#136: The Privilege Predicament
Hi Loyal Subscribers! The Highlighter #128 featured an article that questioned whether acknowledging white privilege decreases racism in schools. This week’s lead article continues that train of thought. What’s the point of calling someone else out on their privilege, particularly if doing so leads either to silence or insincere confessions? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Does the author have a point, or is he simply a racist, out-of-it professor?
Also, I have some good news: Highlighter Happy Hour #5 is around the corner! Get your (free) tickets before they sell out. Meet new people, offer your perspective, and listen with empathy — whether you chat about the articles or not! Here are a few photos from last time to pique your interest.
Unearned privilege exists and always has. What’s new is how we talk about it, argues Robert Boyers. A college professor, Dr. Boyers suggests that blaming others for their privilege does nothing to make society more equal. Similarly, apologizing for one’s own privilege does nothing to promote justice. Privilege is merely inequality; it is not shameful or immoral. Dr. Boyers writes: “Privilege is increasingly hauled in as a weapon, though wielded, in the main, by persons attached still to the conviction that, whatever their own bristling incivility and the punishing quietus they clearly intend to deliver, they remain in full possession of their virtue.” This article will challenge you, no matter your politics. If you try it, let me know what you think! ⏳⏳⏳
It’s common knowledge that Black students do better when they have Black teachers. It’s also clear that students of all races prefer teachers of color. Still, 82 percent of American teachers are white. This article profiles the work of Travis J. Bristol to retain male teachers of color. Some outgrowths of Dr. Bristol’s work include NYC Men Teach and Oakland’s Black Teacher Project. Big thanks to loyal subscriber Elizabeth for submitting this article. ⏳⏳
Tyrone Valentino, who belongs to loyal subscriber Whitney, understands your deepest thoughts. Want your pet to appear in The Highlighter? j.mp/nominatepet
Don’t worry, Millennials. You’re not screwed, as The Highlighter #124 suggested. Just be like the Frugalwoods: Scrimp and save. Retirement is right around the corner! Of course, it pays to have an income property that collects $4,400 in rent. And be sure not to spend more than $75 a month on your baby. This smart article explains why penny-pinching is not a reality for most Millennials. ⏳
Want to live in the city without the pesky annoyances of urban life? Do you care about living in community, as long as everyone is pretty much the same as you? Welcome to Common (“Coliving is city living made better”)! For just $2,600 a month, you can extend your college years and not worry about the working-class people you’re displacing. (There’s unlimited coffee.) Wait: Isn’t this what many people do already, at least in San Francisco? ⏳
This Week’s Podcast: Listen to The Highlighter Podcast #32 to hear Anne and my reflections on this month’s deep dive on college. What began as a general focus on college ended up centering on the experiences of first-generation college graduates — who make up one-third of all college students today. Why aren’t their voices more represented? If you like what you hear, please subscribe!
Sadly, all that is good must come to an end. Thank you for reading this week’s issue! Let me know your thoughts by clicking on one of the thumbs below. Also, please welcome new subscriber Jillian! Tell your friends and family about The Highlighter by forwarding them this issue, sending them this link to subscribe, or encouraging them to check out the website. If this digest is not a great fit for you, please unsubscribe. Have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you again next Thursday at 9:10 am.
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