Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Different Conversations | Blue Cereal Education

Different Conversations | Blue Cereal Education:

Different Conversations

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“So… why do you think they hate Mexicans so much? Do they really think we’re all bad people, or are they just racists, or…?
It was a sincere question from one of my most brilliant girls. She doesn’t yet know all she will, but she sees more than most and asks the most sincere, probing questions. They always grab my interest, and are rarely easy to answer.
And yeah – her family is from Mexico.
I acknowledged her concerns, and did my best to suggest maybe most Republicans (the “they” in the context of our larger conversation) didn’t see themselves as hating Mexicans and might not be overtly racist. In my best developmentally-appropriate, big picture way, we talked about fear and frustration and how the U.S. has changed in the past few generations and how difficult that is for some people – especially when they think they recall a simpler, stronger past.
We recalled discussions in class about the general narratives of the political left and the political right, and while I don’t think she walked away feeling like she owed any hugs to the Trump campaign, I hope she saw complexity where before she saw naked hostility.
Then again, people don’t yell and post “complexity” at you for being Hispanic, so it’s a tough sell, even when I’m at my most fair and balanced.
You can’t teach American Government or Oklahoma History – or any Social Studies, I would think – without social and political disputes coming up. I have a disconcerting number of freshmen boys (and one girl?) this year with the strangest Nazi obsession… they’re not proper fascists, near as I can tell – it’s hardly that developed or ideological. I’m not sure they’re even truly racists – although you wouldn’t know that from their whispered comments.
Mostly they seem to just find the whole movement strange and funny and abrasive, in the same way one watches reality TV transfixed by the shouting matches or Maury Povich announcing “you ARE the father!” They love Trump, but know little of his policies or even his daily scandals – they just like the way he’s able to be such an a-hole and stir Different Conversations | Blue Cereal Education:

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