k_orr was talking about bringing in representatives from different economic classes in order to educate the kids about who owns what in the community and how that impacts the kids. My point was that because this curriculum includes a variety of ethnicities representing different levels of ownership, the other lesson that is available is that beneath all of the visible differences, beneath all the economic differences, there is essential humanity to each person. To the extent that we hope to change our outlook on race (including whether or not it is a viable construct in the first place), to the extent that we want to become more peaceloving, to the extent that we want to decrease crime, we must overcome the barriers that we place in our own way.
Every time we identify someone as being unsympathetic because they are not like us, irrespective of what we're looking at when we define the differences, we are distancing ourselves from an opportunity to open our minds. If we line up the Chinese and white businessmen and tell the kids that they are to be despised because of their economic status, don't you think those kids are going to hear "race"?
I'm not saying that there hasn't been historic oppression. I'm not saying that oppression isn't ongoing. I'm saying that we need to acknowledge individuals as individuals as well as identifying the problems that exist. What we all have in common is that we are human beings. We think, we feel, we have emotions. We all try to avoid pain, we all seek love. So let's look to the similarities as well as the differences.
~ ~ ~ All meetings end in separation All acquisition ends in dispersion All life ends in death - The Buddha