The other day the Fame episode “Solo Song” popped up in my mind, for whatever reason. The story is that a blind teacher turns up at school and the moral is that he is not a pitiable cripple, but manages quite well on his own. In order to impress this on the students he spends the night before his first lesson training to toss a paper ball into a wastebasket across the classroom, a trick he executes to the amazement of the students in the morning. Now, to help him practice, he forces the school caretaker to stay up with him and bang the basket (and, presumably, clean away all the tossed papers afterwards). At the time, this was of course good and wholesome teaching, but now it struck me that one could see it as problematic that the White, higher-status, teacher forces the Black, lower-status, caretaker to work through the night—presumably for no overtime compensation. Being politically correct is a constant struggle.

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