A group of boys who were all very much alike in skills levels,
neighborhood, skin tones etc, etc, etc. were working with me on a
long term project.
I noticed that one boy was being "discriminated against". I started
They "...didn't want to work with him in the group any more". I
continued to ask questions to try to work out the problem but
everything that I asked about was not a problem. Finally I asked them
to tell me what characteristic was so offensive that they would expel
him from the group. Their answer, "He wears Shop-Right Shoes."
Over the years I have witnessed that even when the playing field is
level kids will focus on something to separate the group.
You could expand that out to people in general. Of course we will
retain the right to have likes and dislikes in our personal
relationships but it is the tendency to expand the preferences into
the extremes of exclusion, prejudice, discrimination, and racism where
"lies the rub"
My point is that no group or person has the exclusive on mistreatment.
Now what do educators and other public servants need to do to guide
this human tendency to prevent the extremes???
We do need to inform and to remember but there is a delicate balance
between remembering and inciting. I have a friend who seems to get
an energy burst by chronicling every offense that she has endured
throughout her life. If it weren't for that she would bore even
herself:<) There is a big difference in that and remembering so it
does not happen again.
From: "The Austin's" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "ArtsEdNet Talk" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: pledge of allegiance/add on to Madafo
Date: Sat, Jul 27, 2002, 7:32 PM
I would like to add my 2 cents worth here - I keep reading about
racism refering to blacks/whites. Let us not forget that racism
affects many peoples, including Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans,
etc etc etc. It affects Jews (let us not forget WWII). My
mother-in-law is from Tibet, and her people were persecuted when she
was a child. And how does all this affect the handicapped? I have seen
many races poking fun (on national TV no less) at the mentally
retarded, the physically impaired. Our jobs as educators should be to
embrace all people regardless of skin color, religion, or physical