Showing posts from April 11, 2021

Blogbook -- An Equation for Racist Discourse

Entry 14 So if racism is really racist discourse, at least as we might study it in a literacy or language classroom, then that field is made up of things we might identify and define. Things we can look for in and around texts with students. This will help us understand the racial politics of the languages and literatures we teach, and how those politics afford meaning and significance to those texts and their ideas. It can help us keep thinking about the racist discourses that any text participate in.   What are the elements? You likely already know them, or could guess. Goldberg says that racist discourse has two aspects. The first aspect is a collection of “discursive representations.” He means “styles of reference,” “figures of speech,” and “metaphors” ( note 88 ). Basically, one part of racism is the language we use to express it or enact it. It’s the tropes and styles of racism in language, like the raven as a symbol of Blacks and slavery, the “Yellow Peril” and Asians as dirty a

Blogbook -- "Reasonable Suspicion" and Literacy Classroom

Entry 13  In this discussion of racist discourse and its function in literacy classrooms, let’s consider something that seems far removed from that classroom: the legal standard for “reasonable suspicion.” Police officers are supposed to use reasonable suspicion as a way to determine if they should detain someone temporarily in order to figure out if a crime has been committed. This could include stopping someone and frisking the outside of their clothing for a weapon. This legal definition produces an orientation and set of habitual behaviors that police officers use in order to do their jobs. The non-profit organization, Flex Your Rights , explains: “the reasonable suspicion standard requires facts or circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a suspect has, is, or will commit a crime” ( note 79 ).  But what does “reasonable” mean in this instance? The Supreme Court decision of Terry v. Ohio (1968) established the standard for “reasonable suspicion.” In his ma