Peanut Butter and Jelly, Also Racist

September 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm (jelly, Oregon, Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Portland, Racism, Verenice Gutierrez)

What’s that lurking in your lunch box?  Could it be a heaping helping of racism?

This, from the Portland Tribune:

Verenice Gutierrez picks up on the subtle language of racism every day.

Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year.

“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” says Gutierrez, principal at Harvey Scott K-8 School, a diverse school of 500 students in Northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood.

“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.”

Guitierrez, along with all of Portland Public Schools’ principals, will start the new school year off this week by drilling in on the language of “Courageous Conversations,” the district-wide equity training being implemented in every building in phases during the past few years.

Through intensive staff trainings, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations and other initiatives, the premise is that if educators can understand their own “white privilege,” then they can change their teaching practices to boost minority students’ performance.

Last Wednesday, the first day of the school year for staff, for example, the first item of business for teachers at Scott School was to have a Courageous Conversation — to examine a news article and discuss the “white privilege” it conveys.

Let’s just hope you’re not eating a PB & J in Chicago.

In the meantime, I will continue to take umbrage with the following product:

A cracker maybe, but I damn sure ain’t easy.

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