Yes, the so-called “peanut-butter sandwich” may seem like an innocent lunch treat, or maybe even a mildly mischievous midnight snack, but beneath the faux veneer of wholesomeness and nutrition lurks what is indisputably the greatest evil in the history of mankind—which includes sub-Saharan Africa, even though they weren’t keen on the whole “written language” thing and didn’t have much in the way of recorded history before the white man stepped his pale toes on their continent and told them how to use a Kindle.
Verenice Gutierrez (I hope I’m spelling that right—just as much as I hope I’m pronouncing it correctly inside my head) is a bold, vibrant, empowered, highly intelligent, and significantly overweight “Latina” teacher in Portland who “picks up on the subtle language of racism every day.”
Although peanut-butter sandwiches are “seemingly innocent” to the white pigs who walk around so full of themselves and their invisible privilege that they don’t realize they’re constantly oppressing others even when they’re alone in the bathroom at home cutting their own toenails, Ms. Gutierrez insists they are potentially hurtful to Somali and Hispanic students, whose extremely colorful and throbbingly vibrant cultures may not celebrate peanut-butter sandwiches with the same thoughtless gusto that afflicts white people who eat sack lunches.
Gutierrez is merely engaging in a dialectic that the Portland school district is calling “Courageous Conversations,” and in this case she’s opening an extremely brave dialogue about how “white privilege” may lead white assholes munching obliviously on their peanut-butter sandwiches to thoughtlessly and irrevocably damage the precious self-esteem of the nonwhite students whose test scores suffer as a result.
Never mind that some tests suggest that self-esteem and academic performance may be inversely correlated. We all know that things such as math, logic, and statistics are racist remnants of white supremacy.
What matters here are feelings—nonwhite feelings, to be more specific. And how those nonwhite feelings are hurt by the unfeeling whites who feel they’re not supposed to have feelings for the feelings of others and who, as a result, hurt others’ feelings. Education is all about feelings. And if we can only get one group of kids to always feel bad about themselves and the other group to always feel good about themselves, then everyone will feel just fine.
Verenice Gutierrez leads a seminar encouraging white teachers to stop feeling so white and for nonwhite teachers to constantly hector white teachers about being so fucking white, as exemplified in their backward cultural practice of eating peanut-butter sandwiches.