Monday, January 28, 2008

The Great White North

One of the college at which I teach is the most diverse educational institution in the state. When I walk through the hallways, mine is often the only white face.

My research and writing class has 25 students: 17 are people of color.

Today I read this in the Minneapolis Star Tribune: the Citizens League projects that "of current 9th grade Minnesota students, only 3% of American Indians, 5% of Hispanics and 3% of African-Americans will get a bachelor's degree in Minnesota within 10 years."

My job?

Suddenly seems pretty important. Urgent.

These kind of statistics are what make me roll my eyes when pundits chortle and point: "Oh, oh! Barack is pulling out the race card!" Or "Hillary's got the gender card! Hillary's got the gender card!"

Recognizing that race matters isn't a game. The more we actively and overtly fight racism, the more chance those really shameful statistics change.

A rock star? Got nothin' on my gig.


Jocelyn said...

These stats are really interesting--especially for me up here in Duluth, where I might have ONE student of color in a semester. We tried an ESL program a couple years ago, but it folded when we managed to drum up about 3 students.

Yes, what you (we) do has an imperative behind it. Yes.

Anonymous said...

Which is why when they closed our very multicultural, downtown, small, successful school in the Hopkins school district due to money issue some of us couldn't understand it. Then it hit us, "Yea, white people making all the decisions around here."

Makes me furious. And, I'm a white girl.

Nora said...

Seriously. I'm glad you have the job you have.