Affirmative Action – I respond to this topic with the intellectual / thinking framework first, perhaps because that’s where I’ve spent the most time with it. Recently, though, the emotional / feeling and moral / believing elements have increased their role – perhaps because I feel like I am late to the party, and perhaps because I feel the urgency of it. In terms of social / doing, I suppose the element of action here is when I’ve had some role in hiring, I have always brought this issue to the surface and made it explicit that it was a factor in my thinking..
It was funny. At one school that clamored for diversity, an excellent candidate presented himself and he was also diverse. And he was diverse not only in terms of his race, but also the way he carried himself. I got no support for my recommendation, and instead we hired an outstanding teacher who was just like a lot of people who were already on staff.
Bilingual Education – I guess I come at this one mostly intellectually. I have such little experience with it. We have one bilingual student who, despite being promised otherwise, keeps having to take a test demonstrating her command of English. She passes it every time. When does it stop?
O.J. Simpson trial – I remember responding to it emotionally at the time. We were studying Inherit the Wind and the Scopes trial, and I thought that was much more important than the Simpson trial. I still don’t think I get the significance of the trial – now that it’s being made into TV movies, documentaries, and everything. Maybe that means I’m responding intellectually. In my mind, logically, the Scopes trial was more important than the Simpson trial.
Indian gaming – This, too, is largely an intellectual issue for me. I know where I stand with respect to how American Indians have been treated in this country (intellectual, moral, emotional) and about issues of gambling (same things, same order). I will raise it as an issue when we work with Sherman Alexie’s writing, but I am not inclined to act on it.