Going back to my junior high school days, I always thought the Washington Redskins, a National Football League team, should change its name. Historically speaking, American Indians have had the weakest political clout in US History. In essence, American policy toward the American Indian has been one of prolific lies. Can you imagine what would happen if Washington called themselves the Washington Black Faces? Think about it: A man with a painted black face dancing around with watermelon in one hand and fried chicken in the other. In reminds me of 19th century minstrel shows in which whites mimicked black culture by making fun of their norms. This was pervasive in the antebellum South.
So, why bring the topic up. A D.C. Council may push the organization to change its name, as noted here.
I am not surprised to hear this; I do believe that it is time for all of us in public society to have this conversation. Regardless if you support gays and lesbians or not, it is a conversation that should be taking place in our homes, on our campuses, and in our churches.
I am sharing a two-part piece from a paper I wrote entitled Getting Real About Whiteness in Independent Schools. I broke away from script just a bit in the reading of this primarily due to length. The goal of course is to show a historical relationship dating back to the 1960s about why many African-American teachers are pronounced liberal in their construct. In this segment, I start in a more philosophical fashion denoting a mere semblance of black identity. In the second segment, I will delve into the more recent elements of the shaping of the black faculty member.
While a graduate student, I wrote a paper entitled A Marxist Synthesis to Educational Analysis. In this paper, I addressed a shift promulgated by neo-Marxists vis-à-vis culturalist theory. Aspects of cultural theory shaped my educational and pedagogical premise that students must be free thinkers. Furthermore, if they are to become free thinkers, they must construct their own synthesis toward ideas and ideals… not a mere synthesis of their academic environment. Much of my conclusion is shared by Stanley Fish, a wonderful leftist academic who always looked to empower the well prepared student through Socratic discussions. His post-modern analysis toward radical theory, queer theory, and deconstruction has continued to revolutionize education.
As a student, I recall on a number of occasions challenging the status of my campus. Often frustrated by the same white protestant male espousing the same political, ideological, and religious beliefs. From class to class, I watched my anger grow as I sought to understand my own learning and identity from the likes of Richard Wright and W.E.B. Du Bois. I knew they would not sing the same old company lesson plan articulated by one-dimensional institutions. I asked more than once: Why the preachy lessons on moral abstract construct espoused by ONE ideological thought? or, What does the black teacher think? or Where are the black, Asian, American Indian teachers? How about ONE Jewish teacher? Maybe a pro-Palestinian professor? Creating institutions that inculcate the same values and norms does not allow students to become critical thinkers. It is a lie. We (including myself) recycle the same language but, each time we do, we ask students to think critically. Here is what Fish has to say:
…the Academic Bill of Rights, the Student Bill of Rights and the Princeton Student Bill of Rights all speak of the importance of promoting and protecting the academic freedom of students. What could this possibly mean? The only freedom students rightly have is the freedom to vote with their feet if they do not like the syllabus in a particular course. They are not free to demand on the basis of an intellectual diversity or balance or pluralism or some other specious abstraction that the syllabus be changed to suit their personal or ideological inclinations. Nor are students free to introduce into a classroom issues or perspectives that are judged by an instructor to be beside the point he or she wishes to explore. Instructors are free to say to a student, that may be an interesting question, but it is not one we shall be asking here.
The rhetoric of academic freedom for students is a subset of the rhetoric of student rights. But students have no rights, except the right to competent and responsible instruction. They certainly do not have any right to be instructed by a conservative teacher or a liberal teacher or a religious teacher or a white teacher or a black teacher or a teacher of any color. The idea that students have rights often accompanies the idea that students are customers and teachers, providers. Students are not customers and if we survey their preferences and alter our product accordingly, we will not only have betrayed our professional responsibility; we will have betrayed them
Yes, we are spoiled here at Houston Christian. We recently named our coffee shop which is located on the first floor of our student center. Can you believe I had my very first taste of their coffee this AM? I had time after my AM coaching session. And, seeing that my first class was not until 10:00 AM, why not intoxicate my body with caffeine.
Working Conference Paper: Revisiting the Problem of the Twentieth Century: Will Evangelical and Faith-Based Schools Mend the Color Line in the Twenty-First Century?
In my recent paper, I get to discuss the black and white point of view about segregation.
From the point of view of blacks and their white allies, desegregation needed to happen since segregation not only violated the 14th amend of the Constitution, but separate and equal were deemed wholly unconstitutional in 1954. Hence, as noted by Thomas Jones of the U.S Bureau of Education, “Inadequacy and poverty are the outstanding characteristics of every type and grade of education for Negroes.” So, the state perpetuated the notion of cyclical poverty and inferiority among blacks. Jim Crow marked decades of institutional problems. However, anti-desegregation whites believed that the matter of education was not addressed in the Constitution. Actors such as members of the Dixiecrat Party viewed it as a 10th amend matter. Democrats and many Republicans held true to this too. Thus according to segregationist, the construct of states’ rights should manifest the will of the majority. I guess the point to ponder is to what extent were whites pro-segregation.
Segregationist whites viewed the race issue as a violation of state sovereignty and a Constitutional matter. I am still unclear about why.
Runners make up an interesting community; we are at times self absorbed yet compassionate and willing to help others. I have been following many in the running community as they display their support for the BAA and the victims. Below is a note from the BAA:
Boston stands as one
Thank you to all our fans for your outpouring of support. So many of you have asked “how can we help?” Thanks to adidas, one of our sponsors, here’s a great way, the “Boston stands as one” t-shirt. The t-shirt is available at adidas.com with 100% of the proceeds going to The One Fund Boston, Inc. The One Fund Boston, Inc. was announced yesterday to support those affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on Monday.
The limited edition “Boston stands as one” t-shirt is available now at adidas.com for $26.20.
During our Tuesday AM practice, some of the runners that I coach as well as other assistant coaches gathered for this picture below as a show of support.