Thursday, February 25, 2016

Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces
Gerri August

Gerri August expresses his feelings about Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender (LBGT) people and how they need to be accepted in school environments and also in the every day world.  August believes that people should be able to express themselves however they feel especially in schools. August states that school environments should be a safe place for students.  But, "the reality, of course, is much more complicated.  The walls are permeable:  students (and teachers) bring their personal experiences into the classroom and carry their classroom experiences with them when they leave" (83). 

Female transgender student suspended for using women’s bathroom 

"Central Piedmont Community College officials say they suspended Andraya Williams, 22, for not handing security officers her student identification and said she couldn't come back unless she used a gender-neutral bathroom." 

Andraya Williams was stopped by campus police when asked for her identification card.  The officer asked Andraya, while laughing, if she was a woman or man.   The officer called six backup officers to check the identification card.  Andraya claimed that she felt discriminated.  The next day she met with Mark Helms, the college Dean of Student Life who told her that she was suspended for not handing over the identification card to the officers when asked.  Williams tells WBTV-TV, "I'm not comfortable on that campus.  I don't feel like I'm safe from staff because nothing has been done about the situation." 
August claims in his article that all LGBT people should be accepted in and on school grounds.  It was clearly wrong that Williams was discriminated for being who she believes she is.  Nobody should be confronted by officials for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.  

 August points out the risks of making fun of or discriminating a person who is gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual.  August puts in his Introduction: "Aiyisha Hassan, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Raymond Chase, and Tyler Clementi are just a few of the LGBT youth who committed suicide in 2010... Youth who struggle with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender identities, or who are bullied for the mere perception of being different, often feel as if they have nowhere to turn.  Death should never be an option."  Being LGBT should never have to commit suicide.

Risk Factors

(A website for helping students in classrooms and in school areas overcome the aspect of Bullying for LGBT students.)

Points to Share:
How can we help students overcome bullying?  This area is very close to my heart being three of my friends are LGBT, and it saddens me the things I hear people say to them/about them.  At first I didn't know who to react because I didn't want to be made fun of either.  But, after one year of gaining my confidence, I stuck up for them because they were to afraid to do it themselves.  

This reading relates to SCWAAMP and mostly all of the reading because of the power of culture and and the acceptance of societal normalities. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Unlearning The Myths that Bind Us- Christensen

Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us
Linda Christensen

Growing up as a kid I watched Disney movies everyday.  Growing up, your parents don't tell you that this movie is about racism and this movie is about sexism- obviously you watch the movie for entertainment.  Being 5, 6, 7 years old, all you want to do be like Cinderella or be like Barbie, but that never happens.  Children shoot for the stars to be like Disney princesses; they buy dresses to look like them and there are tiara's and heels that come in a package that the little girls buy.

But, have you ever noticed there has never been a Black princess before?  Has there ever been a person with cancer? No.  The Disney producers didn't make a Black princess until 2009  (The Princess and the Frog).  The first Princesses were all white, then came an Indian princess, Native American Princess, and then an Asian Princess.  Once people started to make a big deal out of the race of the princesses, the producers of Disney needed to come up with new princesses.

Looney Tones- one of my favorite shows when I was a child.
 But after reading what Christensen piece said:
"Indians in 'Looney Tunes' are also depicted as inferior human beings.  These characters are stereotypical to the greatest degree, carrying tomahawks, painting their faces, and sending smoke signals as their only means of communication." 
People don't realize what the directors mean behind their characters.  Why did they make it this way?  All of the characters in pretty much every cartoon/ Disney movie is stereotyped.  All of the princesses are gorgeous and have a happy ending, the men in the Disney movies have huge muscles, the Spanish people are servants.  After realizing the stereotyped cartoons and movies I am disappointed of my childhood.  I grew up thinking that there was nothing wrong with non white princesses. [SCWAAMP- Whiteness & American-ness]

Points to Share in Class:
Did Disney producers do this on purpose or was it simply because of the way they portrayed all aspects of SCWAAMP?  Do you think there will ever be a princess with cancer?  Why are all the movies or cartoons stereotypical?

Friday, February 12, 2016


By: Richard Rodriguez

February 16, 2016

Richard Rodriguez did a great job describing his life as a child.  He was definitely a man of difficulty living in a "white man's" world.  Rodriguez was a Hispanic boy who spoke Spanish as his first language.  He went to a Catholic School where he was required to learn English has his societal language.  He was at disadvantage being at this Catholic School because he was being taught in English where he didn't know a single English word. In today's world, ever cultural person who lives in the United States needs to be able to speak and understand English because even though that is not our country's primary language, white English speaking people take up a majority of the country.

Since the seventies, every school needs to teach a foreign language to help broaden the minds of the students.  Starting in Preschool, the teachers are required to intertwine Spanish into their curriculum because of the high population of Hispanics and Spanish speaking people.

For me, Every year since Preschool I was taught Spanish.  When I entered high school, Spanish wasn't a demand but every student needed to take it.  In my Spanish classrooms, it was strictly speaking Spanish- you were not allowed to speak any English.  It was hard for English speaking students to learn Spanish and get tested on it when there was not English being used.
^ Just like Richard who was Spanish speaking and needed to learn English.  It was hard for him to learn and understand English.  When the nuns went to Richard's home to speak to his parents, the parents went along with speaking English in their home.  But the result in the major life change was that Richard and his parents become distant towards each other.

This reading clearly relates to SCWAAMP.  It relates to American-ness, Whiteness, and Christianity- three aspects of Grinner's SCWAAMP.  American-ness because of the primary language of English; Whiteness because of the white nuns that are enforcing the rules and codes of power; Christianity because Richard went to a Catholic School.

Why did Richard go to a Catholic School, why couldn't he have gone to a public school?  Going to this English speaking Catholic School, Richard struggled tremendously due to the way that English was the primary language that all cultural students had to learn. If English is not spoken at home and there is no outside help, the Spanish speaking child that is trying to learn English will not have the full opportunity and support that they should have.

Questions/Comments/Points to share:
Even though English is not the primary language in the United States, everybody needs to learn how to speak, white, and understand English.  For English speaking people though, they need to learn Spanish because there has been a high population of Hispanic and Spanish speaking people in the United States over the past years.  But why?  If we were going to connect to SCWAAMP, why do white English people have to learn the minority language?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

White Privilege:  Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
By:  Peggy McIntosh

February 4, 2016

As Peggy McIntosh says, "I was taught to see racism only individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group."  Every child is taught about racism and what it means.  But, does a "white" parent teach their "white" child that we are a race also?  Many white people go unannounced as to where the racism is performed.  Many white people are the ones isolating black people or Spanish people out of areas where there is a high population of white people.  Why do we do this?

McIntosh talks about "white privilege" and the disturbance of it.  A lot of white people don't understand that white people have a say over black people or that white people have inevitable white power over other races.

"I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege... White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, code books, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks" (McIntosh). 

White people have privileges that are unacknowledged and in which white people do not know of.  If a white person was to speak at a conference in front of a minority of blacks; whatever the white person says will be more acknowledged than of what the black person announces.  White children are taught in school "that blacks are bad, Hispanics are dangerous." Well, the "white" teachers are who are enforcing this kind of behavior, and in result the white children will grow up thinking that "blacks are bad, Hispanics are dangerous."  

"If these things are true, this 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" (McIntosh). 

White privilege is "valued" in the United States.  An everyday person can look around that see white people everywhere - earlier presidents, teachers, people of the government.  Many people believe that just because someone is black or of a different race it limits their opportunity in the world; yes, it is true in some cases- which is completely depressing.  Many children grow up in multicultural schools; and because of this the students who are of the minority feel like they are not as good as the "white privileged" children.  

"Many, perhaps most, of our white students in the United States think that racism doesn't affect them because they are not people of color, they do not see 'whiteness' as a racial identity" (McIntosh). 

White people are oblivious to their privileges that are unacknowledged. Such as: a white person can shop by themselves without feeling harassed, white people can find other people to help them through problems, white people have a better success rate in schools and in finding a job. Black people are likely to be questioned and/or have harder time in a "white man's" world.  

McIntosh and Grinner relate in many aspects of work.  Grinner talks about the "Whiteness" and how it is one symbol of the United States.  Some areas that go unannounced when it comes to whiteness are:  "nude" colored band aids, white wedding dresses, pure/good, the face of our leaders.  White privilege is throughout the whole country even if people do not recognize it.   In some ways whiteness seems more harsh than what most people would aspect.  

Questions/Comments/Points to share:
Can you think of ways whiteness is privileged in the United States or around this world?  Whiteness is sometimes taken for granted due to its beginning in the United States formed by the Founding Fathers.  Have you ever been part of a time where you felt like the "leader" because there were other races around you?  If children weren't taught in school to feel like white was better than every other race, the world would be completely different. Can you even imagine that?