Racist Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
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Thread: Racist Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

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    Default Racist Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich


    ~Bonita~

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    Prolific Poster ftmom's Avatar
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    The last 3 paragraphs of that article were rediculous. I think this is a valid point, but that article tried to make it look silly and over the top.
    Kyla
    Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)

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    So you think it is perfectly reasonable to say that it is racist to use a peanut butter jelly sandwich as an illustration because not ever child in the class eats BP&J? In my opinion, that is completely over the top.

    ~Bonita~

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    Prolific Poster ftmom's Avatar
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    If you work in a school with a large percentage of immigrant students, then yes I do think it is inappropriate. While I probably wouldnt call it racist, it does smack of white privilege to me. There is an assumption being made that your way is the best way and therefore everyone must do it that way. It is unintentionally leaving children out and confusing them on an unrelated subject. I dont see a problem with having this pointed out to teachers.
    Kyla
    Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    I'm not getting how the author made the leap from "other cultures eat things other than PB&J sandwiches," to "PB&J sandwiches are racist." ITA with Kyla, the author is being ridiculous & trying to connect dots that aren't even there. It sounds like maybe, to his POV, I should have not eaten the (very yummy grilled veggie) tacos I had for lunch because they aren't my own white bread & mayo culture and I'm therefore somehow diluting Mexican culture by co-opting their food. I see nothing wrong with reminding people that others might not have the same things they do, and that happens even within the boundaries of a culture.
    blather likes this.
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    Right. It took a while to find an article that actually had more quotes from the school and didn't just belittle the idea. I don't think anyone from the school claimed that a sandwich is racist. The idea is that if you're using an example to illustrate a math principle, for example, don't presume that everyone shares the same cultural language. If there are a lot of kids from other countries & cultures in the class, they may not necessarily get that what you're really just talking about is an everyday lunch food.

    The idea is to makes sure that what you're teaching is accessible, and that kids aren't getting bogged down and/or excluded by cultural references they don't understand.

    The whole thing sounds a little extreme to me but I presume it's the area they are in and the population they are serving that makes them think harder about these things and try to level the playing field.

    I can think of other examples that are easier to understand. Think about the difference in the way two different kids might perceive the words "cleaning lady". To one kid, that's a person you hire who comes once a week and never gets to know you, maybe doesn't even speak your language. To another kid, that's his/her mom, struggling to earn a living and working very hard.

    So a sandwich sounds pretty innocuous, but I assume that there's a good reason for finding examples that mean the same thing to all the kids.
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    I don't get the racist leap either. I think it's just a point that as an educator you need to be aware of the differences in your student population. If the majority of your students don't eat pb & J and never would...that's not the best example to use when illustrating a topic in class.
    Spacers likes this.
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    Posting Addict Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Like Laurie, I had to dig a little to figure out what we are even talking about here. I was like "Wait, someone actually called a PB&J 'racist?'" But no, they did not, that was just the writer trying to make it sound ridiculous by knocking down a straw man. I agree that if you are teaching a large population of kids that may not share and understand your pop culture references, it's good to try to speak a common language with them. I have an exchange student from Lebanon living with my family, and while she is very Westernized and speaks English fluently, she definitely does not get all of our cultural references. We have time to talk through them, and that's part of the point of the exchange, but if I were trying to teach her math or grammar, I wouldn't want that to distract from the actual content and point of the lesson. I don't see how reminding teachers to be mindful of that is the same as calling it "racist."
    freddieflounder101 likes this.
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