“Make America Better”

This is a re-post of a comment to a comment to a post regarding the recent overruling of the banning of MAS in the Tucson Unified School District (Tucson, Arizona)

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Comment above states: “DA Morales I want to have kids have equal opportunity for success not be relegated to being a victim with no opportunity. That’s what education does. I am the first person in my family with a college degree. We were taught hard work in my family, but we started close to the bottom. Doesn’t matter where you start in America you can get ahead.”

I used to believe in the “pull yourself up by the bootstraps through education” story as well. Ironically, it is through education that I learned about the glass ceiling and implicit bias. Yes, everyone *can*”get ahead” … but…

Here is a perspective that I do not see taught regularly: Getting ahead can be going in a straight line, but imagine that you are on a sphere. Eventually, getting ahead brings you back to the same point on the sphere. Now consider standing on the sphere, but moving in a spiral, up, away from the sphere. The final destinations are countless. That’s the difference — most minorities and women are kept on the sphere, and there is a “glass ceiling” that keeps them there.

I have no problem with a policy that states: “No hate crimes, equal opportunity.” and that is what the policy states. My concern is that society creates victims and the cycle ensures there are always victims (cycle of domestic violence, cycle of poverty).

We have fears that someone else getting “ahead”, (e.g. the piece of the pie) means that we don’t “get ahead” (any pie, when there are other bakeries right next door.) We limit others because of our perspectives.

We see “hard work” as completion of Tasks A, B, C. We don’t recognize those who accomplish the same goal by accomplishing Task Z.

We must be mindful, letting go of our egos. We must recognize that our perspectives are limited.

The English teacher in me asks that we remember the stories we hear and movies we watch, when we shout: “Don’t open that door!” because we know what is on the other side, and that help is in the way.

I suppose that is what teaching six years of “Romeo and Juliet” — while listening to student perspectives and encouraging questions –does to a person; that is what 20 years of teaching young people to think, apologizing for past wrongs of society, and encouraging “alternative” pathways.

Tucson, we can do better.
America, we can do better.
World, we can do better.

“Make America Great Again”? No… “Make America Better”.

Viva! (la revolucion)
❤ Felicia
www.chewfortucson.wordpress.com

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