Monday, October 29, 2012

Wage Discrimination Stats

As discussed in class, here are some 'highlights' (lowlights may be more appropriate here) from the Usual Weekly Earnings from Wage and Salary Workers, Fourth Quarter 2010, published by the United State's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Women who worked full time had a median weekly earnings of $679, versus men whose full-time weekly earnings were $830-- 22.8% less than their male counterparts.
Broken Down by Race/Ethnicity and Gender (Median Weekly Salaries, 4th Quarter 2010)

White Men: $857
White Women: $695 (81% of what their white male counterparts make)

Black Men: $629 (73% of what white men make)
Black Women: $605 (70% of what white men make, 96% of what their black male counterparts make)

Asian Men: $947 ( 110% more than what white men make)
Asian Women: $719 (75% of what Asian men make, 83% of what white men make)

Latino Men: $567 (66% of what white men make) 
Latina Women: $510 (59% of what white men make, 89% of what their Latino male counterparts make). 

Here is a link to the report in its entirety- if you have some time, look it over, 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lack of Comments :/

Howdy Class,
Technology strikes again! For whatever reason, I was unable to post comments on your blogs today but generally, I really enjoyed them and think you all are making some AWESOME connections between race, disability and education- nice work! All of you that posted on time, received credit for your blogs as usual.

Next week will be 'catch-up' week: from the cards I got in class, we will be spending some time reviewing and discussing intersectionality. I will spend the weekend brainstorming some fun ways to do that.

Thanks as usual for your hard work :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Race, Education and Disability Post-Reading Questions

Hi Students,
Thanks for you engagement during class today- I love it when we get a good conversation going!

What are some reasons that students may be 'misdiagnosed' with a learning disability? What factors play a role?

How do ideas about normalcy play into the diagnostic process for Learning Disabilities?

Almost all LD's are diagnosed by teachers. How might race, class and gender play into this process?

What, if any, are the similarities between race as a social construct and disability as a social construct? How are they different?

According to the authors for this, what are some of the problems when disabilities are viewed are "in-child"? What might this kind of framework hide?

What are the connections between racism, classism, sexism, ableism and 'the medical model'? In other words, does medicine (as an institution made of up of doctors, nurses, hospitals, medical research industries, ideologies about disease and health) uphold our racial, gender, and class hierarchies? In what ways?

Did anything from this week surprise you? What are you still having some trouble understanding? 

How does race, class, language background or other factors work together (think intersectionality here) to set-up how we define learning disability? 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Today is the last day to register to vote in CA!

Hello Students,
As promised in class, here is the link to register to vote online. It must be submitted by 5pm today.

Register to Vote online here!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pre-Reading Questions Week Eight

Take a guess at some of the connections between race, education and disability. In what ways could these things possibly be linked?

Please look up and define the following terms:
Learning Disabled (LD)
Mentally Retarded (MR)
Emotionally Disturbed (ED)
What are these categories and their relationship to special education?

Statistics show that students of color are over-represented in special education classes (Reid, Knight, 2006). Why do you think this is?

How can race, gender and class intersect with disability to impact how people experience their lives?

"Disability, race, and class can be viewed as constructs that serve the means of social organization, with each suggesting a preferred state of being (able-bodied, white, middle class) over 'others' (disabled, people of color, working class) (Connor, 158).
What do you think Connors means when he refers to these social constructs as a means of social organization? Do you agree?Why or why not?

Think about the type of testing used to diagnose a learning disability. How might someone's race, class or language background impact their ability to do well on these tests?

I realize that these texts might be a little difficult so to help aid your readings try answering the following questions for each reading (please bring your answers to class on Monday):
Disability Justifies Exclusion of Minority Students:

  1. What connection are the authors making between the over-representation of students of color in special education and their under-representation in college?
  2. What are some of the ways that white, middle class student in special education have an easier time accessing college than students of color in special education?
  3. How do belief systems (ideologies) about what is 'normal' impact who is enrolled in special education classes?
Narrative Knowing and Life at the Intersections of Learning Disability, Race and Class

  1. What are some of the categories of oppression that Michael experiences in his day-to-day life? Please provide examples for each type of oppression.
  2. Give your best effort at defining the 4 domains of oppression that the author uses (structural, disciplinary, hegemonic, and interpersonal) and provide examples for each domain.
Learning Disabilities or Difference: A Critical Look at Issues Associated with the Misidentification and Placement of Hispanic Students in Special Education Programs

  1. What are some of the problems in diagnosing learning disabilities? What role does language play?
  2. What role does having a low SES play in academic achievement?
  3. What is the connection between the presence of bilingual education and students testing below-standards for academic achievement. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Post-Reading Questions Week Seven

In your pre-reading responses, a lot of you made the important point that domestic violence cuts across all races, ethnicities, sexualities and cultures. In what ways does an intersectional analysis use these categories to understand the phenomenon of domestic violence?

We discussed a lot of examples of how an intersectional analysis of DV challenges the more traditional narrative of DV. Which examples surprised you the most? Why do you think we don't hear about these examples more often?

What were some of the biggest barriers to receiving help for Paola's clients? What factors complicated their access to dv services (such as legal help, shelter, using the police, etc.)?

Please discuss two things that you learned from Paola's presentation-- how do they link up to using an intersectional analysis?

How would you recommend to change DV services as to better serve some people who don't fall into the master narrative we discussed on Monday? How might you change some of the services? What would you add or take away?

Does using an intersectional analysis to understand DV help to end it? Why or why not?

If you, or anyone close to you is experiencing domestic violence, there are ways to get support and talk about ways to get to safety. The following are numbers you can call to get help or have questions answered. 
WOMAN Inc. (San Francisco): (415) 864-4722
The Riley Center (San Francisco): (415) 255-0165
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (7233)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Notes from Class 10-15 on Domestic Violence and Intersectionality

Dynamics of Domestic Violence

  • Man is the abusive partner, woman in survivor.
  • Heterosexual couple
  • Abuse= physical violence
  • Abusive partners are mean people with anger management issues.

  • Race, class and gender impact the political organizing to stop domestic violence (anti-DV movement reflect the mainstream narrative of DV).
  • Violence is not the only issue, many women of color also need help getting housing, and jobs.
  • Abusive tactics can reflect situational position: abusive partners witholding visas and immigration documents from survivors, abusive partners threatening to 'out' their partners to friends and family that don't know about their sexuality, etc.

  • Domestic Violence seen as culturally acceptable; uses cultural ideologies to explain abusive behavior.
  • Idea of what constitutes DV is culturally defined, and may differ from mainstream definitions.

  • Survivor believes, or is told, that they must stay in marriage to gain citizenship.
  • LGBTQ survivors believe that there are no services for them, so they don't reach out for help.
  • Undocumented survivors fear that they may get deported or lose custody of their children if they seek services.
Access to Services:


  • Survivor can (and is expected to) use legal services, the police, (to get a restraining order, get a divorce), and get into and use shelter. 
  • All services are provided in English
  • Survivor has the financial means to find her own housing and job after she leaves shelter.

  • Race, class and gender determine the type of services that you get; "Bad Victim"/ "Good Victim" Dichotomy- the more you align to the 'traditional' trajectory, the easier it is to find services and have them work for you.
  • Language Barriers- if you can't prove that you are fluent in English, many services are not accessible to you.

  • The Vietnamese women in her study used informal networks to get childcare and jobs; no need to engage with social services.
  • Didn't want to leave their husbands because they are not financially stable to do so.
  • Didn't want to expose their children to undesirable American cultural traits.

  • Indigenous women cannot prosecute non-native men.
  • Reservations have very little money to provide DV services; in rural areas services can be very far away and are therefore difficult to access if you don't have money.
  • People don't know about the U-Visa, Republicans fear that people will commit fraud in order to get them.
  • LGBTQ populations fear that services are not available for them; don't try.
Ending DV Situations

  • Leave the abusive partner
  • Utitlize the police and try to put your abusive partner in jail
  • Move somewhere else to leave your abusive partner.

  • It can be hard for women to leave their abusive partners because they are dependent on them for money or immigration status.
  • Political Organizing against DV reflects the situation of white, middle-class women.

  • Organized community shaming gets abusive partners to stop their behavior. 
  • Vietnamese immigrants are hesitant to utilize social services; seek to find solutions to problems within their own communities.

  • Publicize and utilize the U-Visa program.
  • Allow tribal governments to prosecute non-native offenders for DV and Sexual Assault.
  • Make non-discrimination against LGBTQ folks a mandatory part of VAWA to increase the services they can receive. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pre-Reading Questions for Week Seven

****Trigger Warning: I want this class to be space where people feel safe participating and learning. I understand that some of you may have experienced domestic violence in your own lives, or are close to people who have experienced such violence. It is important that you are not re-traumatized by doing this weeks lesson. If you need to excuse yourself from any of the readings or class- please feel free to do so without penalty*****

Here is the abridged version of the Kimberele Crenshaw Article- please read this instead of the longer piece in your reader. Please print out and bring this article to class on Monday. Note: the Kibria and Serwer readings are the same.

Please read the following resources to familiarize yourself with the concept of domestic violence:
What is Domestic Violence?
Common Myths and Responses about Domestic Violence

For this class, we will be using the following definition of Domestic Violence:
Domestic violence is a pattern of intentional behavior used by one person to maintain power and control over another using any or all of the following forms of abuse: physical, emotional, verbal, sexual or financial abuse.

Why might we be studying intersectionality and domestic violence? How might the experience of domestic violence be different based on race, class, language or nationality?

What is the conventional solution for people in domestic violence relationships? Is this possible for all survivors? Why or why not? What are some alternatives?

Please research the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)- what is it? what are its objectives? 

Why might it be important to look at the phenomenon of domestic violence using an intersectional analysis?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Post Reading Questions for Week Six

There is a change in the readings for next week: please read the abridged version of the Kimberlee Crenshaw "Mapping the Margins"

In your own words, what is intersectional theory? How is it different than other approaches to understanding racial, gender or class oppression?

What is Audre Lorde saying in the following quote?
 "It is not our differences which separate women, but our reluctance to recognize those differences and to deal effectively with the distortions which have resulted from the ignoring and maintaining of those differences" (58)
What steps need to be taken, according to Lorde, in order for all women to achieve social justice and equality?

"In this country, lesbianism is a poverty-as is being brown, as is being a woman, as is being just plain poor. The danger lies in ranking the oppressions. The danger lies in failing to acknowledge the specificity of the oppression"- Moraga, (24). 
What is your response to Moraga's statement? Do you think she is right? Are all of these different oppressions 'poverty'? Why or why not?

Review some of the following critiques of the "Occupy Movement" of last year. What are some of the critiques? How do they incorporate an intersectional analysis? What is the agenda of the Occupy Movement? What populations does that agenda reflect? 

Daily Kos: Occupy the Hood
Ms. Magazine: We Are the 99%: Creating a Feminist Space Within Occupy Wall Street
The Pitfalls of Privilege: OWS, Social Justice, and Intersectionality

A lot of the discussion about intersectionality centers around women of color, however it is not limited to that. Can you think of ways that an intersectional analysis can help us understand the lives of men? 

We are going to be spending the next two weeks discussing specific examples of intersectionality, so before moving forward what questions do you still have about intersectionality? Any reservations or objections?

Power Point on Intersectionality and Sojourner Truth Video

Hello Students,
Here is the presentation on intersectionality. Feel free to review to enhance or supplement your understanding.

Intersectional theory from estrasser8313

Alice Walker reading Sojourner Truth's speech: "And Ain't I a Woman?"

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pre-Reading Questions: Week Six

As I stated in class, there is a change in the readings for next week: The Lionel Cantu reading is not in your reader; please read The Combahee River Collective Statement (click link to get PDF). 

In his blog posting, John Scalzi argues that straight white men play the game of life on the lowest difficulty setting. What about straight white women? Queer white men? Straight black men? When you change one of the characteristics? How do their structural positions change?

Please google and do short biographies about the authors for this week:
Audre Lorde

Cherrie Moraga

Combahee River Women's Collective

Thinking about political organizing, do white women have the same needs as black women? Queer Asian men and straight Asian men? Why or why not?

Are people only granted advantages or disadvantages because of their race? What if someone has racial privilege but not ability privilege? 

From the titles of these readings, please come up with two questions you have about this texts:
"Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference"
"La G├╝era"
"The Combahee River Collective Statement"

Post-Reading Questions: Week Five

As I stated in class, there is a change in the readings for next week: The Lionel Cantu reading is not in your reader; please read The Combahee River Collective Statement (click link to get PDF). 

Why does Eduardo Bonilla-Silva refer to CBR as 'racism lite' ?(Bonilla-Silva, 3)

Is this video racist? Why or why not? What are the points she is trying to prove in this film?

Who stands to gain by using Colorblind racism, why?

Brainstorm some of the common rebuttals that explanations of CBR might receive? How would you counter those? 

Here is a link to some of scenarios we discussed in class- to you, which ones are "obviously" indicative of CBR? Which ones do you feel somewhat ambiguous about? Why?

Bell and Hartmann argue: "Racial inequalities, not to mention racism itself, are big structural elephants. This creates a real, albeit seemingly comfortable, tension in the diversity discourse: people have the ability to explicitly talk about race without ever acknowledging the unequal realities and experience of racial differences in American society- a phenomenon Andersen (1999) calls 'diversity without oppression'" (Bell and Hartmann, 905).
What major aspect of American race relations is 'left out' when people talk about diversity? Is this a problem?

Why do we study CBR in Ethnic Studies? Does it matter in our pursuit of social justice?

Do you think that CBR is a useful tool in understanding race in the United States today? Why? 

How do you feel about all of this? Do you find it reassuring? Challenging? Ridiculous?