[Teach for America's] goals derive, in theory, from laudable—if misguided—impulses. But each, in practice, has demonstrated to be deeply problematic. TFA ... underwrites, intentionally or not, the conservative assumptions of the education reform movement: that teacher’s unions serve as barriers to quality education; that testing is the best way to assess quality education; that educating poor children is best done by institutionalizing them; that meritocracy is an end-in-itself; that social class is an unimportant variable in education reform; that education policy is best made by evading politics proper; and that faith in public school teachers is misplaced.
Teach for America's hidden curriculum
: neo-liberalism, union-busting, and the teacher as cultural tourist. [Via.]
posted by Sonny Jim
on Feb 19, 2013 -
This "intellectual beverage" and temperance drink (after they took the alcohol out) contains the valuable tonic and nerve stimulant properties of the Coca plant and cola (or Kola) nuts. Or it used to, until they took the cocaine out. But why did they do that
? Not because it was illegal--that didn't happen until eleven years later.
posted by Obscure Reference
on Feb 10, 2013 -
As the culture evolves, people who benefitted from the old ways invariably see themselves as victims of change. The world used to fit them like a glove, but it no longer does.
Increasingly, they find themselves in unfamiliar situations that feel unfair or even unsafe. Their concerns used to take center stage, but now they must compete with the formerly invisible concerns of others.
If you are one of the newly-visible others, this all sounds whiny compared to the problems you face every day. It’s tempting to blast through such privileged resistance with anger and insult.
Tempting, but also, I think, a mistake. The privileged are still privileged enough to foment a counter-revolution, if their frustrated sense of entitlement hardens.
posted by Kitty Stardust
on Jan 18, 2013 -
"Jenni Greenwald, please commit suicide." In 1986, John Cook and some fellow eighth grade boys wrote an underground newspaper filled with bullying and racism, targeting other students and teachers in their school. He reflects on this, getting in touch with both his co-authors and victims, in Confessions of a Teenage Word Bully
posted by Chanther
on Jan 6, 2013 -
The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1
. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey
on Jan 4, 2013 -
Boateng walks off:
Kevin-Prince Boateng, the former Tottenham and Portsmouth midfielder left the field after AC Milan players were abused in a friendly against Pro Patria.
On his way from the pitch, Boateng applauded sections of the crowd, who then reacted angrily towards the corner of the ground from which the chants came.
It was quickly established that play would not restart and AC Milan's official website said other black players in the Milan side - M'Baye Niang, Urby Emanuelson and Sulley Muntari - suffered abuse.
[Video on Daily Mirror Website]
posted by marienbad
on Jan 3, 2013 -
Al Jazeera has purchased Al Gore's Current TV,
giving them a much wider American audience. However, the deal suffered an immediate casualty when Time Warner Cable Inc., the nation's second-largest cable TV operator, announced it is dropping Current TV due to the deal. "Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service. We are removing the service as quickly as possible," the company said in a statement
posted by dejah420
on Jan 2, 2013 -
'Homeland,' Obama’s Show.
The award winning TV show does little to alleviate the myths and misconceptions about Arabs and Muslims, writes Joseph Massad
, a scholar
at Columbia University. "The racist representation of Arabs is so exponential, even for American television [..] that one does not know where to begin." [more inside]
posted by kiskar
on Dec 12, 2012 -
You start out in 1954 by saying, “N-----, n-----, n-----.” By 1968 you can’t say “n-----”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N-----, n-----.”
The full audio of Republican operative and Karl Rove mentor Lee Atwater's infamous 1981 interview has been obtained and published by The Nation. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty
on Nov 16, 2012 -
Anyone familiar with the contemporary Russian humorous folklore (jokelore, or in Russian anekdoty) knows that one of the most popular series of such jokes revolves around the Chukchis, the native people of Chukotka, the most remote northeast corner of Russia. These jokes, especially popular in 1990s and 2000s, fit the international genre of ethnic stupidity jokes . . .
posted by jason's_planet
on Nov 10, 2012 -
Golden Dawn [Wiki summary
] progress report: "One survey last week showed a near doubling in the number of people voicing "positive opinions" about Golden Dawn, up from 12% in May to 22%" as Golden Dawn have become vigilante enforcers where the police cannot [Guardian - short summary
] and provide food and clothing for the ethnic Greek poor. "Kaiti Lazarou, 55, the owner of a newspaper and cigarette kiosk in Piraeus, agreed. “I myself have gotten food and potatoes from them in Syntagma Square,” she said. "I would not be surprised if they become the government one day, and why shouldn’t they? They protect the Greeks, while Samaras and the government are out of touch with the people" [NYT - somewhat more detailed, and with useful links
]. Golden Dawn is also setting up foreign offices to collect aid [Canadian example
] to distribute in Greece, both providing benefits to ethnic Greeks and attacking immigrant stalls and community centres [example attack on a Tanzanian community centre, where the police allegedly stood by
posted by jaduncan
on Oct 2, 2012 -
"This is what anti-racism looks like. Equal opportunities are not handed down from on high by Westminster bureaucrats; they have been fought for by ordinary men and women. Even at its peak, the BNP never spoke for anywhere near the majority of working-class white people – in Dagenham, or anywhere else. Daniel Trilling, in The Guardian
on Ten myths of the UK's far right
. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Sep 17, 2012 -
Fear of a Black President. 'As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America’s original sin, slavery. But as our first black president, he has avoided mention of race almost entirely. In having to be “twice as good” and “half as black,” Obama reveals the false promise and double standard of integration.'
An article by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
posted by Spinneret
on Aug 23, 2012 -
Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic
, recently touched on a couple of interesting aspects of the American Civil War. First, Racism Against White People
briefly looked at how Southern intellectuals argued that Northern whites were of a different race. Then a subthread in the comments on that post spawned an investigation of American Exceptionalism in History
and the notion of preserving democracy in the context of the American Civil War. After all, "if a government can be sundered simply because the minority doesn't like the results of an election, can it even call itself a government?" Definitely check out the comments of both posts.
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Jul 8, 2012 -
Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is...
As the game progresses, your goal is to gain points, apportion them wisely, and level up. If you start with fewer points and fewer of them in critical stat categories, or choose poorly regarding the skills you decide to level up on, then the game will still be difficult for you. But because you’re playing on the “Straight White Male” setting, gaining points and leveling up will still by default be easier, all other things being equal, than for another player using a higher difficulty setting.
Likewise, it’s certainly possible someone playing at a higher difficulty setting is progressing more quickly than you are, because they had more points initially given to them by the computer and/or their highest stats are wealth, intelligence and constitution and/or simply because they play the game better than you do. It doesn’t change the fact you are still playing on the lowest difficulty setting.
MeFi's own John Scalzi
provides an excellent, relatable metaphor for explaining the realities of race and gender without invoking the dreaded word "privilege". [more inside]
posted by Jon_Evil
on May 15, 2012 -
The National Association of Afro-Swedes calls for the resignation of Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Roth after photos and video surfaced of this "living" cake
, which was part of a celebration of World Art Day. The cake's creator talks
a bit about the cake.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy
on Apr 19, 2012 -