brotherpeacemaker

It's about our community and our spirituality!

Racism By Example

A few days ago, the misses shared a news story with me on the internet with some serious racial implications.  A white teacher at a predominantly white elementary school posted on her Facebook page an image of one of her black students with some rather derogatory comments.  The photo was of a little black girl of about ten years old with the typical kinky hair but pulled straight and beaded up with a variety of colors.  The teacher made comments about the girl as being a dreadful sight to behold on a daily basis.  People who left comments on the teacher’s page compounded the derision with their own insulting comments.  It was all good fun for many of the participants.

According to the article, somebody didn’t care for all the jokes at the little girl’s expense.  At a parent teacher conference, somebody told the parents of the girl about the teacher’s Facebook page.  Instead of confronting the teacher, the parents went to the internet to see what was there for them selves.  Needless to say they were mortified.  They captured screen shots of the page.  After that, they confronted the teacher and the administrators of the predominantly white school.  The administrators were troubled, but they immediately defended the teacher saying that they were not aware that any crime was committed.  The teacher was required to take the page down and little else would be done before an investigation.

The people who left comments about this news article wrote some seriously harsh opinions.  The black family were doing nothing but trying to milk the system.  The teacher had a right to voice her opinion and the parents shouldn’t be trying to force anyone to be politically correct.  The parents should learn to do the girl’s hair.  People left comments that said the little girl was in fact ugly and the teacher’s comments were too kind of anything.  And all kinds of nonsense were made that condemned the parents for being upset that their little girl’s teacher was ridiculing the little girl undercover.

The racism associated with this event was pretty thick.  The teacher was in fact wrong.  She had a prejudice against this little girl that manifested publicly and maliciously.  There might be an argument if this teacher’s behavior was racially motivated.  I do believe it was.  In her defense she said that she didn’t have much experience with little girls with such hairdos.  Essentially she’s trying to claim that she didn’t know kinky hair was a black thing and she didn’t know that ridiculing a little ten year old might be offense to the girl’s parents.  And it’s just a matter of coincidence that the teacher never exhibited her penchant for such insensitive behavior with any of the white kids.  There might be a farfetched excuse for her behavior that doesn’t fall along the lines of blatant racism, but it still does not excuse the behavior of an adult entrusted to teach all children in a setting that is conducive to learning.  The fact that a teacher has such obvious disdain for a student that she boldly posts disparaging comments is a matter of grave concern.

But the racism doesn’t stop there.  The administrators of the school didn’t see the harm of the teacher’s behavior unless it went against the law.  If the teacher went up to the principal and told him to go fuck him or her self they wouldn’t be wringing their hands with an investigation in order to determine if any laws were broken or not.  They would certainly dismiss the teacher for morale turpitude or something else that provides grounds for dismissal.  The fact that they are willing to tolerate such behavior against a little black girl is pretty telling.  But we should we expect from a society that would tolerate the murder of black, fourteen year old Martin Anderson by seven Florida boot camp guards?  Come to think of it, people left some pretty disgusting comments when the story broke about his murder.

But the racism doesn’t stop there.  Many people who read that article were outraged that the black parents would try to vindicate some kind of justice on their daughter’s behalf.  Black people are always trying to play the race card after some white person deals his or her racist deck.  Black people react to white people’s racial discrimination and black people are the ones who are wrong.  Just imagine, people without a dog in this fight are coming out of the woodwork to defend a teacher that they don’t even have a remote relationship with that maligned a ten year old girl, by saying that the parents of that girl don’t have any reason to be outraged.  Does this make sense to anyone who is truly rational?

But unfortunately, the racism doesn’t stop there.  No doubt, people will come here, read the article, and will accuse me of racism because I only see racism when white people make an offhanded comment about a black person.  To many people, I’m the problem in this entire affair because I won’t close my eyes to this travesty as well as many others that continue to weigh on our social collective.  People from both sides of the racial divide will reply with an accusation about how I never say anything when the racism is on the other reverse.  People will say that I only talk about racism when black people are the victims.  But I beg to differ.

Show me an article where a black teacher posts remarks on his or her Facebook page about one of the few white kids in a classroom and I promise I’ll join in the condemnation of such behavior.  And if you can show me where school administrators supported the black teacher because technically speaking no law was broken, I’ll happily post my opinion about people being part of our problem.  Adults who abuse kids and adults who defend people who abuse kids are a sickness that needs to be dealt with.  And speaking of sickness, people who blame black parents for defending their children against such sick behavior are a sickness as well, no matter if the perpetrator is black or white.  Unfortunately, a lot of people only get upset about racism when the victim is a white person who has made the unfortunate mistake of exhibiting behavior that is racist.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 - Posted by | Life, Racism, Thoughts

10 Comments »

  1. Well, if anything, it shows why someone should be very careful as to what they blog about, especially if they teach.

    For what it is worth: I teach young adults (university level) and I’d never call one “ugly” in public. On the other hand, I don’t see this as a “firing” offense.

    Comment by blueollie | Thursday, April 14, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback blueollie,

      Maybe it’s not a firing offense. But what type of education can this girl expect from a teacher who not only thinks she’s ugly, but is willing to say so on her Facebook page? And what happens when the teacher has the opinion that another student is just stupid? Will such partiality find its way into her classroom? And what would happen if the other students find out what the teacher thinks of the one student that the subject of her derision? Maybe it’s not a firing offense. But a teacher that displays such brazen contempt for his or her students is probably one that should be thinking of getting another career. People who employ such a person should probably think about the liability that might be associated who pays such little value on integrity and such poor lack of judgment.

      My son is four years old. The thought of his teacher making fun of him in any kind of way is enough to make my blood pressure rise. But then to see proof of the teacher’s contempt for him would cause me serious distress. I wouldn’t want him to go back to that teacher’s classroom, let alone that school. I would find the environment hostile and the teacher’s judgment questionable. But that’s just me. I definitely can understand the teacher being let go.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, April 14, 2011 | Reply

  2. It’s insane when you think about it like this. Most whites always accuse blacks of not being good parents to their kids which, in their world, explains the over-representation of blacks in juvenile and adult correctional facilities. However, when black people are outraged when something like this happens to a little black child, we are still wrong? We’re still at fault trying to help, protect, and save our children from a society that doesn’t give two damns about them unless they commit a crime against a white person?

    I’m an agnostic, but Lord have mercy.

    Comment by Blaque Ink | Thursday, April 14, 2011 | Reply

  3. Wow. This is the first I’d heard of this story. For any teacher to call any student ugly is a horrible thing. For a teacher to not only call the kid ugly but do so with photographs on Facebook for all to see is not only horrible, but horribly unprofessional. A firing offense? I dunno. It’s a demonstration of lack of professionalism, lack of judgment, lack of respect for her students, and all around nastiness. Racism aside (and the teacher’s comments are probably racially motivated), the teacher is a cyberbully, and need to be at least suspended, if not expelled (fired).

    Comment by Jeff | Friday, April 15, 2011 | Reply

  4. What did these people expect when they put their kid in a predominately white school?

    I’m black and I attended predominately black schools k-12 and I believe I’m for it.

    Stopping begging white people for “acceptance”!

    Comment by RXB | Monday, April 18, 2011 | Reply

  5. Well I must say I do not know if this was racially motivated ( it is a stupid haircut no matter who where’s it ) but I have to ask you this why is it whites are the only ones that get blamed for racism ( if a group of white people attacked a negro it would be front page of the news but u never here the skin color on the news if its the other way around and its never a hate crime, a black person could call me a honky or a cracker or a white boy and that’s fine if I called him a nigger or a keffir I would be called RACEIST but he wouldn’t be) , and just because other people posted racist comments on the picture doesn’t mean she is racist and is it really worth it I don’t think its worth getting worked up over

    Comment by todd | Tuesday, April 19, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback todd,

      But let’s put it this way, when was the last time you saw a black teacher at a predominantly black school single out a little white girl for ridicule by putting the little white girl’s picture along with disparaging remarks in a public forum for the world to see? If you’ve seen or heard of such an event then maybe you should share so that we can get a clearer picture of how this happens the other way around. But it didn’t. And all a lot of people will say is that why is it that we hear only about white people doing this. When we hear of black people acting so ignorant, rest assured I for one will respond accordingly. But now that you see it front and center, here it is the white person acting like a lowlife, all you can say is that you are tired of white people being singled out. And if the whole affair isn’t worth getting worked up over, why are you commenting? Seems like you’re actually saying it isn’t anything worth anyone’s attention, but the fact that we don’t hear about black people doing the same thing is worth getting worked up over. I think you are trying to justify some sort of hypocrisy.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Friday, April 22, 2011 | Reply

      • I want to add that it comes to crime or embarrassing behavior, black people are always singled out as a group and not as individuals or the circumstances that explain such behavior.

        When the same thing involves whites, they have the privilege of being judged as individuals or have their crimes and bad behavior minimized to where it doesn’t seem as bad. Not everytime, but sometimes.

        As such white people hate to be blamed for anything they’ve done to blacks in the past or present. It makes them insanely uncomfortable to face facts, and the fact here is that a white woman did something racist and hurtful. Period.

        Yes, black people acting ignorant happens, but don’t think that white people acting ignorant is a once in a lifetime occurance. Instead of being upset that this story is exposed, why not learn and educate others?

        Comment by brothawolf | Sunday, April 24, 2011

  6. Also, Todd, don’t believe that the teacher like other whites who continuously do stuff like this, are basically good, nor should you blame the innocent black girl, her family or other POC in other cases for speaking out like they did.

    Comment by brothawolf | Sunday, April 24, 2011 | Reply

  7. When my son’s kindergarten teacher ridiculed him in front of the class, it took two security guards to keep me off her (she was white). The principal (white) agreed with me and had the teacher transfered, saying how could my son ever feel comfortable with that teacher again, and with an attitude such as that, she’s not fit to teach at her school! And this was in 1971!!! I shudder to think what I would have done to that teacher in the story, I’d be in jail for assault and battery!!!!

    Comment by Jazzy | Monday, April 25, 2011 | Reply


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