Trapped in Anti-Racist Hell

 Then all nine remaining students entered, each carrying a piece of paper. One by one they read a paragraph….I had used racist language. I had misgendered Brittney Griner. I had repeatedly confused the names of two black students. My body language harmed them. I hadn’t corrected facts that were harmful to hear when the (now-purged)
The post Trapped in Anti-Racist Hell appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION. 

Then all nine remaining students entered, each carrying a piece of paper. One by one they read a paragraph….I had used racist language. I had misgendered Brittney Griner. I had repeatedly confused the names of two black students. My body language harmed them. I hadn’t corrected facts that were harmful to hear when the (now-purged) students introduced them in class. I invited them to think about the reasoning of both sides of an argument, when only one side was correct….

One might be tempted to dismiss this as another old, white male complaining about the kids but the speaker is Vincent Lloyd, highly-regarded director of Africana Studies at Villanova and the author of Black Dignity, “a radical work by one of the leading young scholars of Black thought…an effort to describe the philosophy underlying the Black Lives Matter movement.”

I have no doubt that I would disagree with much of what he has to say but Lloyd has a calling, he believes in his students, in the virtue of teaching and in the power of the humanities to make us better:

…a seminar requires patience. Day by day, one intervention builds on another, as one student notices what another student overlooked, and as the professor guides the discussion toward the most important questions. All of this is grounded in a text: Specific words, phrases, arguments, and images from a text offer essential friction for conversation, holding seminar participants accountable to something concrete. The instructor gently—ideally, almost invisibly—guides discussion toward what matters.

The seminar assumes that each student has innate intelligence, even as we come from different backgrounds, have different amounts and sorts of knowledge, and different skills. We can each be formed best if we take advantage of our differing insights to push each other, over time, again and again. When this practice is occasioned by carefully curated texts—not exclusively “great books,” but texts that challenge each other and us as they probe issues of essential importance—a seminar succeeds.

A seminar takes time. The first day, you will be frustrated. The second and the third day, you will be frustrated. Even on the last day, you will be frustrated, though ideally now in a different way. Each intervention in a seminar is incomplete, and gets things wrong. Each subsequent intervention is also incomplete, and also gets things wrong. But there are plenty of insights and surprises, for each participant looks at a text with different eyes.

It is tempting to add: Such is life. Such is democratic life. We each have different, partial knowledge. We each get things wrong, over and over. At our best, we enter the fray by listening to each other and complementing and challenging the insights of our fellows. In the process, over years, decades, we are oriented toward justice and truth.

You can feel Lloyd’s pain when his students reject this gift.

Read the whole thing.

The post Trapped in Anti-Racist Hell appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

 Current Affairs, Education 

Total
0
Shares
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prev
Manifestations du 11 février, en direct : une grève surprise des contrôleurs perturbe le trafic à l’aéroport d’Orly

Manifestations du 11 février, en direct : une grève surprise des contrôleurs perturbe le trafic à l’aéroport d’Orly

Alors que de nombreux cortèges se sont élancés, les syndicats ont menacé de

Next
Séisme : l’armée autrichienne et des secouristes allemands suspendent leurs opérations en Turquie

Séisme : l’armée autrichienne et des secouristes allemands suspendent leurs opérations en Turquie

Les secouristes autrichiens se sont mis à l’abri dans un camp de base de la

You May Also Like