I would first like to begin this post by saying that I am extremely glad this was not the first piece of reading we had for this course. I say this simply because I know myself, and I most likely would have felt very attacked by Lisa Delipts writings on racism. Yet, we WERE warned, and WERE told to remember the precious authors words (Johnson's) writings on how not to feel attacked because nobody should be singled out for such a massive problem. So, doctor Bogad, good call on keeping us mindful of those facts!
Throughout this article, Delpit argues about a vital, yet normally avoided subject pertaining to the high number of power imbalances in US classrooms. Though it is an extremely touchy subject that often goes unsaid for, because nobody wants to feel uncomfortable, or step on antibody's toes, Delpit attacks the issue in a direct and successful manner to her readers. Focusing on real life excerpts of conversations between students, parents, teachers, etc., Delpit has examined a world of assumptions that nobody like to admit. Such assumptions that are sad, yet so true such as teachers in most American societies, assuming the abilities, enthusiasms, and overall image of lower-income families, and children of different racers. Formed are stereotypes which Delpit explains throughout this article, are one of the main reasons that fosters such ignorance.
Divided into three main parts, this article addresses major issues throughout it, such as the main theme being the power imbalances throughout the US and the cultural differences that cause this to occur. Delpit does not simple blame the reasons for this power struggle on racism . According to her, it occurs because of the pure unwillingness, especially those with power and privilege, to understand, just as Johnson speaks about in his writings. Obviously, one of our most frequent places, and most important places for our children in America to be is inside of a classroom.. There, in addition to home teachings, children are taught most of the necessities and lessons in which they will apply to their everyday lives and how they conduct their ways of thinking in many subject areas. Therefore, educators are one of the most important aspects of the future of America. Unfortunately though, this persistent power struggle between diversities is particularly evident in our classrooms. It is so high that it occurs at a subconscious level, where teachers do not even know that they are doing wrong for their students, because it was the way that they were taught as well.
Throughout Delpits writings about "transforming the main-stream" it may seem like she is attacking the white middle-class society, yet she is truly focusing on the parts of society that do not notice a problem is occurring. Through visiting occurrences such as pretending that the histories of peoples being oppressed, as if they never occurred, is a way Delpit describes that a nonrecognition occurs, which ultimately "ensures racial prejudice still occurs" because the problem is just always sugar coated. Here I agree most with the author.
Being a white female in America, I never want to speak about the oppression of different minority groups because it is uncomfortable for me to address the issue, yet by me failing to such issues, I am sugar coating the past as well. I am not constantly reminded that those oppressed "got a slow start" in the race of life metaphor, which we spoke about in class.
By addressing this past, Delpit is most evidently correct, and it is the only way for our country to prevail over such wrongdoings. Two quotes I would like to end this post with are "recognize and overcome the power of differenital, the stereotypes, and the other barriers which prevent us from seeing each other. Those efforts must drive our teach education, our curriculum development, our instructional strategies, and every aspect of the educational enterprise".....and by Paulo Freire "Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral."