Grateful for the opportunity

This doesn’t seem like something that ought to be taught in schools.

There’s an expanded version.

Below is a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture which show up in our organizations. Culture is powerful precisely because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to name or identify. The characteristics listed below are damaging because they are used as norms and standards without being pro-actively named or chosen by the group. They are damaging because they promote white supremacy thinking. They are damaging to both people of color and to white people. Organizations that are people of color-led or a majority people of color can also demonstrate many damaging characteristics of white supremacy culture.

It all seems very circular. Who says they’re “characteristics of white supremacy culture”? What is wrong with them? “Objectivity” for instance – that’s often an essential tool, not a “characteristic of white supremacy.”

Do anti-racism by all means, but don’t do it by telling kids in school that objectivity is a bad and suspect thing.

Worship of the Written Word

if it’s not in a memo, it doesn’t exist

the organization does not take into account or value other ways in which information gets shared

those with strong documentation and writing skills are more highly valued, even in organizations where ability to relate to others is key to the mission

In other words booooooo literacy.

Come on now. You can’t teach this in school. Literacy opens a billions doors, and lack of it slams them shut. Don’t do that to children – especially don’t do that to non-white children.

Only One Right Way

the belief there is one right way to do things and once people are introduced to the right way, they will see the light and adopt it

when they do not adapt or change, then something is wrong with them (the other, those not changing), not with us (those who know the right way)

similar to the missionary who does not see value in the culture of other communities, sees only value in their beliefs about what is good

Often there is only one right way to do a particular thing. Creativity and flexibility are good, but so is knowing the right way to do things.

I hope this isn’t really getting into the Ann Arbor public schools.

21 Responses to “Grateful for the opportunity”