As I finish the anthology of 20th century genocides for our course tomorrow I begin to feel beaten, tired and feel sorry for myself. Sometimes working on Genocide and refugee issues is numbing, overwhelming and enraging. Then I realize the insane privilege and selfishness of those feelings …
We have a knapsack. We take for advantage the contents of that knapsack. Our knapsack creates these questions. It is too much for us to consider or too easy for us to tune out Important questions must be considered when we journey into service learning. What is the nature of service learning? Why is it useful? Is it useful? What are the risks associated with this type of engagement? Why are we engaged in this service? How can we collaborate? How do we use service learning for freedom (hooks, freire) instead of as a form of dominance?
Whiteness theory provides a useful frame for examining these questions. It also provides a great critique of solutions born out of pure frustration. We must be critical in our discourse about genocide, in engaging with refugees and in intervention. We must also not forget, people, at a very base level, have a right to life.