Questioning our Assumptions

A view of Earth from space, with a wing of the international space station visible in the corner

We’re the faith of reason and science and dignity. There's nothing wrong with that. It’s just that too many of us have been taught by culture that what "smart" looks like is white, male, and middle class. We’ve been taught that credibility and authority are white. We’ve been taught that what science looks like is a white man in a white shirt and a buzzcut, not Katherine Johnson or Dorothy Vaughn — the NASA scientists without whom John Glenn would not have lifted off, let alone returned to Earth safely. We need to unhook our assumptions of what smart looks like, of what “quality music” sounds like, of what “reason” means. We need to get messy. We need to question our assumptions about who makes a good fit, and why we think people are puzzles pieces that have to slide into the existing system.