Sunday, February 28, 2010

Talking Point 3

Dennis Carlson brought up a lot of good points, so many that it was hard for me to pick a few to talk about. In his article called Gayness, Multicultural Education, and Community, he spoke about how those three topics relate to one another. Here are three quotes that I thought were most important to his article:

1.) “Like communists states, they have been based on the presumption that if students in the school community can be kept shielded from “bad influences” and provided only “positive” representations of community life, that they be molded into “good,” “well-adjusted” citizens and workers.” (239)
- A school is only part of a child’s life, they cannot watch over their students 24/7. When children are not in school, they have the media and surrounding people to help educate them on many different subjects. For example, children learn about sex at a very early age because it is something that is seen and talked about throughout the media. Schools do not educate their children about sex until they reach some point in middle school, when it is sometimes too late to be talked about. Schools can only help shape a person’s life, not actually shape it for them.

2.) “Be yourself no matter who or what you are… The problem with “Be yourself,” is that it fails to account for the fact that the “self” is at least partially an historical, cultural, and discursive production, which set limits upon, even if they do not determine, one’s 'possibilities of existence'.” (242)
- Sometimes you cannot be yourself because people judge and end up shutting you out from the rest of society. One of my friends asked another one of her friends: “Are you a lesbian? Because if you are, I’m probably not going to hang around you as much.” The girl responded with “No”, but who knows the actually truth except for herself. She could have been lying about her own identity because she didn’t want to be badly gossiped about and/or lose one of her very good friends. So really, being yourself only pertains to those who are actually “normal”.

3.) “…we have a responsibility as public educators in a democratic society to engage them in a dialogue in which all voices get heard or represented and in which gay students and teachers feel free to “come out” and find their own voices.” (252)
- I couldn’t agree with this quote more. The more attention a certain situation gets, that is positive, the more use to/common the situation becomes. This way, it is less controversial and more easily talked about and understood. For example, liking someone of the opposite sex is something that we consider to be ordinary, but liking someone of the same sex is not, which makes it harder for people to just come right out and say who they truly are.

Here is a video that gives some opinions and facts about gay education…

This website talks about the organization GLSEN, whom is trying to promote/educate schools on sexuality… (click on 'Mission & History' of GLSEN once you've reached the website)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Talking Point 2

Aria, by Richard Rodriguez, was a great article. I liked the fact that it was in story format and in one person’s point of view. In every other article read for class, many examples/ perspectives were given, but in this particular article the reader could focus on one. The technique used could help the reader get more of an in depth look into what the author is trying to say. Here are 3 quotes that I felt were most important in this article:

1.) “… I came to believe what had been technically true since my birth: I was an American citizen.” (36)
- This would be a part of public individuality. Richard did not consider himself an American because he felt as though he did not belong. This was due to him not being able to speak and understand society’s language, English. Later becoming confident in himself, he found a part of who he was, an American.

2.) “We remained a loving family, but one greatly changed.” (36)
- Richard was Americanized. Since he learned English at an early age he had forgotten his native language, something that held his family together and kept them unique from the rest of society. In order for Richard and his siblings to have become successful in the country of which they lived, they had to transform and become something who they were not. Because the parents were not getting any help to improve their English, the relationship with their children began to deteriorate. This goes to show how not only the child is affected, but the family as well. With the language barrier separating them from communicating, Richard’s mother became “restless” while his father became increasingly “shy”.

3.) “They do not seem to realize that there are two ways a person is individualized.” (38-39)
- Those two ways are private individuality (which is who you are at home and with those who you are close to) and public individuality (which is who you are when you are around strangers or people who you want to impress). It is important for people to know their native language because it is a part of who they are. But, it is also important that they know the language of their own society because it is the language that it runs on; their primary language. We need to find a way in which non-Americans can learn English without having to take away their private individuality, and native language. Instead of turning the children bilingual we are turning them into plain old Americans.

Here is a video given the history of bilingual education:

This website gives some statistics based on non-Americans…

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Talking Point 1

In the article ‘White Privilege’ by Peggy McIntosh, it is described how many people are never really taught about white privilege and how it automatically comes with their race. Whites do not acknowledge that they have an advantage over other ethnicities, and many do not see how they are a part of what makes our society racist. White privilege is invisible to those of white decent because they are taught, or brought up, to look at life from a white point of view. The way we are taught helps us to become who we are and how we view the world. As stated on page 2: “… whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work that will allow ‘them’ to be more like ‘us’.”

1.) “The pressure to avoid it is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country; one’s life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own.” (4)
- I couldn’t agree with this quote more. We know that there is a situation, but we don’t try to solve the problem or find its origin. We basically look at it and hope that it solves itself. By pointing out that there is a problem of racism in the U.S., we are admitting that we are not who we present ourselves to be. We call ourselves the United Nations, and yet we discriminate and don’t offer equal opportunity to all human beings.

2.) “In my class and place, I did not see myself as a racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth.” (4)
- Our schools teach us the physical and verbal abuses of racism. The media is what teaches about stereotyping and how it affects our society, which eventually affects us as individuals.

3.) “…we need to do more work with identifying how they actually affect our daily lives.” (5)
- Many people feel as though racism does not exist in today’s society and that is mainly because they are blind to how it affects them on a day-to-day basis. Non-whites are the prey’s of racism. It sneaks up, violates, and eventually destroys our lives. Schools point out certain aspects which you, as a student, are brought to focus upon. Racism lessons at school, consists of its own history and the people that provide the actions of abuse. As the children of today, and future leaders of tomorrow, we need to know about how racism affects us in modern society. This is how come many are blind to racism and cultural power.

This video/audio basically talks about racism & white privilege:

Here are a few videos that give examples of racism...