I had a lot of feelings. If you know me this is probably unsurprising to you but not usually sad. Usually anger. You see I’ve been out here being frustrated for years and if we’re being real honest, which I am in this space, I was mad because everyone wasn’t doing what I wanted when I wanted to. (Because even in my 30’s I am still a brat)
I wanted to talk about race and equity in 2013 if you got to my twitter timeline you can find receipts from all the other times I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to talk because I had no idea what to do. Like NONE. I was a 26 year old white girl who had been teaching maybe all of 2 years. What I needed was other people to join in the conversation. I found Jason and Grace. They were there for the conversation. But looking back… Where were the other white people?
Then I went to TMC and wrote this post where I talk about all the awesome people I met. Hey look, I found all the white people (and Fawn<3).
As I read through my blog. I can find all the times I wanted to talk about race. I was really looking for someone to talk to. I was trying to figure out what the fuck I was supposed to do. I wasn’t educated in any of this. My schooling looked so much like other white people I know. I didn’t see the water until recently. All of the years of education I had had been full of so many lies and half truths.
In 2014 I came back to California to teach public school. I missed it. It was the work I wanted to do. I’ve been at it 5 years now. From about 2014-2018 I was off twitter. I was trying so hard to do the work in my home community. I can still see all the places I messed up but I messed up trying. I didn’t sit. Occasionally, I blogged or tweeted but eight years of feeling like I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of twitter was enough.
So when TMC imploded (exploded?) this year I was sad, hurt, disappointed, and really truly unsurprised. I was sad this place that had made me feel like a better teacher might not exist anymore. I was hurt that these people I loved had hurt my other friends and also that after 10 years we STILL hadn’t figured out how to not be racist. Or how to apologize or shut up. I was disappointed in myself. Why hadn’t I tried harder? How had I not done better in ten years? Why had I stopped trying?
And really truly unsurprised. White fragility isn’t really surprising to me anymore.
I have gotten a lot of DMs asking what I am going to do? What do I think you should do? I don’t know. But here’s where I am at: A bunch of white people fixing a racism problem at a conference that mostly white people are at? Probably bad. But really that’s not my problem. My question for myself is “What do I want?” and I have been thinking about that for a while now. What I would like is an Equity/Math conference. So I’m gonna hang out for while and see what comes of that and if the answer is nothing maybe I will help form one but not today. Today I am still in my feelings.
From the brains of people much more eloquent than me:
While your here can you do me a favor and read Annie’s Post on this and reflect a little, Shana’s Post on the need for urgency and maybe go do something at your school or work, and Christie’s Post and figure out how you can be a force for positive change and how you can help your students be that, too.