For regular readers who aren’t sure what California Educator is, it is the publication of the California Teachers Association. Although I am quite active in my local, and CTA (as a State Council member), the magazine features articles of general interest to educators and those of us in the article having varying levels of participation in our unions.
For California Educator readers landing here…welcome! My topics are varied, and recent pieces have covered topics from gun safety, to patriarchy and racism on the Internet, to education theory (and policy), and what’s going on in my classroom.
If you prefer to eschew politics and just want to hear what’s going on my classroom, those are found here. For those who like their “caffeine” straight up, you can find it in the policy and politics category.
However you got here, I’m grateful to have you visit!
Using the Internet to impose order, support the dominant paradigm, and enforce patriarchy and racism
When I started blogging and reading blogs about a decade ago, I found the writing of Kathy Sierra, just before she was “doxxed” and went offline after numerous threats and having her home address published. It was one of the first incidents against a woman online, and it saddened me greatly. She offers this recent posts explaining the dynamics of what happened to her, and how this plays out en general. It will look very familiar to anyone who has been following #gamergate. Longtime readers of my blog know my opinion on her use of the term “drinking koolaid”, but it’s a really good piece and is worth the read in spite of that. Here are some highlights…
I now believe the most dangerous time for a woman with online visibility is the point at which others are seen to be listening, “following”, “liking”, “favoriting”, retweeting. In other words, the point at which her readers have (in the troll’s mind) “drunk the Koolaid”. Apparently, that just can’t be allowed.
If you’ve already hit the Koolaid Point, you usually have just three choices: 1. leave (They Win) 2. ignore them (they escalate, make your life more miserable, DDoS, ruin your career, etc. i.e. They Win) 3. fight back (If you’ve already hit the Koolaid Point, see option #2. They Win). That’s right, in the world we’ve created, once you’ve become a Koolaid-point target they always win. Your life will never be the same, and the harassers will drain your scarce cognitive resources. You and your family will never be the same. – from Trouble at the Koolaid Point — Serious Pony
via Tom Hoffman at TuttleSVC comes another piece which nicely sums up the situation. It’s about the social media campaign of a football team, but it works in general too.
“Because the Internet tends toward entropy, this of course ended up with the team tweeting out a jersey with the N-bomb written on it.” That’s Jordan Weissmann on the New England Patriots’ social media mistake of allowing fans unfiltered access to their Twitter feed. We should note that this Internet “entropy” isn’t random. The downward spiral always leads to the same place: racist, misogynist and homophobic slurs. That’s not really entropy — it’s a concerted attempt to impose order. – from The memory will multiply
The minister at the church service I attended today share this poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, and it really resonated with me. Here’s a stanza, the poem in its entirety can be found at the link below:
This man carries the world's most sensitive cargo but he's not marked. Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE.
– From “Shoulders” by Naomi Shihab Nye http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23314#sthash.i0Eaf0sF.dpuf
Let’s count the many ways that the so-called education “reform” movement does not treat poor kids subjected to their “reform” agenda as the world’s most sensitive cargo:
- School “choice” means choosing to site your school on toxic waste;
- And while “reformers” love schools like KIPP, the students call it “Kids in Prison”;
- The school “reformers” send their own kids to is more humane for the students, and they have union contracts (that they honor) with their teachers;
- But, maybe this was never about the “kids” and more about power and privilege…;
- Because surely they wouldn’t let something like this happen to “their” children;
- Or, this;
- Which eventually leads to decisions like this.
The way they treat teachers is like someone speeding down a residential street in an Audi A2 and running into the dad who is cradling his son in this poem. Then blaming the dad for the accident because he was crossing the street, and getting mad cause there’s a dent in the bumper. Stay classy ed deformers, stay classy!