Yesterday, I wrote about my plan to discuss race and specifically Michael Brown and Ferguson in my classroom today.
We began with a “think, pair, share” activity. I asked the students why it’s uncomfortable to talk about race. Their answers:
- “Political correctness makes us feel like we’re walking on eggshells.”
- “Someone might take offense when no offense was intended.”
- “It’s awkward to talk about race with or around different races.”
- “There is still a lot of anger about slavery.”
I then asked them what color they see when they hear or read the word “race.” The students who called out answered “black.” I asked them if they think of white people as having a race. One white student shared that she doesn’t think of herself as being part of a race until she really thinks about it. White, for many of my students, represents the absence of race.
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It’s just over a month now since Magteld went away. Thirty-eight days that have gone by in such a haze that I often suspect time has gone haywire. The house that the boys and I moved in to nine weeks ago is already packed with history: the two weeks we spent going back and forth to the hospice, the two weeks we lived here as a family and celebrated Euan’s birthday, and the last five weeks, when we’ve had to cope with the shock and aftermath of Magteld’s abrupt departure.
I say ‘went away’ in the absence of any more suitable words. She died, obviously, but that fails to cover the impact of her loss. The day she died, when the boys and I stood by her hospital bed and watched her take her last breaths, seems etched in history, already distant, like a picture in a school textbook. The…
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Many details about the violent death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, remain unclear. What is beyond doubt is the intensity of reactions to this story — in the media and in neighborhoods all over the US (and beyond). Here are ten personal perspectives on this event and its aftermath, from writers representing a diverse cross-section of the WordPress.com community.
Writer and scholar Keguro Macharia reacts with his usual incisiveness to one of the signature chants of post-Ferguson protests :
If “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” is an expression of “humanity,” as one tweet has it, we must ask for whom that humanity is available. In fact, the insistent repetition of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” by black bodies across the U.S. might offer a less promising narrative: it might suggest the banality with which black life forms can never gain access to the vernaculars of the human.
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Twitter is the headquarters of the control freak. It’s a social network for those who want everlasting control over what they see and from whom they see it. It’s the social network for those who want to bless people by following their digital auras, depending on if they prefer ethos (power Twitter), pathos (animal pictures / rage Twitter), or logos (wonk Twitter).
“Social sharing is a popular but controversial way to measure the value of information itself.” – Me, explaining why people share on Twitter, These Tiny Gutenbergs, Part Two
Twitter is experimenting with a new feed function to rip this god-like control out of your pure, innocent, OCD-hands, in favor of showing you content only tangentially related to who you follow.
Encouraging rogue tweets to infiltrate your feed is a great thing because Twitter has a huge problem we should all care about: community silos which are based on groupthink or industry, and…
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Sometimes we create our story, and other times it creates us…
I was just like every other kid in junior high. Twelve year old Liz with big red glasses, shoulder length sandy blonde hair and teeth that were begging for some braces. My arms and legs were too lanky for my body and everything I did was awkward. Painfully awkward.
I was just like any other junior higher, except for one thing. I lived in Irkutsk, Russia. My family moved to Siberia when I was eleven and it remained my home until I was thirteen. Those long Siberian winters and their stories are preserved deep in this soul. The food, the smells, the sights. The people. Mostly the people.
I don’t think you could separate those experiences from me. They are so woven into my perspective, thoughts and dreams that to remove them would be to unravel me altogether. Russia marked me.
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