, likely at least in part due to the diversity within each group. But one could also argue some conservatives aren’t sticking to the free speech principles they tout when criticizing removal of college speakers and banning individuals who repeatedly lie or incite hate/violence from some social media platforms. Now some want to implement very broad, very vague bans on teachers and curriculum.

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13 minutes ago, Plum said:

One the one hand, I know I've fallen into the trap of separating out anti-racist/anti-bias training, intersectionality programs and CRT. And I'm also aware that this is has some canned outrage and fear-mongering attached. I've criticized the whole sex-trafficking fear-mongering that happened last year. I get how this works. 

On the other hand, the schools are muddying the waters by taking a day and inserting all of the above training into whatever class they can fit it in. It comes off as a bit subversive you know? When your kid comes home and says they talked about identity and privilege in math or science, as a parent you are left kind of stumped. When it's not a part of the official curriculum and so you can't look it up, what is a parent to think?

It's not like the public school system has never pulled a bait and switch on parents. Parents don't have a lot of trust left in their schools right now after this past year. They just don't. They've been seeing first hand the really terrible job they did with virtual school. I think they are fed up with the whole thing and are hanging on by a thread. 

 

I saw an article the other day about out of Detroit about Black families choosing to homeschool. It was a crazy high % increase from that census bureau survey. Their homeschooling numbers have been increasingly over the years, but this is shocking if it's even a little close to accurate. 

 

So, there was this pandemic that raged in 2020 and a lot of people chose to homeschool during that time, even black people. Detroit is a majority minority district. I have not seen any of what you’re describing in my kids schools. There isn’t an ‘official’, standardized curriculum. There are approved textbooks, approved standards for learning and some practice standards. Beyond that, there’s a TON of flexibility. The same learning objectives can be met with a variety of texts, techniques, forms of output, etc. There’s also a lot of discussion that happens in classrooms organically. 

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On 6/12/2021 at 2:50 PM, HeartString said:

You’ve picked apart every link I provided.  You’ve definitely proven that there are no systems in this country that are even inadvertently racist.  Boy am I relieved. 

I never said (or thought) that there are no systems in this country that are even inadvertently racist.  Of course there are, and some areas that are still explicitly racist, like that horrible example you gave me in the real estate/lending industry.  I pushed back on your assertion that “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.”  There’s a lot of difference between saying there are some areas of racism we need to attack and others that need examination to discover root causes of disproportionate outcomes so we can improve those, and saying that every single social scaffold in our nation favors white people.

 

I’m not sure why responding to assertions or analyzing evidence offered on a public discussion thread should be met with sarcasm or rudeness.  Isn’t this normal practice in a public discussion?  I would expect others to examine my sources and ideas, and push back when they felt I was incorrect.  In fact I have appreciated learning from posters who did that in this very thread.  

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7 minutes ago, Plum said:

I'm paywalled from the WaPo article. Is that what that says? 

Thanks? I know Detroit is a majority minority district. Blacks as a whole increased homeschooling by 500%, not just in Detroit. In the article they just said they've lost 60,000 students, but that doesn't necessarily mean they've all gone to homeschooling. 

Ok. Well there have been posts on here about all teachers getting this training, not just a specialized teacher and it's been posted as taking place in multiple subjects. 

The WAPost article talks about multiple states and the way thousands of teachers are opposing the bans, the (chilling) impact it’s having on culturally responsive teaching efforts. Teachers describe no longer teaching books by Alice Walker, for example.

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1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

I absolutely don’t support banning CRT from schools.  I think that critics should be focusing on improvements and alternatives that address racism and cross cultural education they can support vs. legislative bans.  If they can’t articulate a plan for what they want to be taught and instead can only say what they don’t want taught, it’s fair to say they have ulterior motives.  

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re failures in the system, vs failures of the individuals acting within the system

5 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

I agree with all of this post. I know that there are hurdles that POC face that I just don't register because I'm white. I know that we all have inherent biases and that it's good for all of us to examine ours to see how we might change them and overcome them, especially those who like me enjoy a privileged position in society. I try really hard to highlight the injustices in the past and in the present when I teach my kids about history and about current events. But I really have a question about the bolded. (not just to you, PaminCT)

I do NOT think the problem of racism has been "solved" or that it's only a historical problem. I do NOT think that the pattern of discrimination we can see in these examples is coincidental or accidental. It's obvious that racism is a factor. Duh. But I really struggle with saying that the system itself is racist. I fully realize in history that it was. But we've had equal protection for a long time now, and so it seems to me that the reason we still have racism and these disparate outcomes is because racist people are applying the laws unequally, and apprently there are still a lot of racists out there or these would be isolated cases. But if the individuals implementing the system - the banker who denys the mortgages, the realtor who shows different houses to different races, the election worker who asks POC for ID but not the white people, the LEO who is more provacative and violent with POC, the judge who makes the sentencing decision, etc. - if each of those individuals was not a racist, or was consciously working on trying to overcome their biases - then the current system itself, the current laws themselves, wouldn't be racist, would they? If they were applied equally in fact as they are supposed to be on paper? So doesn't that in some sense make it true that it's actually an Individual Heart Problem?

I get overwhelmed thinking about changing an entire system that I have very little control over anyway. I may be white and privileged, but I'm under no illusions that I have much power or clout when it comes to politics. Most of us don't. But changing individual people's hearts, one at a time - that's something that makes me feel like I can make a difference. Or am I just being stupid and obtuse??? I honestly can't tell ... but this is what makes sense to my brain.

I think (?  please LMK if I'm not reading you as you mean) that what you're getting at is the difference between race-based limitations written into legislation de jure, vs individual actors applying laws in racially unequal ways as a de facto matter on the ground.

By that measure, North Carolina's gerrymander (in which there was -- unusually, and ineptly -- a clear paper trail that documented an clear intent to pack districts by race, would amount to de jure discrimination (and was struck down on those grounds, though not until after two full election cycles).  And the experience @Big Buckin' Longhorn  described, of being asked to produce at the polls a photo ID even after having produced the state ID that theoretically should have done the job *may* have amounted to de facto  uneven application of the law that *may* have had a racial pattern to it (though that would be impossible to know without gathering and measuring evidence, and even then who can tell what goes on within the  human heart).  And Brooklyn's purge of black- and Latino-"sounding" names on the voter rolls actually isn't EITHER -- there was at the time no legislation in place that either called for, or prohibited, or provided any notification mechanism for, voter roll purges, or restitution if done in error.  Generally speaking, Constitutional rights are not "use it or lose it"; so the independent project aspect of the purge was as much a red flag to voting advocates as the racial pattern of its execution. But at the time it was outside the scope of established legislation.

Which is to say:

  • There is, still, unequal treatment de jure, under the law.  Often de jure discrimination requires looking not solely at one law/ policy in isolation, but looking at how two or more function in tandem (like the post-Reconstruction poll tax -- which did not specify race, on its face applied to all registrants equally -- in combination with the grandfather clause waiver -- which also did not specify race in the words, but obviously had a racial effect since the grandfathers of whites had been eligible where the grandfathers of blacks had been slaves).  A recent example of such a catch-22 at the crossroads was  in North Dakota, which OTOH required ID with both photo and address, while OTO voters who lived in Native land did not HAVE street addresses.
  • There is, also, unequal de facto treatment by individuals -- the LEO who writes far more tickets for discretionary infractions like loitering / jaywalking / "walking erratically" to minorities than to whites; the landlord who disproportionately accepts white renter applications.  (Arguably, the allocation of polling stations and electoral resources that result in hours-long Election Day waits in heavily minority districts and breezy minutes-in-and-out in districts like mine also belong in this bucket -- someone's making those allocation decisions, perhaps those folks are cackling with racist glee and rubbing their hands in satisfaction, though alternatively maybe the racial pattern is just an unfortunate coincidence, who can know what's inside the human heart.)
  • There is also a third category, which to my mind is the most important: the ever-morphing forms that arise to sustain the Old Order as political pressure erodes the prior structures. The water balloon is suppressed in one place; the pressure effects a change somewhere else in a different form. So where once the system of slavery provided an extremely low-cost labor force, after the Civil War that was supplanted by convict labor fused to Black Codes (which rounded up wholesale black men alleged to be "loitering"); then supplanted to sharecropping fused to debt peonage; straight through to the present, where we now have both private prisons leasing out penal labor, and also whole sectors premised on undocumented workers with no rights or protections.  There has been a similarly creative and depressing evolution of mechanisms -- some de jure, some de facto, some in the commodious spaces that are not defined one way or another by law -- by which minority voting has been suppressed since the Civil War, starting with those grandfather clause and running right through to extreme gerrymandering and voter intimidation today.

It's important to note that the only way to understand any one of those three buckets is to collect and collate and evaluate evidence.  And that is why we need those irritating boxes...

10 hours ago, Plum said:

One thing that nagging me is why do we have checkboxes on forms for race? What purpose does it serve? In employment? In housing? In medical records? Are there places where race is relevant and places where it isn’t? 

That seems like an easy fix to a lot of the systemic racism discussed here. We are all data points now. ... If race doesn’t exist, then why do we need to have the checkboxes? 

Because although race is a social construct (just as law is a social construct, marriage is a social construct, religion is a social construct...), it DOES exist and it IS evidenced by differential patterns.  We need to check the boxes so that we can see the patterns. If we do not measure relative wait times in polling places, or landlords' relative acceptance rates, or LEOs' differential use of force, or judges' differential sentencing for the same infraction..  If we do not collect evidence of racial patterns... we effectively erase the problem.

[Many, many Americans fervently wish to do exactly that.  I daresay: most adherents of Colorblind Doctrine -- who decry even using race "labels" -- and most opponents of CRT -- who decry the search for "patterns"-- wish to do exactly that.]

But evidence of the patterns points us to possible ways to alter the patterns, if the will is there: reallocation of electoral resources, mandatory use of body cameras, changes in the scope of qualified immunity, stronger housing protections and/or enforcement mechanisms.  Transitioning from district maps drawn by legislators, over to independent commissions like virtually every other mature representative system in the world. To come around to the OP, better teacher training and curricula that manages both to cover hard-but-true events of our history, while also remaining developmentally appropriate.

 

_______

I hear you, about being overwhelmed by the magnitude and intractability of the problem. It is daunting. And certainly, learning to recognize more facets of it, and becoming willing to talk about it within our respective circles, one by one by one, *is* part of lurching towards Better.

So is voting for change. So is organizing. So is volunteering some time for, or donating some money to, any of a gazillion organizations working to address different facets of the issues. 

 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, Harpymom said:

= structural racism.  That's what we're talking about.  I've been gone all day but others have posted many links supporting these "vague generalized claims." It's shocking to me that a grown person in this day and age would characterize this information in this way.  

Don't take critical thinking about systemic racism personally.  It's not about you, it's about us.

I don’t take it personally.  The post I was responding to made vague, general claims that every social scaffold in our country legally favors Whiteness, without offering any support for this position.  She has since posted some sources and specific examples of what she meant by this, which I appreciate.

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9 minutes ago, Plum said:

I really do think the words "privilege" and "oppressor" take up a big chunk of the problem with parents and the response. School districts can say all they want “We are not teaching white children that they are racist or bad or need to feel guilt,” he said. “We are trying to help all of our kids be able to talk about race, like everything thing else, in a healthy, open way.” but when you use those words to label people or groups then you what exactly do they think the result is going to be? 

 

There is nothing inherently problematic with the word privilege. It’s a privilege for me to parent the children I have, a privilege to be able to pay my bills every month without worry, a privilege to have been home with them, largely isolated, for the last 15 months. I am privileged in many ways. The demonization of the word used in this context is something that can, in fact, be rejected. Seeing privilege as a personal attack is also a choice.

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8 minutes ago, Plum said:

I can see the need in those cases. I was specifically talking about algorithms, machine learning that is biased as a result of the inherent biases by the people who designed it. So much of what we do is digital, through algorithms and could potentially be purely colorblind. 

For example, do we really need to check the box on a mortgage application if it is through a computer? What does the bank really need to know? How much we make. How much debt we carry. How much we can put down. How much we can pay. 

Part of this thought stems from my recent sensitively towards privacy. Big data is ubiquitous. It's actually hard to avoid. Everyone seems to have given up their privacy for convenience. I do think it would be an interesting study to see what forms we could remove race and gender from and have a more balanced outcome without a whole lot of downside. 

Is that a little clearer? I was in that original post.

How do you propose to find a problem with an algorithm if you have no data about how it’s affecting borrowers? There’s more than race in those algorithms, there’s also addresses/zip codes, and names. There are lots of bits of info besides race that serve as a de facto proxy.

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6 minutes ago, Plum said:

It kind of depends on how it's used. I prefer gratitude. I feel gratitude for me to be able to homeschool. Yes, it's a privilege. We have made a lot of sacrifices to be able to do so however. I don't think privilege covers the work behind it. Homeschooling wasn't handed to me. It's hard work. My car was 20 years old before I replaced it. 

This sounds like semantics over substance to me, sorry. Saying something is an honor and privilege has never been understood to deny the existence of hard work. It’s about humility. 

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5 minutes ago, Plum said:

I can see the need in those cases. I was specifically talking about algorithms, machine learning that is biased as a result of the inherent biases by the people who designed it. So much of what we do is digital, through algorithms and could potentially be purely colorblind. 

For example, do we really need to check the box on a mortgage application if it is through a computer? What does the bank really need to know? How much we make. How much debt we carry. How much we can put down. How much we can pay. 

Part of this thought stems from my recent sensitively towards privacy. Big data is ubiquitous. It's actually hard to avoid. Everyone seems to have given up their privacy for convenience. I do think it would be an interesting study to see what forms we could remove race and gender from and have a more balanced outcome without a whole lot of downside. 

Is that a little clearer? I was in that original post.

Even though more and more things are handled by computers, people still often meet and interact face to face when renting, looking at houses to buy, completing mortgage applications, etc. For instance, my son and his partner (mixed race couple) have done all three of these things in person this year. Originally, all of this was done face to face and the checkboxes were added later to help identify potential discrimination and work toward eliminating it.
 

Does anyone know if gender and race are even required or just asked for? I very rarely complete race questions. The only time I personally recall not being given an option is the census, but I could be forgetting some.

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3 minutes ago, Plum said:

Not that I know a thing about machine learning but I've said they suggested an FDA for algorithms. They have too much impact on everyone's lives, they are completely invisible and often their owners don't even know how they work. They change everything from what news articles we see to what interest rate we'll get. And they are flawed, seriously flawed. 

So perhaps check all the boxes but have a way to pull back the curtain and have some recourse. There's this invisible thing out there putting a stamp on your life and you have no way of knowing it even happened, no way of proving it and no recourse. Talk about a systemic problem. 

You do have a way of knowing if people honestly self-report. I suppose that’s too much to ask.

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10 minutes ago, Plum said:

It kind of depends on how it's used. I prefer gratitude. I feel gratitude for me to be able to homeschool. Yes, it's a privilege. We have made a lot of sacrifices to be able to do so however. I don't think privilege covers the work behind it. Homeschooling wasn't handed to me. It's hard work. My car was 20 years old before I replaced it. 

I tend to see it as a mix personally. Yes, we made tons of sacrifices to be able to homeschool and to get the level of education and income we have today, including moving far away from families and living in poverty for many years. But we were privileged/fortunate to grow up in intact families that highly valued education and to attend very good public schools. While neither of our families had much money, they did own their own homes and live in very, very safe communities. Neither of us ever really experienced any childhood trauma or had to overcome barriers/obstacles that many face like mental illness, discrimination, inferior schools, etc.

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2 minutes ago, Plum said:

Did you watch Cognitive Bias? Honestly, I have no stock in Netflix. I just found it interesting and terrifying. It's mostly about racial bias in facial recognition, but there are plenty of other examples. I

It got me on a research kick. t's possible to be discriminated against and you'll never know it. It's possible there's a serious flaw in a job application algorithm and it only approves men. That happened. Of course it could be more difficult to discover like a certain font gets kicked. Good luck finding that. Self-reporting doesn't work if you don't know it is even a problem. 

No, I didn’t, because despite the increasing role of those things in everyday life, we have plenty of human interaction to fuss with, including 15 or so states where schools are no longer able to engage in culturally responsive teaching.

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11 minutes ago, Frances said:

 But we were privileged/fortunate to grow up in intact families 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding privelege, but my experience, staying together in marriage and deciding to be present/active parents is a choice. My parents could easily have split up when Dad came back from Vietnam. They chose to stick it out. And they chose to emphasize that choice to me and my brother and to let us know that the hard work and sacrifice of staying together was worth it. So while it wasn't a choice that I made myself, it wasn't a random coincidence of fortune/privilege either. 

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21 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

Maybe I'm misunderstanding privelege, but my experience, staying together in marriage and deciding to be present/active parents is a choice. My parents could easily have split up when Dad came back from Vietnam. They chose to stick it out. And they chose to emphasize that choice to me and my brother and to let us know that the hard work and sacrifice of staying together was worth it. So while it wasn't a choice that I made myself, it wasn't a random coincidence of fortune/privilege either. 

Yes, it's a choice but your parent's choice to stay together wasn't made in isolation of other factors. They were part of a culture where marriage was preferred. There were probably also economic benefits to staying together as well. Another couple might have made a different choice if their circumstances were different. 

Now there are significant differences in the likelihood of divorce based on socio-economic class. 

 

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2 hours ago, Frances said:

I was also very confused by the post and actually went back and reread both articles.

In general I’m not sure either the right or the left is great about adhering to basic principles, likely at least in part due to the diversity within each group. But one could also argue some conservatives aren’t sticking to the free speech principles they tout when criticizing removal of college speakers and banning individuals who repeatedly lie or incite hate/violence from some social media platforms. Now some want to implement very broad, very vague bans on teachers and curriculum.

I dunno, I actually think this is pretty consistently conservative.

Free speech at an adult level.

Very careful controls and great respect of parental views at the elementary/middle school level.

 

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On 6/12/2021 at 6:13 PM, Faith-manor said:

We have many small towns with no polling places. Every township is supposed to have one, but that doesn't mean local authorities give a crap and actually provide a place and staff it. I know place in the UP where it can be an hour one way to your polling place because of ice and snow which is why mail in ballot is so popular, but certain entities want that option eliminated.

As for "true patriots", they aren't. These are folks who want a fascist style government with the appearance of democracy to make it look shiny. The constitution means nothing to them when it gets in the way of their goals.

In the county where I used to live, towns of about 1500 or more had a polling place.  Because of geography, these were all clustered on one edge of the county, with smaller towns and communities scattered deep into the mountains up the rivers through the rest of the county.  There were a few small towns that were two hours’ or more drive from polling places, and a tiny town that can only be accessed by a several hours boat ride.

 

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4 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I dunno, I actually think this is pretty consistently conservative.

Free speech at an adult level.

Very careful controls and great respect of parental views at the elementary/middle school level.

 

It’s not free speech for adults either. This affects public colleges and universities too.

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2 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Progressives are not trying to ban books. They’re saying they’re not going to teach them to avoid backlash from people who don’t want diversity topics and inclusive books used in the classroom.

Oh, they do. But I digress.

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11 hours ago, Plum said:

One thing that nagging me is why do we have checkboxes on forms for race? What purpose does it serve? In employment? In housing? In medical records? Are there places where race is relevant and places where it isn’t? 

That seems like an easy fix to a lot of the systemic racism discussed here. We are all data points now. As hard as I try to cling onto the last few shreds of privacy left in this world, I can’t escape it. So if algorithms are inherently biased because of who designed them, then perhaps removing some of the identifiers will help balance the results? Is that too simple? If race doesn’t exist, then why do we need to have the checkboxes? 

Well, there is good reason to include race in medical records, because some important health issues vary with race.

For example, one of my cancer kid’s blood tests came back wonky the other day, and I couldn’t reach his doctor to find out whether it was far enough outside of the range of normal that we should worry, so I googled it.  Turns out the healthy range for that blood test varies widely by race.

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21 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I dunno, I actually think this is pretty consistently conservative.

Free speech at an adult level.

Very careful controls and great respect of parental views at the elementary/middle school level.

 

To me, some of the quotes in the articles sound like they could come from extremes on either sides with just different terms inserted. The one about “reminding the next generation that America is the greatest place on earth” was especially striking to me. And the fact that he couldn’t even provide any actual examples of the problematic school curricula his amendment was trying to address is pretty telling.

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56 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

Maybe I'm misunderstanding privelege, but my experience, staying together in marriage and deciding to be present/active parents is a choice. My parents could easily have split up when Dad came back from Vietnam. They chose to stick it out. And they chose to emphasize that choice to me and my brother and to let us know that the hard work and sacrifice of staying together was worth it. So while it wasn't a choice that I made myself, it wasn't a random coincidence of fortune/privilege either. 

It wasn’t my choice. I was fortunate that my parents chose it. But it’s also my understanding now that there is often more stress related to money on many marriages which is often a leading contributor to divorce. So back when I was growing up, it was much more possible for a man with only a high school education to get a good enough job to support a family. Today, many families struggle to get by on two incomes and the likelihood of a man with only a high school education being able to support a family is much lower. So now that education is more important than ever, who is most affected by that?

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32 minutes ago, Frances said:

To me, some of the quotes in the articles sound like they could come from extremes on either sides with just different terms inserted. The one about “reminding the next generation that America is the greatest place on earth” was especially striking to me. And the fact that he couldn’t even provide any actual examples of the problematic school curricula his amendment was trying to address is pretty telling.

I’m not defending the overall article field, but just saying that I don’t find concern for avoiding teaching certain things at the elementary or middle school level as contradictory of concern on behalf of free speech in adulthood.

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24 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I’m not defending the overall article field, but just saying that I don’t find concern for avoiding teaching certain things at the elementary or middle school level as contradictory of concern on behalf of free speech in adulthood.

But didn’t the attack on CRT and wanting to ban it start in the federal government during the last administration? It’s now become a rallying cry for conservatives in state legislatures. If it had organically started with parents at the local school level, I can see your point. But that’s not the reality.

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2 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

There is nothing inherently problematic with the word privilege. It’s a privilege for me to parent the children I have, a privilege to be able to pay my bills every month without worry, a privilege to have been home with them, largely isolated, for the last 15 months. I am privileged in many ways. The demonization of the word used in this context is something that can, in fact, be rejected. Seeing privilege as a personal attack is also a choice.

There's no question that the word "privilege" has been weaponized.

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19 minutes ago, Frances said:

But didn’t the attack on CRT and wanting to ban it start in the federal government during the last administration? It’s now become a rallying cry for conservatives in state legislatures. If it had organically started with parents at the local school level, I can see your point. But that’s not the reality.

The point was that it is not inconsistent with conservatism to both want to protect free speech for adults and limit what is taught to minors.  The two are different directions of focus and not contradictory.  

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The whole thing about getting kids to discuss their various "privileges" and lack thereof sounds like a huge invasion of privacy, with the real likelihood that it could lead to harm.

I mean just the conversation about being brought up in an "intact" family ....

"Well yeah, my parents are married, but they cuss at each other all the time and my mom is always asking my dad why he doesn't leave."

"My mom is married to my step dad, does that count?"

"My dad leaving was the best thing that ever happened to us, actually."

"I live with my grandma and her husband, does that count?"

"Well when I was born, gay marriage wasn't a thing in our state."

"My folks are married but my dad's in prison, so what about that?"

"And what about my mom being away on military service?"

"I live with my aunt & uncle because my parents don't have legal residency here."

"My parents aren't divorced but I live in a foster home."

Other "privileges" are bound to bring up even more sensitive issues.  Is it safe in all schools for kids to say they don't have the "privilege" of being cis / straight?  Of being mainstream Christian?  What about the "privileges" of good physical and mental health?  IQ?  And is it really anyone's business who has the "privilege" of being middle class or above?

Or some that come up in transracial adoption discussions:  should kids discuss the privilege of being raised by their bio parent, having access to bio heritage information, looking physically like their parent?  In contrast to the privilege of being raised in an adoptive home that offers more nutrition, security, education, "secondary white privilege," etc?

And do we dare mention that there are privileges that certain minorities have?  For example, there are programs that are only open to people of color.  And only people of color can get away with spouting out comments like "I hate [your color] people" at school.  Or the privilege of being able to play outside all summer without getting a sunburn.  Or the privilege of being assumed to be intelligent because of the stereotype attached to people who look Asian.

I could see parents discussing these with their kids in private, but not in a group school setting, especially not when the kids have no choice in the matter.

I mean, do any of us go to work or social gatherings and talk to each other about our "privileges"?  I've never heard of people IRL doing this, beyond acknowledging our blessings in a generic way.

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4 hours ago, SKL said:

Or the privilege of being able to play outside all summer without getting a sunburn. 

I'm sorry you said this.  Did you really mean to?

Privilege and blessings are so different.  Gratitude is for blessings.  Privilege is being able to get pulled over for a burned out tail light and not get shot to death.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/georgia-trooper-charged-murder-traffic-stop-shooting-72382237

https://qz.com/725618/another-black-man-was-fatally-shot-at-a-traffic-stop-in-the-us-his-girlfriend-broadcast-the-aftermath-on-facebook-live/

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/04/09/398615265/s-c-dash-cam-video-a-broken-tail-light-a-routine-traffic-stop-a-fleeing-man

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7 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

Maybe I'm misunderstanding privelege, but my experience, staying together in marriage and deciding to be present/active parents is a choice. My parents could easily have split up when Dad came back from Vietnam. They chose to stick it out. And they chose to emphasize that choice to me and my brother and to let us know that the hard work and sacrifice of staying together was worth it. So while it wasn't a choice that I made myself, it wasn't a random coincidence of fortune/privilege either. 

They made a choice that benefited you. You had no say in their marriage, or if they divorced or not.  You got the privilege of an intact home because they made decisions you had no control over.   No child has control over the home they grow up in. 
You and I aren’t weren’t more deserving of an intact home than other kids.  We were fortunate to have that. All of the other kids deserved it too, and some of them didn’t get it, through no fault of their own.   That’s what people mean by privilege. Benefiting from something you had no control over. 

Edited by HeartString
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On 6/12/2021 at 11:20 PM, SKL said:

I don't have an opinion on how __dictorians should be selected, but I do think it should be consistent with the rules provided to the students.  If the school wants to make a change, it should be done in a way that doesn't strip honors from kids who were following the rules all along.

I actually liked the way the homeschool graduation here did it, which required a 4.0+ homeschool GPA or a 3.5 GPA for college or accredited outside classes, and a commensurate ACT/SAT (top 10% or so). All the honors grads could submit a short video speech, with the length set so that the total was about 10 minutes. It seemed a lot more fair than trying to rank whether PA homeschoolers classes were ranked higher or lower than "DE classes set up just for homeschoolers by  a private college" vs "In person DE on a community college campus". And it was far easier for a handful of kids to each speak for a minute or two when they could record it in advance than for one to have to speak for 10 minutes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Plum said:

I really do think the words "privilege" and "oppressor" take up a big chunk of the problem with parents and the response. School districts can say all they want “We are not teaching white children that they are racist or bad or need to feel guilt,”  “We are trying to help all of our kids be able to talk about race, like everything thing else, in a healthy, open way.” but when you use those words to label people or groups then what exactly do they think the result is going to be? 

 

What words do you think are more appropriate?

I don’t know that we’ve actually used the word “oppressor” in our house.  Oppression, oppressed, oppressive... definitely. But I can’t think of an instance off the top of my head where we’ve labeled an individual or a specific group of individuals oppressor(s). So that is not something I have experience with.

Privilege, otoh, is a regularly touched on concept.  Not just with race but, as I said in another thread, in lots of gender discussions.  My sons and my daughters have easily grasped the reality that males have more privilege than females without taking or doling out any individual blame. If I’m honest, the only real discomfort comes from dh, who still has some early programming to work through, and mostly acknowledges that.  The kids don’t take it personally.  They want people to quit being “jerks”, which is their preferred term.

How things are presented DOES matter, but I still don’t find children to be nearly as fragile as adults in these matters.  Assuming they can’t separate the actions of others from themselves or their peers is, imo, really underestimating them and plaguing them with our own baggage.

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8 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Yes, it's a choice but your parent's choice to stay together wasn't made in isolation of other factors. They were part of a culture where marriage was preferred. There were probably also economic benefits to staying together as well. Another couple might have made a different choice if their circumstances were different. 

Now there are significant differences in the likelihood of divorce based on socio-economic class. 

 

 

7 hours ago, Frances said:

It wasn’t my choice. I was fortunate that my parents chose it. But it’s also my understanding now that there is often more stress related to money on many marriages which is often a leading contributor to divorce. So back when I was growing up, it was much more possible for a man with only a high school education to get a good enough job to support a family. Today, many families struggle to get by on two incomes and the likelihood of a man with only a high school education being able to support a family is much lower. So now that education is more important than ever, who is most affected by that?

 

1 hour ago, HeartString said:

They made a choice that benefited you. You had no say in their marriage, or if they divorced or not.  You got the privilege of an intact home because they made decisions you had no control over.   No child has control over the home they grow up in. 
You and I aren’t weren’t more deserving of an intact home than other kids.  We were fortunate to have that. All of the other kids deserved it too, and some of them didn’t get it, through no fault of their own.   That’s what people mean by privilege. Benefiting from something you had no control over. 

I get what you all are saying, but I still don't think of being in an intact family as a privilege in the sense that we sometimes need to "check our privilege". It's not something like sex or skin color that nobody else has any control over either. If you (general you) are concerned about what kind of world your kids are growing up in, you do have the power to give them an intact family. You can't change racist people's minds, you can't always get yourself out of poverty, you can't make the whole world safe for women, etc. But you can give them the gift of an intact family. It's a gift consciously chosen by someone's parents, not a randomly bestowed societal privilege, which in my opinion is a huge difference in thinking which can empower the family, as opposed to making them feel helpless because they somehow lost the privilege roll of the dice.

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31 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

 

 

I get what you all are saying, but I still don't think of being in an intact family as a privilege in the sense that we sometimes need to "check our privilege". It's not something like sex or skin color that nobody else has any control over either. If you (general you) are concerned about what kind of world your kids are growing up in, you do have the power to give them an intact family. You can't change racist people's minds, you can't always get yourself out of poverty, you can't make the whole world safe for women, etc. But you can give them the gift of an intact family. It's a gift consciously chosen by someone's parents, not a randomly bestowed societal privilege, which in my opinion is a huge difference in thinking which can empower the family, as opposed to making them feel helpless because they somehow lost the privilege roll of the dice.

Yes, but you didn’t get to choose being brought up in an intact marriage. I can choose not to get divorced but I couldn’t make my mom not get divorced, you know?

Edited by Not_a_Number
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24 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

 

 

I get what you all are saying, but I still don't think of being in an intact family as a privilege in the sense that we sometimes need to "check our privilege". It's not something like sex or skin color that nobody else has any control over either. If you (general you) are concerned about what kind of world your kids are growing up in, you do have the power to give them an intact family. You can't change racist people's minds, you can't always get yourself out of poverty, you can't make the whole world safe for women, etc. But you can give them the gift of an intact family. It's a gift consciously chosen by someone's parents, not a randomly bestowed societal privilege, which in my opinion is a huge difference in thinking which can empower the family, as opposed to making them feel helpless because they somehow lost the privilege roll of the dice.

So for you the idea of privilege can only come from things no one has control over? So gender, race, ethnicity can bestow some amount of privilege or not, but not things like generational wealth or lack, an intact home, abusive parents vs. loving parents, parents who value education or don’t.  That interesting idea, I’ll have to think about it.  
 

For me it’s all about the same, because they are all choices made by someone who was not me.   A small child has no more control over whether or not mom and dad are hard working, stable people who value education or unstable lay abouts who let the TV raise the kids.   The parents are making choices, but the small child can’t exactly opt out.  The child has no more control over his/her parents than over the color of his skin.  

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35 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

 

 

I get what you all are saying, but I still don't think of being in an intact family as a privilege in the sense that we sometimes need to "check our privilege". It's not something like sex or skin color that nobody else has any control over either. If you (general you) are concerned about what kind of world your kids are growing up in, you do have the power to give them an intact family. You can't change racist people's minds, you can't always get yourself out of poverty, you can't make the whole world safe for women, etc. But you can give them the gift of an intact family. It's a gift consciously chosen by someone's parents, not a randomly bestowed societal privilege, which in my opinion is a huge difference in thinking which can empower the family, as opposed to making them feel helpless because they somehow lost the privilege roll of the dice.

My parents were married for most of my childhood, but only half of my youngest sister’s childhood.  I could write a lengthy list of the different privileges it brought me vs. her.  Neither one of us had any doing in the matter. No one MADE us feel helpless, but there was clearly nothing either one of us could have done to change what we were given to deal with.

For whatever it’s worth, she experienced more privilege as an older teen than I did, with our mom’s remarriage.  My later teens had a single working mom and I had siblings to care for. My sister had a much more carefree older kid/young adult life.  Neither of us had any control in that, either.

And, for the record, our mother had no control over it, either. She couldn’t simply “choose” to make a jackass with a pregnant mistress stay where he didn’t want to be.  We got what we got, preference be damned.

 

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I think we’ve established that there are good resources and bad resources. What hasn’t been clarified, for me, is whether bans on culturally responsive teaching are the solution to that problem and, if they’re not, what folks are doing to eliminate them. There is no ban in my state so my kids will continue to be able to access the fullness of history. What becomes of kids who can’t?

Edited by Sneezyone
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1 hour ago, Momto6inIN said:

 

 

I get what you all are saying, but I still don't think of being in an intact family as a privilege in the sense that we sometimes need to "check our privilege". It's not something like sex or skin color that nobody else has any control over either. If you (general you) are concerned about what kind of world your kids are growing up in, you do have the power to give them an intact family. You can't change racist people's minds, you can't always get yourself out of poverty, you can't make the whole world safe for women, etc. But you can give them the gift of an intact family. It's a gift consciously chosen by someone's parents, not a randomly bestowed societal privilege, which in my opinion is a huge difference in thinking which can empower the family, as opposed to making them feel helpless because they somehow lost the privilege roll of the dice.

This is a very odd outlook. The child has NO say, NO choice at all in what the parents do, whether they stay married, whether they have a healthy marriage, whether or not they are abusers. None. 

My nephews had no control over their father's inability to keep his fly zipped, and the marital fall out of his decisions. None. But they bear all the cost, all the side effects.

 

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9 hours ago, Condessa said:

In the county where I used to live, towns of about 1500 or more had a polling place.  Because of geography, these were all clustered on one edge of the county, with smaller towns and communities scattered deep into the mountains up the rivers through the rest of the county.  There were a few small towns that were two hours’ or more drive from polling places, and a tiny town that can only be accessed by a several hours boat ride.

 

Oy! And this is why we have severe problems with "free elections" in this country. If there is "voting fraud", the issue is one of politicians denying the voters a reasonable opportunity to vote, not what a certain group claims is the problem. This stuff is wrong, very very wrong!

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16 minutes ago, Plum said:

Right. So why should that give them an oppressor/oppressed/privileged label?

Remember the self-esteem fad? Everyone is supposed to feel good about themselves? This is inverse to that. The pendulum of education fads is swinging the other way. 

I don't see why you are conflating "oppressor" a thing that people do, with "privileged," which is completely outside the person's control.  An intact family of origin gives children a leg up at the beginning of their lives that will have effects in many areas.  Labeling that as privilege is just recognizing that fact.  Is it the word that you have an issue with, or the recognition itself? 

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8 minutes ago, Danae said:

I don't see why you are conflating "oppressor" a thing that people do, with "privileged," which is completely outside the person's control.  An intact family of origin gives children a leg up at the beginning of their lives that will have effects in many areas.  Labeling that as privilege is just recognizing that fact.  Is it the word that you have an issue with, or the recognition itself? 

Thank you! You said it better than so could which is why I did not respond to Plum. The poor oppressor wording was her attempt to put words into my mouth. I never said anything like it or even hinted at it. 

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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.  

Edited by HeartString
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