Exclusionary “Learning Pods” are not just racist, and of course classist, let’s state the obvious, but they are also violence against children, and we must say this.
Broadband access in this nation is racist and classist and an assault on rural children and children everywhere whose parents lack resources. We must say this.
The way schools are funded, including via PTA/PTO fundraising is racist and classist and represents violence against children everywhere whose parents lack resources. We must say this.
“The timeline of the series stops at the pandemic. But Ms. Joffe-Walt said the nation’s education system is at a pivotal juncture, noting the future could be indelibly shaped by white parents. …
“When the Framers [of the Constitution] used the word [democracy] themselves it was often a pejorative term. On the convention’s first day, delegate Edmund Randolph of Virginia warned that “none of the [state] constitutions have provided sufficient checks against democracy.” A week later, Massachusetts delegate Elbridge Gerry said “the evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy.” Father of the Constitution James Madison referred to “the inconvenience of democracy,” and Alexander Hamilton to the “imprudence” of it.” — Eric Black
America likes to perceive itself as a leader in global democracy, or at least it did before January 2017, but leadership often conveys a sense of “staying ahead of the game,” and the United States has a peculiarly antique electoral and government system, one inherited — almost in entirety — from the national parent, 18th Century Britain. This “Queen Anne Democracy” was never intended to be a democracy in any way, it wasn’t designed that way, the founders — though expressing noble intentions — were for the most part elite Southern plantation owners, and seven of those 13 original states (including New York) were slave states. So US Constitution was designed to absolutely limit democracy, which despite progress, it still does. …
Maybe it is five years ago now, but at one of the high schools where I worked then, our most “at-risk” high school, a Language Arts teacher and a Librarian collaborated on a project about building monuments. This was even before the 2017 Charlottesville right-wing riot with its in retrospect focus on monuments and meanings. Even before our more famous version of this project.
I watched one young man building the model of his monument and asked him to tell me about it. “It’s a monument to front porches,” he said — and what he was building was a very long porch with many places to sit — “because that was what my grandma had, and I loved the conversations [we had] there, and I think we don’t have that much [anymore].” …
SpeEdChange TLDR Long Read
Over the last dozen or so years my body has betrayed me. The physical skills that were a big part of the identity I had constructed for myself — sports, being able to build things, fix things, repair a car, wire a house…have mostly left me. Now, as I struggle to alleviate physical pain, I need to re-imagine who I am, what I am capable of, and how I will live my life. …
SpeEdChange TLDR Long Read
Let’s be clear, our educational structures and norms are every bit as at fault as the structures and norms of policing.
Things. Must. Change.
The failures of our society, of our culture, of our institutions, all on display in magnified form over the past four years, have blown up in our face.
And that can become a very good thing.
The dysfunction has been obvious in the way many vote, in what many believe, in resistance to the basic norms of human decency, even in the disappearance of self-preservation norms, that our institutions have failed us. The United States in many ways no longer looks like a durable democracy, but more like a ‘developing nation’ — waiting, maybe hoping, as in Turkey before it became a theocracy, that the better minds in our military will refuse immoral and illegal orders and save us. …
The events of the past two weeks have left many, even most of us incredibly angry, incredibly determined, and, yes, incredibly confused. But if we are educators, or if we are police officers, we do not have the luxury of either time or inaction. Sometimes the call to duty is both absolutely clear and absolutely urgent, and this is one of those times.
What is truth?
Over the past two weeks we have seen a stunning increase in the obvious lies told by people in power — and since the daily count was already very high, that’s pretty horrific. Every hour a police chief, a mayor, a governor, and of course the White House claims that something for which there is undeniable evidence, “didn’t happen.” There’s also the other lie, the “I didn’t know" that’s the stock in trade of Republican senators, cabinet secretaries, et al. “I didn’t know where I was going,” said Secretary of Defense Mark Esper after he marched across a public park seized by force by his troops to support a pathetic photo op for his boss (he made up a different story the next day, describing his job as supervisor of park restrooms). …
The obvious: it is not nearly enough to not be a racist, to be a responsible member of a democratic society one must be actively anti-racist.
Is there even such a thing as being ‘not a racist’? Not a racist sounds a lot like a German in the 1930s being “not a Nazi,” or, in the United States in the 1860s being “not a slaveowner,” or being the person who watches someone on the street having a heart attack, being assaulted, being struck by a car, who doesn’t bother to call 911.
Former Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao might all claim to be “not racists.” Senator Tom Cotton of Oklahoma might claim to be “not racist.” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina might claim to be “not racist” — “not misogynist,” etc.” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper might claim to be “not racist.” Even the notorious Alabama Governor George Wallace claimed he was “not a racist.” But in every one of these cases, actions tell a different story. Actions or non-actions, because non-actions are actions. …
There is no difference between the looters in our streets now and Donald J. Trump. There is no difference between the looters in our streets now and Moscow Mitch McConnell. There is no difference between the looters in our streets now and the Koch brothers. There is no difference between the looters in our streets now and the national Republican Party, or Jerry Falwell Jr., or the ‘conservative majority’ on the United States Supreme Court.
And that is our failure as parents, as ministers, priests, imams, and rabbis, as educators, as a society. We have allowed a national belief to develop, or we have tolerated a national myth, that says, we, ‘can do anything we want. Take anything we want. Disrespect anyone we want. …
Someplace between age 8 and age 10, Black boys will stop appearing ‘cute’ to white teachers in America’s schools, and will begin to be seen as a threat. Yes, they will. Yes, I know that many teachers view most adolescents as dangerous aliens — which explains all the middle school rules — but for young Black males this shift occurs at a younger age, and far more universally.
I’ve seen this everywhere I’ve worked, even in great schools. It is simply a fact of our white American world.
Of course it is not just teachers, it is almost everyone. And the unfortunate fact is this, as much damage as this perceptual shift in teachers’ vision causes, what’s even more dangerous is that the same change occurs in the minds of white police officers — and since every police department is, by nature, about the enforcement of, if not always white supremacy, at least the supremacy of white culture, this is about all police — despite the best efforts of many officers. …
A couple of weeks ago, no, I guess it’s been longer than that in our ‘Pandemic Time,” our neighbors had a grandson over. He is eight. We have a dog who can be “a wild man” (to quote the people at ‘doggie daycare’). He is just over a year old.
When boy and dog met the two instantly began playing, petting and nuzzling at first, but very soon a high speed race around the yard broke out mixed with boy and dog tackling each other. …