The two writings we read this week were very different in content and theme. “Tolerating Intolerance” focused on the concept of “passive aggressive intolerance” and enabling bigotry. “Supporting Youth After School” focused on providing out-of-school opportunities for children to further literacy. It’s hard for me to link two separate topics like this, so I’ll respond to each individually.
“Tolerating Intolerance” made a lot of points that are very indicative of causes my generation seems to be wanting to further. I was a resident assistant on campus for two years, and had countless hours of training on how to make people from all identities and backgrounds feel comfortable and welcome. However, sometimes coworkers and I would get cynical. How much of what we are doing and learning actually helping people? Is there a difference between tolerance and acceptance? We will hopefully learn to stop making excuses for bigoted attitudes, but until then, how do we best serve those affected by this bigotry?
“Supporting Youth After School” detailed a lot of programs that would have been helpful in my hometown growing up. I was very fortunate to come from a well enough off family who could afford after school activities for me. In fact, my parents insisted on them, and there was hardly a night where I didn’t have church groups, dance classes, tennis lessons, or art workshops to attend before doing my homework and going to bed. These social opportunities were very valuable to me, and comprise much of what has made me who I am today. However, many friends and classmates didn’t have these opportunities. This was usually closely linked with what I perceived was their family situation. When I look back at these friends and classmates through social media or “through the grapevine,” too many of them are in unfortunate situations, and I wonder how things would have changed had they had someone to support them outside of the classroom and to expand their knowledge of what “literacy” could be.