Critical literacy suggests every text positions itself to privilege certain viewpoints and in so doing, diminishes others. No text can be all to everything. Taking the viewpoint that a text is something that creates meaning, the Detroit Marathon may, in this view, be considered a text.
I ran as a member of a relay team today. We did well, the top 10% of relay teams. Can this event be considered in terms of critical literacy?
When I look at what was privileged it certainly was exercise, not so much slothfulness. It also privileged the right of runners to take over a city, a bridge, and a tunnel. But when I look closer I feel the shadow of my beliefs fall across my interpretation.
This perturbs me. Does critical literacy become a frame for justifying my beliefs or a lens to consider the views of others? I would like to believe I find an open space where the views of the motorist who cannot drive to where she wants to go, to the homeless man who cannot sleep in his usual place, to the local resident who has paper cups strewn across the road, to the runner who staggers to complete the event, sit together and share their views, knowing that no one has the true picture, although everyone has a piece.
So today, the Detroit Marathon became a text that indicated that there are many, legitimate, viewpoints, which coexist, maybe not comfortably, and make a tapestry of life. What I am wrestling with is this; does critical literacy foster this integration or does it become a tool for consolidating one view, … mine?