Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Where Do We Draw the Line?

The discussion we were having about accommodating students is a good one, but unfortunately I am feeling just as unsure about it as ever. We say its okay to accommodate Muslim students who are uncomfortable with being taught by a female tutor, but I don't think we would be nearly as accommodating if a white student came in and said that they didn't want to be tutored by someone of color. Both are discriminatory to me. One is denying someone because of their skin color, and another is denying someone due to their gender. Initially, it is as simple as that.

However, what about their culture. Do we really consider ourselves to be so evolved and "better" that we can look at other cultures and attempt to "smooth them over" and make them more like our own? We have little true understanding of other cultures, and do we really have any right to look at the things they practice and say that what their culture believes is wrong? Furthermore, is that something we have any right to say working in the Writing Center?

On the one hand, this is the United States. Employing the rights that we have down in our constitution is hardly wrong. It is a far cry from going to other countries and imposing our way of thinking on them (which, yes, we're still doing, but that's not relevant to what we're talking about). The students are living in this country while they are going to school, and it is ultimately not too much to ask that they abide by our laws.

Still, we don't want to seem like we are steamrolling over their culture. In the end, even though I have given this a lot of thought, I don't know where the line is, or what to truly feel about the subject.


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