"[I]f I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week…The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature." --Charles Darwin

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fear eats the soul

I live and teach in New Jersey, where we are still living in the shadow of the suicide of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers just-freshman for whom leaving this world was easier than dealing with the shame that had been put on his sexuality. Obviously, this is difficult for parents -- but it is even more difficult for students, especially those students who feel they may be homosexual, and particularly those from ethnic backgrounds which heap extra disgust and humiliation on anyone who even doubts.

R&B singer Marsha Ambrosius wades into this territory. What do you think -- can this video be an appropriate leaping-off place for discussion, or will it provoke too much anger, fear, ridicule or shame in the classroom and in the hallways afterwards?

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