Ok to be clear, it's not peanut butter sandwiches themselves. But supposedly mentioning them as an example of american food is considered racist by some principal in Oregon.
Another example of PC gone amuck. I hate the way these politically correct know it alls really make a caricature of the progressive movement I identify with. THere's not much to say. Let's get started with the articleat hand.
But in conjunction with recent equity training in local Portland schools, one principal is raising questions about the mention of the sandwich, arguing it has broader implications about race, the Portland Tribune reports.
The sandwich was reportedly mentioned in a lesson plan last year. Verenice Gutierrez from the Harvey Scott K-8 School used it as an example of a subtle form of racism in language, according to the report.
“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” Gutierrez said, according to the Tribune. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”
Say what? My family eats a bunch of curries. We have Naans too. I am proud of the Indian food my family makes from time to time. But guess what. I have eaten my fair share of sandwiches as a kid, and now, as an adult, just like many other Americans. I would certainly not think of a chicken curry naan wrap as "american" . There is no need to make me feel assimilated by pandering to me. Just stop asking me what my "nationality" is when you mean ethnicity or ancestral origin or whatever.
You know, McDonalds is incorporating burritos as a regular breakfast item. Chipotle is as mainstream as Popeye's. One doesn't need a minister of assimilation to dictate we have chains like Chipotle. It happens naturally. It's fine to include tortillas into a lesson plan if the teacher thinks of it naturally. Assimilation happens both ways. There is no need to force it. To be so didactic makes you realize why our schools are in trouble.
The article I linked to is based on this itemthat showed up in the Portland Tribune. Here are more excerpts:
Chuck Barber, who also offers boys’ drum corps at Vernon and Faubion schools in Northeast Portland, approached Gutierrez last year to start up a lunch-time drum class for black and Latino boys once a week. This year, it’ll expand to two classes a week, to accommodate new boys as well as those with experience.
At least one parent has a problem with the the class, saying it amounts to “blatant discrimination and equity of women, Asians, whites and Native Americans.”
“This ‘club’ was approved by the administration, and any girls who complained were brushed off and it was not addressed,” the parent wrote anonymously.
Gutierrez denies that any students were turned away from the drum corps, and vehemently rejects any suggestion that it is discrimination to offer a club catering to minority boys.
“When white people do it, it is not a problem, but if it’s for kids of color, then it’s a problem?” says Gutierrez, 40, an El Paso, Texas, native whose parents were Mexican immigrants. “Break it down for me. That’s your white privilege, and your whiteness.”
First of all, as long as the club is not rejecting white and asians, I see no problem with it. So, I am not going to comment on this piece as part of the complaints could be coming from white parents who feel that they should not assimilate into the majority demographic of that school district. So I won't bash Gutierrez on this one if that's the case. Still, she has no business using words like "That's your white privilege and your whiteness". That is no freaking way for a Principal to communicate.
Reading that article, that lady misses the point. A lot of Asians have assimilated just fine and do not get bent out of shape by some mainstream american references. A lot of asian and Indian americans still maintain their own traditions. I do admit Hispanics are a differnt ballgame as there are alot more of them and so some of their cultural influences will win out in the assimilation mix compared to indian and chinese influences. But that should happen organically and not forced by some public school employee. She mentions Somalis too in her example , so she is being clear that she is willing to pander to every tiny niche group out there, and cannot pass it off as merely recognizing the reality of hispanic influence in american culture.
You know what would help a poor minority kid? Better home life. Better peer group serving as role models for these kids(Indian Americans just dont have a natural affinity to medicine or engineering, they just notice their relatives are in those professions, and we have some goals to compare to, which is a natural part of human development). Maybe minority kids aware of minority role models in educational professions and the hurdles they faced go a long way in letting them relate to way out of their predicament. Lobby for more education dollars so kids can get a safe haven from any troubled home life. There are thing we can do as a society. let's not drop the ball with such idiotic tangents.