3 THE GREAT WHITE NORTH? EXPLORING WHITENESS, PRIVILEGE, AND IDENTITY IN EDUCATION Editors: Paul R. Carr and Darren E. Lund Foreword by George J. Sefa Dei Introduction: Scanning Whiteness Paul R. Carr and Darren E. Lund Section 1: Conceptualizing Whiteness 1. Exposing the Authority of Whiteness: An Auto-Ethnographic Journey Kathleen S. Berry 2. Before I was White I was Presbyterian Tim McCaskell 3. Being White and Being Right: Critiquing Individual and Collective Privilege James Frideres
4 Section 2: Whiteness and Indigenous Peoples 4. On Indigenous Academia: The Hermeneutics of Indigenous Western Institutional Participation – Eleven Theorems Tracey Lindberg 5. Going Native: A White Guys Experience Teaching in an Aboriginal Context Herbert C. Northcott 6. Dont Blame Me for What My Ancestors Did: Understanding the Impact of Collective White Guilt Julie Caouette and Donald M. Taylor
5 Section 3: Deconstructing and Developing White Identity 7. Development of Anti-Racist White Identity in Canadian Educational Counsellors Christine Wihak 8. Radical Stuff: Starting a Conversation about Racial Identity and White Privilege Susan A. Tilley and Kelly D. Powick 9. Who Can/Should do this Work? The Colour of Critique Carl E. James Section 4: Learning, Teaching, and Whiteness 10. The Parents of Baywoods: Intersections between Whiteness and Jewish Ethnicity Cynthia Levine-Rasky 11. Re-inscribing Whiteness Through Progressive Constructions of the Problem in Anti-Racist Education Lisa Comeau 12. Discourses on Race and White Privilege in the Next Generation of Teachers R. Patrick Solomon and Beverly-Jean M. Daniel 13. White Canadian Female Teachers and Technology in Education: Stories Reproducing the Status Quo Brad Porfilio
6 Section 5: The Institutional Weight of Whiteness 14. Whiteness and Philosophy: Imagining Non-White Philosophy in Schools Laura Mae Lindo 15. (De)Centering Normal: Negotiating Whiteness as a White School Administrator in a Diverse School Community Debbie Donsky and Matt Champion 16. A Group That Plays Together Stays Together: Tracing a Story of Racial Violence Gulzar R. Charania 17. The Whiteness of Educational Policymaking Paul R. Carr
7 Why talk about Whiteness? Power: gaps in income, employment, status and representation based on race Equity advancements have often avoided racial issues (i.e., womens movement) Networks, associations, clubs, etc. are changing but Whiteness is still a predominant factor; private schools are mainly for Whites producing more inequity Unwritten, unspoken, coded language still characterizes public discourse (jokes, expressions, concerns about reverse discrimination, rejection of notion of racism) Confusion between overt and systemic racism Data collection on race is discouraged Filling a quote and Playing the race card can be used to neutralize racial equality
8 Evolving complexity of race Intersectionality of identity; complexity of lived experience More mixing of identity (race, culture, religion, etc.) re: marriage, adoptions, study, travel, etc. Rapid demographic changes; Whites are in an extreme minority in World population Concern about sustaining and growing cultures while acknowledging inequities How do you classify groups (Hispanics, Arabs, Mixed Race)? With mixing of races, will there be a day when there are no Whites? DNA tests prove that over 50 million White Americans have at least one relative of African origin, and 10% of African-Americans are more than 50% White (One-drop rule) Is racism democratic? (Tator and Henry)
Are there racial minorities in France? (Source : http://no-pasaran.blogspot.com/2005/09/no-minorities-in-france-and-no-racial.html) A country known for human rights, one that denounces racism in the US A country without minorities or persons of colour The census does not document racial origin; estimates of 2M+ Since there are no Black people, there is no representation for Black people Is the Black French experience the same as the White French experience? A visible absence of Black people in public life in leadership positions France does not receive European Union funds for programs targeted at minorities because there is no official recognition of these minorities 11
12 Non-White Population in Great Britain YearNumber 195130,000 1961400,000 19711,400,000 19812,100,000 19913,000,000 20014,600,000 (Source : Commission for Racial Equality ; http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:fl5kfCot6_4J:www.cre.gov.uk/downloads/factfi le02_ethnic_minorities.pdf+racial+minorities+great+britain&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2) http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:fl5kfCot6_4J:www.cre.gov.uk/downloads/factfi le02_ethnic_minorities.pdf+racial+minorities+great+britain&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2)
Institutional Racism n South Africa (Source : http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~cale/cs201/apartheid.hist.html) 13
Toronto – Ethnic Origin - 2001 (Statistique Canada) Total responsesSingle responsesMultiple responses Population 4,647,9603,265,7401,382,215 Canadian 861,945375,155486,790 English 783,770211,835571,930 Scottish 517,11584,415432,705 Irish 487,21073,415413,795 Chinese 435,685379,55056,135 Italian 429,380309,350120,035 East Indian 345,855279,33066,525 French 220,54025,545195,000 German 220,13551,180168,960 Portuguese 171,545129,28042,265 Polish 166,70083,30583,395 Jewish 161,21595,38565,830 Jamaican 150,840107,33043,505 Filipino 140,405116,91023,495 Ukrainian 104,49040,70563,785 Dutch 85,86027,34058,520 Greek 85,37561,95523,420 Spanish 65,60024,41041,190 Russian 62,54021,16041,380 Hungarian 46,79021,22025,565 Sri Lankan 45,24033,29011,950 Vietnamese 45,10034,20010,900 Welsh 44,1753,59040,585 Korean 43,11040,7102,405 Pakistani 43,03032,11010,920 Iranian 41,29034,9856,310 West Indian 40,60024,54516,055 Guyanese 38,21520,90017,315 14
15 Racial Origin - Toronto (2001) Ethnic groupPopulation % Visible minorities *1,051,12542.8 Chinese259,70910.6 South Asian253,92110.3 Black Canadian204,0758.3 Filipino86,4603.5 Latin American54,3502.2 West Asian37,2051.5 Southeast Asian33,8701.4 Korean29,7551.2 Arab22,3550.9 Japanese11,5950.5 Other minorities37,9851.5 White (Non-Hispanic)1,405,68057.2 Total2,456,805100
Toronto District School Board 50%+ of students do not have English as their mother tongue; more than 100 languages represented in the schools Approximately 55% of the students are racial minorities; roughly 15% of the teachers are racial minorities More than 30% of the students are born outside Canada in more than 175 countries More than 10% of the students are in Canada less than three years The drop-out rate for Black students is 2-3 times higher than for White students 16
17 The imagery of Whiteness White as Snow, Pure White, Snow White… Metaphors, analogies, images, cultural landmarks and concrete manifestations in language, law and cultural practices White ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Black Good Evil Lightness Darkness Benevolence Malevolence Cleanliness, kindness, and serenity Undesirable the conqueror the dark continent
18 White racial superiority Slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, & imperialism Whiteness moral, biological, religious superiority Hate groups against people of colour (& others) Europeans and Aboriginal peoples (forced religious conversion, disrespect of language, culture and family, and attempts to terminate First Nations) Why are churches still largely segregated? Why are inter-racial marriages still taboo for many?
19 White racial superiority Slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, & imperialism Whiteness moral, biological, religious superiority Hate groups against people of colour (& others) Europeans and Aboriginal peoples (forced religious conversion, disrespect of language, culture and family, and attempts to terminate First Nations) Why are churches still largely segregated? Why are inter-racial marriages still taboo for many?
Mimi Pinguin, important characature in Mexico in the 1940s, in a series of stamps in 2005 (Source : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/29/AR2005062902831.html) 20
Is Tin-Tin racist? (Sources : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/07/12/ntintin112.xml) (http://vivirlatino.com/2007/07/13/racist-book-ruffles-feathers-in-the-uk.php) 21
American art and culture (Source : http://www.sonofthesouth.net/slavery/african-american-art/racist-picture.htm) 22
Whites who paint their faces black (Blackface) (Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackface) 23
White hate groups (Sources : http://www.rulen.com/kkk/ et http://sun.menloschool.org/~sportman/ethnic/individual/kkk/) 24
25 The myth of White goodness Canada as a civilized, non-colonizing, pacifist nation, with two founding peoples (English and French) Land of opportunity, more welcoming and charitable than the US (less segregated, racist and divided) Canadians embrace multiculturalism, difference and minority status; ours is a meritocracy How do we reconcile our history of history of colonization, slavery & racism? Colour-blindness masks internment of Japanese in WWII, razing of Africville in N.S., Chinese head-tax, under-achievement in education by some groups, etc. Canada as a White country (embassies, symbols, monarchy) Prime Ministers, Supreme Court Judges, major cultural and media figures, business icons, etc. are largely, if not exclusively, White
26 White identity We know that people of colour are racialized but do Whites know that they have a racial origin? Do Whites use their privilege to deny or ignore their racial identity, and, simultaneously, infer inherent racial attributes to the Other? If White people do not know they are White, how can those in positions of power (who are mainly White) effectively understand and challenge racism and unearned privilege? If there are Black, Asian, Chinese, Racial Minority, etc. communities, is there then, logically, a White community? If Affirmative Action for minorities today is wrong, was Affirmative Action for Whites for the past 400 years equally wrong? If we are colour-blind, why is there racism (individual, collective, systemic, institutional)?
27 Shades of Whiteness If Whites experience power and privilege differently, does that mean that we are all simply individuals, responsible for our own actions? If White groups also experience discrimination, does this mean that there is no real racial discrimination against people of colour? Francophones vs. Anglophones in Canada Catholics vs. Protestants in Northern Ireland Hungarians vs. Romanians in Romania Basques vs. Spanish in Spain Maritimers vs. Central Canadians in Canada Jews vs Christians in Europe & North America Social class power and privilege Whites, no matter how poor, are part of a club, even if it is the second tier
28 Whiteness and education Education as a key site for learning and advancing social justice Most teachers are White Curriculum is still contested, considered Euro-centric Student identity and experience is evolving Issues of power, democracy and social justice need to be addressed formally as well as informally in an authentic way Neo-liberalism can reinforce marketization of public education as well as less political literacy The study of Whiteness forces us to interrogate identity, difference, equity and power from diverse vantage-points, with myriad linkages to the international context A multitude of studies on racial groups, racial problems, integration, multiculturalism, etc. without a explicit focus on Whiteness and White complicity in shaping social realities Educational policymaking, curriculum development, teacher training and teacher unions, etc., are infused with Whiteness
29 George J. Sefa Dei To my reading and experience, Whiteness is never invisible to those who daily live the effects of White dominance. Many Whites may see their Whiteness, and yet they are able to deny the dominance associated with it. This denial is not unconscious, nor is it accidental; I believe it is deliberate. Critical anti-racism maintains that we will only do away with racism when Whiteness no longer infers dominance and Whites acknowledge and work towards this end. In noting this I also agree that there are contradictory (and sometimes competing) meanings of Whiteness, as in the way Whites and subordinate groups understand contemporary Whiteness (e.g., the perception of Whiteness as anything but positive). Because White bodies are invested in systems of privilege, the importance of dominant groups questioning their self-appointed and racialized neutrality is always critical and transformative. For far too long we have witnessed how White society has conscripted and choreographed the idea of a fractured Black community that avoids taking responsibility.
30 Auto-ethnography of Whiteness Kathleen Berry employs an auto-ethnography to explore how numerous factors, events, and phenomena in her youth served to buttress a White hegemony in education and society, as she reveals how the intersectionality of race and (dis)ability effectively marginalizes people at different levels. the spaces and times of the auto-ethnographic text show where Whiteness hides in ancestral and inherited grand narratives, such as Euro-centric history and rationality, Christianity, and Colonization, that have constituted modern, Western education. She describes the books studied in school in Maritime Canada that served to diminish the non-White other, the highly informal encounters with ethnic food, the adept manoeuvres to avoid contact with non-Whites, even at Church, the endless jokes, and the evident marginalization of people of colour without interrogation, all of which infused privilege and power in the White child and White race. Berry speaks to the individual interpretations and political implications for the institution (that) varied in their degrees of inclusion based on a difference from the normal.
31 Personal evolution through Whiteness Tim McCaskell discusses his personal in Before I was White I was Presbyterian, highlighting how being raised in Ontario in the 1950s involved myriad forces that encouraged alienation of the other, whether these were Catholic, Italian, or French. This first other was White, making intensely aggravated relations with the non-white other (Aboriginal peoples, Blacks, and other immigrants). The dichotomy between the goodness of the Church and the evil of segregation and hatred of others is brought to the fore. Illustrating how his own racial origin became clearer with the contact he established with people of colour in Latin America, Africa and India, who better understood the international dynamic of racism. Documenting the difficulty in doing antiracism work within the Toronto Board of Education, and then as a man living with HIV, he underscores that, for White people to become allies in anti-racist struggle, it is crucial that we understand not just the racialization of others, but our own Whiteness, both as a marker, and a constituent element of our own privileged cultural, national and class location. We need to understand how our own biographies and experiences shape and limit our identities and consciousness, and the path we must take to transform them.
32 White normative values James Frideres discusses Being White and being right: Critiquing individual and collective privilege He documents his experience in teaching Aboriginal students, highlighting how the normative values of education and society serve to malign and marginalize Aboriginal peoples. He writes that White privilege is an institutional set of benefits granted to those who, by colour, resemble the people who dominate the powerful positions in our institutions and organizations. In turn, these become individual benefits. The system is not based on each individual White persons intention to harm but on a racial groups determination to preserve what they believe is rightly theirs. For Frideres, White is invisible, and all others have to substantiate their claim to citizenship. There are, therefore, numerous barriers to teaching and learning, and the concept of power is underscored as being key to understanding how to achieve equity as well as, importantly, breaking the silence of Whiteness.
33 The Whiteness of Second Peoples Tracey Lindberg examines the European-Aboriginal relationship, calling the White Christian colonizers Second Peoples as juxtaposed to First Nations Eleven theorems related to Indigenous peoples survival in non-Indigenous institutions, highlighting the ingrained, systemic and taken-for-granted morality of attitudes, behaviours, traditions and systems that serve to freeze out First Nations people in the academy. Addresses how Aboriginal persons need to be able to survive within Western academic institutions, and how there may be an exotic, folkloric view of First Nations that trivializes their identity while simultaneously contributing to some form of a perceived cultural enrichment program. Describes the institutional challenges, enforced through a philosophy that sustains Whiteness, which marginalizes work necessary for recognition and growth within First Nations. Lindberg also critiques the way Aboriginal persons are regarded when they do undertake work that is beneficial to the First Nations.
34 Going native: A White guys experience teaching in an Aboriginal context Herb Northcotts discusses how attempts to teach to Aboriginal persons using the same references, frames, approaches, and attitudes employed for the general population were highly ineffective, and ultimately, further served to alienate the former. By elucidating Whiteness, Northcott was able to discover constructive learning, demonstrating the need to understand identity when dealing with others, and, ultimately concluding that avoiding it or assuming its neutrality will only aggravate the situation: Despite my attempts to remove Whiteness from this course, Whiteness remained. I, the White guy, was clearly responsible for the course, was the person who graded each essay, and assigned the students final grade…. The success of a course like this depends on disclosure by individual participants, and a willingness to examine issues publicly from a variety of perspectives. However, public discussion is constrained by political correctness, that is, by an awareness of the perspectives that are more or less acceptable in the local community…. Distance, in the form of Whiteness, is then both problematic and functional.
35 The Impact of Collective White Guilt Julie Caouette and Donald Taylor examine the impact of collective White guilt from a social-psychological perspective. They discusses the problematic of White people doing research on Whiteness and others, a common concern among antiracism workers: Who should be researching whom, and how? They surmise that it can be painful to face our White privilege and our White guilt; and it can be frustrating to deal with issues related to our Whiteness and our White identity in a diverse nation such as Canada. Nevertheless, the quality of our relationship with disadvantaged groups depends on our being vigilant about the implications of our position of privilege. Their research on collective White sentiment toward racism concludes with a plea to shift our focus from attributing blame and towards taking responsibility.
36 Developing anti-racist White identity Christine Wihak analyzes White identity from a psychological lens, focusing on the development of anti-racist White identity in Canadian education counselors. Based on her experience living in Nunavut with the Inuit, she stresses that White adolescents, however, may never consider this facet [racial] of identity because Whiteness is not something that distinguishes them as individuals, which will ultimately influence how counselors approach problems and issues related to race. Initially, a White person raised in a liberal, White country such as Canada cannot see the differences in life experiences and opportunities that come from race. As a White person actually gets to know members of oppressed minorities, she also starts to see her own Whiteness and the privilege that accompanies it. As she accepts responsibility as a White person to work for social justice, she once again can express her sense of shared humanity with minorities, a sense essential for making the end of oppression their common cause…. This ability to be colour-blind and not colour-blind simultaneously is the hallmark of the achievement of a mature, anti- racist, White identity. She concludes that there is never an end-point to White racial identity development, that the work continues as it transforms itself but, significantly, this work must be rendered visible.
37 Understanding Whiteness with racial minorities Susan Tilley and Kelly Powick expose how a group of graduate students in a Masters of Education program interrogated Whiteness. They found that White students had difficulty understanding and grappling with the notion that they were White, whereas racial minority students demonstrated an in-depth and textured understanding of Whiteness: For racial minority students, concepts and ideas were taken up in more personal ways. Throughout the interviews, these students introduced stories of their parents growing up in a racialized society, retold personal encounters with racism, and even related course content to the schooling experiences of their own children…. A racial minority participant talked about the idea of White privilege as not really [new] because Ive been confronted with it throughout my whole life that they [White people] are the dominant race, while White students often struggled with the idea that their group membership grants unearned privileges not available to others. They conclude that attempting to achieve a more critical consciousness of lived and societal experiences through structured programs is one way of laying the groundwork for difficult, but necessary, conversations about race.
38 Who can/should do this work? Carl James asks Who can/should do this work? The colour of critique. In his exploration of how race issues are broached by his students, he focuses his analysis by acknowledging that: Whiteness as an identity/identification that, like with other identities, is not fixed, but is always in transition, which involves conscious reflective struggle and an active process of construction and reconstructionthe meanings and understandings of which continuously shift in relation to structural and cultural contexts. James highlights how racism is the responsibility of all people, not just those who are disadvantaged by it and, moreover, requires that antiracism proponents must work to disrupt the normativity and centrality of Whiteness as well as expose and challenge White talk, all of which function to maintain White hegemony. Emphasizing that individuals and groups experience racism differently, James warns against avoiding tackling race issues because of the illusion of colour-blindness, which deflects the lived experiences of racial minorities.
39 Intersectionality between Whiteness and Jewish identity Cynthia Levine-Rasky discussing the complexity of the intersectionality between Whiteness and Jewish identity, delving into the problematic issues surrounding social class and race. In highlighting the neo-liberal commodification of the school as an integral part of the market place, Levine-Rasky dissects the motivations for school choice as well as the linkage between Jewish identity and social class. Ultimately, this analysis of Whiteness unearths and confirms the problem of over-generalizing about identity: Jewish identity is ambiguous. Ambiguity is manifest in appeals for Jewish authenticity and for membership within the White, Christian majority. Jews want to sustain dos pintele yid (the Jewish essence) but within the framework of dominant Christian society. Jews may feel the risk of their difference or they can forget it, but they want to evoke Jewishness too by choosing schools and neighbourhoods that feel Jewish. Jewish narratives of immigration, struggle, and subsequent mobility influence these parents regard of the other embodied by the Kerrydale parents since Jewish assimilation is accomplished through their ongoing project of differentiation from others. That is we are integrated only relative to others who are not. The problem of ambiguity in being both privileged and at the periphery indicates Jews contradiction with their liberal humanistic principles. Protecting and nourishing ethnic, cultural, and linguistic identity, as is the case for Francophones in Canada, is a complex enterprise, and the connection to Whiteness may, therefore, take on different shapes and forms.
40 Re-inscribing Whiteness Lisa Comeau examines Re-inscribing Whiteness through progressive constructions of the problem in anti-racist education Her research employs a discourse-analytic perspective, exploring variable and often contradictory ways these highly educated, experienced, and well- intentioned research participants discursively construct and account for the problem of social inequality. She argues that the discursive production of cultural difference through racializing and racist discourse is complicit in re-inscribing both Whiteness and Otherness, thereby reproducing the social inequality that is claimed to be the object of transformative, anti-oppressive education. Comeau exposes how Whiteness is delineated as goodness in educational discourse, and argues that White privilege and power need to be named in order for there to be bone fide progress in education.
41 Teacher-educator discourses on race and White privilege Patrick Solomon and Beverly-Jean Daniels qualitative research uncovered two predominant themes, one dealing with Not here in Canada, revealing the extent to which the candidates remain unaware of the history of racism in the Canadian context, and another related to discourses of competing oppressions, which centres gender and class, and decentres race. They expose the deeply entrenched beliefs of the largely White, female, middle-class teacher candidates: namely, that many White Europeans from an under-class were able to integrate into Canada, and that Canadian society is a meritocracy: The part of the story that seldom gets told is the fact that their ancestors were given land (often stolen from First Nations peoples), or allowed to purchase land for nominal sums of money. The fact that their ancestors Anglicized their names in an attempt to better fit in with the existing Canadian populace, or that within one generation, their White skin and the disappearance of their accent gave them access as the dominant group at the time, is another part of the story that remains untold. They conclude that if teacher education students can acknowledge that, Whites continue to experience multiple economic, political, social and ideological benefits, which have been accrued through centuries of colonial ventures, they will then start to question the myth of meritocracy, thus placing them in a moral and ethical quagmire.
42 Neo-liberalism and White normativity Brad Porfilio outlines the re-production of social relations constructed from his research on White, Canadian, female students in a technology in education class in a Bachelor of Education program. Drawing on the literature related to neo-liberalism, Porfilio finds that White privilege framed how teacher-education candidates perceived the normative world, revealing that they: enter schools of education with a pedestrian view of how power, privilege and domination gird their own as well as other citizens relationships. The data indicate that teacher-educators did little, in twelve graduate courses, to broaden their perspectives, so as to help them recognize White privilege. His analysis underscores the prevailing normative view that technology is neutral, although it is adapted primarily to the needs of middle-class White people. His work reminds us that only a small percentage of people around the world have computers, or have unhindered access to the Internet, yet technology is often presented as a remedy for under-development.
43 The Philosophy of Whiteness Laura Mae Lindo interrogates non-White philosophy in schools, recounting her own story of how she, as a Black woman, was dissuaded from pursing graduate studies in philosophy. She critically questions the normative positioning of philosophy in education, and how White people and their concepts, ideas, and lives seem to take precedence over all other groups. She highlights how philosophy has often been presumed a disembodied practice, disconnected from racialized bodies engaged in philosophy. Raising issues related to epistemology and philosophic insiders, Lindo argues that race and gender are removed from the philosophy canon with a paradoxical acceptance that philosophy is both White and male: The clash between a philosophers naturalized sensibility of who does and does not belong within the boundaries of academic philosophy, and the other that stands before them requesting to share in their philosophical epistemological discourses is often considered an irrelevant concern. Yet, it is not irrelevant but an important aspect of philosophical epistemology, for it is these presumed ideas of who belongs and does not belong in the discipline that form the backdrop upon which new epistemologies are created, proliferated and, consequently, more deeply entrenched. Lindo concludes by analyzing the saliency of the philosophy curriculum in Ontario, which can offer opportunities for constructive engagement but is also shrouded with systemic barriers potentially ensuring its isolation and limitations.
44 The Whiteness of leadership Debbie Donsky and Matt Champion, two White school administrators in the Toronto region in a school where the majority of students are from racial minority groups, question of how to negotiate Whiteness in such a diverse community, and reflect on the problems of inclusion, equity, and leadership. They decipher how they each acted in relation to various events involving race, and question how difficult it is to interpose oneself into situations about which one may not understand the lived experiences of those involved. They question normative values in structuring public education, and also illustrate how difficult it is to critique the institution in which one is employed as an administrator. Questioning their own predispositions and identities is a necessary component to understanding the educational experience of the students in their school. Their openness about how they structure their thinking provides for critical reflection on issues related to race: I [Champion] have always worked hard to hire teachers who reflect the broad range of cultures we have in Canada. I am embarrassed to say that in all of these cases I have only hired teachers who received their training in Canada, and have been reluctant to hire teachers whose training was in a country where I was uncertain about the instructional values and methods.
45 Embodied inequity and Whiteness Gulzar Charania explores the intricacies of how race plays itself out within a school context in relation to racial violence. By examining the dominant story, from the point of view of school officials, she lays the groundwork for understanding how normative values and judgments are made and reinforced in a systemic way. The school in question is portrayed as harmonious until the arrival of Black students from a feeder school. Charania examines the meaning of insisting on bringing together the two groups involved in the violence, White and Black girls, as the only logical response to the problem, rather than understanding if, and how, the Black girls were facing discrimination She explains: The multicultural school requires the appearance of difference but only on conditions and terms defined by the students and community that are rightly entitled to the space. Racialized students are not excluded from the school officially or denied access all together. However, their success or failure is thought to be about qualities intrinsic to who they are, qualities worn on their bodies as explanation, rather than in the systemic processes of marginalization they experience and the racially ordered opportunities offered to them. Curiously, the inclusion of these less desirable students also has the effect of representing the White students and community as gracious, tolerant hosts, making space in their school community at considerable inconvenience and disruption. She concludes by focusing on accountability in how these situations are handled, emphasizing the inequitable power relations framing school codes and policies used to assert Whiteness.
46 Educational policymaking and Whiteness Paul Carr discusses the Whiteness of educational policymaking based on his experience as a government policy advisor working on equity policies in the Ontario Ministry of Education. He examines how Whiteness plays a role in virtually every step of the policy process, and how the willful omission or exclusion of groups, concepts, and approaches is built into that process. An example is the complete lack of response from the Ontario government to the desire of some Black parents to have Black-focused schools in Toronto because of the less than acceptable conditions and outcomes produced by the public (White) system. He provides a number of examples of how Whiteness is rife in the system, and how it remains problematic to raise social justice concerns from the inside, thus making the discussion and realization of antiracism gains extremely difficult on the outside: A critical realization from this review of how government functions in support of Whiteness resides in the infinite number of subtleties and nuances framing the discourse. Despite the numerous efforts, resources, and pronouncements in support of social justice at the formal, institutional level, the results appear to be extremely mitigated and the impact rarely sustained…. The power to manipulate and omit language has been used to convince broad sectors of society of the high level of democracy and accountability in education. He concludes that identity and social justice need to be a greater area of focus in the policy process, as does the effect of such policies, which should over-shadow the supposed notion of individual effort, merit and colour-blindness.
47 Questioning Whiteness - General 1. In what ways did/has Whiteness entered your life in Canada as either privilege and/or oppression? 2. Can you name ten White Canadians and ten non-White Canadians who have made a major contribution to science, culture, and life of Canada (excluding sports figures)? 3. Does surviving institutional Whiteness require individual or institutional responses? 4. What aspects of Whiteness are difficult to quantify? 5. Is there a reason for the difficulty in articulating Indigenous responses to institutional colonization and racism? 6. Do you think that being motivated to fight racial inequality as a result of White guilt is necessarily a sign of an ill-guided motive? In which instances do you think White guilt could be beneficial, and, conversely, harmful? 7. Statistical projections indicate that in major Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver) White people will soon be in the minority. How might this affect the process of White Racial Identity Development (WRID)?
48 Questioning Whiteness - General 8. How can individuals work against the silencing of race? What conversations need to happen? 9. What are some of the tactics or mechanisms that Whites use in their denial of race privilege? How are the respective tactics or mechanisms related to attempts to justify and rationalize their beliefs that their achievements are a result of their individual efforts? 10. Is it possible for racial minorities to gain equitable access to employment and educational opportunities without special structural and institutional programs like Affirmative Action and Employment Equity? 11. If racism is to be addressed, White people must recognize (i.e., admitting to) White privilege, dealing with the resulting personal or internal discomfort, tensions and conflicts, and challenging the very system or structures that contribute to the privilege. Discuss how best this state of being might be attained without developing the urge to give up or back down in the face of personal and interpersonal conflicts that could undermine the socio-economic and political success for which everyone strives. 12. How is Whiteness complicated by other expressions of ethnicity? By other religious identities? By sexual difference?
49 Questioning Whiteness - Education 13. Does Canadian multiculturalism hinder possibilities of discussing Whiteness openly within schools and communities? 14. How do policies aimed at equity and anti-racism play out in the schools? Are they enough and, if not, how do we continue to move forward in the struggle against oppressive practices and systemic racism in the education system? 15. How should Whiteness be broached within an institutional context by those who may not be in positions of power? 16. How should Whites be made aware of, and become engaged in, the conceptualization and application of race and anti-racism? 17. What do members of minoritized racial groups need to be aware of as they become part of the decision-making process? 18. How should Aboriginals and Whites negotiate pedagogy in a changing world? 19. How would you as a teacher develop understandings of the difficult knowledge necessary to interrogate Whiteness and White privilege?
50 Questioning Whiteness - Education 20. What are some of the ways we might be able to avoid "tokenizing" the inclusion of racial minority (or non-White) people's experiences and/or scholarship in education? 21. How may teacher educators use antiracism pedagogy to disrupt the discourse of denial, defensiveness, emotional tensions, ignorance, hostility, and counter-knowledge strategies that teacher candidates often engage in to avoid a critical interrogation of racism and privilege? 22. The next generation of teachers demonstrates limited knowledge of Canadas racist history. Consequently, they demonstrate moral superiority toward their neighbours to the South. How do we work toward a comprehensive picture of Canadian history that highlights similarities between American and Canadian racial histories? 23. Given Canadas colonialist history and the implications that are evidenced in contemporary social and schooling practices, how might teacher candidates engagement with colonial and post-colonial discourses further their understanding of race and racial discourses? 24. Do discussions of race in secondary school philosophy classrooms necessarily include discussions of Whiteness? In short, is it necessary to consider Whiteness in discussions of race? 25. What problems, especially in relation to race, unfold when commercialized imperatives and practices are the chief forces structuring the day-to-day happenings in schools of education?