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A Teacher Held a Famous Racism Exercise in 1968. She’s Still at It.

  • July 07, 2020

There is only one race — the human race. It’s time to get over the idea of a number of races. We are all of the same species, just of different colors, different shapes, different sizes, different genders.

When somebody says to me, “I am biracial, I say, “Which of your parents came from outer space? Do you have one parent who isn’t a human being? You’re trying to tell me that your parents are of two different color groups, but that doesn’t mean there are two different races.”

So we shouldn’t be colorblind?

See skin color, but don’t see it as a negative or as a positive — it is just your body’s reaction to the natural environment!

Where did you grow up, and when did you come to truly understand the problem of racism in this country?

I was raised on a farm in northeast Iowa. When I went to school, I started to learn the standard elementary curriculum, which is that white men did all the inventing and discovering and civilizing because they are oh-so-superior. We just didn’t talk about race, but we knew that we were OK because no matter how poor you were — and we were dirt poor, by the way — at least we were white.

Then I went to college, and in my first social studies education class, the white professor stood up in front of that group of students and said, “When you get into the classroom, you must not teach in opposition to local mores.”

And I thought, well, that’s wrong. But I didn’t stand up and say anything. I did what white people do all day, every day: I went along to get along.

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