The anti-handout beliefs and rhetoric from white Americans is a painful paradox exposing the lack of awareness and active denial among white people.

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Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

My 4.5 year journey as an undergraduate and the first five years teaching high school English were spent mostly in the Reagan era.

While this was many decades before terminology such as “fake news” or “post-truth,” I literally lived during those years a painful and now embarrassing conversion from white denial and ignorance (believing in reverse discrimination, for example) to racial awareness and seeking a life dedicated to racial equity grounded in my own awareness of white privilege.

I had been raised in racism and white denial that pervaded my home and community so when I returned to my hometown high school to teach, I felt compelled to help my students make a similar conversion as mine but not have to endure the stress of experiencing that growth as late as I did. …

About

Paul Thomas

P. L. Thomas, Professor of Education Furman University, taught high school English before moving to teacher education. https://radicalscholarship.wordpress.com/

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