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Thread: One Principal's Fight Against Racism

  1. #1
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    One Principal's Fight Against Racism

    "Verenice Gutierrez picks up on the subtle language of racism every day.

    "Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year.

    " 'What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?' says Gutierrez, principal at Harvey Scott K-8 School, a diverse school of 500 students in Northeast Portlandís Cully neighborhood.

    " 'Another way would be to say: "Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?" Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.'

    "Guitierrez, along with all of Portland Public Schoolsí principals, will start the new school year off this week by drilling in on the language of 'Courageous Conversations,' the district-wide equity training being implemented in every building in phases during the past few years.

    "Through intensive staff trainings, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations and other initiatives, the premise is that if educators can understand their own /white privilege,' then they can change their teaching practices to boost minority studentsí performance."
    http://portlandtribune.com/pt-rss/9-...rum-for-equity

    So is talking about peanut butter sandwiches in class racist because non-white students may not eat such food? Is it an example of white privilege?
    "Indeed, not a word in the constitutional text even arguably supports the Courtís overwrought and novel description of the Second Amendment as 'elevat[ing] above all other interests' 'the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.' Ante,at 63."
    -Justice Stevens on the Heller ruling

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    It would seem rather foolish to believe that conversations regarding food is racist because people of foreign nations may not eat the same food as white individuals. Considering there are eateries such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway, Burger King and McDonalds in foreign nations this seems even more ridiculous as "white foods" are not isolated to the nation of America.

    Following the logic of this principal that discussing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is racist is it not also racist to assume that minority individuals in America would choose not to partake in the foods of the nation because it is not of their native country? Does not such an approach encourage the practice of isolationism and give students an excuse to not interact with minorities because everyday conversations about food may upset them? Furthermore this logic may encourage the reliance on offensive stereotypes such as people from China eating bird's nest soup and dog steak while people from Ireland eat mainly potatoes.

    What is presented here is nothing more than an example of hypersensitivity and an attempt to interject the matter of race into an area where race plays no part.
    Last edited by Xenamnes; 09-22-2012 at 02:31 PM.
    If one cannot have an argument without resorting to hyperbole, name calling and emotional rhetoric, then they have lost the argument from their first post.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenamnes View Post
    It would seem rather foolish to believe that conversations regarding food is racist because people of foreign nations may not eat the same food as white individuals. Considering there are eateries such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway, Burger King and McDonalds in foreign nations this seems even more ridiculous as "white foods" are not isolated to the nation of America.

    Following the logic of this principal that discussing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is racist is it not also racist to assume that minority individuals in America would choose not to partake in the foods of the nation because it is not of their native country? Does not such an approach encourage the practice of isolationism and give students an excuse to not interact with minorities because everyday conversations about food may upset them? Furthermore this logic may encourage the reliance on offensive stereotypes such as people from China eating bird's nest soup and dog steak while people from Ireland eat mainly potatoes.

    What is presented here is nothing more than an example of hypersensitivity and an attempt to interject the matter of race into an area where race plays no part.
    I can see how it might be a problem if it's part of a larger pattern in which white culture is portrayed as the norm in school curriculum and the implication is that it's desirable for every minority group to conform. Of course, in other countries such as Japan eating sushi is the norm and no one worries about whether a small group of immigrants feels offended. The US, however, is a melting pot and has a history of racial conflict which it's trying to overcome.
    "Indeed, not a word in the constitutional text even arguably supports the Courtís overwrought and novel description of the Second Amendment as 'elevat[ing] above all other interests' 'the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.' Ante,at 63."
    -Justice Stevens on the Heller ruling

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galileo View Post
    I can see how it might be a problem if it's part of a larger pattern in which white culture is portrayed as the norm in school curriculum and the implication is that it's desirable for every minority group to conform.
    That does not mean the topic of food such as peanut butter and jelly is racist in nature. Sandwiches are not subtle racial jabs at one another for the purpose of bringing about discomfort.

    However it could be considered racist to assume minorities only eat specific foods native to their country of origin and would not consider eating what this teacher considers to be "white foods" under normal circumstances. As stated such concepts have lead to the generalities of people from China eating foods such as dog steak and bird's nest soup.

    From the economic standpoint it would be desirable for every minority group to conform. With the matter of school lunches it is economically impossible to cater to every single separate race and supply lunches that are culturally sensitive. This is especially so with students and people of mixed race heritage who cannot be easily or even properly identified. It is also unlikely that the average supermarket will be able to provide foods to every individual race for the purpose of making the proper lunches, and it is unreasonable to expect the parents to set aside sufficient time to make school lunches if they have insufficient funds to provide their children a racially appropriate and sensitive meal.

    Of course, in other countries such as Japan eating sushi is the norm and no one worries about whether a small group of immigrants feels offended.
    Japan in general shows little concern for worrying about minorities and foreigners.

    The US, however, is a melting pot and has a history of racial conflict which it's trying to overcome.
    Racial conflicts likely spawn from the desire to maintain the differences of each race and nationality in a manner that clashes with others in a manner that does not reflect the melting pot analogy. In physical melting pots the different elements will eventually form a homogenized mix devoid of isolated pockets that did not blend with all others.
    If one cannot have an argument without resorting to hyperbole, name calling and emotional rhetoric, then they have lost the argument from their first post.

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