Be Brave: Teach America’s Ugly Truths

Educators: Speak out against hate. Defend love. Racism is a diabolical social construct. The truth is that there is only one race — the human race. We need more love, friends. All this anger and hatred is literally eating us alive. From its impetus, America has been built upon divisiveness, corruption, and hate. Do we teach that in our textbooks?  Human beings (not slaves) were captured, chained, shackled, separated from their families, thrown on the bottom of ships, and forced to perform free labor for centuries under the threat and duress of being raped, maimed, mutilated, beaten, and/or murdered. Is this the picture that’s painted in U.S. history classes? Not in any U.S. history or humanities class that I’ve ever sat in as a student.

This sordid history needs to be taught. It’s the truth. But I’ve come to the conclusion that America is not ready for the truth. 

America needs to face its ugly truths. Perhaps if we had done so a long time ago, we would not have the current president sitting in office along with all the shenanigans that come with a racist, sexist, flippant, irreverent individual like him having such power.

The racist, misogynistic residue of structural racism — the legacy of slavery, the mindset that African-Americans are 3/5ths of a human being —  will continue to flourish. It will not stop until those who benefit from this oppressive, imbalanced regime can own that huge societal and financial boost afforded by our racist past.

Mindy White -Carrigan had this to say in a recent FaceBook thread:

This represents the people in my family perfectly. They watched their Fox News for hours on end and went on and on about Obummer and Crooked Killary for years, posting disgusting or unacceptable memes or passing on “news” articles filled with hate and lies, or pushing their views onto me no matter how much I asked them not to.

Then they voted for Trump and now want to say they are “no longer into politics” and just want to play nice and pretend these horrors aren’t happening all around us. They deflect responsibility by trying to say they don’t support these particular things – the overt racism, the misogyny, the lying, the outright bigotry – and that they just want to give this man a “chance”. “I can’t change it now”, they say, believing somehow that gives them license to act and proceed as though they bear no responsibility.

It nauseates me to the very core of my being. I have no tolerance or forgiveness for it and it has created a massive division among my family members. But how do you make room for this mentality? How do you pretend it’s not all happening and look the other way? I can’t do it. And with each passing day and lie he tells and story that comes out, I find myself even LESS inclined to forgive. Each one of the people still supporting him is accountable for this. Each and every one.

The same people who were marching with tiki torches, are the ones sitting on our school boards, voting on our educational policies, policing our neighborhoods, and running our country. What a strong message it sends when the POTUS takes days to publicly rebuke BOTH SIDES who participated in the rally? Really???

Melva Craft-Blacksheare, a parent and professor from Detroit, makes the following suggestion:

Start the conversation with anyone that will listen. People who are not affected by the racism – and yes it does exist, it never went away it’s just that Trump made those hiding in the shadows feel more mainstream, as a Black woman in America, this is nothing new to me or mine, it will take White Americans to convince other White Americans that we all are in this together. Often when Whites hear this from minorities I’m told it’s like “here they go again ” …….. sometimes if it’s not directly affecting them, they don’t see it or 🤷🏾‍♀️ don’t care. As a country we never had the nerve or decency to address the structural racism, and now it’s smacking us in the face. They elected Trump this whole thing is not that hard to believe, everyone against bigotry and hatred must be part of the solution. Have the conversation and support humanity!

We can not be content with a day or two of denouncing racist practices on our social media platforms! We can not keep letting the civil rights of disenfranchised members of our society get trampled upon constantly with not so much as a slap on the wrist in response! Teaching, writing, and speaking are my weapons for obliterating racism and hatred. What are yours?

We need to devise a tangible plan of action geared solely at diffusing, deflecting, and destroying racism in every facet of our society wherein it currently exists.

The best place for these conversations are in our classroom. Educators: Speak out!

What do you think?

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