Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I, Too

Why talk about Diversity and Heart of Darkness?

Why talk about Diversity?

In yesterday's news:

Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Ban On Affirmative Action

"Minority students and others who support a broadly diverse student body should not have to overturn a constitutional amendment simply to have their voices heard in the admissions process when everyone else can go directly to the university," the ACLU said in a fact sheet about the case.

Sotomayor accuses colleagues of trying to ‘wish away’ racial inequality

“This refusal to accept the stark reality that race matters is regrettable,” Sotomayor wrote. “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.” 

Who is Chief Justice Emily Sotomayor? Listen to this NPR interview.


GROSS: So you've told us some of the things you decline to talk about. As you point out in your own memoir, you have ventured to write more intimately about your personal life than is customary for a member of the Supreme Court. Why have you chosen to do that? 
SOTOMAYOR: When I was nominated by the president for this position, it became very clear to me that many people in the public were interested in my life, in the challenges I had faces, in the difficulties I had overcome. And I also realized that much of the public perception of who I was and what had happened to me was not quite complete. It was based more on assumptions rather than realities. 
And I also knew that if I permitted those assumptions to continue, they would take on a life of their own. 
GROSS: What are some of the false assumptions you think people had about you? 
Read Interview Transcript 

More on the documentary: The Prep School Negro

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.
Langston Hughes, “I, Too” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by The Estate of Langston Hughes. Reprinted with the permission of Harold Ober Associates Incorporated.

Source: The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Books, 2004)

“The irony of American history is the tendency of good white Americanas to presume racial innocence. Ignorance of how we are shaped racially is the first sign of privilege. In other words. It is a privilege to ignore the consequences of race in America.” 
― Tim Wise

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