Re: DSM: Education/Science

John Axtell (
Sun, 10 Dec 2000 12:29:01 -0800


I enjoyed your comments about the points of views that minorities might have.

I am a white male of British, Scottish decent. I was raised for a time in West
Virginia and had a black maid. I was in high school when "integration" was
forced upon us.

I never did understand the ruckus over integration and in our community there
was none. Our family treated our black maid as they would a white maid. We
simply did not understand that there was supposed to be a difference.

I think that the lack of Suds schools where you mentioned is that the leaders of
the minorities have not seen a value in having a Suds school, and there may not
be any value in them for minorities. Value is in the eye of the beholder, it is
not a "fact" if such an illusion may exist for some people.

As I contemplate the comments of the values that are "claimed" to be of value in
a Suds environment I am struck on how much the values are nothing more than
opinions. While some think cooperation is a value I think constructive conflict
is much more of a value to be sought after. In fact cooperation in many areas is
a most destructive influence.

Well - in any case I really liked your viewpoint and really appreciate your
sharing it with us. It gives me even more to think about. Should a Suds school
even consider letting in minorities ? If so why and for what purpose ? To get
them to change or to get us to change or to get no one to change but can two
people come in contact and not change each other. Certainly integration is
dangerous to the purity of a culture or a family. So the question might be - how
to associate but not contaminate? You raise very interesting questions.

John Axtell wrote:

> In a message dated 12/9/00 11:43:30 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> writes:
> >
> > I don't really find that a guide such as science is necessary to tell us
> > things like this that we can't help but already know...
> >
> Joe,
> A nerve has been hit here, so bear with me. It's difficult to translate
> things from the heart. When I read the above statement, I interpret it as,
> "What we as white males assume you all should know."
> I'm not suggesting that Sudbury entertain the social sciences or any of the
> sciences. It's a good thing too, cause they aren't about to. The model being
> cognizant of it is another matter. That's what social sciences provide.
> Awareness.
> I've looked at so many Sudbury and alternative schools. As wonderful as
> many of them are, there has always been something missing to me. Not enough
> to keep me from grasping and loving the model. Just enough for me to wonder
> about. Not too long ago, I discovered that something. There are few, if any
> people like me there. I'm an Hispanic/Indian woman. 3% of us even make it
> out of graduate school (social statistics at work there.)
> This society is dominated by white male thinking. Nothing new there. I see
> the Sudbury model somewhat as an extension of that. Not all of us are white
> males, however. Social Sciences include, ethnicity, women's issues, history
> anthropology, alternative lifestyles. The list goes on. I address ethnicity
> and diversity here.
> My Hispanic/American Indian people have given much to the world, and if
> it weren't for the social sciences, we wouldn't even be mentioned. We still
> aren't in many arenas. I believe that Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez,
> Wilma Mankiller and Cochise would wonder why Sudbury model schools aren't on
> the reservations or near the airports where the minorities live. I wonder
> that myself. I wonder how many of the staff members in Sud schools are
> minorities. How many students are minorities? The answer is few. Why? It's
> not because Sud schools don't welcome them or because they shut them out. Why
> then? I don't know the answer. But I do know that we come from a different
> place. We come from a different place way back. We just don't think like
> white males. No matter how much it's shoved down our throats. We think like
> "we" think. Yet, we must adapt to a white male environment. Women and gay
> people might be able to identify with this. I don't know.
> Not many people know of Cesar Chavez or Wilma Mankiller. I know of them
> because I'm from them. And Abe Lincons decendents think how they think. They
> and the others I've mentioned have given a great deal in the social arena.
> Martin and Cochise gave their lives and their land for it. What about that
> young man who was killed in Wyoming simply because he was gay? My brother
> was recently murdered because someone thought he was just some homless man of
> color :(. In fact, he was a social peacemaker.
> I'm in the public school system. I won't give us much. But I will give
> us this: Most of the children I know, know of Cochise and Cesar Chavez. How
> many children in Fairhaven know who Abraham Lincon is? How many know who
> Wilma Mankiller or Cesar Chavez is? I'm not suggesting that these things be
> taught. Quite the contrary. What I am asking is this: Is there a place for
> minorities in a Sud school? I mean a real place? I know there are tokens of
> minorities in these schools. My son was one of them. He was raised in a
> rich Hispanic/Indian culture. He thinks like that, not like a white male
> (Even though his dad is Irish!) He struggled in the Sud system. He found it
> difficult to assimilate to the "white" way of doing things (He despised
> J..C.!) At the same time, he loved parts of it. He just didn't experience it
> like he was expected to. I doubt anyone was even aware of his difficulty for
> what it was. I saw it, but that's because we come from the same place. Many
> saw the outcome and gave only that creedence. It wasn't a spiteful thing.
> There was just little awereness. In not addressing cultural differences,
> they get ignored. Not everyone adapts to this environment in the same way.
> If that's not socially important to you Joe,it's not. That in essence is what
> we, as minorities must deal with. I'm sure you don't know what it's like to
> be called a "spic",tamohawk toter, a "nigger", "just a girl", or a "fag".
> I've been called a few of those. Believe me when I tell you, We come from a
> different place. Unfortunately or fortunately, you'll never know. But people
> of all colors being congnizant of it sure helps matters. I don't think that
> the model should be apprehensive in addressing it. I thank the social
> sciences for its' part in bringing it to the light at least.
> Please accept this as my perspective. It is sincerely not meant to be
> combative or confrontational.
> Viva Sudbury.
> Kathleen

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