Dana Dusbiber, a teacher at Luther Burbank High School in California, will no longer teach Shakespeare to her students because he is a white male. This is despite the fact that his writing, often considered the greatest in the English language, is also required by the Common Core teaching standards.
In a letter, Dusbiber explained that she not only dislikes Shakespeare, but says there are better works of literature in the "ethnically-diverse" world of today.
"I am sad that so many of my colleagues teach a canon that some white people decided upon so long ago and do it without question," she explains. "I am sad that we don’t believe enough in ourselves as professionals to challenge the way that it has “always been done.”
Dusbiber writes that Shakespeare lived in a "small world" long ago: "I enjoy reading a wide range of literature written by a wide range of ethnically-diverse writers who tell stories about the human experience as it is experienced today. Shakespeare lived in a pretty small world. 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."
Then, with breathtaking hypocrisy, Dusbiber writes, "If we only teach students of color, as I have been fortunate to do my entire career, then it is far past the time for us to dispense with our Eurocentric presentation of the literary world. Conversely, 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."
But, anyone with any logic would retort, if we take out all European writers (hence her point on Eurocentrism), wouldn't that make it so that we're now favoring another type of writing over another, like the way she claims we now favor Europe?
Alas, Ms. Dusbiber merrily flaunts common sense and bashes Shakespeare, not for being a bad writer, but being born a white male.
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