Showing posts from March 14, 2021

Blogbook -- Chapter 1: Racism Is A Boat (part 2 of 2)

Entry 8 So racist discourse that makes everything around us is the boat we sail in our classrooms. To say that racism is a discourse means more than the idea that it’s structural and systemic, or that it’s built into the fabric of our language and lives, that it’s unseen most of the time because it’s the normal course of things. It means that racism is in the ways we are called to act and behave in the places we each circulate -- that is, it is in how we are interpellated as racialized subjects. It is in the physical, economic, geographic, ideological, and language structures that organize our world, that give us our choices for actions and beliefs.  It is also in our policies, laws, and practices, in our standard operating procedures in most places, schools, businesses, and disciplines. It’s not just ubiquitous and overdetermined, as Freud describes dream interpretations ( note 48 ). It’s complex, difficult to recognize much of the time, and hard to change when we are sitting comforta

Blogbook -- Chapter 1: Racism Is A Boat (Part 1 of 2)

Entry 7  (part 1 of 2) In the next few sections (and blog posts), I will discuss racism as a discourse in order to end on a heuristic of sorts for literacy and language teachers. That’s my goal of this chapter, to get to that heuristic. That is, I’ll end chapter 1 with a way to understand antiracism as an orientation to the world and our classrooms. We’re about half way there! But let me offer a taste of where we will end up. Antiracist orientations address racist discourse in the literacy and language classroom, whether that is high school English classrooms or college writing courses.  To help with where we’ll go and why, let’s consider an extended metaphor. I think it will suggest ways to use the ideas and history I’m offering in this blogbook in your classroom -- that is, these ideas should help build your own antiracist orientations. Racism isn’t simply people treating others badly, or some kind of evil intention within us. It ain’t about nefarious and prejudiced purposes, or evil