Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Creating false consciousness

Joanne Jacobs links to this wonderful post at No. 2 Pencil on how teaching on race may in fact make matters worse. Jacobs takes a quote from Alan Kors of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

If you teach people to filter everything through the prism of race, they're going to do that. What universities are doing now would be the equivalent if, on the first day of orientation, you've got Jewish and Christians in a room and then you show films of the Holocaust. And then you say to the Jewish students, "That's what they did to you." And then you say to the Christians, "That's what you did to them." [And then say to all of them], "Now that you understand things, go out and get along." This would not increase natural human interaction.
No, it just increases the amount of time I'm spending in Roy's House of Humiliation. Kimberly Swygert at No. 2 Pencil continues the thought:
I think that constantly raising the topics of racism and oppression does make things worse. What's more, I believe that the constant racializing that is currently present on college campuses, in the sense of isolating students of certain races or holding them to a separate set of standards because of race, not only damages race relations, but gives members of minority groups an excuse for any failures, and a false sense of racial identity that is politically motivated.
Read both articles in full.