Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions

1. The authors argue that racism is more than the acts of individual bad people. What, then, is racism? What is problematic about reducing racism to simply the bad things some people think and do?

2. The authors argue that to have grown up in racially segregated communities is to learn a great deal about race. How? What kinds of things do we learn?

3. What is intersectionality? Choose a few of your other social group memberships (class, gender, sexuality, religion) and describe how they influence how you experience race.

Extension Activities

1. Watch the film Reel Injun (C. Bainbridge, D. Ravida, C. Fon, L. Ludwick, & E. Webb, Producers; N. Diamond, Director; Montreal, Canada: Rezolution Pictures, 2009. Available at www.reelinjunthemovie.com). Read The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by S. Alexie (New York: Grove Press, 2005). Write an essay about how Hollywood has shaped how you think about Indigenous people. At what cost do Indigenous people play roles that are written for them by White people? (See Figure 8.1 for information on Jay Silverheels.)

2. a. Track racism today in the context of schooling. Identify a grade level (elementary, secondary, postsecondary) and an organizational level (district, province, state, or federal) and collect data on the following dimensions of schooling and race:

» Demographics of the student, teaching, and staff populations » Information about the content of the curriculum (textbooks used

and year of publication, key figures studied, literature read) » School calendar and other events (holidays, celebrations, days

off) » Funding levels and sources




b. Compare your findings with another school in a different socioeconomic context (e.g., the race and gender demographics of school tracks, such as special and gifted in the K–12 context, or disciplines in higher education; teacher credentials and length of tenure at the school).

c. Write a letter to the school district outlining your findings. Draw on the ideas from this chapter and other readings that analyze racism in education.

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