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Starting my own storms

So I wrote a blog post that ruffled a few people’s feathers yesterday.

I’d just like to point out that I get between 7 and 12 visitors to my blog per day. And that is since I started writing again a few weeks ago. When people get riled, my numbers go up. I had 24 visitors yesterday, doubling the number I usually get.

Maybe I should try that more often.

My goal was not to anger anybody. The goal of my blog is to express my personal views, work through my own job/work/life issues and maybe pass on some magical things that happen in my classroom to my friends. And really, the only people who read this, the dozen or so people, are personal friends.

Seems like the only time I get real traffic is when I say something that challenges people’s core ideals. And that happens sometimes.

My journey toward where I am now in owning my own racist tendencies began when I was asked, pretty brusquely, to leave a New Year’s Eve party in Germany because somebody found out that I was indeed not Canadian, but American.

My travels, my life experiences, my job, and the people I hang out with have allowed me to see my country and my upbringing in a new light. I don’t blame anybody. But I see that I developed certain ways of thinking that later in life I thought were not serving me well.

I don’t think my parents set out to make me a racist. That was not who my parents were. They were a loving couple who welcomed screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-7-11-55-pmfriends and strangers under their roof with incredible generosity, who encouraged wanderlust and who eventually got around to appeasing their own.

I think the feather-ruffling from my previous post, though, came as a reaction to different people’s definitions of racism. Racism can be both explicit and implicit.

I would just like to offer, to those of you offended, that you listen to this lovely song I’ve embedded above. And then, try taking this test from Harvard University’s Project Implicit. It asks you to match words like good and bad with keys on the keyboard, and then it switches in faces.

Take it. You might just be surprised at how hardwired you are.

I was.

I am privileged. I own that.

It’s why I feel guilty about buying a food processor when my students don’t have boots. And it’s why I make an extra trip to try to find them boots. It’s why I work to make sure that they have everyday experiences like going to the play at school and maybe going bowling or to a movie.

My privilege drives me to help others and change the world.

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