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.|
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:
- the rate of interracial marriage continues to grow
- most Americans think that's good news (or at least think it doesn't matter -- only a tiny minority, 11 percent, thinks it is bad news)
- women have erased the "achievement gap" in higher education
- the total number of male and female road-race finishers is just about even (women have the edge in half-marathon and men in the marathon).
- life expectancy, a key indicator of health and quality of life, has been increasing steadily across all population groups in the US and gaps by race and gender are narrowing.
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?