White Teacher Guilt & The Zimmerman/Martin Case



The nice thing about blogging is you work for yourself. Since I’m not planning on firing my sole employee (me), I’m going to say exactly what I think about the Zimmerman case.

Juror B37 is a racist and she doesn’t know it. That’s the problem with racism. It’s inextricably ingrained in our day-to-day existence. So much so that we forget to doubt our interpretation of the world to the point where we actually believe what we are saying is reality – and that that reality is the same for all of us.

My biggest fear is that 50 years from now an anthropologist will do a study on racism in schools and discover my grades were correlated with the race of my students.  And I,
unwittingly, a super white teacher, will have no idea my actions were colored by my singular view of the universe.  Or conversely, maybe all these years I’ve been over compensating by inflating grades based on race, gender, age etc.  Either way, I’d be guilty of something.

It occurred to me, in this vast world of ‘all-things-computerized’, do we need to wait for an anthropologist to study the impact of racism on grades? Can’t schools churn out reports designed to spot race-skewed grading – like yesterday? You know you’ve circled the bubbles below about a million times at your school.

Let’s play this scenario out. If grades are positively correlated with career success and negatively correlated with race, we’ve got a socio-economic crisis on our hands.

If you feel race has had an impact (positive or negative) on your final grade, please comment here.  If you feel that I’ve unfairly graded you because of your race, stop by my office. I’m probably there right now with a wad of tissues drowning in my white teacher guilt and praying I’m not Juror B37.