With a partner, share your questions from the reading. . .
Think of 3 new ideas or facts that you have learned from chapter 1.
Use the Give One, Get One Matrix to enhance your understanding of the chapter.
Share out with the group
Write down the racial/cultural label that you prefer to use when describing yourself.
Write down a label that you would prefer not to hear others use when referring to your racial/cultural group.
With a partner, discuss why you prefer one label, and not the other.
Share some of your thoughts with the class.
After reading the Cisneros story, discuss your name with a partner:
Who named you?
What does your name mean?
What is the origin of your name?
Who were you named after?
Why do people change their names?
What is a normal name?
As a teacher, what is the impact of changing a student’s name?
You will be making dates to discuss some key points in the Jensen article.
Each date must be someone new (and preferably someone you don’t know very well yet)
. . . ” Every time I start feeling a bit too self-righteous about race, I try to pull myself out of my head, where it is easy to keep things neat and clean, and back into my body, where the world is much messier.
So, what facts about race are in by body?
It ’ s easy to test. Put my white body next to a black body. What do I feel? What reactions kick in, immediately, before I have a chance to think? What facts about race can I feel in my body in that moment? How honest can I be about that? (145)
Think of a time when your body had a reaction around a person of another color (or someone different) that your mind knew was wrong? What do you think trained your body to react that way? Is it experience or lack of experience that causes this reaction?
I do not feel guilty about being white. . .There have been plenty of times in my life when I have felt guilty about racist or sexist things I have said or done, even when there were done unconsciously. But that is guilt felt as a result of specific acts, not guilt for the color of my skin.
I think many white people stay stuck in that sense of guilt about being white for two reasons. First, if one keeps the focus on that abstract guilt, one rarely gets to the appropriate guilt for racist actions; it ’ s a convenient way to avoid accountability. Second, such guilt is a way for white people to avoid taking action. (147)
What does it mean when Jensen says “to feel guilt for specific acts and not for being white?” Have you ever felt “ stuck ” in guilt? Do you agree that guilt is a way white people can avoid taking action?
Perhaps more important than the statistics is the testimony of non-white people — available in print and in conversation to anyone who cares to hear — about living day to day in the midst of that white-supremacist ideology. The ultimate white privilege is to ignore both the statistics and the stories, to hold onto a belief in the fiction of a level playing field, a fair and equitable economy, a color-blind world. (149)
How do you understand and experience, as a white person or a person of color, the ultimate white privilege of which Jensen speaks? What does it mean to “ ignore both the statistics and the stories? ”
More important is breaking through the willed ignorance, the purposeful not-knowing about the racialized consequences of our social, political, and economic structures and policies — the not-knowing that makes possible the comfortable lives we lead. The task is to give people who otherwise need not care about justice a reason to care. (154)
. . . ” and I have to understand that in every human interaction there is the potential for connection and transcendence. ”
Two questions: first, do you agree with Jensen ’ s statements here; second, as someone who has chosen the path of education why do you care? Do you see yourself as someone doing charity work or providing opportunity? What ’ s the difference?
What does Jensen mean by the last quote?
The task is not merely to stop telling racist jokes, but to transform the institutions of the society that, without intervention, replicate the inequities. (148)
What does he mean by a “ transform the institutions of society? ” Do you agree with his assessment? Explain.
How does this affect you as a teacher?
The interstate highway that splits the city — into a mostly middle-class and wealthy white part of town and a mostly low-income black and brown part of town — is such an imposing reminder of white supremacy that it is difficult not to think about race. (151)
Could Jensen have just as easily been talking about San Diego? How is our own city divided?
Read Nieto, Chapter 4
Read Tatum, Chapter 2 (on webCT)
Clear up questions about webCT, reading logs, discussion boards, etc. . .