It’s hard to know what is and isn’t political in 2020. Is it political to assign texts in class written by queer Black authors, by Native American authors, by authors writing about poverty and systemic oppression? Queer people, people of color, and marginalized people all over have been condemned for pushing political agendas when they dare to exist in majority spaces. I am one of these people. I grew up understanding that it was normal for school administrators to tell queer kids and students of color to shut up about harassment, because talking about their struggles would expose other students to “mature subjects” which parents would see as part of a political agenda.

How do you teach critical thinking, identifying manipulative rhetoric, and examining biases without getting political? During this tumultuous time when even acknowledging fear of the virus can be controversial and potentially inflammatory, how do we talk about anything?

In this piece, I draw from stories about generations of women in my family. Through this lens, I wrestle with my experiences as a queer Indigenous instructor dealing with my status as a person whose identity is inherently political.



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