Friday, May 20, 2011

It's time to play "Racist or not Racist"

I’ve got a little scenario for you, and before you continue to read after I’ve described the scenario, I want you to think long and hard about how you judge it.

Let’s say that we have a school that is 86% white, a white principal, and about four or five black teachers.  One day, the principal tells the black teachers that they are “unfit to teach white children.”  As if that wasn’t horrifying enough, the principal then proceeds to make the teachers read an article that explains how black teachers aren’t fit to teach white students.

The result?  Immediate lawsuit, the principal would likely be dismissed, and this would be in the national headlines labeled as a big racism scandal.  What do you think?  Is this an example of racism?  If not racism, at the very least it’s a case of asinine and ridiculous discrimination, likely based on the flawed, slanted scholarship of a bigot who hasn’t caught up with the times.

Well that happened recently, but not in the way you think.  A group of white teachers in a Pennsylvania elementary school are suing the former principal of that school, who is black, who told them that they were unfit to teach black students because they are white, and assigned them an article to read about how white teachers are unable to teach black students.

If the reverse situation is racist, then this one is, too.

How much coverage will this story get, and how will the context be framed if it gets more than just the blurb I stumbled upon?  I would imagine that this story is not going to get much coverage, seeing as how the article I read was dated yesterday.  Even better, this incident happened between 2008-2009 when he was principal of that school.

We all know that if the roles were reversed, if it had been a white principal denigrating the ability of black teachers to educate white children, this would have been allover the news the moment word got out.  It would be plastered across every liberal rag and blog, and CNN would likely be having a discussion about how white people are all racist.

I can see the headlines with my waking eyes: “Racist Republican sociopath hates black teachers.”  But that’s not what’s going to happen in this scenario.  It will likely be pushed aside, ignored, chocked up to a black guy exacting justice for the hundreds of years of slavery that he’s never felt.

This will be labeled “reverse racism,” which is as perverse as anything that Orwell imagined with NEWSPEAK.  Some people are stuck in some twilight zone where it’s only racism if it’s white on non-white.  It’s “reverse” racism, it’s justified racism, if it’s black on white.


Silverfiddle said...

Like everything else is this country, the subject of race has become politicized, and no rational conversation can take place.

Maybe some black young men do learn better or behave better with black male teachers, I remember reading something about this. But the sad fact remains that we can no longer rationally approach anything like this without people becoming upset and interest groups agitating for their agendas.

Jack Camwell said...

It's mostly the double standard that pisses me off. We're allowed to call poor white people "white trash," but if we say anything derogatory to a poor black person? Oh, that's totally racist.

Anonymous said...

The majority of our call center employees are black. We chat now and then. I brought up a story about a freidn of mine who was stabbed in the kneecaps by a bunch of black kids because they didnt want a while guys playing football in their school.

They all said "well thats reverse racism". i waited a second and got their attention, and stated there was no such thing. I told them about my experiances growing up in columbus public. There is no such thing a "reverse racism" if your a racist your a racist, and thats all. theres no justification. They got the message.


Jack Camwell said...

Right on. Fight the good fight.

LD Jackson said...

Great post, Jack. I just submitted it to StumbleUpon because it needs to be shared around. What is good for the racial goose is good for the racial gander.

Harrison said...

Was it an Ebonics class?

Jack Camwell said...

Wow Harrison, that is some crazy shit. People think that Ebonics is somehow genetic?

My solution: teach these kids to speak proper english. Ebonics is not a separate language.

Jack Camwell said...

Oh and thanks for submitting this to stumbleupon larry =)

Anonymous said...

lol. Hey Jack, my guess is that Harrison was joking. Lighten up! Or, should I say... darken up??? (I know, not funny.) Great post, Larry. I think you make a very valid point. The media rarely covers stories like these. The ones taking the bum rap these days are white, male Christians because too many people these days think too little, talk too much, and allow emotions to override conscience.

Jack Camwell said...

Oh I wasn't appalled at Harrison, I was appalled at the actual legal crap that's been enacted for this junk.

I agree with what you've said anon, and thanks for stopping by =)

Anonymous said...

An Asian can teach black or white or another Asian. First I want to correct your spelling of principal.
P-R-I-N-C-I-P-A-L not principle.
Principal is a noun, a person with the highest authority in an organization. Principle is a rule or belief governing ones personal behavior.

Jack Camwell said...

The good thing about the internet is that every mistake you make is eventually brought center stage.

Unknown said...


Maybe, just maybe, an article dealing with education should get the spelling right.

Jack Camwell said...

Astute observation, except for the fact that the article is not about education: it's about racism.

Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

Though I can agree with the original premise of the post, I can't help but notice some of the white elitist undertones especially in the comments section. The idea that someone should "teach these kids to speak proper english" essentially makes the implication that what is valued in white society is unequivocally correct. The underlying issue is one of cultural sensitivity. Once the issue stops being phrased as one group versus another, whichever way the racism goes,that is when progress will begin to be made.