We love teachers – so this author's offering great tips for improving your teaching practice by paying more critical attention to race in our schools. If you've made any of these mistakes, here's what to do instead.
The entire globe watched the Internet lose its head this past week with Matisyahu and a Rototom Reggae Festival being conquered by BDS (boycott divestment, and sanctions), unconquered, and freed all in a matter of 72 hours. Personally, I noticed a huge amount of slack and opinion being dished on similar topics in my news feed. All of a sudden, Facebook friends from all creeds became experts in Middle Eastern politics, defining the difference between Zionism and Judaism, Israel, Palestine, and all of its legal boundaries.
Despite the various narratives of progress, black and brown kids across our city--almost regardless of school, age, neighborhood, or income--are punished, threatened, failing, and producing predictable, vilified, low test scores.
Aaron Huey's effort to photograph poverty in America led him to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where the struggle of the native Lakota people -- appalling, and largely ignored -- compelled him to refocus. Five years of work later, his haunting photos intertwine with a shocking history lesson in this bold, courageous talk. (Filmed at TEDxDU.)
On April 28 at the Holocaust Remembrance Service at the JEA I met a 9-year-old Hungarian girl who is now 79. Vera Hoffman is Savannah's last Holocaust survivor. Candles were lit for survivors who have passed away.
A penny more. It does not sound like a lot, but to a group of about 100 people protesting Sunday outside a Coral Gables Publix, one cent more per pound of tomatoes means shorter days, higher pay and better working conditions for the thousands of laborers who pick the crops.
Early Saturday morning, the MSNBC host/hyperventilating philosopher Touré again enlightened the world. Facing a tweeter who mentioned that his parents had survived the Holocaust and then found the American dream, Touré responded, “The power of whiteness.”
Even for a man who thinks that Kenya sits on the Mediterranean, this was a particularly idiotic statement. With four words and an abundance of flippant pride, in one moment, Touré decided that his education project — making America understand that white supremacy still reigns — was more important than the Holocaust.
#ad#In four words, we see the trivialization of 6 million Jews killed for being Jewish. It’s the brushing away of industrial murder.
The statistics tell part of the story: 3 million Polish Jews (about 90 percent of Poland’s Jewish population) were murdered during the Holocaust. Under Nazi dominion, majority percentages of Jewish populations in many other European states were also massacred. But the statistics don’t tell the whole tale. To understand what the Holocaust truly was, one must visit the camps.
Along with millions of others, I’ve been to Auschwitz. A place to which Touré must now go. If nothing else, Auschwitz would likely jolt Touré’s 140-character hashtagosophy out of existence. That’s because Auschwitz isn’t simply a memorial, it’s a testament to prejudice in its worst form. After all, at Auschwitz, the slaves were the lucky ones. Entering under the gatehouse of death, the prisoners were separated into those who would die immediately, those who could be experimented on, and those who could work as slaves. Or what the camp commandant of another Nazi death camp called “Schöne Zeiten.” “The good times.”
Three particular places at Auschwitz have stuck with me most:
The gas chambers. Small spaces once covered by small vents filled with small pellets. Three small things that, together, killed over a million people.
The dormitories. Rows of wooden bunk beds that were once infested with rats, lice, and disease. Each night, those on the lowest bunks would face the dripping feces of those dying above.
The sorting rooms. The mounds of glasses, hair, and shoes that offer the human echo of the Holocaust’s victims. Incidentally, if you want to understand Israeli nuclear security strategy, go to a Nazi death camp.
Of course, Auschwitz is just one tombstone of the Holocaust. The other Nazi death factories are equally deserving of our attention. As are the Nazis’ other victims, such as the Romani people. But having been to any of these places, one cannot but be repelled by this tweet. It’s just too full of disdain and too ignorant of injustice. Still, we shouldn’t be surprised. Touré is a fervent hashtagosopher of the lowest order. Take his appraisal of the Syrian Civil War — U.S. farming politics are “far more” important. Regardless, as with his MSNBC compatriot Ed Schultz — a man who believes that homosexuals were Hitler’s most suffering victims – Touré shames his ideology. Historically deficient and morally unhinged, this is liberalism as the destroyer of its purported cause — justice for all the oppressed.
— Tom Rogan is a blogger and a columnist for the Daily Telegraph. He is based in Washington, D.C.
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