Friday, February 22, 2008

venting during last week's class

Why does English make me so mad?

What is it about it that makes me feel personally wronged?

I mean, shit, I'm privileged and white, this should be my stuff, right?

First I feel nervous, then just plain uneasy.

Then I start grinding my teeth, chewing my lips, shifting in my chair.

Then the frown sets in, and a lump rises in my throat and the infuriating frustration consumes me.

Frustration of not knowing what's so wrong

and not knowing what to ask, or how to explain

that we are participating in and perpetuating violent ideologies of hate and ignorance that sustain a white-supremacist-capitalist-hetero-partiarchical system

When you tell me that Tom Romano invented multigenre,

I wonder what Harriet Jacobs (and her scholars) would say.

When you talk about "my story," I wonder why "her story" never comes up.

And when we study Jazz in a white college classroom without ever explicitly discussing racism or cultural appropriation,

I feel I have somehow failed myself as a conscious person.

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