A Justice Site
The "Social Issues Agenda" in the 2004 Presidential Elections
Photo by John Loomis for The New York Times
In Greensboro, N.C., the Woolworth where lunch-counter sit-ins began in 1960 is to become a museum.
Topic Theme for Fall 2004
The "Social Issues Agenda" in the 2004 Presidential Elections
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Previous Issue: Volume 20, No. 14, Week of August 22, 2004
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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: August 17, 2004
Latest Update: August 30, 2004
Topic of the Week:
Answerability and Social Change: A Counter-Counter-Revolution
August 17, 2004
A narrative of personal memory:
I wanted to start off this Fall semester with the Woolworth Counter. It has more than memories for me. It reaches all the way down to my toes and reminds me of what scares me to death. I had only recently left the South, New Orleans, where, as college students, we were threatened with arrest or suspension or whatever, because we brought Black students from Xavier University to meet with us at Tulane at our campus Methodist church. I didn't mean to start a revolution. I certainly didn't mean to get in serious trouble. I was scared to death. I liked the young people who met with us from Xavier. We went to visit them in their homes. They were just like us. One of their mothers made us meringue cookies. That was the first meringue cookie I ever had. That's a long way from revolution. So what was all the fuss about?
Why does that Woolworth counter still make me feel the fear? Can I even find a way to let you know what that fear was like? Well, I'm going to try this semester. And then I'm goint to try to share with you all the theory and philosophy and methodology that have helped me in an effort to understand that fear, how I was made to feel it, how the world I lived in coped with it, how it changed, some, ever so slowly, and sometimes violently, and how it left somewhere an ice cold shard of fear that the image of that Woolworth counter evokes.
First of all, the image of that counter is so true, so much like what it really looked and felt like. I had sat at such counters so many times, like almost everytime my mom and I went shopping. But John Loomis didn't place it in that casual social context. He shot it isolated, alone, like a Hopper, just the signifier, all by itself. That makes me people it with my memories. So in my memory I look down the counter and see myself and my mother and all the rest of us packed elbow to elbow eagerly sharing our finds with one another. But why are we here, now? How does that past happy, relaxed scene fit into the New York Times today? I look again into that mental video of my past. We're all white. (Althoug there was a time in New York when the Irish were not considered "white." Curran is an Irish name.) And the New York Times is reminding me, up front and personal, today, that I was a living, breathing part of the system that guaranteed that we were all white at that counter.
I didn't mean to. Cause that, segregation, I mean. I would have shared the counter happily with the young black people I had met. But I didn't notice that they couldn't sit with me. And did it matter, that I had met them? Knew them? How much else did I not notice? I never thought of sitting at the Woolworth Counter as a privilege. I mean, it was a lunch counter. No big deal. Unless your government had a law that made it illegal for you to sit there, and friends like me didn't even notice that you weren't there. All it takes for dominance and control to reign is that I don't notice, that I forget that sitting at a lunch counter is a privilege, preserved unto some, forbidden unto others.
We will touch upon administration, safety nets, law, privilege, answerability and the Other, accountability and to whom, throughout all our courses and topics all semester. The crux of the issue will always be "What am I to think or believe or do when the Other can answer, just like me, and when the Other and I share a very small globe?"
- Civil Rights Battlegrounds Enter World of Tourism By Shaila K. Dewan. August 10, 2004. Backup.
- Shared Reading: Imposing Order Karst, Kenneth, Law's Promise, Law's Expression.Yale University Press. 1993. The date of publication signifies that this issue has been going on for over a decade. That should give us some perspective.
NEWS and Announcements:
- Syllabi for Fall 2004 at CSUDH
Conference in New Orleans in September:
- Naked Space: A Safe Forum for Merging the Academy and the Community Presentation Submitted to 2004 Annual Conference on Race, Gender, Class, hosted by Southern University at New Orleans, on September 23-25, 2004. New Orleans. Conference Website. Program is at end of file. We're about half an inch from the bottom under Politics, which seems appropriate. Once again, they've given us a whole session to ourselves. Not so great for networking, but we'll wave a lot. jeanne
Open Access Discussion Threads
It will take a while to transfer all the discussions from the last years over to the newly structured site. But new discussions will be threaded, and included on the Index of Threaded Topics.
- Thread on Biopower: Paradigm Shift to Biopolitical Power?
Thread opened on Wednesday, August 4, 2004.
- Thread on Obesity
Thread opened on Thursday, August 10, 2004.
- Shared Reading on Imposing Order as Social Status Control Notice how obesity fits into this, as well as biopower.
Freeing the Feminine Other:
Hypertext Gallery Exhibit from Spring 2003
Hypertext Project Map
Link on Section Titles for Hypertext Poem and Different Sections of Table of Contents.
- Debriefing Readings for the Hypertext Project: "Freeing the Feminine Other" Many new readings added. The discourse goes on. This material is later presented at conferences and in articles.
First Hypertext Poem for Fall 2004
Requiem for Racer: A Favorite Cat
- A Range of Sources on Global Events
Left/Right Perspectives - Cursor - New York Times - The National Review
Arts and Letters Daily - The Economist - The Sierra Club - The Guardian
Wall Street Journal -The Weekly Standard - The Nation
Los Angeles Times - Chicago Tribune - The Washington Post
Cursor's Al Jazeera Archive - Ha'aretz - Palestine Monitor
- Extended Discourse
- Frequently Asked Questions: Mentoring Help for New Students
- More Frequently Asked Questions: Mentoring Help for Returning Students
- The Up Side of Outsourcing Good example of a completed shared reading template.
Starting List of Suggested Readings, Many with completed templates.
- These are just all thrown together as they happened in the last six weeks of summer. Some are completely finished. Some you'll still want to ask questions about. But I want to let you choose the sharing and the timing, so that our naked space remains as untrammeled as possible. The file up now is Shared Readings, with Templates and Conceptual Linking There are a few I haven't added yet because they've been happening so fast, but you can find those in the Daily Site Additions over the last week or so.
- Plagiarism Watch www.streetgangs.com site. The intelligent and effective use of resources means that you have to be careful not to plagiarize other people's material. We have several files on plagiarism, but I think the one that might make the most sense to you is this complaint on streetgangs.com. They give you samples of sites that have taken their material without citation, even at colleges, and they also give you examples of sites that have used their material with proper attribution. I find the irony poetic, and hope that their message will get through to you the importance of attribution. Dr. O'Connor on his Mega Criminal Justice site led me to streetgangs.com and noted that others frequently hack into the site. For that reason I have created a backup copy for your use in case you cannot access the actual site. Please be sure to attribute any citation to streetgangs.com. jeanne Backup.
Using Academic Language Effectively
Merriam-Webster Dictionary Search:
- Letters of Recommendation:
- Letters of Recommendation: How to get me to respond to your request. Many of you need letters. If you will follow this format, I can do them quickly and make them good.
- Dog Letters If you do not give me adequate information, but do manage to get my attention, you may end up with a dog letter. That is a letter that says that you work well with people, that you are enthusiastic, that you persist at getting things done, and that everyone likes you. Of course, my dog gets along well with people, brings his ball to them, is enthusiastic, and persists at getting them to take his ball. Everyone likes my dog. That's a dog letter. It's so general it could be about my dog. jeanne
- Reports and Studies on Employment and the Job Market
Photo by Barton Silverman/The New York Times
Wambach, left, with Julie Foudy after Wambach's overtime goal gave the United States a 2-1 victory.
Just whose responsility is it when scoring officials screw up in a contest as respected as the Olympics? Gymnastics Group Asks Hamm to Give Up Gold NY Times article by Juliet Macur. Backup.
Shared Reading on Teamwork and Fair Play.
Sneaky Strokes and Good Dogs
Whenever something happens in class that works out well, that inspires you, that helps in studying, whatever, take a few minutes to send us an e-mail. We'll post it where all of us can learn from it, including other teachers.Include:
- A sentence or two about what you want to share with us.
- The name of the teacher whose class you were in.
- The name of the class.
- The name of the school. We're not picky. We'll honor teachers in any school, any level. This might be a good idea to help young children learn to say "thank you" and encourage meaningful practice in all our schools. We could even start with pre-school. This is a skill needed in answerability. To discover that what you think matters is to end silencing. Even home schooling. You can send photos or drawings, too.
- See the first entries at Sneaky Strokes and Good Dogs
You can also send an email to the Who to Take Site: