Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Counterpoint: Why racism and 'whiteness' matter


The commentary “Racism in schools is overstated” (Nov. 8) reflects one decidedly dominant way of thinking in society. I’ve not been in the world of education nearly as long as Mitch Pearlstein, and I certainly express the vigor that many in my generation have. Therefore, with respect, I want to share the different viewpoint of a young, enthusiastic teacher who is embracing the journey of understanding my “whiteness.”

I applaud Pearlstein for recognizing that he cannot dismiss the experience people of color have about racism or unfair treatment. But he quickly contradicts himself by stating that their arguments are faulty and that race is not a “deep” issue in our society. The reason parents and families are raging against the Reading Horizons curriculum and calling into question the high suspension rates of black boys is because racism actually is still deep in Minnesota. It is deep in the way that we, white people, still have unconscious biases. Unless confronted, we will continue to widen the gaps in our society and institutions.


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