Tag Archives: education

Should only black teachers teach black children about slavery?

Some time ago, I came across this post, https://solifegoeson.com/2017/12/20/white-teachers-who-teach-black-kids-about-slavery-piss-me-off/. I commented, however as my comment was not published I feel compelled to state my opinion here.

In the above post the author argues (essentially) that white teachers should not teach black children about slavery because they (the teachers) do not understand the experience of non-white people (the prejudice faced by those who’s skin is black). At the end of the post the blogger does recommend that one way forward is for those who teach to come from a greater diversity of backgrounds. However the whole tone of the article is hostile to the concept of the teaching of slavery to black children by white teachers.

I am not black. I am, however disabled (I am registered blind). Throughout history disabled people have faced discrimination. This discrimination manifested itself in various forms, including the forced sterilisation of those with disabilities on eugenic grounds. Eugenics reached horrific heights during the Third Reich when Nazi doctors, SS officers and nurses murdered the disabled under the T-4 programme. Indeed the use of gas was first employed on the disabled prior to it being used to exterminate approximately 6 million Jews (men, women and children). You can find out about Action T4 here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aktion_T4.

I don’t, as a disabled person, (nor as someone who holds a degree in history and politics) argue that only disabled people are capable of teaching about the T4 Programme. To argue thus would be narrow minded on my part. Yes, as a disabled person I face difficulties and (on occasions) discrimination not encountered by non-disabled people, however those possessing empathy/those of goodwill can understand (and teach) about such matters.

It concerns me that if we carry the argument promulgated in the above article to its logical conclusion, that only disabled people will teach about disability related matters, only women will lecture on the discrimination faced by women throughout the ages etc. This risks leading to a closed academic environment, one in which I don’t wish to live.


Why You Should Read and Write Poetry

A good article on The Imaginative Conservative, entitled “Why You Should Read and Write Poetry”, http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2018/01/read-write-poetry-dwight-longenecker.html

A Distant Shout

A distant shout
As children lark about
In the playground.

A happy sound.
Though many a fool
Does romanticise school



Knowledge I possess (and a degree),
But the wind free
Laughs at me
As he
Shakes yonder bending tree


An Ordinary Girl

The paper is peeling
And the ceiling
Is dirty grey.
“How long will you stay?”
He asks. “What will you pay?”
I say.
Shall I be nice
And offer him a lower price?

Its so easy to pretend
To be “a friend”
When you’ve done this for a while.
You smile
And lose yourself in drink
Or think
Of Coins
And gird your loins.

Having wrangled
I lie
In the sheet.
“You are sweet”
I say,
Thinking of my pay.

Me in jeans
On the bus, with my university books.
No one looks
At an ordinary girl,
Her head in a whirl
Over forthcoming exams,
And last night’s scenes.


Don’t Major In Literature

A highly provocative take on the value of studying literature, which can be summed up by the following quote from the post linked to below:

… “and if you want to learn about art, beauty, and literary value—read great writers and do nothing more than open yourself to them. Don’t pay
and don’t let your parents mortgage their home to have your aesthetic sensibilities ruined and replaced by a hodgepodge pseudo discipline”.

The article is, I believe full of sweeping generalisations (and I certainly don’t agree with the suggestion that literature departments should, perhaps be closed). I am sharing in the spirit of encouraging debate and my re-blogging should not necessarily be taken as signifying my agreement with the writer’s perspective.

To read the article please visit, http://quillette.com/2017/05/02/dont-major-literature/.


Public Property

Being blind and a guide dog owner, the following post struck a chord with me (http://viscourse.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/public-property.html). In it, Deborah, a visually impaired guide dog owner, describes how a lady interrupted her conversation with a friend in order to ask whether she could pet Deborah’s guide dog. When Deborah said “no” the interrupter left in a huff, which to me is remarkable given that she had rudely interposed in a conversation in order to gratify her desire to pet Deborah’s (working) guide dog.
I, like Deborah find that unthinking people regard visually impaired individuals as public property. The worst instance I can recall of this occurred some time ago. I was crossing a busy road when a gentleman began stroking my guide dog, Trigger in the midst of stationary vehicles! On other occasions people have asked me deeply personal questions regarding my relationship status. Such enquiries would not have been addressed to a non-disabled person, yet those posing them think it is acceptable to ask whether I have dated disabled or non-disabled women.
I recognise the importance of educating people and am usually happy to answer questions provided they are sensitively phrased and put in a respectful manner. I am also delighted for people to say hello to Trigger but only when they ask politely and by so doing they don’t put my safety and that of Trigger in danger.
Noone, whether disabled or non-disabled should be considered as public property.