Shames From My Alma Mater

So last night I dreamed about a LOT of people I have given no fucks for in years and I woke up wondering, "WTF?"

Then I remembered that yesterday I was shown an article about a middle school I attended for one year waaaaaaay back in the day; I guess it brought up some buried memories.
A homework assignment at a Kanawha County middle school is causing a firestorm of debate after it was posted on Facebook. Now, school officials are saying it was not approved and was inappropriate.

The homework assignment was titled "Black Lives Matter" and was sent home with students in a 7th grade class at Dunbar Middle School.

...The questions focused on controversial current events. The teacher, who school officials say is white, asked questions such as "how have procedures changed regarding police brutality from before the Black Lives Matter movement to after?" Another question asked "what is the difference between the treatment of Dylan Roof and Mike Brown?"

Roof is accused of killing nine African Americans during a prayer service at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Brown's shooting death in Ferguson, Missouri generated a vigorous debate about the relationship between law enforcement and African Americans.

The assignment ended asking "how many people were killed by police in 2014?"

"It is inappropriate for a school to teach a view such as that," said Dunbar Middle School principal Amon Gilliam.
(Source)
Boo, lemme stop you right there.

Bar Patrons, lemme ask you something: how in the hell does the number of dead people constitute a "view"?  And since when is quizzing kids about current events - literally shit being debated on TV right now - inappropriate?   I bet if this teacher had asked questions about the election no one would be batting an eyelash.  In fact, no one did bat an eyelash when the assignment first went home, until one (White) mom spoke up, talking about how the homework (and the Black Lives Matter movement) teaches kids to fear the police.  Now suddenly, it's news.

And fine...if she doesn't like it, fine.  But the school officials need to have a stadium of seats.

West Virginia's population is straight plummeting because, as a friend of my succinctly put it, people can now hop online, see that life is sooooo much better elsewhere, and then bounce (hell, I did it).  You better believe dumb shit like this part of the problem.  Because make no mistake: when it comes to police brutality (which is what this all boils down to), West Virginia is most assuredly not exempt.

So, newsflash, boo-boo...kids already fear the police.  Depending on where they live in West Virginia, for example, some of them already know good and well that their White skin is not a magic shield.  I knew White boys who got their asses whooped by the cops.  Of course, this was back in the Dark Ages before we had smartphones and social media.  Even in college, I actually saw White kids promptly run at the sight of the police - no discussion, no hesitation, no exceptions.  Small White children I worked with, back when I was a mental health counselor, were openly terrified of police and didn't see them as "helpful" or "friendly".

So think about how West Virginian kids feel now, when all they have to do is hop onto YouTube, and Facebook, and Twitter, and see unarmed, outnumbered civilians regularly getting shot in the back, shot in the head, tasered, getting bludgeoned, and being left out to rot on a sidewalk like garbage.  Maybe after seeing all of that, this is why a (White) teacher felt the homework assignment was necessary in the first place.

Personally, I think it's far past time that White folks in West Virginia did their homework, and this wasn't a bad example.

Comments

  1. I find it funny how some of those parents can be afraid of being educated about such topic like Black History Month or in this case...BLM yet Black people/POC always have to swallow lot of stuff that is offensive and mostly..lies.

    Sometimes , I laugh at people like that. Like you said, those parents can keep their kids way from the classrooms all they want but as long as they have access to computer technology they can find out anything they want. It's reasons like that White parent that many Black parents are opting to home school their kids. If Black kids aren't being over disciplined by school authorities, they aren't learning about themselves.

    I remembered when my late grandfather would tell me and my sibs to attend Morehouse, Spelman or some other good HBCU's ( thought cost prevented me from doing that) because of of the reasons you list on here. White teachers will only teach Black history that they feel will not hurt them. Now they never ask us how we feel about the history they are teaching us. I'll never forget a time that I was in third grade how my teacher would go on saying that George Washington was " our " forefather. Maybe hers..but he was never mine. We're taught that people like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were " great " presidents when in actuality they thought that Black people was lower than dirt . Day in and day out..we have to listen to the repetitious lies and history about their people. Up until I went to college, I wondered why history seemed boring to me..then I realized. It wasn't so much that history..itself.. was boring, it's about how it was being taught.The problem with it was that it was..and still is being taught from a predominately Eurocentric and severely biased point of view.

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  2. Also, these are the same people who get pissed when the victim of police brutality is white and the mainstream reaction is *crickets*.

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