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Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism–from Ferguson to Charleston

Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism–from Ferguson to Charleston
When teaching about race and racism, I invite participants to consider the following analogy: Think of racism as a gigantic societal-sized boot. “Which groups do you think are fighting the hardest against this boot of racism?” I ask them. Invariably, participants of diverse races answer that those fighting hardest to avoid getting squashed by the boot are people of Color. (Keep in mind that I don’t ask this question on day one of our study of race. Rather, participants come to this conclusion after exploring the concept of White privilege and studying the history of race and racism in the United States through multiple sources and perspectives.) “If that’s true,” I continue, “then who do you think is wearing the boot?” “If that’s true, then whose responsibility is it to stop the boot from squashing them? Everyone has a role in ending racism, but the analogy shows how little sense it makes for only those facing the heel-end of oppression to do all the work. But so much work remains.

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Maris Hawkins PhotoPeach is a great resource to get students away from PowerPoint. It is also really easy for students to use. They can upload their pictures. Slip On These "Whiteness Goggles" and the Violence of Cultural Appropriation Disappears A new series of prints by artist Roger Peet aims to address a tricky topic: cultural appropriation. In his series In//Appropriate, which debuted at the Portland State University Littman Gallery this month, Peet printed images of white people engaging in cultural appropriation on tall banners. Frozen in time, Miley Cyrus joyfully twerks with her tongue in its signature position, a hipster wears a keffiyeh, and Katy Perry smiles in her American Music Awards geisha costume. Behind them, another vision of whiteness—a violent one—is printed in red: Miley stands out against a scene of police in Ferguson, a bohemian white girl in a feathered headdress is juxtaposed with an iconic photo of a mountain of buffalo skulls, and a still from Iggy Azalea's "Bounce" video frames a portrait of colonizing Queen Victoria. To accompany the images, Peet constructed special glasses made from cardboard and red plastic.

What It's Like To Be A Principal Of Color Dealing With White Parents In a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in northwest D.C., a parent attending a school meeting is angry that her child doesn’t have enough time to play at recess. She berates the school principal — a black woman nearly a foot shorter than she is — in front of the other parents, pointing a finger no more than two inches away from her face and shouting, “How do you expect to keep your job?” The principal has been at her new job for no more than five weeks, and recess time is unfortunately out of her control due to academic requirements for other parts of the school schedule and other factors.

The White Man in That Photo Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, and it certainly deceived me for a long time. I always saw the photo as a powerful image of two barefoot black men, with their heads bowed, their black-gloved fists in the air while the US National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” played. Be Less Racist: 12 Tips for White Dudes, by A White Dude - The Mash-Up Americans We all want to do better, and be better. Part of being a Mash-Up American is participating in challenging conversations about race and culture with curiosity and kindness. But in a complex, racially charged society, sometimes it’s hard to know how to become a more engaged and fully present person — not to mention ally — without inadvertently offending someone, or doing real harm. This is especially true for a white guy. Dan Zanes, a Grammy-Award-winning musician, regular dude and work-in-progress [Editor’s note: His words! We think he’s magical], gives us his top tips for how to start living a less racist life.Read about his journey from an all-white world to a Mash-Up America here.

Vocabulary “Logo Inspired” Game I recently saw a commercial for a game called “Logo.” I thought it would easily be adapted to the Spanish classroom for a vocabulary game. Many teachers use components of this game, but I thought it would be great to combine them. Divide the class into two to three teams depending on how large your class is.

I, Racist A couple weeks ago, I was debating what I was going to talk about in this sermon. I told Pastor Kelly Ryan I had great reservations talking about the one topic that I think about every single day. Then, a terrorist massacred nine innocent people in a church that I went to, in a city that I still think of as home. The Liberal Blind Spot Photo CLASSIC liberalism exalted tolerance, reflected in a line often (and probably wrongly) attributed to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” On university campuses, that is sometimes updated to: “I disapprove of what you say, so shut up.” In a column a few weeks ago, I offered “a confession of liberal intolerance,” criticizing my fellow progressives for promoting all kinds of diversity on campuses — except ideological. I argued that universities risk becoming liberal echo chambers and hostile environments for conservatives, and especially for evangelical Christians.

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