It amazes me how political the traditional school system is. But let’s break it down before we get into the meat of this post.
What is politics?
When I looked it up on Dictionary.com, the 6th definition caught my attention. It read “use of intrigue or strategy in obtaining any position of power or control, as in business, university, etc.”
Of course, everyone has their own interpretation of things, but for me, politics is all about control. And when you consider the traditional school system as being political, it seems as if they are trying to have control. But control over what, or who?
Ever since I was in elementary school, I was taught history from one perspective. I’m sure you were too. From what I hear, the private schools are even worse when it comes to the one-sided history books. It’s clear that the “agenda” is real.
Well, I looked to Dictionary.com again to properly dissect this. The definition for agenda read “a list, plan, outline, or the like, of things to be done, matters to be acted or voted upon, etc.”.
Such a plan as the White Nationalist Movement a.k.a. the “White Agenda”. Yes, contrary to the Black Lives Matter movement where advocates simply want to highlight that Black lives “matter”. This movement stems from the ideology of White power and White supremacy. It draws the misguided conclusion that White people are superior to Black people. Thus, Black lives do not “matter” and are rather insignificant.
I say all this to explain that the control that resides with the traditional school system has the power to dictate what matters and what does not matter.
Let’s use Black History Month as an example, considering the title of this post.
The shortest month of the year (February) nonetheless, we’ve come a long way from having not been acknowledged at all, to getting a week of recognition, and now a whole 28 days (give or take if it is a leap year).
During this time, we appreciate Black History. Yes, Black History is also American History, but some how it is not treated as such. Most of the history books in schools highlight slavery and only discuss Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks as Black icons when there is more to Black History than slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. However, it seems that these moments in history are taught to constantly remind our children of how inferior we were and still are.
These days, it seems that Black lives are being more accepted because of all the injustice that has surfaced due to social media. Without social media, people recording unjust situations on their phones and protesting to bring about change in the justice system, so many things would go unnoticed as they have in the past.
Who am I kidding? There are still some things going unnoticed today. Especially when officers have options to turn their cameras off or professional techies can be hired to alter quality camera footage.
But when people decide to challenge the system and bring awareness to racial issues, they are often ignored, met with excuses, or pushed back with no justification at all. And we are left with angry hearts, confused faces, or diluted faith. We…Black men, women, and children.
In Texas, students worked hard on a Black History Month mural only to be told to take down parts of it because it was “too political”. Apparently “Black fists have nothing to do with Black History Month”.
Meanwhile, the students who worked on the mural felt that it expressed concerns emphasized in the Black Lives Matter movement and things they have been experiencing as a part of the Black community.
In Utah, students were initially afforded the opportunity to opt out of Black History Month activities. Never thought I’d see the day, but I’m not surprised. Of course, there was a lot of backlash with this one because, well, if they can opt out of learning Black History, can Black students opt out of the Whitewashed history that’s being taught? We already know the answer to that. Which is why the school changed its mind.
In Wisconsin, students were given a history assignment in which they were asked how to properly punish a slave. Yes, you read that correctly. What a way to make Black students feel inferior in the classroom without trying to hide it at all. How bold.
Not just one teacher asked this question. It was a few and they were suspended. But this led me to wonder if this was them following a curriculum that was already established, or did they really come up with this assignment collectively to send out to their middle school students?
Either way, lack of cultural competency, ignorance, racism, and a bunch of factors can birth a situation like this. Regardless, it is uncalled for and I’m fed up with this phrase “missed the mark” whenever something like this happens to our children. There’s always a benefit of the doubt given along with “it wasn’t our intention” but nonetheless, our children are left traumatized and consequences are slim to none.
We have no control over how or what our children are taught in traditional school. If we do not give them the proper foundation at home, they will naturally gravitate towards the spells of inferiority cast upon them deceitfully or become completely detached or withdrawn from themselves due to lack of knowledge that they descended from greatness. Teach your children about how “Strong & Gifted” they really are because their school will not.