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Friday, January 24, 2014

This Thing Called Racism


As some of you may recall earlier this year (well last year technically) we had an issue with a child in Taylor’s class telling her they couldn’t be friends because Taylor had the wrong color skin.  Translated: You are white, everyone else at our school is not so we can’t be your friend.
Lame.
Even more lame was the way the teachers handled it after that.  Their attempts to fix the situation just further ostracized Taylor to a point where she feels she has no friends at school because everyone refuses to play with her.  For some perspective Taylor’s class is about 95% Hispanic.  A couple of Asians and a couple of white kids. 
·         The teacher moved Taylor to a seat on her own (away from her group with the kid in question) instead of moving that kid.

·         The teacher asked that kid to “take a break” from Taylor which translated into him completely ignoring her in class and telling all his other friends not to play with her because the “teacher said not to”

·         Taylor (being told by us) to continue to be nice to this kid even if he was being mean meant she tried to talk to him or help in class and she would get hurt/frustrated when he ignored her (per teacher request) and then she would get in trouble for disrupting the class because she would talk louder and louder at him thinking he just couldn’t hear her.
Lame x2.

Then you have this week.  Where Taylor’s class learned about Martin Luther King and how he contributed to our country.  That I am full support of.  However, I lack faith in how the teacher managed to make her point since a following conversation went like this:
Taylor: I learned about Martin Luther King today.  We learned it was a good thing he was born because if he wasn’t born then I’d be mean to black people.
Justin: Well, not exactly.  You probably wouldn’t be mean to black people.
Taylor: Yes I would, my teacher said I would.
Justin: Most white people were mean to black people, but not all of them were.  There were still white people that were nice to black people before Martin Luther King.
Taylor: No. I would have been mean.  My teacher said.  So it’s a good thing Martin Luther King was born so I don’t have to be mean to black people.
Justin: Well..I’m going to have to talk to your teacher.

Granted, I’m sure that she didn’t say those exact words (the teacher that is).  I sure hope not… but regardless something she said was a strong enough point for Taylor to look down on herself as a white person and feel she is somehow a mean person because of it. And if SHE got that impression how many of the non-white kids in her class now feel the same way about her?
So not only does she have to worry about kids not playing with her because she is not Hispanic she also is dealing with kids (and herself) feeling like SHE MUST be racist since she is white… and we all know all us white folk are racist.
FYI: That was sarcasm.
Lame x3.

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