Monday, November 24, 2008

Damn White People ...

The very wonderful Snuffleupagus on "white liberals":

"And how can we, the poor, the blacks, the underdog, complain? Whenever we fail, old whitey is there to catch us. He has set up debt loopholes so we can run big businesses out of town. He has engineered it so that we can never be excluded out of school. He has structured society to teach us how to lack manners, be aggressive and, oh yeah, be angry ALL of the time. And he always forgives us! We are never allowed to feel shame. Whitey knows how hard it is for us. Whitey knows we can't help ourselves."
She's not trying to have it both ways. Snuffy, while not colourblind, comes, if I read her correctly, from the "content of character not colour of skin", Booker Rising school. What she's asking is "how do we raise good people when the sanctions for behaving badly are non-existent ?". It's a question that can be asked in the context of the white underclass as well as unruly black youth.

(Of course the sanctions aren't completely non-existent - but you have to push things an awful long way. No-one in education wants the Guardian or Joseph Rowntree Foundation on their back)

Snuffy posted the above piece a year ago and pulled it for fear of people taking it the wrong way. After someone "outed" her to her Head as a blogger (and he turned out to be on the side of the angels), she felt confident enough and supported enough to repost.

Although we must be fair. The likelihood of a black teacher (who obviously, from reading her blog, cares about all her children and their education) being sacked for a blog is, while not zero, a lot lower than it would be for a white teacher. Her head would be facing a media firestorm PDQ. I can see the headlines now - "The Inspirational Black Teacher And Uncomfortable Truths About Race" in the Guardian, something a little rougher-edged in the Voice, and I don't even like to think how Ligali would cover it. A white teacher posting about black people in a Snuffy style would be out of the door faster than you could say 'institutional racism'. Nonetheless, I'm chuffed she's still with us. She shines through her writing.