Thursday, February 16

Thursday thanks

This week begins the "tough stuff" discussions in the courses I teach.

It is about mid-semester and we've built the foundations of terminology and theory. Now my classes and I get to dive into issues of gender, sexuality, class, and race. (I clearly have strong feelings about the importance of equality. This blog's title is a play on that theme.)

From the MLK exhibit at the Atlanta airport.
Make no mistake, honest discussions about gender, sexuality, and race are difficult in any city. These conversations (in my humble opinion) are particularly difficult in the South where, as one student informed me, signs for "blacks only / whites only" still hung in at least one Mississippi restaurant until only a few years ago, and in that same town the local swimming pools still split along color lines.

But for every one-step-back story (like the church that banned interracial couples last year, or the sexist IAAF rule that tried to strip Paula Radcliffe of her world-record marathon time because she ran near a boy), there are two-steps-forward stories about breaking down barriers:

But, unfortunately, we have not reached a happy utopia just yet, so in the meantime, I'm thankful that:
  • My students are brave enough to challenge each other's beliefs and to share their own experiences with issues of racism, sexism, and discrimination.
  • They are mature enough to have these conversations in a heated, but respectful way.
  • My teenage students don't "understand" racism the way older students do, because - while scars don't heal overnight - discrimination is fading over time. Today's teens haven't seen as much discrimination as their peers 20 or 30 years ago, and that is definitely something to be thankful for.

...I'll get back to blogging about running tomorrow. In the meantime:

Have you seen any good news stories you want to share?


  1. This is awesome. I hadn't really thought about it, but reading this in context of having seen the American Experience Freedom Riders program on PBS the other day makes me suspect it's much harder to talk about issues of race in the South- but glad things are getting better! :)

  2. Without the over-the-top, rampant sexism on my blog, I don't what I'd have to post about.

  3. This is awesome! Good "equality" news around these parts - Washington state just legalized gay marriage - woot!

  4. This is awesome! Good "equality" news around these parts - Washington state just legalized gay marriage - woot!


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