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Showing posts from January, 2016

At The Intersection of Structural Racism, Teaching Limitations, and Special Education

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Guest post on structural racism in international educational environments, offering a view from the perspective of a marginalized student and a special education teacher.
Amanda Hansel, M.Ed blogs on topics in special education and race


hen I was in the first grade, I found and read a Turkish children’s book about a little talking plane. It took two children around the world, stopping at different countries and talking to locals. At one point in the story, the plane flies over Africa. Underneath the text was an illustration of a little black child, half naked, looking up at the sky. The children wanted to land, but the plane warned the children that it wouldn’t be safe to land and talk to the natives. The plane flew over as the children waved.

I reread that part a few times. I remember scratching out the word “friendly plane” and scribbling “pis uçak”—Turkish for “dirty plane”—on the next page.

That black people, like me and my mother, were thought of as dangerous, or the anger I felt …