I Am A Cultural Racist


Well, I don't think I'm a racist, but the administrators of the Seattle Public Schools would, since they define cultural racism as follows:

Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as 'other,' different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.

Well, I admit to having a future time orientation (i.e., working toward long-term goals), preferring individualism to collectivism, and upholding standards in English expression. Although I think Duke Ellington is the greatest composer in American history, I'm sure that on occasion I've identified Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms as the greatest composers in the classical tradition. And no writer will ever surpass William Shakespeare as a master of English literature. So I suppose I'm guilty as charged.

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal