My grandmother passed away this week and I don't feel like being on here but I was told that it would be helpful to briefly write a critical race theory (CRT) thread and so here it is. CRT is not a "diversity training." It's a framework for seeing the world & doing scholarship.
CRT was developed by legal scholars seeking a new way of thinking about America, justice & the law in a way that acknowledges the nation's racist history rather than debating it. These scholars include Kimberlé Crenshaw, Derrick Bell, Patricia Williams, and many others.
Since its inception in the legal field, CRT has been taken up by many across the social sciences. In the field in which I was trained, education, many many many of us use it, spearheaded by Gloria Ladson-Billings & William Tate's seminal article in 1995 connecting CRT to ed.
Our students are occupying the space in front of the provost's house. Along with olleagues from the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture who authored the #MoreThanDiversity letter, I stand in solidarity with their demands.
this is what happens when you think "reporting in the midwest" means infinitely fetishizing people who voted for 45. Wisconsin is a deadly place for Black people. some of the most disproportionate incarceration rates as well as suspension & expulsion of our kids. report on that.
on the way home from the police station we stopped at the Bronzeville farmers market. imagine my surprise to see one of the booths occupied by someone trying to get signatures to open something called Chicago Prep Charter Middle School in fall 2021. chiprepmiddle.org
I asked the person (the founding ED) why a new school is needed. she said that Bronzeville needs more education options. I asked how that's sustainable after years of school closures for underenrollment & population decline. she told me "it's complicated."
I asked, if this is indeed a need, her what qualifications she had to be the best person to address this need, and she told me about various degrees and that she was a charter principal and she has a fellowship to support opening a new school. (from bes.org/about/)
hi, this thread is for black women and black women only. everyone else, there's a waiting room over there. It has a ping-pong table. free bubbly water. many brands, pick the one you like best. there's also cheese. catch you later.
black women, let us proceed.
I always think it's worth asking what our personal limits are when it comes to a politic rooted in identity or representation. that is-- what are the things a black woman would have to do for you to NOT root for her simply because she's a black woman?
to give one example -- what if the black woman in question uses her position of power to harm other black people? are those black people less important by virtue of not having... [a degree, a platform, a nice smile, a title]?
so let's say you're a news podcast that reports on bad things Amazon does. now you're not eligible to be on their platform. and okay...lots of other platforms. but what if this one becomes the go-to because it's all neatly packaged with other amazon stuff? pitchfork.com/news/amazon-mu…
this is why divesting from Amazon (to the extent you can) matters. not bc your one dollar will derail their massive bottom line, but bc their larger project is to be able to do exactly this kind of thing & the more market share they have, the easier it is.
Amazon has you with Prime. they loop you in on the podcast. then they control the market on podcast platforms & drive the terms of what gets made. until a network says "sorry we can't make that podcast about how Amazon is selling human organs because we won't make money on it"
okay this is super vague but I feel like I've gotten some good teaching ideas by rambling #onhere in the past so here goes
as I think about re-envisioning my fall classes, I'm thinking about how to make them more experientially-based rather than performance/task based... +
I'm reflecting on what works well & doesn't in remote learning and I'm thinking, what if I took advantage of the structure to have students do more self-guided experiences in between sessions, and then fewer video sessions?
What do I mean by that... good question. +
Currently, between classes students pretty much do one type of self-guided learning experience: reading. Occasionally we have them listen to/watch something. Or do reflective writing.
What else could they be doing that is more open-ended and experiential... but COVID proof?
Despite recent statements about racial justice, throughout its history & into the present @UChicago has created and maintained racist structures on campus, on the South Side, & beyond. I stand with my faculty colleagues in demanding real, immediate action. bitly.com/DiversityStrike
Our demands include a fully-funded race center & dept of Critical Race Studies. We also stand with @care_not_cops in demanding that campus police be disbanded & with @TheRAUC in demanding a community-led reparations process, given @UChicago's connections to slavery & Jim Crow.
If these demands are not met, we will be withholding labor related to "diversity & inclusion," will not be participating in new faculty searches, or cooperate with the news office seeking to use our individual accomplishments to gloss over these deep-seated issues.
just wanna talk real quick about how we get to "public housing" as a highly stigmatized, not-so-subtle dog whistle for "low-income Black people," instead of what it could be-- a public good benefitting people of all backgrounds--in the context of Chicago history.
[a lil thread]
In 1937 the Housing Act provided federal support to locally-established housing authorities. In Chicago we got the Chicago Housing Authority, CHA. It was headed by an ambitious woman, Elizabeth Wood, who thought public housing could help people of all races who needed assistance.
If you think about this premise, it's a powerful, radical idea. Housing for all who are down on their luck! Not vouchers. An actual place to live. Not only that, but this had the possibility of promoting racial integration. Because anyone can be down on their luck!
I just got this in my email from @librofm. Indeed, this is a troubling trend. Maybe a year ago somebody reached out asking if I would be interviewed for a book like this & I said no, because I was so bothered by the idea of a book being exclusively available through Amazon.
I was recently reading @ravenbookstore's zine How to Resist Amazon and Why, and there were two points that were helpful for me to think about.
Amazon's monopoly is not incidental. It's part of their strategy. The fact that it feels so hard for you to quit them is the entire point. They want it to be that way. And if we don't fight it, it's going to get harder and harder and the stakes will be higher and higher.
last night I accidentally stayed up reeeeeeally late in a spiraling YouTube abyss of, randomly, Super Bowl halftime shows, and that's how I discovered that Britney never got her own show and there are people on YouTube who make fake Britney Super Bowl videos
In 2001 there was a truly awful performance in which N*Sync and Aerosmith were thrown together, then they brought out Britney who didn't really get any time, and then randomly Mary J. Blige and Nelly appeared for 7 seconds each. you couldn't hear any of them. it was stunning
anyway, if you'd like to try an alternate plane of existence, thanks to Britney fandom you can find fake Britney videos of her performance at Super Bowl 2021, an event that almost certainly will not actually take place
I had the fun experience of offering some editorial input as @chanajoffewalt was creating the new podcast from @serial: Nice White Parents. it's about the role White parents play in maintaining racial inequality.
the podcast is *not out yet.*
here are some of the reviews! 😇
my favorite one is the one that's just middle fingers
anyway if you're interested in school segregation & are willing to disregard Five Middle Finger Emojis Guy, check out the podcast! @chanajoffewalt put a lot of work in and i'm grateful for the hard and good conversations we got to have.
I admitted to a friend today that my heart is still hurting from the fact that a grown adult employed by the state punched a young Black girl in her mouth and knocked out her teeth on camera and the Black woman mayor said we need to protect the Columbus statue from vigilantes.
It's weighing on me. It's got me messed up. Not just the act itself, but the reaction on the part of our political leadership. the stunning callousness to see that image of Miracle and then to talk about ANYTHING other than how you failed to protect her.
"The whole trope of outside agitator has a long history in American history, and it's been used by everybody from plantation owners in the South during antebellum slavery to big corporate industry magnates." - @PenielJoseph
by assigning all action deemed "violent" (meaning, by the way, property damage) to a vaguely defined "outside force" you effectively obviate the possibility that any LEGITIMATE protestor could ever want to, say, deface a statue.
as I am procrastinating rather than work on an essay I need to finish, I thought it might be a good time to share a few of my older writings about Race And Whatnot in case they are of interest and people might like to read them who may have missed them the first time around.
this (from 2017) is about the ways people both inside and outside Chicago, including but not limited to the president, demonize Black people to legitimize the idea that we require extreme social control and police surveillance.
this (2017) is about the move to defund the National Endowment for the Arts as a strategic play in 45's march toward authoritarianism. [earned me a few emails from older White folks informing me that I was exaggerating and overreacting, naturally]
I signed up for a "virtual 10k" which sounds silly, and is, but when I finished my husband was standing in front of the crib playing "Celebration" and our neighbor happened to be walking by and they both cheered for me and my husband put my medal on and it was kinda awesome
our neighbor said, very sincerely, "HISTORY IN THE MAKING!" which is additional evidence in the longstanding truth that black people are undefeated at gassing each other up
he said it in the voice of the old black dude who is randomly at the Black Bush press conference. you know who i mean
a highlight of my month is that in one of my group chats, everyone had to (by LAW) submit a voice note of themselves doing their best Kermit the Frog imitation. whether it turns out that your friends are GREAT or TERRIBLE at this, the returns are very high. 10/10 would recommend
you may wonder who has the worst kermit voice. For privacy's sake, let's call him Clint S. No, that's too obvious. Uh, let's say C. Smith
I don't want to tell you who the best kermit is because it's JUST SO GOOD and I feel like they might be really mortified because you're all going to pester them to do it. ugh it's so amazing how good they are
a new study asked 178 prospective teachers to analyze images of children's faces expressing different emotions. "Both Black boys and Black girls were falsely seen as angry more often than White boys & White girls."
"Higher levels of either implicit or explicit bias did not increase odds of Black children being victim to anger bias, but instead decreased odds that White children would be
misperceived as angry."
- @HalberstadtAmy and co-authors
The children expressed 6 basic emotions: happy, sad, angry, afraid, surprise, disgust. Interestingly, teachers were more accurate overall in correctly IDing Black boys' emotions than White boys, which the authors attribute to them being hypervigilant toward Black boys. but--