“The issues of racism in education explained to me how I could get kicked out of school in the eighth grade. How it was that a bright Latina kid could sit in front of a guidance counselor, tell her that I wanted to be placed on a college track because I’m going to go to UCLA to become a doctor, only to be told, “If you apply yourself you might be able to get a good job at the post office.” There I sat outraged, defiant, knowing I had been at the top of every class in elementary school, I had made all As in my first year of junior high, and all she saw was a Latina kid, and all the connotations that held, sitting in front of her. But I did not have a name for what was happening to me, or a framework on racism to understand what was happening. So I did what any self-preserving student might do. I told the guidance counselor to “fuck off.” That was the last straw, after getting caught smoking, hitting a teacher back, fighting with the black kids (why the hell was I fighting with the black kids, and why were they calling me a spic? We were all in the same free lunch line), I was officially kicked out.” — Margaret Zamudio, Critical Race Theory Matters: Education and Ideology
I get to read this. For school.
If I weren’t a little timid about saying I’m “on fire” about something, I would say I’m on fire about what I’m learning about critical race theory.
What would it take to make TFA an anti-racist organization? The most prolific teacher-factory in the country… the biggest and most prestigious service organization… the place to find “the best and the brightest”… we’re learning lately that (gasp) all TFA alumni do not think the same way—but what if they DID? Or at least, what if they all had at least two years’ worth of intentionally building a critical race consciousness?
But really. Which people would need to become deeply anti-racist in order to make TFA and its corps members anti-racist? How could those people be educated? Or who could take their place? Would TFA lose its credibility? Would hard-balling on race and racism alienate us from donors who like to think comfortably about Saving The Children? Would teaching kids to find and name their own oppression make us too radical for Fortune magazine?
Late-night epiphanies always used to make me cautious, but I’m over that. I don’t even care to make the concession I used to make about maybe not feeling this way tomorrow morning. I think this is the direction I want to go.