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Monday, April 19, 2010

Please DO NOT fight Racism with Racism!

This year has been quite comical for me.  I must say comical because quite frankly if I couldn't find some humor in the madness, I might truly go mad.  My husband may say I already have gone mad, but most days I recover it! 

So this story really begins at the beginning of the year before school even started.  I had just met my new principal I would be working with and after 10 minutes of small talk, I was told that I was going to fail as a teacher because "white female teachers are pushovers".  My principal is not white.  So that's how the year started.  I thought it was just me, the whitey of the group, that would be targeted, but no, it turns out that she also made very blantantly racist comments towards a Hispanic, and an Asian.  So at least I wasn't targeted specifically.  Here's the funny part too...she also told us with pride how she had sewed over a racial issue.  (Was she encouraging us to take action against her since she was being racist to us?  Hmmm, food for thought)

During Christmas "Santa" came and the kids were beyond excited.  Sure I'm not a big Santa fan either, but with the kids so excited, I went with it.  My principal however couldn't quite go along with it without telling the kids how "no fat white guy is going to get credit for all my hard work".  (Yet in this case, she actually hadn't done any of the work, Santa and his helpers were really the ones who got all the gifts donated, wrapped, and given to the kids).  It was quite the downer on such a fun day. 

So here's the latest and greatest.  At a recent staff meeting we were told about a high school Jazz band that was going to come and play at our school.  The most entertaining thing about this is that all of a sudden what seemed like a fun thing turned ugly.  After getting the basic information on when the band would be here and where they were from, she proceeds to get a nasty tone and tell us how she has a problem with a bunch of blue-eyed white kids coming in claiming jazz.  The world needs to know that it wasn't a bunch of white kids who invented Jazz, but it came from their people.  OK, so I can totally understand teaching the kids about the history of Jazz, but I'm pretty sure the kids aren't even going to be thinking about color when they're listening to the music.  In fact I just invision the kids wanting to get up and dance and have fun (but the principal will probably yell at them if they try and do that too).   So long story short, the principal continues to tell us how she's not about to let some little white kids come in and play for our kids who look like her.  They need to know that the real people that invented Jazz look like them, and not like us white people they have to look at teaching them all day. 

Funny thing is, last time I checked, I am only 1 of 2 white teachers at the school.  Sure the rest of us have lighter skin then our principal, but we represent a lot of different races.

And last time I checked, music didn't have a color.

Please, don't fight racism with racism.  All it's going to do is continue to keep racism burning in our world.  That's not what any of us SHOULD want.  So let's not do it! 

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