Monday, March 07, 2005

a bit strange...

um, I feel a bit strange that we didn't discuss race and ethnicity more last week. I don't know what I would want to happen about it now...and I know I was in the class also and didn't make it happen--still, I wanted to mention it.
(I know it is difficult to tell tone online--so as clarification--this is just meant as a gentle prod)


  1. Every time I teach this class, discussing race and ethnicity is always the most difficult challenge. It's one of the most difficult challenges we face as a nation, I think, for that matter. (But I also think it's hard to sincerely talk about sex/gender and, especially, class/wealth in America too. Think about the vapid level of debate from both major parties during the recent presidential election if you disagree.) I feel that between our readings, what we were able to work through in person, and what people had posted on the weblog, we made a good start at thinking critically about "race," stereotypes, privilege, and discrimination as different but related components of individual and group identity in 21st century America. But I would like us to continue to revisit these divides -- digital or not -- in our further discussions through the semester.

  2. Yes, I agree with you. It is such a hard topic. I think that was why I was slightly disappointed we didn't talk about it more, I think the more places people feel comfortable (or even just slightly less than absolutely uncomfortable) is really good...exactly because it is so difficult. I have been thinking a lot about this issue (talking about race and ethnicity) since I listened to a tape of a radio show from the Sixties. It had a conversation between Malcolm X, James Baldwin, and McCullough (I think, ugh, I hate that I forgot the third man's name--someone from a student non-violent group). Granted, they were all African-American but they spoke from completely different places--and they still had the conversation and were respectful. They each said very difficult statements, things that probably horrified the others, yet they all kept talking about it. I feel there are so few places where we can get even close to that now. I don't know what it is...madison political correctness, or this cultural climate in general, or what. Anyway, I obviously didn't jump right in and make the discussion happen in, I'm definitely not trying to sound all arrogant--it just seemed important to mention.