Go Beyond What You Seek

What: Glass states, “Antiracist work is not something you do for part of the day and then go home; it is a way of life and has to permeate every aspect of what you do”. He explains that fighting against racism is not something like a day job, it is a way of life. We need to incorporate antiracists characteristics into our lifestyles rather than just “doing out part” and forgetting about it when we go home and kick our shoes off. He explains later the struggle he fears his “mixed son” will grow to face. Glass himself discovered the “power of his voice” when he began to challenge racist jokes and break down stereotypes others pass off as truth. His fight is so dreams of justice can be pursued and equality happens sooner rather than later.

Freire explains that people’s knowledge is a complex understanding. First we have to “get the knowledge of how the people know”. And then we have to create ways for “them to go beyond their state of thinking”. What people know is facts. We are told facts in education, we practice those facts in memorization, and we recite them. The way Freire puts it is that we need to have a way to expand knowledge. Almost like the Lion King, “Look beyond what you seek”. Going beyond their initial knowledge is to question; we question the validity of those facts which is how we get farther in real knowledge and understanding. He then states, “without practice there’s no knowledge”. We need to practice knowledge, in that we need to practice going beyond what we initially are given. Practice helps create knowledge by going beyond, but “it is not its own theory”. Freire explains that theory comes from practice. We have the possibility of creating theory by practicing extending our knowledge.

So What: Those running our countries, explained by Myles, like academicians and politicians “say you’ve got to be neutral”. Myles explains that there is no such thing as neutrality. “Neutrality is just following the crowd”. There is no fighting the systems, there is no standing up for what we believe in, and it is following someone else’s opinion. Therefore if you claim to be neutral, you are actually working for the one that you follow. Being neutral means that you do not speak out against the government, that you go along with what they say. How can you be neutral if you follow someone who has different opinions than you might have, but you want to keep the peace so you don’t speak out?

Subjects like biology, or physics, or mathematics is full of facts. It becomes a harder subject to convey because it is heavily fact based, it is hard to put an opinion on meiosis. However, if you just stick to the facts “ that of course means that you’ve surrendered to the strongest forces”. Social concept is based on the mistake of imposing knowledge onto someone rather than sharing that knowledge with them. It is important to relate sciences and facts to better society. Science” could be used by whoever has the power to use it and desire to use it”. Myles states that if a teacher decides to just impose facts on their students, then that teacher becomes “neutral” and “withdraws from the battle”; the battle being how that knowledge is being used. Science and facts can be used for good and evil. If the finder of knowledge has no opinion on how the Pentagon, for example, uses those facts then that teacher has lost the battle.

Now What: The fight for social justice never ends; there are more racist and stereotypical jokes coming every day. Rather than going alone with those jokes and laughing along, we need to start to speak up against them. As Glass stated, we need to challenge the joker. We need to challenge the stereotypes, the racism, and the inequality which is not slowing down. It is just every day little things that can have a huge impact. Challenge the person with the off-putting facebook post, challenge the friend making a joke about someone else, challenge the person who wants to build a wall and is making another country pay for said wall.

Funny enough, I had an experience with a patient in clinical. I am at Kaiser Vallejo for maternity, and my patient stated often that she wanted to move to Fairfield so her children do not have to go to the same “crappy” schools she had to go to. The nurse agreed, who also lives in Vallejo; the high school is not adequate. “When they get to college, then what, they won’t know anything because those high schools don’t teach them what they have to know”. I think this perfectly lines up with Venetia Valley. In the canal, there is an obvious poverty tax, obvious discrimination as to what they have access to, and the resources they have. No one should have to go to “one of those schools”. There should be no ghetto schools and no good schools. There should only be good schools with resources for everyone, and everyone should be on the same track. We can only achieve this when stereotypes are challenged and broken down. This only happens when the little things start to grow into movement which changes the way things are.