Monday, October 5, 2009

Talking Points 3: Gayness, Multicultural Education, and Community

1. "Within normalizing communities, some individuals and subject positions get priveleged and represented as 'normal' (i.e. white, middle class, male, heterosexual, etc.) while other individuals and subject positions (i.e. black, working class, female, homosexual, etc.) are disempowered and represented as deviant, sick, neurotic, criminal, lazy, lacking in intelligence, and in other ways 'abnormal'."

When I read this quote, it made me very angry. What made this quote horrifying was the terms inside of the parentheses. Had these not been included the sentence would not have gave me such a shock. This passage is explaining the different views that people have of individuals who are not "normal". As a women, I cannot imagine being considered any of those terms, and it makes me angry to know that some people really do regard people as these terms not because they committed a crime, but because of things that they cannot control.

2. "However, as those marginalized within this normalizing discourse on community have begun to 'speak out' and challenge their marginalization, and have also begun to develop collective movements and communities of support, the modernist idea of homogenous, normalizing community is being more seriously disrupted than ever before.

In our century people have begun to show their individualism and fight for their rights more than ever. This quote is stating that the "normal" community is being disrupted because of this. The author sees this disruption as a good thing. Later on in the passage it describes visible gay icone that are being used including the rainbow flag, the quilt of the "Names Project", and a pink triangle. This is an example of the ways that homosexuals have begun to speak out and fight for equality in society.

3. "One of the most powerful of these symbols, featuring a pink triangle under which is written the slogan "Silence=Death", is associated the most militant and itself marginalized group in the movement, ACT UP. The call then, is to speak out and be seen."

This quote is saying that in order to be listened to, gays need to speak out. The pink triangle with the slogan "Silence=Death" can be related to Delpit's article. Delpit argues that people should not be silent and need to talk about issues in order to solve them. Later on in the text Carlson writes a quote from Mohr, "For the more they talk about things gay, the more the taboo collapses." This all relates back to the topic that is being discussed: the importance of educating children in public schools about gays. If we keep silent and do not teach them, then the harrassment and unfair treatment of innocent people will continue.

This article argues that the idea of gayness and homosexuality needs to be better incorporated in the education programs of public schools. The author, Carlson, states that the reason for this is not to teach students what different multicultural groups are considered in terms of political correctness, but instead to "clarify differences and agreements." Students must be educated correctly on these topics, or they will continue to have the white, middle class, mindset.

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