links for 2011-01-03

  • Not necessarily about race and pop culture, but an issue that intersects race and class (among other things) via access to information. –AP

    “In Bethesda, shrinking spending means not renewing a bipartisan and demographically diverse list of periodicals next year. The Nation and Weekly Standard are out. Car and Driver? Town and Country? Gone. Also among the titles to be discontinued: Runner’s World and Bicycling, Entrepreneur and Fast Company, Nature and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    In Damascus, it has meant scaling way back on efforts to help babies, toddlers and preschoolers – and their parents and caregivers – get ready for early reading. The branch organized 124 early reading programs during the last fiscal year, and attendance topped 4,000. But in the first half of this fiscal year, about 800 participants squeezed into just 13 such programs.”

  • “To acknowledge my privilege as a white person and that I am not subjected to the same oppression, marginalization and discrimination as Native Americans AND to accept my responsibility to use my privilege and be a ‘voice’ in places where the voice of Native Americans is silenced or goes unheard. To remember that I still ‘collude’ and that I need to be conscious and intentional in my efforts to be an ally AND that I am a work in progress.”
  • But in the name of reform, it’s as if somehow the goalpost has been moved without our realizing it. Now education — for those “failing” urban kids, anyway — is about learning the rules and following directions. Not critical thinking. Not creativity. It’s about how to correctly eliminate three out of four bubbles. The whole messy, thrilling, challenging work of shaping young minds has been reduced to a one or a zero. Pass or fail. [...]

    So in cities such as New York, they bring in the number crunchers instead of real education experts — even if these privatization experiments can go horribly, tragically wrong. And even if choosing a charter school often means choosing to racially segregate.”