Monday, January 21, 2013

My Response to the Discussion


Now Huffington post is now writing about it. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/16/white-privilege-class-at-_n_2489997.html Does this validate the discussion more for those reading that hate Fox News? Huffington Post can be just as biased leaning Left in reporting news just as much as Fox is leaning Right.

I don’t mean to start my response with a blatant Troll but if you want to make comments about one news agency then please tell me where I can find true unbiased news.  Honestly I feel most our news agencies do a piss poor job of being unbiased and showing only what they want to show with heavy political slants instead of honestly bringing both sides of an issue for true reporting and discussion. Ratings are King after all and you can’t be profitable in the News without generating them through sensationalism for the people to eat up sometimes.

However that is another topic that does not fit into the one at hand here.

I want to be clear that I have nothing against the teacher. I am glad to see that this class is being taught and I also don’t think the class should be stopped from being taught.

What I have issue with is the part where "white guilt" and the “Doll test” comes into play as part of the course. I truly believe more diversity needs to be taught in schools. I believe that more critical thinking should be taught as well. I also believe diversity should not be taught just in its own separate class but as part of a school’s American History, Literature, and Humanities classes. 

Our history and culture is made up of more than “White History”. Even when we all were in High School together that was something I disliked and talked about with Mr. Keefe (and Mr. Love after taking his Sociology class).  This is also why I originally wanted to be a History Teacher when I first thought about going to University because I felt that we did not teach a balanced view of our History.

As Crist said and was quoted in both articles:
[“A lot of red flags go up in my mind when I look at the materials," Crist told Fox News. "Ideally, you would want to present one theory that might be way on the left and another theory that may be way on the right and if you find one in the middle you can present that too … now you have a well-rounded discussion, in my opinion.”]

This quote to me highlights what I believe as well. Children should be taught how to think not what to think.  Give information from all sides and teach them look at it all critically to form an opinion for themselves based on that evidence then have a discussion about the opinions the student forms. Teaching kids to feel guilty for who/what they were born as no matter the color of skin does not promote critical thinking. It perpetuates the racial theories such as “white privilege” when we need to get rid of it. Yes white privilege exists in some areas of society still. However you can’t look that theory without looking at non-whites that have broken that theory as well (Neil deGrasse Tyson and France Anne Cordova just to name two off the top of my head). You also can’t discount the number of poor whites that are treated just as unfairly by the wealthy (of all racial colors). 

You also can’t look at this theory without looking at and discussing the amount of people that would rather receive government handouts than strive to better themselves to improve their conditions. This is also happening across racial lines.

The Delavan Wal-Mart is not a good place for the Doll test. The Doll test fails because stores will stock what sells. That is not racially based it is consumer based. Stores are there to make a profit and if item A sells more than item B then item A is going to be stocked on shelves more. Again that is not racially motivated, that is not White man being oppressive that is pure economics 101 at work. If you go to a Wal-Mart on the north side of Milwaukee you will see more ethnically colored dolls than white dolls.

The question gets raised when you look at the economic and population statistics how is having students go into a store where the dominant purchasing population is White and that the store will stock inventory based on that demographic going to help students understand “white privilege”? What true facts is the teacher trying to convey in this lesson?

(Delavan population statistics base on 2010 census: The racial makeup of the city was 81.2% White, 1.7% African American, 0.7% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 12.7% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 29.4% of the population. Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delavan,_Wisconsin )

Maybe I’m too “Utopian” in my thinking. Maybe the life lessons I have learned over the last 20 years are all wrong.

Maybe the lessons I learned from being in the Military where you see the Race line wiped away and redrawn again between soldiers on a daily basis or from living overseas in Asia for a year and interacting with Korean University Students to learn their perspective on understanding why they disliked American Soldiers.

Or having a non-White South African professors teaching in my Diversity and Sociology classes at University that strove to give students a view point from people that have worked to overcome race and class based stereo types and prejudices.

Or from working for global technology and manufacturing companies where I interact with Americans of all backgrounds as well as people from all over Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa and Asia have given me a unique social view on how we need to move forward as a human race that is completely off base.

But I truly believe that it is possible for anyone of any race, color, creed, sexual orientation and even religion to better themselves and that it is achievable for anyone willing to work for it. That the need to teach our history in a manner that shows the good and bad without condensation or guilt placed on children for actions that are not their own is greater than ever if we want our nation and our human race as a whole to move forward to untie and unravel the racial prejudices, stereotypes and modes of thinking we have consistently dragged along with us. 


Edit: Original Fox News Article that came out first is here: http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/public-school-teaches-white-privilege-class.html
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