I sent this article to a friend from high school, and it led to a lot of reminiscing and discussion. Her point is that much of this problem was rooted in a total belief in superiority. We had what we called “the (Our school names)’s Difference” as a… thing. It was about how we were essentially better than everyone else. Smarter, harder-working, better-rounded, more primed to succeed. Like a slogan, but also a mentality.
And when you go to a school that is predominantly white and predominantly rich, being better comes to mean whiter and richer. It’s implicit. It perpetuates the problem.
Also, apparently the Talking Library began being used as, and eventually more formally became, a safe space for students of color. It may have been so, but for students who were on the other side, the ghettoization I wrote about became the view.
Belief in superiority was the problem. Another prestigious private preparatory school in my city apparently didn’t have such as big problems, according to students who went there. At least not about homophobia, and I’ve been told not so much about racism.
Why my school? What were we, were they, doing differently? How much self-contemplation and self-awareness is helpful? Does it lead to people having to martyr themselves for progress, in the case of a friend who was told to just Own Being Gay and was outed for it, and then faced huge harassment and bullying.
I don’t have the answer. But looking back, I have questions.