Teaching The Outsiders from critical race perspective gives me the opportunity to begin utilizing the knowledge and insight that I have gained from taking the seminar, “Teaching about Race and Racism Across the Disciplines,” and pass it along to my students. Ironically, as I conclude this unit I realize that, despite its popularity and inclusion in the cannon of literature taught to so many young people in our country, the inclusion of The Outsiders in our Language Arts curriculum can be considered yet another example of modern racism. Furthermore, to continue teaching the novel through a non-critical race theory lens is really to continue teaching as a colorblind teacher.
One thing I believe all of my colleagues could agree on at the end of the seminar is what a massive undertaking that we as teachers and we as a nation must face in order to make this country a truly fair and just one where all are treated equally. Robin Diangelo comments in White Fragility;
“Interrupting racism takes courage and intentionality; the interruption is by definition not passive or complacent. So in our answer the question ‘Where do we go from here?’ I offer that we must never consider ourselves finished with our learning. Even if challenging all the racism and superiority we have internalized was quick and easy to do, our racism would be reinforced all over again just by virtue of living in the culture.”13