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Poet and Social Activist

1. It is not our differences which separate (us) but our reluctance to recognize those differences and to deal effectively with the distortions which have resulted from the ignoring and misnaming of those differences. ” Colorblindness in itself means that we don’t see the differences. We ignore the differences that we have and assume a state of equality. Understanding differences is what we should be aiming for. In schools, we should not struggle to treat everyone the same but to treat everyone equally.

We can treat people differently without creating inequality. As Gary Howard explains in his book We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools: “Colorblindness grows from a dominance- oriented perspective. Difference threatens dominance, because it upsets the belief in one’s own rightness. ‘We’re all the same’ translates as ‘We are all like me'” (53-54). To ignore differences is to ignore the experiences of other groups. In schools we must understand the experiences of our students in order to help them.

For example, if I know that an urban minority student has attended a sub par urban school, and I am reading an application for college, should I look harder at other things. My answer is yes.

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Is this being unfair? I don’t believe it is. I believe it is understanding and validating the experience of that student to best suit his/her needs. This would not happen in a colorblind world. We do not need to be colorblind in order to treat students with respect and equity. Schools should understand this almost better than any institution. Students are not treated the same by all teachers in all subjects.

Teachers treat students differently based on what that student needs. Color can be a factor and to ignore color is to ignore the experience of an individual and maybe to ignore the experiences of institutional racism that a person has had. This is certainly not equitable. 2. I’m not sure that it is possible to achieve a society where racial divisions do not exist, although the world is becoming more racially mixed all the time. Maybe at some point far, far in the future, we will not be able to look at a person and automatically assume a race.

However, it is extremely possible to get to a point in the future where all people are treated fairly. What a boring world it would be if we were all the same. We can learn to celebrate differences and to give each person what he/she needs based on personal qualifications, not on race.

We need to get rid of the stereotypes and prejudices that form as a result of knowing the race of a person instead. Works Cited Howard, Gary R. We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools. New York: Teacher’s College P, 1999.

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