BLM is Not the Opposite of White Supremacy

I think that the debates from yesterday were incoherent, and it was disturbing to see how much discourse has devolved in the US, and furthermore, how much people are relying on narratives and frameworks that can be summed up by the decision to name or not name white supremacist groups, and also the decision toContinue reading “BLM is Not the Opposite of White Supremacy”

Alcohol and Education

This is a picture of my cat, Costco. We found him at Costco. I know a lot of teachers who want to lay down and relax like my little buddy Cozzie. But I know that this is also an impossibility. We must focus on our locus of control as educators in the Covid era. IContinue reading “Alcohol and Education”

Why is the Opposite of Anti-Racism not Racism but Neutrality?

Answer: We now call neutrality racist. I find it problematic that with anti-racism, the opposite isn’t bigotry but, rather, White obliviousness or neutrality – which is termed racism. Obliviousness or neutrality are part of our White supremacist structure as a society, so neutrality is structurally racist. I actually fully agree. But oblivious or neutral peopleContinue reading “Why is the Opposite of Anti-Racism not Racism but Neutrality?”

Are All White People White Supremacists?

Caucusing is necessary, but it has been called White supremacist. For those of you who don’t know, “caucusing” is basically what happens when an organization divides people into groups based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. to discuss their identity/identities in “like-groups.” These can also be referred to as affinity groups. The theory is thatContinue reading “Are All White People White Supremacists?”

Cognitive Diversity: Ibram X. Kendi Meets Thomas Sowell

We should be reading the work of Ibram X. Kendi right now. BUT… not exclusively, as if he’s the only Black expert on race. Black America is not a monolithic group, and so we should be very careful not to adopt his totalizing language as White people who read him with respect and a heartContinue reading “Cognitive Diversity: Ibram X. Kendi Meets Thomas Sowell”

Jaded Disembodiment: The Shadow Side of the Book White Fragility

I think that the book White Fragility (2018), written by Robin DiAngelo, is fabulous, but I am a little alarmed that people are reading it now as their introduction into this antiracist movement. The way we have discussions around topics of race and culture changes by the week, if not by the day, and theContinue reading “Jaded Disembodiment: The Shadow Side of the Book White Fragility”

A Policy Lens for Teaching Students about Racism

Several weeks ago a reader wrote me a question in regards to my pointers on teaching about race in the classroom: “Do you think it’s acceptable to incorporate anti-racist parts of our history with other events and people who, while maybe not anti-racist, were neutral on the matter? For example, teaching kids about the racismContinue reading “A Policy Lens for Teaching Students about Racism”

Ms. Rectenwald Retires

After many years teaching at Del Dayo Elementary School in Carmichael, California, my mom Betsy Rectenwald is retiring this year. The picture above features Mom, myself, and my late Grandma Cornelia, who was also a lifetime educator. Just as Mom learned from her mom, so I learned from her. A colleague wrote her of herContinue reading “Ms. Rectenwald Retires”

Pivoting Rather than Retreating in the Work

I’m not gonna lie. Today hurt real bad. I’ve been writing about anti-racism and anti-oppression work a long time, and have been an anti-racist practitioner in the classroom for longer. I’ve trained people in restorative justice. I’ve consulted with school districts, universities and businesses. I study a lot, break bread with multi-cultural communities and haveContinue reading “Pivoting Rather than Retreating in the Work”