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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectRE: It goes deeper than that
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=30834&mesg_id=30863
30863, RE: It goes deeper than that
Posted by moot_point, Thu May-12-05 10:58 AM
>I write this because of this adherence (in academia) to preset
>standards that position white and European history, art and
>culture above others. However, it is deeper than that. In
>not just that white history/culture is seen as the only
>history/culture. There is a overt agenda that presupposes
>this superiority and will marginalize or not include the
>voices, text, and histories of other people. Thus, when white
>"teachers" (or anyone) attempt to discuss or explore outside
>of the canon they are only doing so from their position in the
>social order. They are limited in their ability to teach
>because they do not realize or are unwilling to admit that
>they, too, have inherited a reality and view that is far
>different than some of their students...and even their

I believe there ARE voices within academia that subvert the traditional canon, but indeed their faculties are marginalised (even scoffed at) both within and outside the university system. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I now feel embarrassed telling people I studied culture at university.

>This unwillingness to recognize one's own conditioning (even
>in academia) is why it is often impossible for white people to
>relate or relay information to and about people of color
>(Black people) in a realistic way. Speaking for myself, in
>school the first thing I learned was that Jane, Dick and Spot
>lived in a world I was excluded from. It's a slightly
>different experience for children now but not much. That's
>40+ years of conditioning that starts when kids first enter
>the outside world, as students. This world gets larger as we
>grow but not the first lessons.

I accept this. There is always going to be a certain disparity. However, are black males and white males (for example) not conditioned in similar ways, in terms of class and gender? How much significance is there (or ought there be) in the conditioning between different colours?

>"...my presence in the world is not so much of someone who is
>merely adapting to something external, but of someone who is
>inserted as if belonging essentially to it. It's the position
>of one who struggles to become the subject and maker of
>history and not simply a passive, disconnected object." -
>Paulo Freire
>As a Black woman (and educator), I recognize the conditions in
>which we are in generate divisions that make it hard to
>construct ideas for change and transformation. Like Freire, I
>know that these obstacles will not last forever. Until then,
>people have to deal with the divisions and be willing to
>recognize privilege of the lack of that AND how it effects
>their views.

You are optimistic. How do you foresee change?