Friday Shares (3-10-23) – Indoctrination or whitewashing?

In the last few weeks, I have spent some time thinking about some of the words that have taken on a negative connotation for some Americans. Why has the meaning of the words Equity and Woke been changed in some circles to immediately infer negative intent on the part of someone who would invoke them? In addition, there are often concerns about indoctrination being tossed in with the negativity surrounding these words. These concerns have led to the whitewashing of AP African American Studies by the College BoardBook Bans in some classrooms and other measures that are being taken by those who espouse the theory that will prevent the indoctrination of students. 

Just type indoctrination into your Google machine and click on news and see all of the stories you get about fears of indoctrination. It honestly made me look up the definition of indoctrination to make sure I was not missing something in this conversation.  According to the Oxford Languages Dictionary, to indoctrinate someone means the following: “the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.” I cannot help wondering how denying portions of our country’s history and taking away so many books written by BIPOC and LGTBQ authors that allow all students to see representations of themselves (and for the majority of white students to learn about people and perspectives that are so unfamiliar to them) is not the epitome of indoctrination. Learning things about our country and the perspectives of our neighbors that we are unfamiliar with and having the opportunity to think critically about these things is a gift and provides a pathway to build understanding, connections, and empathy.

Not allowing this is divisive.

Some things I read this week that have me thinking

Abraham Lincoln Was Assassinated in the Name of White Supremacy | by Tim Wise | Jan, 2023 | Medium

Why Doesn’t America Have Universal Health Care? One Word: Race – The New York Times

Crazy rich autocracies: What are they doing better than democracies? – The Boston Globe

Understanding the intersectionality of hate

Florida Book Bans: Why Are Shelves Empty? – PEN America

Book Bans: Frequently Asked Questions – PEN America

US educational authorities must resist ‘anti-woke’ censorship

Some things I heard this week that have me thinking

How to Write the Past & Future with Clint Smith – This is from Some of My Best Friends Are… podcast with Khalil Gibran Muhammad and Ben Austen.

POD SAVE THE PEOPLE podcast – Come to the Present Day (with Nick Brooks) – As we finish the first full week of Women’s History Month, Kaya Henderson highlights 7 Things You Didn’t Know were Invented by Black women and DeRay Mckesson talks with author Nick Brooks about his new YA book Promise Boys, a book set a prestigious charter school in D.C. where the Principal is murdered and three boys of color, who are considered the primary suspects, need to find out who the murderer is to clear their names.

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