Black, White, and Read All Over? Terrorism!

Jose 12 Comments

Wishing on a ladenI recently read on Slate.com that not only is Big Brother watching, but he’s also trying to get into my library, keeping records of the types of personal items I keep and stuff I do on their planes. I wonder what Osama bin Laden’s reading list looks like and if they compare it to my own. I was recently on an airplane on my way to Florida, and everyone but me on the plane was wearing a suit. On my left was a lady who was reminiscent of Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada and a dude on my right wearing a distinctive red turban, and I facetiously thought, “Who’s really the terrorist?”

Speaking of which, I had a discussion of sorts with some anonymous guy in front of the airport as I was waiting to get picked up. (He was smoking a fragrant, green substance wrapped in brown paper). As we get to talking about the 9/11 stories and such, he said something very interesting: “I knew that whole shit was rigged, ’cause I was watching this television interview, I’ll never forget it, 3 years after the attacks, someone asked him what his thoughts were on Osama, and you know what he had the nerve to say? ‘You know, I don’t really think about Osama much these days.'”

Wow.

By the way, I’m sorry if I have a hard time giving thanks to bloggers who namedrop me. I’m usually so humbled, I don’t even know what to say except thanks. To that end, thanks to Hasta Los Gatos Quieren Zapatos, Siobhan Curious, Teaching is Learning, and anyone else I didn’t mention. Just because you’re not on my blogroll doesn’t mean I’m not watchin’.

On another note, the Jena 6 march looked like it was a success. What disappointed me that day was the lack of all-black wearers in my own school (For those that didn’t know, on September 20th, people were asked to wear all black in support of the Jena students). With the density of Blacks and Latinos at the school, I would have thought that there’d be more than 3 teachers wearing it. Then again, people either never “heard of” the Jena 6, ignored it, or realized that most of our kids have never / might never leave past a mile of the school’s region. Sadness.

My father’s in better shape, so thanks to everyone who had him and my family in their thoughts and prayers.

The Yankees look like they’re closing in on another playoff berth huh? :-) …

jose, who’s in heaven right now …

edit: by the way, now my blog is black, white, and read all over, too. har har har …

2nd edit: My Blogcritics article about Black History Month was published. Check it out when you get the chance.

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 12

  1. BK Teaching Fellow

    i’ve followed this jena 6 case for a minute.. ironically, i forgot to wear black! while i was mid-sentence during my lesson on thursday, one of my students said, “hey mista, where’s your all black?”.. he was rocking his oversized black levi’s and a black i love NY shirt.. i was like, ‘you right.. i forgot.. but my heart is with the jena 6- all day, e’reday.. ‘

  2. leesee

    Thanks for the mention, I learn a lot from you.
    Off topic:
    An issue that has not been addressed as extensively as it should be is the afro-latino, we here in California have limited experience with any Raza that brings the rich African heritage to the table.
    It’s a continuing dialog because there is also the racism we must contend with in our own Latino group.
    What can I say, it isn’t something we like to talk about, it’s a sore spot.

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    Jose

    @ BK:Well I’m glad your heart was in it. And I love how your kid called you out on that ;-) …

    @ leesee: that’s something I’ve tried to discuss so often, because of who I am. In the West Coast, there’s a growing number of Latinos with an African heritage, but they might never outnumber Latinos with a more indigenous background. And you’re welcome …

  4. pissedoffteacher

    What is being done at your school to raise awareness of Jena 6? It is embarrassing to me how little the kids (and teachers) know. And when I brought it up the kids said it was about some black kids beating up a white kid.

    Ignorance is dangerous. Even though I teach math, I made them discuss this and made sure they knew it was not about black kids beating up a white kid. But, how about the other 4900 kids in the school that I never see?

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  6. Repairman

    Jose, hats off for the Black History Month article. Nicely done.

    I’m thinking some of the hassle comes from people who think they are cool with racial issues but refuse to acknowledge, talk, or even teach about them. We are digging deep to create understanding in our little corner of the world.

    BTW, Jena 6 made the “off topic” board on my fishing forum, of all places. Somebody mouthed off about the white kid getting assaulted, and the guy who posted the rant got buried by a couple of other commenters who had a better grip on the values of honoring racial diversity.

    Annnnd, I’ve gotta say, your new blog look is riveting! Dayam! Love the newspaper/nun reference too! :-)

  7. LuzMaria

    Most of the staff and the older kids from my school wore black on September 20th. The irony is that many of our kids really did not know much about Jena 6, except for the 30 minute blurb that a teacher gave them the previous day during breakfast. Do they have any comprehension of the matter? No, they do not. Do the adults in my building comprehend the situation? No, they do not. Therefore, this makes me question the validity of said “protest” or “unity” of people. If you are not committed to making any changes, then why pretend, for a lack of a better word, to be an activist or a catalyst for change for a minute. Is this the message that we are sending to our kids?

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    Jose

    @ repairman: thanks for the compliments. I find it funny that the white kid getting assaulted actually went to a party soon after he went to the hospital, so it wasn’t a big deal for him either. It’s not so much that the guy who beat him up was punished, but that it was excessive, as if they were looking for a reason to imprison him. sadness.

    @ pissoffteacher: done and done. I like the bigger font, too actually.

  9. Laura

    I just want to say that I didn’t hear about the all-black-wearing thing until Friday. For some reason, the Jena 6 deal has hardly touched NC, it seems. Maybe it’s the lack of minorities.

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