What does Sitting Bull’s great grandson think about Obama’s OF THEE I SING? [American Indians in Children's Literature]
On the final page of the book is a double-page spread of over 50 children, all gazing at the reader. The front line is the child-selves of the thirteen individuals, plus Obama’s two daughter’s, and at either end of the line, a child who could be any-child. In studying their clothing, it seems to me Long tries to show us children from different time periods. From historic (Washington in his knickers and red bow tie, holding an axe [to chop down that cherry tree???]) to the present day.
I can, for example, imagine that the girl in the top row with the green t-shirt and braids is meant to be a Native girl of the present day, or that the boy who looks African American (also in the back row) could be a Black Indian child… But I gotta say that Long’s illustration of Sitting Bull as a child who wears that eagle feather all the time… well, I have my doubts about that. It looks to me like Long’s inspiration for that illustration is the famous photograph of Sitting Bull shown above in the photograph of La Pointe.
What I’m saying is that I think many children could study that final page and find someone on it that could be them. As such, I can almost say that Obama’s book works for Native children, but… then… I come back to the Sitting-Bull-as-Landscape illustration, and, I wish that Long had given us Sitting Bull as a person instead.
Starting Adoptions from the Other Side of the Table [Thinky thoughts]
But to place material benefits first is simply revolting. It’s turning children into commodities, and it overrides everything else. It is also a huge issue with colonialism. This is something that gets a visceral reaction from people who are generally on the winning-side of history, that it’s rubbish and outdated and so unfair etc. etc.
To which I say: grow up an ethnic minority somewhere, then come complain to me. I was a white kid in an Asian country, and privileged as hell. But I was still freakish and stuck out and often racially harassed. So the idea of taking my asian boys to live as an ethnic minority in a western country is – I like ‘em, why would I do something that mean to them if I didn’t have to?
And colonialism is – it’s both systematic and individual, it’s a sense of entitlement based on nationality and color, and it lingers. So anytime you have a country exporting babies in international adoption industries – a large-scale movement of children that is significant against domestic adoptions – something is wrong.
The Surprising Consequences of Brown v. Board of Ed. [Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic.com]
Among the unintended or unexpected consequences of Brown v. Board of Education; four vie for position of “most surprising”:
1) the advocacy for gender equality in public school that first took the form of seeking co-education but over time has taken the shape of policies supporting single-sex public education;
2) the push to “mainstream” students with disabilities–including students with mental disabilities so that they may attend part or all of the school day with other students;
3) the emergence of school choice, first as a device for avoiding court-ordered desegregation, then as a technique for encouraging racial desegregation, and then as a technique intended to promote competition and school improvement;
4) the ultimately successful effort to secure constitutional approval for the use of public funds in support of private religious education