Blogbook -- An Equation for Racist Discourse
- “hypothetical premises about human kinds (e.g., the ‘great chain of being,’ classificatory hierarchies, etc.) and about the differences between them (both metal and physical)”;
- “a class of ethical choices (e.g., domination and subjugation, entitlement and restriction, disrespect and abuse)”;
- “a set of institutional regulations, directions, and pedagogic models (e.g., apartheid, separate development, educational institutions, choice of educational and bureaucratic language, etc.)”;
- “Norms or prescriptions for behavior [that are] . . . contextually circumscribed by specific hypotheses, ethical choices, regulations, and models. (note 91)
- “classification, order, value, and hierarchy;”
- “differentiation and identity, discrimination and identification;”
- “exclusion, domination, suggestion, and subjugation; as well as”
- “entitlement and restriction.” (note 92)
Part one: The foundation of explicit and implicit racist discourses is the explicit or implicit use of logics and assumptions that accept or use hierarchies, orders of value, or ranking of things, ideas, languages, and people. (What hierarchies and orders of value are being used or assumed?)
Part two: The consequences of the use of these hierarchical logics and assumptions are to discriminate, exclude, subjugate or restrict BIPOC people, while entitling and privileging White people. (Who is discriminated against or restricted by the use of the hierarchical logic in question and who is privileged?)
Brave WorkWrite for 10 minutes.Consider a short text you’ve loved, or that you use in your classroom as a model for students, one that you may have used to teach something about writing or how to write or argue effectively.Use the equation for racist discourse to help you re-read critically this text. Have those questions in mind as you reread. First look for the hierarchical logics and assumptions in the text. What are they and where can find them in culture, history, and society? That is, how are they common sense already? Then consider how their strict adherence creates discriminations in their consequences. Which social groups will be most likely affected both positively and negatively?
This blogbook is offered for free in order to engage language and literacy teachers of all levels in antiracist work and dialogue. The hope is that it will help raise enough money to do more substantial and ongoing antiracist work by funding the Asao and Kelly Inoue Antiracist Teaching Endowment, housed at Oregon State University. Read more about the endowment on my endowment page. Please consider donating as much as you can to the endowment. Thank you for your help and engagement.