It’s the Christmas season. Unlike many a past year, Grumpy Old Teacher is feeling festive, really getting into the joy of the season, celebrating good tidings to all people, the delight of children and adults in the surprise of unlooked-for gifts, sparkling decorations … and yet there is so much to be grumpy about. GOT needs to get about his work.
GOT sees yet another social media post about a classroom experience for children that purports to help them understand what slavery was like. This time, a mother found a slip in her child’s backpack … take a look for yourself:
This is privilege at work. In the charitable spirit of the season, GOT would like to imagine that the teacher running this ‘game’ was unaware, ignorant in the bliss of privilege, that others may find this disturbing. Worse, it may trigger trauma in those whose ancestors were subjected to this barbaric practice.
Why do teachers engage in this practice? GOT has written about this before when he addressed the cosplay of historical reenactment that went wrong.
GOT vehemently defends his profession. But he will not cover up wrongdoing just because a teacher did it. If we are to retain and regain the confidence of the public, we have to be willing to call ourselves out when we do something wrong.
“Set your price for a slave.” THIS IS WRONG.
Why? Is it a good intention gone bad?
Or in these days of MAGA (Make America Great Again), are we softening up the hard-won conviction of our society that racism is wrong, that bias is wrong, and that slavery is wrong?
GOT does not think that the 13th amendment will be repealed. But he looks ahead to where the trends are taking us.
We are headed back to the pre-Civil Rights era.
One where white people may exercise their privilege in ways too terrible to imagine.
Is EVIL returning?