WRD 103: Composition & Rhetoric I: Winter Quarter 2015 Rotating Header Image

“… some pretense of communication arises”

Could be helpful in discussions of the rhetoric of social action & discussions of privilege:

“Whenever the need for some pretense of communication arises, those who profit from our oppression call upon us to share our knowledge with them. In other words, it is the responsibility of the oppressed to teach the oppressors their mistakes. I am responsible for educating teachers who dismiss my children’s culture in school. Black and Third World people are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.”
— Audre Lorde, “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference”

Aspects of the  Culture of Power:

  • Issues of power are enacted in classrooms.
  • There are codes or rules for participating in power; that is, there is a ‘culture of power.’
  • The rules of the culture power are a reflection of the culture of those who have power.
  • If you are not already a participant in the culture of power, being told explicitly the rules of that culture makes acquiring power easier.
  • Those with power are frequently least aware of–or least willing to acknowledge–its existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence.” (24) — Lisa Delpit, Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom.

Click here to check your privilege:

“Check Your Privilege” is an online expression used mainly by social justice bloggers to remind others that the body and life they are born into comes with specific privileges that do not apply to all arguments or situations. The phrase also suggests that when considering another person’s plight, one must acknowledge one’s own inherent privileges and put them aside in order to gain a better understanding of his or her situation. [Know your meme.]