A Jeanne Site
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: February 22, 1999
Faculty on the Site.
"I Don't Count As 'Diversity"
A Sense of Being Alone
am I alone? (External site)
In almost all cases of difference to be different is to be isolated, alone. Either as an individual, or as a group. This means that one of the first requirements to find the strength to make one's validity claims and to stand firmly in the position that each human has that right is to discover that there is support for our claim. That support often comes in the discovery that we are not alone, that there is hardly any status or condition under the sun that any one of us can claim as exclusive. We are not alone. Exclusion visits each of us. By recognizing the feelings we share when we are treated as outsiders, excluded, we can find the support we need to discover and nurture our individual voices.
In this section we explore the hearing of difference, how we learn to hear it, how we manage to be heard.
Attempting to undo the harm done by institutional racism is complex, messy, and painful for most of us. This is especially true because the kind of discrimination that comes from disciplinary (rule-based) authority, rather than sovereign (power and chain-of-command-based) authority is subtler and harder to see and to convey to others when it is happening. Part of the reason for this is that there is no perpetrator. There is no person whose actions directly causes institutional discrimination. "Objective" rules, grown into ritual over time as various subjectivities were privileged wreak this subtler discrimination, so that all may claim innocence. This is one of the sources of the confusion and frustration felt by Angelo Ragaza in "I Don't Count As 'Diversity'". Newsweek, February 8, 1999