The Danger of the Liberal White Educator. Have you heard or used the phrase: “Well-intentioned/well-meaning white person”? What about “white liberal”? What do those phrases mean to you? And what do they have to do with education in America?
- Publication Date: August 2, 2022
- Genre: Biographies of Educators
- Cover Design: N. D. Jones
- ASIN: B0B5NKGQJ5
Before she was an author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels, N. D. Jones was an educator. In her essay, “The Danger of the Liberal White Educator,” she reflects on her twenty-plus years as an educator in a field where most public school teachers and administrators are middle-class white women responsible for the academic future of more than 20 million students of color. Jones’ insights into the liberal, white educator mindset come from her years of facilitating cultural proficiency professional development for employees in a white-dominated public school system where all is supposed to mean all, yet racial inequity and disproportionality persist.
In the hashtag era of #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName, what role should white educators play in promoting equity and equality in their classrooms and school building? More, what should they commit to doing differently to build their cultural, social, and emotional intelligence? N. D. Jones explores these questions in her essay.
As a former social studies teacher, I wonder how social science educators will address not only the presidency of Donald J. Trump but the White supremacist landscape that has always been part of America but has been emboldened by the racist rhetoric from the current most influential Republican political leader in the United States.
When my department chair retired, I filled the vacancy. At this point, I had been a teacher for five years. Every one of those years, I taught African American History. What I did not share earlier was that I graduated from this high school. My department chair had also been my psychology and sociology teacher when I was a high school senior. I had once mentioned to my department chair, a White Jewish American, that I wished the African American History course had been available when I went to school there because I would have loved to have taken the course. I was stunned by his statement: “It was a course back then, but smart students weren’t put in the class.” Hmm, well, okay then.