“Some minorities feel they have been wronged by mainstream Americans and that “acting white” is a betrayal of their people.”
This quote really stuck out to me too. I really related to your situation with your cousins except mine was more so with the people I surrounded myself with in high school. There weren’t many minorities in my school and the few that there were all hung out. A few of them never liked me and I never knew why, (I was raised by my white mother and I was never taught to notice race or think I was different from anyone else just because of the way that I looked), so when one of the girls who didn’t like me called me out for “acting white” I didn’t really know what to do. So I just said nothing and walked away. If that were to happen today, I still think I’d be confused and just walk away. But why is it that not being the stereotype to your race, you’re leaving your culture behind and trying to be white? I didn’t know that being Spanish or Native American required us to act in a particular way.
I absolutely loved Finn’s idea of “dangerous literacy”! I was so taken aback by his phrasing at first but I really love it. I completely agree with what you said here - “When people gain an understanding of the way things are, they can use this information to come up with new ideas and ways of thinking” - The best way to keep people in their class is to keep them illiterate. If someone doesn’t know that they can achieve social justice, then they’ll never think to strive for those bigger and better things.
Also, I like the way you tied the Kozol and Mead argument into this blog; his article crossed my mind a few times too. Connecting the quote from Mead to literacy works perfectly; however, like the neighborhood that did not want an incinerator built, the situation does not always work in your favor.