I enjoy meeting new groups of students, and I had a delightful week at the college getting to know three new groups. Regardless of whether the class focuses on literature or rhetoric or just plain ol' fundamentals of writing, race, gender, sexuality and ethnicity are topics that come up repeatedly throughout the term.
For those of you out there that might not have read this short essay already, I encourage you to read it (preferably both carefully and critically) and then settle in for an hour to read the reactions in the comments section.
I like John Scalzi's fiction, by the way, but I love his essays.
By his own admission (there's a good follow-up post on his blog), the metaphor isn't perfect. In places the discussion derails, but for the most part there is some serious intellectual wrestling with a complex series of topics there.
I've mentioned it before, but if it needs repeating, it's pretty clear to me that advantages abound for certain population groups in America.
That's the reality of the situation, at least as I see it (your mileage will, undoubtedly, vary).
Are things improving for all of the players in this game we call life? I think they absolutely are.
America is becoming an increasingly diverse country, and meaningful discussions of social justice and equal opportunity for all Americans (when coupled with action, of course) will lead us down the path to a stronger democracy.
At any rate, I like Scalzi's attempt to elevate the discussion of these issues, and I think this is a useful starting point (particularly for college students) to get the ball rolling...