A different approach
May 7, 2010 4 Comments
I read an article recently that discussed some field trip that took place involving the black student body of an elementary school visiting a black rocket scientist. I have no idea what the discussion syllabus was, but apparently this has sparked some huge debate about inequality in that school, with the interesting disparage being that there was an inequality of treatment between the blacks and the other groups that attend the school. The justification for the field trip, and I quote:
“… was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported, but rather to address the societal issues, roadblocks and challenges that our African American children will face as they pursue a successful academic education here in our community.”
I have been often known to approach such issues not in the “this is RAAAACIST to teh others not BLACK” response that, although justified, is inherently reactionary; no, my approach is the following…
-What the HELL to elementary school students know about “societal issues, roadblocks and challenges that our African American children will face”? Think of it this way; you are a child of about 11 in an obviously mixed-race grouping, and have probably been in this environment your entire life. Your friends are potentially from various racial groups themselves because, as a kid, not only did you grow up with children of varying genetic backgrounds, but up until recently your only concern with those you associate is if that person had the newest playstation 3 / xbox game, or had actually OMG KISSED a girl! I mean come on, you are 11 for Christ’s sake, and not really concerned about the racial inequality that (oh dear LORD) historically blacks have had to suffer, nor do you give two shits (ooooh, I said a dirty word!) about the future challenges that might potentially be faced by your black buddy as he tries to achieve later in life. That future is so far from now that it might as well be a lifetime away.
No, what in fact happened was that the black kids that you see every day at school were able, due to a difference in skin color, to get out of classes for three days and all they had to do was listen to some scientist talk about… science, I guess. What could this instill in the other children? Hmmm… maybe envy at the fact that they could not participate in the same reindeer games that the black kids did, thus the “boo” response that welcomed the black kids when they got back to class. This had absolutely nothing to do with the other kids being racist in any way, nor were they reinforcing the intangible basis for the field trip itself, but this response had a foundation in the simple fact that the other kids had to suffer the daily grind while the other kids, due to skin color, got some time off.
Bravo Mr. Principal, you have just introduced still-malleable minds to the purest form of racism; when one group based on skin color is allowed privileges that those of another skin color are not. Not only did you introduce them to it you literally, by your misguided bumblings, TAUGHT it to them as well with your reinforcement speech you had with the children afterwards.
Fuck you for doing that to those children.
No, seriously. I mean it.