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August 17, 2011


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gary rith

I am surprised, here in the countryside of upper NY state, that there are so many rebel flags on pickups. The tea baggers and rednecks are scary people. I don't know why they feel its easier to express hatred at other people for the way their lives have turned out.

green girl in wisconsin

It's important to engage EVERYBODY in the race conversation--otherwise it still belongs to "them" and not "us"--accomplishing zilch.


I agree that there is not nearly enough discussion about white priveldge and that most white people don't even realize the huge impact that exists due to thr reality of it.

I don't agree that as a white woman you have only empathy to confer - as a woman you have experienced insistutional discrimination and the reason you can empathise so effectively is because you have experienced the pyscholgical effects of fear, powerlessness and second class citizenry throughout your life. No, you are not of color and your tavails have not been so deep - but they are there.

I hve learned a ot of the nuances from my son who studies and teaches social justice and equality. I am going to ask him to direct me to some literature which I can share with you (and perhaps I will start blogging more on this subject.)

You need to share this information with the teachers who thing kids should just "get over" being of color. They need to educate themselves in order to be better educators.


race & racism discussion is not for the faint of heart. As a white teacher that teaches in a district that is predominately comprised of a minority student body, it is something that I am acutely aware of.

It is part of the reason why I (& many of my colleagues) were so upset by a mandatory meeting that ALL employees were required to attend this past Monday. Even as one who is highly conscious of every action that I take & reflects upon my reaction to situations when it involves a student of color, I believe that the support I need is much different than the one they were seeking to address on Monday.

The employees who routinely overreact & respond inappropriately to our students of color would never believe that Monday's meeting was for them. I was very disheartened after Monday's meeting & walked away feeling as if I was being judged by the color of my skin.


in the 80s, I lived with a black man...he was from a small town in NC and the first time we went down there, my eyes were really opened! Up here (near Boston), black folks are really in the minority, much more so than down south. Days can go by without me seeing a black face.

When Mike and I went to NC, we stayed at his Mom's house. One day, we were walking down the street to his Mom's church for the baptism of his nephew (who was half white). Mike was in the AF and wearing his dress blues. Two little boys road by on their bicycles and said: "Oh, look, a white lady!" Not, oh look a man in an AF uniform, but "Oh, look, a white lady!". That was eye opener #1. #2 was when we got to the church...and other than Mike's nephew, I was the only white person there. And everyone was so nice and welcoming and I felt very comfortable. Not exactly Mike's experience in the lily white northeast, by any means, unfortuately.
Racism is alive and well here and I do my best to help change that in any way possible, even if it's just by giving someone "the look" when they say something incredibly prejudiced.

Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy

Kelly is a fantastic writer and all her posts are thought provoking. I'm glad you 'met' her online!


it is an important conversation to be having, and will be for some time to come. we move slowly here in this country. watching my girl grow up, and guiding her along, is the best place to work on it - children start out colorblind, at least in my experience.


I read that post of Mocha Momma's and as annoyed as she is about the white/black issue? I'm equally annoyed with people who know NOTHING about the movie business and seriously think a Hollywood studio is ever going to do justice to any book.

Titanic, anyone?

Not only will they never do a book justice? They couldn't care less what any of us think about it.

Busy Bee Suz

I am usually very cautious speaking about racism because I am SO afraid of insulting someone.
I read the link about the unicorn cake and such...wow, she makes a great point!


Jenn, one thing that has always struck me is when kids at school say, "Miss! That white lady down the hall __________! [yelled at me; wrote me up; took my phone away, etc.] and I gently remind them that *I* am also a white lady. This is usually met with eye rolls and/or shouts of, "Miss! You know what I mean!" That's when we have yet another discussion about how not all white people are the same, just like not all ________ are the same. Of course, there are also kids who accuse me of being racist when I _______ (won't let them go to the bathroom because someone is already out of the room; talk during a quiz; ask people to use appropriate language, etc.) That begets another type of conversation about racism! I would much rather we have these talks and address this issue from various angles than pretend racism has been eradicated. I'm going to go read some of the other posts now!


I've really learned a lot and appreciated the discussion at Mocha Momma's. Still digesting it all, but I think discussion is the very best thing that can happen.

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