Friday, April 6, 2012

Racism in the classroom

I was in Elegance class eating lunch with the kiddos.  My new co-teacher was there, too.

At one point, Judy looked over to me and asked, "Teacher.  You know this song?"  She started to hum.  I didn't recognize the tune at first, but then I pegged it as a song I played when starting piano and violin lessons.  I started to hum along with Judy and Eva who had also joined in.

My co-teacher had been listening from her peripherals, I believe, and she pounced in with, "Judy, that song is Korean.  Lindsay Teacher doesn't know it."

#1- Sorry, but that musical piece is not Korean.  If anything, it's probably English or Italian.  Millions of children around the world have learned it as they started learning to play music.
#2- Just because I'm not Korean doesn't mean I don't know about Korean music or culture.

Despite the fact that I know significantly less about Korean music and culture than any one of my students, I was genuinely offended.  I believe that this is the first time in my life I had been profiled by my race to my face.  I know that, in comparison to what so many others have been through in this area, this incident is nothing, but the heart here is the same.  Judging someone based on their race instead of going deeper and looking at them as a person, not a skin color or face composition.  I was incensed that my co-teacher viewed me as White, not as Lindsay, musician, artist, creator, learner, soul.  (Don't even get me started on how my co-teacher did all this in a teacher's position around 7 impressionable young students.)

I've been a victim of bold-faced racism.
I recommend it to everyone who hasn't been on the receiving side at least once.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Now that you mention it, I don't think I've ever seriously been profiled racial... or at least not in a negative way. I sometimes feel like people get overly offended by it, but you experience is something I can relate to more as being upsetting.


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