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Leftist Teacher Want to Ban Shakespeare from the Curriculum Because He’s a White Man

crisse-de-folle  Leftist Teacher Want to Ban Shakespeare from the Curriculum Because He’s a White Man crisse de folle

Dana Dusbiber

A veteran teacher at Luther Burbank High School, the biggest high school in Sacramento, Calif., is proposing that high-school teachers stop teaching Shakespeare because he’s just some old white guy who died a long time ago so what could he know about anything. [1]  Luther Burbank High School is a mostly Asian-Hispanic school. But it does seem to have really terrible results when it comes to English language proficiency. Its overall numbers are pretty bad too. Clearly Dana Dusbiber and her overpaid colleagues aren’t doing their jobs too well. [4]  In a piece published in the Washington Post, Dana Dusbiber explains that we should “leave Shakespeare out of the English curriculum entirely” because she “[does] not believe that a long-dead, British guy is the only writer who can teach [her] students about the human condition.” [2]  She wrote:

I do not believe that I am “cheating” my students because we do not read Shakespeare. […] I do not believe that not viewing “Romeo and Juliet” or any other modern adaptation of a Shakespeare play will make my students less able to go out into the world and understand language or human behavior. Mostly, I do not believe I should do something in the classroom just because it has “always been done that way.” [2]

What follows explains why Dana Dusbiber is perhaps the worst English Teacher ever to step in front of an American classroom. The reason why she don’t want to teach Shakespear is…. you guessed it… because of “diversity.”

“I am a high school English teacher. I am not supposed to dislike Shakespeare.” [2]

Well… as a lazy-ass pot smoking leftover from the sixties, of course you’re supposed to dislike him. You’re a product of a corrupt useless educracy that chooses to teach left-wing politics instead of basic literacy. [4]

“And not only do I dislike Shakespeare because of my own personal disinterest in reading stories written in an early form of the English language that I cannot always easily navigate, but also because there is a WORLD of really exciting literature out there that better speaks to the needs of my very ethnically-diverse and wonderfully curious modern-day students.” [2]

In clear, she admits to being unable to read Shakespeare, demonstrates her terrible writing skills and papers her incompetence over by invoking diversity. [4] Even when it comes to her white students, Dusbiber says, the dead, white Bard has limited relevance in the classroom. “If we only teach white students, it is our imperative duty to open them up to a world of diversity through literature that they may never encounter anywhere else in their lives.”  [16]

What I worry about is that as long as we continue to cling to ONE (white) MAN’S view of life as he lived it so long ago, we (perhaps unwittingly) promote the notion that other cultural perspectives are less important. [2]

One might argue that some of his other credentials — such as being one of the most influential writers in the history of the English language – might make his work an important thing to keep teaching. The fact that any English teacher would remove him from the syllabus because of some haphazard, white-guilt notion that analyzing his works in class will somehow make Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, or other students of color could get depressed, or feel bad about themselves sounds like a pretty awful reason. [23] But Dusbiber just doesn’t see it that way: “Shakespeare lived in a pretty small world,” she writes. “It might now be appropriate for us to acknowledge him as chronicler of life as he saw it 450 years ago and leave it at that.” [2]  What should the student learn instead of the titans of classic litterature according to Dusbiber?  Well, the babbling of left-wing ethnic no-names of course:

“Why not teach the oral tradition out of Africa, which includes an equally relevant commentary on human behavior?” She suggests. “Why not teach translations of early writings or oral storytelling from Latin America or Southeast Asia other parts of the world? Many, many of our students come from these languages and traditions … perhaps we no longer have the time to study the Western canon that so many of us know and hold dear.” [2]

gay-shakespeare  Leftist Teacher Want to Ban Shakespeare from the Curriculum Because He’s a White Man gay shakespeareThe answer to her questions is obvious: because you teach English, Ms. Dusbiber. English, which is the language of the British. This point is obviously lost on her as she labels current English curriculum “Eurocentric.” Of course it is, why would an English class be focused on cultures that don’t speak English?  [15] After 25 years teaching in Sacramento, including the last 13 at Luther Burbank High School, she said she has replaced the Bard’s plays in her classroom with works by nonwhite authors. Dusbiber, who is white, said many of her students come from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds than her own. …  “She has adjusted her teaching style to show nonwhite students successful authors with skin colors similar to theirs. Instead of Shakespeare, Dusbiber assigns texts by authors such as Isabel Allende, Sharon Draper, Francisco Jimenez and Gary Soto.” Quick, can somebody raise their hand and say you’ve heard of any of those people? Have you heard of Gary Soto? Have you heard of Isabel Allende? (interruption)  No, you’ve heard of Salvatore Allende. You’ve heard of her father, brother, dad, stepdad, whatever. Have you heard of Sharon Draper? Yes, you have. She was in Mad Men. Francisco Jimenez. Have you heard of Francisco Jimenez? No, you haven’t. [12] [34] I’m fairly certain that African oral tradition (or whatever) wasn’t originally told in English. I’m sure plenty of those stories have wonderful qualities and they have good morals and represent the human experience – but the fact is that isn’t ENGLISH. Even a translation into English isn’t going to give students the rich examples of poetry and language and puns and humor that you can only get in works like Shakespeare’s. [22]

Shakespeare-Plays  Leftist Teacher Want to Ban Shakespeare from the Curriculum Because He’s a White Man Shakespeare PlaysMoreover, Ms. Dusbiber argument that Shakespeare is too old just doesn’t make any sense. The magic of Shakespeare is precisely that he is always apt to our circumstances. The same passage can speak to us in contradictory ways at different moments in our life. Keats called it his “negative capability.” [13] Shakespeare teaches us about love, honor, duty. About parents and children. About ambition and greed. These are things that all of us face, the things that make us human. There are other writers, of course, who write about these things, but most of them are in conversation with Shakespeare in one way or another. [18]  But beyond that, understanding the past—especially its radical divergences from and continuities with the present—is more important than Dusbiber appears to believe. This is true not only of the recent past, with which we share a close and traceable relationship, but also with the very distant past, which can be much more difficult to relate to the way we live now. But the jarring disparities between then and now can open up a political imagination that is foreclosed by living purely within the confines of current social and political thinking. [8] Once one gets past the utter racism of this point of view and the condescension that says history-began-about-the-time-I-started-high-school — and slack-jawed wonder at the thought a very white-bread, progressive teacher teaching “oral tradition out of Africa” apparently without a text, because oral tradition — we see a nihilism, a Jacobinism, so familiar in the cultural left since Robespierre and his cronies jettisoned the calendar and converted churches into “temples of reason.”  We are witnessing a belief that nothing that happened at any point in the past is relevant or useful and that personal testimony is more powerful than millenia of collective human experience. [33]

Truesdale  Leftist Teacher Want to Ban Shakespeare from the Curriculum Because He’s a White Man Truesdale

Matthew Truesdale

While Washington Post education reporter Valerie Strauss, who published the article, notes that Dusbiber’s view “is shared by a lot of people in and out of education,” the piece has stirred a fiery and mostly hostile response, and later on Saturday Strauss published a rebuttal from another English teacher, who argues that it’s absurd to throw Shakespeare into the trash simply because he’s very dead and very white. [6] Wren High School English teacher Matthew Truesdale disagreed with Dusbiber, arguing that the tradition of Shakespeare should stay in the classroom.  “I’ve taught Shakespeare to students of all ages and ethnic backgrounds and I’ve had success with it,” he said.  He added, “I would hate for us to look at Shakespeare and reduce him to a skin color as well.” [5]. He think that Dana Dusbiber does a disservice to teachers and particularly those of us who teach English when she makes the argument that Shakespeare should be left to “rest in peace.” He writes that as a student he didn’t enjoy reading Shakespeare, but as a teacher, he can “clearly see why he still belongs in high school and college English classrooms” along with other forms and authors of literature. [11] [32]  Hamlet,Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet have been staples of any high school English curriculum for years upon years.

I prefer Othello, so he teach that.  But I don’t do it because I feel beholden to any set of expectations or standards–I do it because I want my students to have the experience of reading it…that’s it, and that’s all. [11]

shakespeare  Leftist Teacher Want to Ban Shakespeare from the Curriculum Because He’s a White Man shakespeare

Furthermore, to dismiss Shakespeare on the grounds that life 450 years ago has no relation to life today is to dismiss every religious text, every piece of ancient mythology (Greek, African, Native American, etc.), and for that matter, everything that wasn’t written in whatever time defined as “NOW.”  [32] Reading the literature of the past opens a window into a world in which the assumptions that dominate our lives were not yet imagined or fully formed, and shows us how people might live without the principles we mostly accept without question now. [8] And yes– Shakespeare was in fact a white male. But look at the characters of Othello and Emila (among others), and you’ll see a humane, progressive, and even diverse portrayal of the complexities of race and gender.

Shakespeare is more than just a “long dead British guy,” and I believe he has much to teach us about the modern human condition. [11]

Prof.Truedale think that Ms. Dusbiber’s argument is largely reductive, and “it turns the English classroom into a place where no one should be challenged or asked to step out of their comfort zone, where we should not look beyond ourselves.” [32] Math, you see, can be hard and tedious too. It’s the dirty, rotten Crackerman that caused all the problems.Get rid of Gauss, and nobody can write about evil Bell Curves. Liebnitz and Newton (two other dead white men) propagated a form of cultural imperialism known as Differential Calculus. And anything that gets called a Markov Chain needs to be preceded with a trigger warning before it ever goes on the syllabus at Columbia University. [7]  Kids should just eat junk food and play X-Box. Oh wait, that requires electricity. Thomas Edison, you guessed it, was a member of the Evil White Domineering Class. He oppresses us from the grave like the bad guys in Plants vs. Zombies. We can’t teach this man’s theorems or video game designers may use them to create relative surplus value or something. [7] In final analysis, this whole business of dumping Shakespeare seems to be nothing more than ineptitude masquerading as progressivism. The real shock here is how someone with such an obviously flawed opinion ends up published in the Washington Post. Okay, maybe that isn’t such a shock… [15]

Eventually, all living authors will be long-dead authors, and all texts will be the scribblings of persons who knew nothing of the way we live now. But it seems remarkably dangerous to venture down a path of ignoring authors who have been gone too long, or who were (necessarily) ill-acquainted with the precise modes of modern living. [8] While Shakespeare is required study for high school students under the Common Core English Language Arts standards, a new report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) finds that many English majors at colleges and universities across the country can graduate without reading his work. The vast majority of English majors at colleges and universities in the United States are not required to take a course focused on Shakespeare. The ACTA report surveyed English departments at 52 leading universities and liberal arts colleges and found that only four of them require English majors to take a course focused on Shakespeare. Those four universities are Harvard, University of California-Berkeley, U.S. Naval Academy, and Wellesley College. The report also finds that many universities increasingly require students to study “non-canonical traditions,” “race, gender, sexuality, or ethnicity,” and “ethnic or non-Western literature.” [10]

[1] Katherine Timpf, High-School Teacher: Stop Teaching Shakespeare Because He’s a White Man, National Review, June 16, 2015 4:53 PM
[2] Valerie Strauss, Teacher: Why I don’t want to assign Shakespeare anymore (even though he’s in the Common Core), The Washington Post, June 13 2015
[3] Jessica Chasmar, High school English teacher blasts Shakespeare for being too white, The Washington Times, Tuesday, June 16, 2015
[4] Daniel Greenfield, Illiterate Teacher Doesn’t Want to Teach Works of “Dead British Guy” Shakespeare, Frontpage Mag, June 14, 2015
[5] Teacher: I Don’t Want to Assign ‘Dead, British, White Guy’ Shakespeare to Students, FOX News, Tuesday, June 16, 2015
[6] Blake Neff, Teacher: I Don’t Teach Shakespeare Because He’s White, Dailly Caller, 9:41 AM 06/14/2015
[7] Dana Dusbiber Is Shaking The Spear of Ignorance, Red State, June 16th, 2015 at 12:0
[8] Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, The Progressive Case for Teaching Shakespeare, The New Republic, June 16, 2015
[11] Mariana Barillas, Teacher offended by Shakespeare’s ‘white’ male perspective, Campus Reform,  Jun 15, 2015 at 3:14 PM EDT
[12] PC Professor Dumps Shakespeare, RushLimbauch.com, June 22, 2015
[13] Dan Hannan, Shakespeare and the decline of America, Washington Examiner, June 22, 2015 | 12:01 am
[14] Ashley Rae Goldenberg, H.S. English Teacher Says She Doesn’t Want to Teach Shakespeare Because He’s White, MRCTV, June 16, 2015 4:19pm ET
[15] Keith Farrell, English Teacher Won’t Teach Shakespeare Because He’s White and Dead, The Federalist Papers, June 16, 2015
[16] Adelle Nazarian, Sacramento Teacher Skips ‘White’ Shakespeare for African Oral Tradition, Breitbart, 17 Jun 2015
[17] Bradford Thomas, Teacher: We Shouldn’t Teach Shakespeare Because He’s White, Truth Revolt, 6.14.2015
[18] J. Holtham, Do We Even Need to Say This? Yes, Shakespeare Belongs on the Curriculum, American Theatre, June 15, 2015
[27] Robert Gehl, English Teacher: I Won’t Teach Shakespeare Because He’s White Downtrend, June 14, 2015
[28] Victor Skinner, English teacher refuses to read ‘long-dead, British’ white guy — Shakespeare!, EAGNews, June 17, 2015
[29] Howard Portnoy, The liberal argument for reading Shakespeare, The Examiner, June 17, 2015 11:45 AM MST
[30] Andrew Anglin, Teacher Argues Against Teaching Dead, White Shakespeare, Daily Stormer, June 17, 2015
[31] Michael Cantrell, Teacher Says We Shouldn’t Teach Shakespeare For an Insanely Stupid Reason, Young Conservatives, June 15, 2015 12:45 pm
[32] Valerie Strauss, Teacher: Why it is ridiculous not to teach Shakespeare in school, The Washington Post, June 13 2015
[33] English teacher: why study Shakespeare? He’s a dead white guy, Redstate, June 15th, 2015 at 10:15 AM


About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

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