Following along with our discussion of race and how it relates to education, I just read an article called Deconstructing Whiteness as a Part of a Multicultural Framework (Rhoads & Ortiz, 2000). This was a fascinating article in that it looked at how we as educators on a university level should approach multicultural education. The authors challenge the "universalization of whiteness" and propose a framework where "deconstruction" of whiteness is important when taking a multicultural approach.
One of the main claims of the article is that "whiteness" is often overlooked as a race or ethnic identity, and that we don't talk about the social construction of the white race. The authors propose that in order to effectively engage in discourse about race and truly enable multicultural education in classrooms that there must be a discussion about white race as well as other racial and ethnic identities. In addition, there must be a critical evaluation of how whiteness has been socially constructed and become seen as the "dominant" race and associated with power and privilege. Finally, they propose a multistep process to deconstruct whiteness and implement a multicultural educational plan into college campuses.
I found this article fascinating and important because the white race is often "universalized", or seen as the norm, while not ever really being talked about. White people in America are not normally thought of as having race and the authors assert that this reinforces whiteness as the dominant culture. I agree that these issues must be addressed, in particular in college classrooms as they suggest in the article.
-JIMMY LEAK, ED261