I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

11 March 2011

Your White Privilege is Showing.

Ahem:

Prioritizing the desires of the most powerful stakeholders will never make for a progressive argument.

Repeat: never.

I am tired of hearing about FAMILIES FLEEING THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS and how we need to get them back.  Even if those WEALTHY WHITE FAMILIES FLEEING THE DIRTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS came back to those schools, they have no history of advocating for any group other than themselves.

Aaaaaaaaaand they do that enough already.

The progressive argument is for building strong and well-funded schools serving the families already there. The progressive argument does not fantasize about how meeting poor children will be good for rich ones.  The poor are not there for your edification.  The progressive argument agrees that diversity is an important social value for all, but doesn't put the onus on achieving it on the oppressed.

Oh, and the progressive argument definitely doesn't fail to notice the block-by-block segregation that characterizes our city.  The neighborhood school proposal ensures that those WEALTHY WHITE FAMILIES will attend school with their fellow pale moneyed.

In closing: if there is a progressive argument for neighborhood schools, BeyondChron didn't make it.  They do provide an excellent example of San Francisco progressive politics at their worst: willfully blind to privilege.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, and well said.

In this city it must also be said that some proponents of neighborhood school schemes are also middle/upper-middle class Asians as well as the yuppie white parents. Unless they are becoming "white" these days. Whiteness is historically a slippery category.

Anonymous said...

E. Rat - I am really disappointed. I've been following your blog for about a year and I have really respected and learned from your posts. But this one just makes me want to scream. I'm white, affluent and send my child to an extremely underperforming southeast school. Nearly all of our fundraising dollars go to providing support services for disadvantaged kids - therapists, specialists, aides. My white, privileged child sees none of the services which I personally have worked myself to the bone at great personal cost to secure. Without us entitled white folks, these kids would not have these services - I am not exaggerating. Posts like yours make me wonder why we try so hard. Scapegoating me is not the solution...it just ensures that next time I may think twice about pulling all nighters to submit grants to help poor kids. And it makes me wonder if my own child's teacher is deep down as racist as you seem to be.

E. Rat said...

You should note that I am referring specifically to the push for neighborhood schools among San Francisco residents - a movement that is not at all progressive.

I have to disagree that your child receives no benefit from the services for which you provide funding, though. If those services make for a calmer classroom where the adults are less overwhelmed by the incredible social-emotional needs of the student, then your child benefits from the calmer environment and additional personal attention.

For the record, I since I believe that racism is both prejudice and power, I don't believe in racism against whites. It would be self-hatred anyway, which is not one of my character flaws.

Again, this isn't a post against your entitlement, but against the attitude that there is anything progressive about wealthy whites demanding neighborhood schools. There isn't.

It's pretty petty, though, to accuse me of causing you not to write a grant.

E. Rat said...

Whiteness is a complicated and at times beyond color issue, for sure. I have to note though that the most vocal stakeholders on this issue are nearly all white, and the publication that spawned my ire is a pretty white one.

caroline said...

That commentary represented the perspective of the extraterrestrial community -- the poster knew absolutely nothing about the issues.

E. Rat said...

I don't think I could be the only person who wrote to BeyondChron about the issues with their op-ed, but other than a letter noting that the assignment data belies the theory, it's been entirely positive responses published.

That is irritating me.