Showing posts from May 9, 2021

Blogbook -- Antiracism Ain't Easy

Entry 20 It may seem like we’ve been talking about antiracism this whole time. And in a way, we have. But let’s be clear about what exactly I’m offering in this blogbook, which can seem hard to discern if your assumption is that this blogbook is a “how to” guide to antiracist teaching. In one sense, it is, but not conventionally so. Antiracism ain't easy.  Antiracism is not really a particular pedagogy or a set of practices. We might identify a pedagogy or practice as antiracist in a classroom by some outcome it produces, but because racism and White supremacy are so much a part of everything -- they are a discourse made of both our material conditions and the ways we talk about our conditions -- it’s easy for a pedagogy or practice to be co-opted by the hegemonic structures around us. As Gramsci explains, this is how hegemony works. It constantly changes, adapts, and co-opts the forces and agents that work against it. Why fight your enemy head on, when you can incorporate them int

Blogbook -- No Avoiding Race and Racism

Entry 19 It is not hard to argue that the early racial discourses from men like Birnier, Lineaus, Buffon, and Blumenbach were also racist (see entry 6 ). From their origins, these discourses were hierarchical and placed people in uneven racial categories. That is, from the beginning race was inherently a hierarchical set of categories that came out of European discourses of science and philosophy by folks like Hobbes, Locke, and Bacon. And these thinkers were influenced by Aristotle’s scientific rhetorics of categorization (see entry 5 ). So the very idea of race as a set of categories which was easily placed into hierarchies of value could be argued is racist.  Today, this leads some to claim that just mentioning, using, or identifying race in any way is racist. We should therefore stop using race altogether as a way to reference people, either as a group or individuals. The idea is that you can stop racism by avoiding the idea of race in language, which doesn’t allow such ideas to ci