Roger Williams University has apparently been planning to include people of color on its board of trustees since the early 1900’s (note the sarcasm). Unfortunately, the plan had never been implemented. I guess it takes a lot of “planning” for an all white board to include people of color. Perhaps the implementation was delayed due to the overt racism of the board?
For the record, I believe that writing about white privilege and patriarchy is a positive thing to do. I feel very positive when I write about these particular barriers to social justice.
I feel that working towards the elimination of racism and sexism is a positive thing. It’s not an easy thing to do. It often hurts. There are comments that make my heart pound as I attempt to digest scattered remnants of thoughts that have been buried beneath piles of words. Sometimes it keeps me awake at night as I try to negotiate how to respond. It hurts to see comments from friends who say that I only talk about negatives. It is challenging.
TOWARD A PEDAGOGY OF THE OPPRESSOR
by Michael Kimmel
THIS BREEZE AT MY BACK
To run or walk into a strong headwind is to understand the power of nature. You set your jaw in a squared grimace, your eyes are slits against the wind, and you breathe with a fierce determination. And still you make so little progress.
To walk or run with that same wind at your back is to float, to sail effortlessly, expending virtually no energy. You do not feel the wind; it feels you. You do not feel how it pushes you along; you feel only the effortlessness of your movements. You feel like you could go on forever. It is only when you turn around and face that wind that you realize its strength.
Being white, or male, or heterosexual in this culture is like running with the wind at your back. It feels like just plain running, and we rarely if ever get a chance to see how we are sustained, supported, and even propelled by that wind.
It is time to make that wind visible.
I’ve been mulling over a few subjects that have been making appearances on my site as of late. The subjects are white privilege and the meritocracy myth a.k.a. “pull yourself up by the bootstraps and inequality vanishes as soon as the laces are tied.”
I’d like to thank Dennis at Rhetorical Wasteland for spurring me on to continue to post about the same thing…over and over again.
In addition to D’s encouragement, I received this comment/email today (which actually encouraged me to create this post):
…yes, I am white, and no nothing was given to me. The scholarships I had in college – academic (i.e., merit-based) based, not because they were promised to white people. The grades I earned – because of hard work, not because the professor favored white people. The job I hold now, I earned because of my experience and background, not because I am white.
…And if you do not believe in pulling oneself up by the bootstraps, then perhaps you should more attention to the people who have achieved success in this country by their own hard work.
In response to that sentiment, I present the following comic, excerpts and links regarding the meritocracy myth…
My current plate of consulting activities is currently full of heaping portions of projects. Thus the rationale for my recent spurt of blog posts. If I can get a lot of posts up in a short period of time then I may have more time to be productive. I could always go on another blogging hiatus but I’d rather not…
One of the aspects of blogging that seems to derail my productivity is the never ending buffet of comments from heterosexual white guys (hwg’s). My skin is fairly thick but my inner monologue always buzzes at me to address comments from hwg’s. In case you are wondering, I’m a card carrying member of the hwg club. I think that sometimes my identity is difficult to swallow for a lot of the hwg’s who wander to my site. It does not surprise me…if I had met me about 3 or 4 years ago I would have probably had difficulty digesting the social justice banquet that is set on the table of this blog. Here’s to life-long learning, good friends, and listening.
Safe2Pee is a web directory of gender neutral bathrooms in the United States. Safe2Pee’s ever-expanding directory currently features 543 gender neutral bathrooms in 158 cities. This site is a great resource!
The goal of the project is to create a resource where people who do not feel comfortable with traditional public restrooms can find safe alternatives. The service aims to be accessible from a variety of mediums (computer, cell phone browser, maybe even a call-in number?), and to support advocacy and research on the subject of inclusive bathrooms.
Initially this service will only be available in the US, however we hope to expand and extend our capabilities rapidly. More features and greater customization will be available very soon!
Safe2Pee is a project of the Bathroom Liberation Front.