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KM Anderson

KM Anderson's Public Library

  • I mistakenly believed guilt was a badge of caring, when really all it did was hold me back from taking helpful action and from savoring my life. Yet I judged myself if I didn’t feel guilty. Surely it was better than doing nothing?

     

    Nope.

     

    Privileged guilt is different than healthy guilt. Healthy guilt wakes you up to your less-than-skillful choices and your impact on the world. Healthy guilt gets you to buy fair trade coffee, write to your university or retirement fund about fossil fuel divestment, limit your air travel, bike to work,  carry your own bags to the grocery, give money away to good causes… In other words, take action, learn about the world, connect.

  • Privileged guilt isolates you in well-meaning self-centered despair. It tricks you into thinking you are doing something useful. It can block you from developing your gifts and following what calls you. It can burn you out, convincing you to give more than is humanly possible, keep you from practicing healthy self-care. Privileged guilt is numbing and exhausting, a lethal combo.
  • I am privileged. I am not guilty about that fact. Rather, as my friend Marianne has taught me, I can savor my lovely life fully and use the fruits of my privilege – an open heart, a questing mind, a platform, skill with words – to make the world a more just and sustainable place.

     

    I hope you will join me in seeing through the chimera of privileged guilt to taking joyful informed action, including action to be kind to your good self.

  • It was all a lie, of course, but a lie of the sort that we live with every day. Far easier for white Southerners to believe that something was stolen from us than to understand that we, in the collective, shaped a terrible doom for ourselves in our insistence on holding human beings as property. Like Lady Macbeth, the creation of another famous William, we wander in delusion, attempting to wash away the blood that clings to our hands.
  • In the ignorance of my childhood, in the rural setting where I spent my first years, I accepted ideas about the place of white people at the top of the ladder, about the United States as a white country, that have stayed with me all my life. When I was a boy, I believed that as a white person I was part of the most advanced of all the races. I believed that my European ancestors were responsible for changing the world from a savage landscape into civilization. I learned these lessons far too young to question them, and this belief in white superiority is the foundation of the racism that was inculcated in me. White children today—in the South, but elsewhere too—are learning the same lessons, the same subtle and not-so-subtle lies, taught to them in the same way they were taught to me: by example, by inference, by insinuation, by myth.
  • The white South is still a source of racist atrocities because many Southern whites have never wavered in their certainty that black people spring from an inferior race. For some of them—for some of us—that certainty will pass itself to the next generation.

  • KBronson

       Louisiana  22 hours ago 
     

    This is the most sensible realistic comment on the matter that I have seen yet. Most decent southern white men of Atticus' generation stood where he stood, as depicted in each book. Against individual unjust treatment within the context of support for segregation.

    People's disbelief betrays an insistence on forcing people into stereotypes. This refusal to sees southerners in the round rather than as socio-political cardboard cut outs is the essence of bigotry. In more ways than one, lying these two books alongside each other offers a better opportunity to teach about bigotry than TKAM alone ever did.

  • William Case

       Texas  22 hours ago 
     

    The Atticus Finch of “Mockingbird” and “Watchman” are the same person, instantly recognizable to those of us who grew up in the South during the 1940s and 1950s as our parents and grandparents. They taught us not to hate black people, but they believed in the “Separate but Equal” doctrine of the segregated South. Some may have lacked courage to face down a lynch mob, as Atticus does in “Mockingbird,” but they would have never been part of a lynch mob. Martin Luther King based his successful non-violence protest strategy on the premise that the South had more men like Atticus Finch than it had Bob Ewells.

  • onathan

       Sawyerville, AL  Yesterday 
     

    And why do you think Ms. Lee is mentally disabled? Wiser Alabamans than I have met with the lady in recent months and say she is smart as a tack. Consider this: Could Lee have smarted all these years from the pressure put on her back when to make her flawed Atticus character into a saint? Could her discomfort with that be what made her abstain from writing and publishing all these years? Could she be enormously grateful to have her earlier and truer picture at last presented to the public? Yes, speculation, but at least with question marks. I wonder what sort of great work we might now have if Lee and her editor had focused more on improving "Watchman" instead of rewriting it as "Mockingbird."

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  • Encountering these seed sentences, it is hard not to feel some awe at the literary midwives who spotted, in the original conception, the greater literary sibling that existed in embryo. If the text now published had been the one released in 1960, it would almost certainly not have achieved the same greatness.
  • This is not so much due to literary inferiority, but because Go Set a Watchman is a much less likable and school-teachable book. It belongs to the genre in which prodigals return to find their homeland painfully altered; disillusioned by the “Atomic Age”, Scout has notably lost the sassy swagger that makes her childish I-voice in Mockingbird so compelling.
  • The shift in Atticus’s attitudes proves to be nuanced and rooted in the deep political complexities of the south – which New York editors may reasonably have thought too obscure for a broader audience – but their excision significantly altered the story. While there can be no doubt that the editorial attention given to Mockingbird made the narrative more gripping – the new publication has no equivalent climax to the courtroom drama of the Robinson trial – it can also be accused of having liberally (in two senses) sanitised the contents.

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  • But Siyuan and Wang say that things are more complicated in the United States, where Japanese and other Asians represent an often-overlooked minority. The event amounted to “cultural appropriation,” Siyuan said. “It’s white person after white person after white person saying this is not racist.”
Jul 06, 15

"Yet the structures of that antiquated system meant for only the academically strong are still in place today, including the high school credit system and cumulative grading." // // // Farrington said one of her favorite quotes is, “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” If we want all kids to graduate from high school, she said, then we will need to redesign the system with that goal in mind. // // // “But even those who vowed to buckle down and try hard, they found that even if they kept apace from then forward, the fact that they had these zeros kept getting averaged in,” she said. “They weren’t able to shake the past failures, and it became impossible to dig themselves out of the hole.” // // //

  • Yet the structures of that antiquated system meant for only the academically strong are still in place today, including the high school credit system and cumulative grading.
  • Farrington said one of her favorite quotes is, “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” If we want all kids to graduate from high school, she said, then we will need to redesign the system with that goal in mind.
  • Yet the structures of that antiquated system meant for only the academically strong are still in place today, including the high school credit system and cumulative grading.

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  • As Chase’s teacher explained this simple, ingenious idea – I stared at her with my mouth hanging open. “How long have you been using this system?” I said.

     

    Ever since Columbine, she said.  Every single Friday afternoon since Columbine.

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