I finally see it.
After years of reading countless articles, reading David Livermore's work on cultural intelligence, attending equity training: Beyond Diversity I and II.....and watching countless videos, reading perspective shifting author, Jodi Piccoult's book, Small Great Things.... watching every TED talk having to do with diversity I could..... Even after years of teaching in primarily poor hispanic and native american schools in Arizona..... I never got it. You see I am a white, middle class woman from Minnesota.
Years of living in the ever present guilt of being a white women trying to validate, bridge and decrease the gap of differences between my students and I. Growing up with the color blind anthems of Free To Be You and Me and Marlo Thomas.... Six years of having an administrator ask me to start and run an affinity group in our school for black girls. Um. Me? I am uber white. Seriously sunburn-able. Mostly Swedish without the tall blonde stereotype awesomeness. But, really white.
Still the administrator persisted. Feeling so out of my depths, I despaired, felt inadequate, angry and guilty for not knowing what to do, say or be to make it work and be authentic.
The administrator? She missed the point. She proved the point. In the Nation we do that a lot.