Calling teachers Klansmen is a strong statement. But, it’s not far off. With all of the teaching certifications and professional development, diversity and inclusion trainings, and Black history month celebrations that they see
every February, some White teachers are insensitive to and can’t get our history right. Or, they just don’t want to. They’d rather infuse our Black kids’ spirits with feelings of inferiority, self-hatred and doubt—in addition to filling their minds with lies about our history, leaders and ancestors. Like this teacher who
told her students that Dr. Martin Luther King committed suicide. https://twitter.com/deray/status/1095687190812729345 Now, you could’ve been living under a rock your entire life but the first things you’ll learn once you crawl out is, you have to pay taxes and MLK was assassinated. And she didn’t stop there. She also said anyone who doesn’t love Trump isn’t a real Christian and that the Black boys in the class were destined to go to prison because of the clothes they were wearing. https://twitter.com/Joep153045/status/1095435759019085825 Then there were these
teachers in New York who thought it would be funny to display images of nooses in their classrooms and call them “back to school necklaces.” Are you kidding me?!
The school district in Long Island
claims to have taken appropriate action, but all the teachers received was a vacation in the form of paid administrative leave. Listen, I don’t know who Principal Victor Tam is but these ignorant teachers need to take a page out of his lesson plans instead of following a hateful MAGA playbook. https://twitter.com/PrincipalTam/status/1095507935038296064 As a matter of fact, I bet you it’s idiotic teachers like these that have
Ralph Northam thinking Africans came to America as
indentured servants. Like they came voluntarily on the promise of employment, union contracts and free land. https://twitter.com/AngryBlackLady/status/1094642072743800832 And real quick Ralph, if you truly believe our ancestors came over here for the aforementioned benefits, it’s 2019 and we still haven’t gotten out 40 acres and a mule. Work that out. https://twitter.com/AhmedBaba_/status/1093275629200572416 But meanwhile, some people on Twitter think this is a joke. https://twitter.com/noblejonesontv/status/1095429975606521856 Well guess what? Black people ain’t laughin’ at all! Not when some of our kids have to attend
schools named after Confederate leaders who fought a war to keep our ancestors enslaved. Certainly not when our kids are taught a very
whitewashed history of Black people in America. And I’m calling these people Klansmen because teaching our kids to question and hate who they are while simultaneously denying them access to a quality education and feeding them into the
school-to-prison pipeline is the equivalent of stringing them up with a noose. They’re murdering their culture, existence and potential while also perpetuating slavery—
institutionalized slavery. But thank God we have people combating this foolishness. There are teachers around the country who are expressing how beautiful their Black is by
decorating their classrooms with Black art because our kids need to see positive images and representation of themselves. https://twitter.com/KIPP_DC/status/1095706855307919367 For Black history month, some educators and students participated in the
“Black Lives Matter at School” week of action—a growing national coalition and effort to promote racial justice in education. https://twitter.com/RethinkSchools/status/1015245541322706944 We have legislators dropping facts about our history. https://twitter.com/NikemaForSenate/status/1095467618302115845 NFL players
writing and publishing books that encourage Black boys to push past the labels and stereotypes society has placed on them. And schools like
Butler College Prep that are
guiding their students towards HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) over Ivy League schools whose
presidents were slave owners. https://twitter.com/BeNobleButler/status/1088257183773528065 Bottom line, educators have so much influence over our students. They have the capacity to help fight racism, oppression and inequity but also the ability to endorse it and perpetuate the dehumanization of people of color. Much gratitude to those educators who are making all students feel safe and accepted and in their classrooms.
Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work—“If not me, then who?” As the former Deputy Director of Activist Development for brightbeam, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for change in the public education system. Her passion for community and relentless mission for justice and liberation drive her in uplifting and amplifying the voices and ...