Monday, June 20, 2005

Stupid

Talking with Sarcasm Girl yesterday, we learn that she is the occasional target of a sort of profiling: the casual assumption by a few of the kids at her school that because she's white (and middle class, and smart) that she gets As without effort, and has never had a bad moment in her life. There is no escaping the fact that she's white; it's not something she can help, and she is at least intellectually aware that this eases her way in this society in a lot of ways. And we are middle class, although that doesn't exempt her from problems, nor guarantee a stream of strings-free cash. As for the As, well, she gets them in the classes that interest her, and struggles sometimes in the classes that don't. And yes, her life is easy, compared to the lives of some of her school-mates, but I honestly don't think the child believes that that makes her the poster child for How the World Works or that she thinks everyone else's life is as swell as her own. So it upsets her when she and a classmate are talking about something, and the other kid puts paid to the discussion by saying "Stupid white girl!" and walking away. I think what she hates most is the idea that someone thinks she is willfully stupid or unaware. She's had a few friends I would put into that class, but I don't think SG is; she may get wrapped up in her own life (what teenager doesn't?) but she is genuinely interested in the lives of people around her, knows there is much she doesn't know, but hates injustice with the fierce outrage of a fifteen year old.

So maybe the thing to try, next time someone calls her "Stupid white girl," is to answer, "I'm not stupid, I'm uninformed. Tell me what I'm not understanding." This lead us to a further discussion of people who are stupid white people, and she wound up making a list for her own reference. This chore seemed to cheer her immensely.

2 Comments:

Blogger C. F. Blog said...

To go back to being 15 and in High School, I would rather stick forks in my eyes.

Please tell her to hang in there. It takes a lot of guts to work on being discerning, so be glad that you’ve accomplished another notch in the Humanity’s Food Chain.

9:47 AM  
Blogger claire said...

When I am ready to kill my fourteen year old I take a breath and do my mantra: "Be the teenager or have to deal with the teenager".

I know which I choose. Never again to ride that hormone train.

Good luck to the Jules...

7:30 PM  

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