Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shared Differences Examines LGBT Students of Color Experiences in School

I decided to write this week about this article What this article explains is that LGBT students of color are much more likely to feel unsafe in their schools than those LGBT students who were in the racial/ethnic majority. This article was short; however, it provided many statistics about LGBT students of color. I chose to write on this piece because I feel that it’s extremely relevant to what we have been discussing in class about the culture of power.  The statistics show that the biggest reason for students of color to feel unsafe in school is because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. Over half of LGBT students of color have reported harassment during school because of their ethnicity/race. Many of the students of color miss school regularly, and are much more likely to miss school because of safety issues. In so many ways these students are suffering, mentally, physically, emotionally, and academically. Because they are LGBT students, they already experience the sting of bullying, but the issue becomes even worse because now their ethnicity, race, religion, etc. gets thrown into it. This is a quote from the article; it is being said by a LGBT student of color. "You could very well on any day hear someone yelling across the hall, 'fag,' etc," said a 10th grade Latino male student in the report. "I've heard it before. ... It’s hurtful because it's just not something that you say. And it's just generally hurtful. And I know that I'll just be walking in a hallway, and someone will just say under their breath with a group of friends, "fag" ... and hearing things like that in my school - it kind of brings me down almost. It kind of negates any hope that I have for our school to be a better place." After reading all of these statistics and even just looking into the website I started to feel annoyed with what I was seeing. When you get to hear the voice of someone who is a victim of harassment it just makes it that much more relatable.  These kids are being harassed for just being who they are, being gay isn’t a choice, just like color isn’t a choice; however, sexual orientation and race are two things that harassment is linked to. Harassment comes from nothing more than ignorance and prejudice, and this article, and the GLSEN website is really eye opening to the realities of harassment.

Sunday, February 20, 2011



Richard Rodriguez argues that through his own personal experiences of being a bilingual student he struggled with finding his public identity. He talks about the difficulties he faced as a child who grew up speaking Spanish, and had to adapt to the English language, and the American way of life. He felt afraid to speak out in class because he was not yet comfortable with speaking English. As a child he felt that by speaking English he was leaving behind who he was and he in some way felt that if he began to speak the public language (English) he would be displeasing his family. After having trouble in school, his parents began to speak English at home, this way Richard and his siblings would become better students and they could feel more comfortable in the society that they lived in. Soon after, Richard and all of his family members began to take part in their society and they now felt that they belonged in public. Though Richard and his family now had a better sense of belonging in the public, things at home were much different. The closeness they all shared because of their private (Spanish) language had now diminished. They were still family oriented; however, it was much different than before. Richard says “ I would have been happiest about my public success had I not sometimes recalled what it had been like earlier, when my family had conveyed its intimacy through a set of conveniently private sounds.” (38) He says that it is difficult because in some ways you lose your sense of individuality once you become a part of the public; however, he ends his piece by saying that there are two ways a person can by individualized, “So they do not realize that while one suffers a diminished sense of private individuality by becoming assimilated into public society, such assimilation makes possible the achievement of public individuality.” (39)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol


In Jonathan Kozol's "Amazing Grace", there are a few quotes that really stuck with me. The first quote that I came across that really left an impression on me was on page 6. "I saw a boy shot in the head right over there," he says a moment later, in a voice that does not sound particularly sad, then looks up at me and asks politely, "would you like a chocolate chip cookie?" Once I read this quote I had the most uncomfortable feeling. Knowing that a child could witness something like this and talk about it as if it is just a way of life is insane. There are obviously stories that I have heard throughout my life of murder and crime and so on, but once I read this quote I was honestly taken back, its honestly just disturbing.

On page 11 I found another quote that made an impression on me. Following up to this quote there is talk of people coming and illegally dumping things they don't want in this New York area, its just another place for people to get rid of their garbage, but its also the home to these suffering people. Cliffie's mother says "I've got quite a few nice things that way. Not long ago, somebody dumped a pile of chairs and tables in the street. Brand-new. I was offended but I was also blessed. I took two chairs." This situation reminds me of that saying desperate times call for desperate measures, because its like you have to take what you can get. Cliffie's mother says that yes she is offended that people would do this;however, she puts that aside because she knows that she has an opportunity here that she might not ever get otherwise.

The last quote that I want to point out is on page 23. David says "I don't think my mother's asking for something she does not deserve. She worked hard all her life. She's a very honest person. she's kind to other people. She's a nicer person than a lot of the rich people that I notice on TV. She gives more of herself to other people. My mother means a great deal to me. I don't know what I'll do after she's gone." This ties into this whole article because it brings up the point that life is a struggle. People experience things that are not fair, and they may not deserve these things but its all apart of life. Times are hard for people no matter what situation they're in financially or emotionally etc. and many times these hardships are experienced by people while they are still children, and this can be especially hard.

About me

Heyy everyone, my name is Danielle Whitaker and currently I am a freshman at RIC studying Elementary Ed. I'm from Coventry, RI, still living at home and just trying to stay busy. I've been working at a bakery for the past three years and when I'm not there I'm with friends doing whatever. I love to go out and have fun and if I'm not out then a good movie will do the trick! I'm excited about this semester and I'm even more excited for summer :)