Who knew when you were in 3rd grade eating that PB&J that you were being racist? Verenice Gutierrez, the principle at Harvey Scott K-8 School in Portland, did, as he explained it to the Portland Tribune.
“Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year,” the Tribune said.
“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” Gutierrez asked. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”
Gutierrez and his fellow Portland Public School principles started the school year with “equity training” that they call “Courageous Conversations.”
The intention being that through “intensive staff trainings, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations and other initiatives,” educators can understand their own “white privilege,” then they can change their teaching practices to boost the performance of minority students.
One example of this was on the first day of the staff’s school year, last year, they held a “Courageous Conversation,” in which they review a news article and discus the “white privilege” that it conveys.
“Our focus school and our Superintendent’s mandate that we improve education for students of color, particularly Black and Brown boys, will provide us with many opportunities to use the protocols of Courageous Conversations in data teams, team meetings, staff meetings, and conversations amongst one another,” Ms. Gutierrez said in a letter to staff.
My question is, does it matter it the sandwich is on white bread? What about the type of jelly? Is traditional grape worse than apple? Then there is also the question of how far does this racism go beyond peanut butter and jelly? Have the ham and cheese, the Rubin, the bologna, deviled ham, and the grilled cheese all been racist this whole time? I now have to rethink my entire childhood. And if these sandwiches are racist, what else have they kept hidden from us? Are hotdogs sexist? My entire sense of what is real has been destroyed.
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