Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Racism?

I saw this post up at the site for one of my local news stations today and I am really not sure if this chimes off as racist to me in this instance and I wonder if there is a need for punishment on this.

Lately, especially with the drama going on with people trying to alter the history curriculum being taught in the Texas school systems, people have been very keen to point out that we should not be attempting to erase the facts of history regardless of how painful that history is or how bad it makes people look.

Based on that I'm not sure I think that the teacher in question here should be punished for her actions. Were they offensive? I can agree with that assertion. However I do think that this is one of those times where intent matters.

The four students were wearing the white robes as part of filming for history class. As far as I'm concerned this is a valuable lesson that needs to brought up in school. In its prime The Ku Klux Klan was a terrorizing force that wreaked lots of pain, misery, and hatred on the land through its racist practices. While not as powerful as it once was this incident is evidence that the fear and hatred are still real and still powerful.

Now this is where I may part ways with other people's thoughts on this. I personally think that bringing it up in the classroom like this is a great way to make kids mindful of this horrible organization while at the same time lessening the fear and hatred its invocation triggers. To me part of the source of the power the KKK holds lies in the fact that people don't want to bring it up. Gaining power from lying in the shadows. To me bringing it out in the open like this pretty much serves to say that this is what the KKK are, this is what they do, and we will not let them spread their message of hate.

But at the same time I was not one of the kids at the school so while I can talk about what I think of it I can't speak for those kids who were offended by it.

3 comments:

womanistmusings said...

Need I remind you that they asked a Black child to participate so that they could re-enact a lynching. There is also the fear and anger that they created walking through the lunchroom. There are many ways to teach history without resorting to this. How about letting the kids watch roots if they want to learn about racism in the states. Or they can be instructed to write a paper on the KKK simply from first hand accounts that can be read on the KKK website. None of these actions would have traumatized the Black students. We should not have to pay so that they can learn that they are over privileged.

Danny said...

Actually that's not a reminder but new information. I did not know that tried to get a black kid to join them for a lynching re-enactment.

We should not have to pay so that they can learn that they are over privileged.
And this is why I say that I cannot speak for someone else, even other black people, on this. You see it as us paying the price or fear and discomfort. I see it as putting their ancestor's in the hot seat for the crimes they committed (which is where the lesson needs to start). We can preach from here to eternity to today's white people about the white privileges they may or may not enjoy but I think there is something to be said about showing the roots of it.

Danny said...

I've spent the last hour or so looking (even at your post) for the part them trying to get a black kid to reenact the the lynching. But if it true its still terrible.

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