Spreading Oppression by Saying Nothing At All

Most of 2020, thus far, has been filled with news on the Covid-19 pandemic. This past week, however, the media has changed their focus to a “pandemic of racism”. Following George Floyd’s murder on May 25th by a U.S. police officer, the United States has had people standing up in protest against police brutality and racism towards the black community. In class, we discussed what this meant for us as future educators and how we should use our voices to address the situation online as well as in classes.

As future educators, I feel that our EDTC300 class has a responsibility in speaking up on the discrimination and systemic racism that has led to the death of George Floyd and the many deaths that have happened up until now. For those of us who are taking up a professional online identity, this is a space we must also address these events in our online lives as well as in our classes. I think for a lot of us we knew we needed to share something on these new platforms we are exploring, but the question was on what?

This is something I struggle with because I sometimes don’t know what to say or how to show that this injustice is not something I am okay with. To begin, I think the best place for me is to look at my own privilege as a white woman. By acknowledging my privilege, we can take a step towards addressing the racism in our societies. This is only a small step, however.

Once we are able to see our privilege and the racism and discrimination other groups of people have endured, we can then begin to educate ourselves so that we can find the right thing to say. For me, online, I have found through this time that sharing the voices of people of colour is better than for me to share my own thoughts. I have also begun to understand that this is not a time where my voice needs to be the one shared, but with my privilege I am in a position to share the voices of others instead. Others may question why I would bother making any sort of a statement if it is not my direct beliefs and words. Being that I am present online, for me to ignore that these events are taking place would be to continue to silent the voices of the black community who are speaking up against this injustice. We can see by looking at the murder of George Floyd that this is a problem that has been silenced for far too long. And remaining silent only benefits the oppressors.

As this article on silent racism explains, “recent events in the United States have catalysed the need for educators to be paying attention and discovering new ways to dialogue about race. Society demands it of them.” As a future educator, I plan to continue to address these topics, even though I may feel uncomfortable going into them. I believe that this is the only way we will be able to grow and learn as a society and in myself.

1 thought on “Spreading Oppression by Saying Nothing At All

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts I really enjoyed reading and taking part in my own reflection with you. I completely agree with you in sharing the words of others experiencing, to show support, and raise awareness than creating something yourself. I think that that allows you to use your privilege in a wonderful way that I would like to encourage you to keep doing.

    Liked by 1 person

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