peer review

reflect peer’s reflection after read the article I post. There are two peers, you should do it separately. each one should take one page.
peer’s reflection:
1.I think this book emulates systemic racism so well throughout– both from explicit examples of trauma and mundane details within the book. For example, the fact that Moss is at an under-funded school with the majority of students being minorities whereas Esperanza attends a richer school with a majority of the students in attendance being white. The differences in their education explains a lot about the stark differences in the things they each had to be taught growing up– for Esperanza, she was taught that the police were the good guys, called in need of emergency. For Moss, the police are the cause of his father’s and love interest, Javier’s wrongful death. As someone who saw the ones there to “serve and protect” them force a kid to go through a metal detector despite medical implications and assault one of his transgender classmates, Moss is exposed to police brutality more than police security. This same sort of narrative is taking place in Columbus City Schools as well. While many white-majority, funded schools in Ohio see no problem with the presence of officers in schools– many even think it is helpful in case of an emergency– there are several articles that explore the ways in which this simply is not the case for black and brown students. As a white person, I have had the privilege of growing up and feeling safety with law enforcement. I cannot imagine feeling intimidation from the exact same department that is supposed to be there to protect you.

To this point, I think I can relate to the ignorance of Esponanza’s mother, who thought she was being helpful in calling the police. Moss has every right to be angry at her for putting himself and his friends in a dangerous situation, but Esponanza’s mother, like many white people, merely fell into the trap of white ignorance. Due to her inability to see how her own color has given her the privilege of feeling safety in establishments that are meant to provide safety for citizens, she thought she was being a hero. Instead, she caused at least one murder. While, at first, Esponanza is unable to see the struggles that Moss faces in comparison to her own, she comes around in the end to understand where Moss is coming from and how she needs to educate herself on how her dangers are not the same as his.

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I think this book is so important because it offers such a wide range of emotions and characters with two very different situations/experiences. I think all young adults, whether they relate to Moss or Esponanza, can find themselves in this narrative and understand how structural racism kills black and brown bodies– and white ignorance enables it. I know for a fact that I came way later than I am proud of to understanding how my whiteness has granted me access to privileges that should be rights, and I have since been working to educate myself further and educate my parents. I have seen the ways that black and brown bodies are treated by law enforcement– and the ways that white people outside of law enforcement have perpetuated this notion. It took me a long time to notice the little things, but now they are such a big part of my life that I am trying to adjust everything I do to try to change that narrative. Moss’ narrative is tragic, but it is unfortunately not uncommon for young black and brown people in America.

2.As a white teacher in a mixed community, most of my students are POC. Being raised how I was, family in the military and police academy, I was taught to respect the people that are supposed to help in when we need them. However, reading this story and looking at the lives of the students I teach, I can see the white privilege at work. At my work, we got metal detectors at school. I felt better and safer as we had students come in with knives and talk about guns. Even though it was the thought that counted, I never thought it would change the moral or the school and student’s feeling about the school. I think the systemic racism in our culture starts when young men of color have to have “that” talk with their fathers about what to do and not to do around police. I’ve never heard that talk let alone knew there was a talk when I was younger, it never crossed my mind. As this book continues to unfold for me and reading the articles, our cultures as a whole needs to be more aware and competent of what is going on. As the Black Lives Matter Movement continues in a positive direction, students in classrooms and young people adults should learn and express themselves in a positive way against the injustice. Just as Ms. Torrance was able to have open communication with her students about how they feel about what is going on in their school. We need to be able to have it too.

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