Last week, I wrote an open letter to educators in general, but specifically education activists, vested parties, and anyone interested in the workings of this circle. While the letter was met with plenty of praise, it had a few detractors, primarily from those who misunderstood the intent of the letter.
After a close reading and re-reading, I stand by the original letter, but shortly thereafter, I wrote a shorter version of the following as a rejoinder to those who misunderstood, because the letter applies to the last few centuries of race relations in this country, not just one particular incident.
I couldn’t care less what your affiliation is, who you represent, or what you’ve done. If the premise for why my letter has no validity is that “I wasn’t there,” then who exactly are you fighting for? It can’t be just you and your friends because I’m sure even your friends would disagree.
Furthermore, calling out a public school teacher for not being at an event you deem to be the pinnacle of your movement does not make you holier than anyone. In fact, even if I contributed less than a penny to your organization, the fact that I teach on a daily basis and throw everything into what I do for kids is EXACTLY what the movement needs. Seeking some wayward purity by demanding allegiance to your event speaks volumes about the stark difference between the movement you seek to create versus the movement that actually exists.
We can march and speak all we want, but to speak against students and teachers for not joining you at your event reeks of an elitism we can’t tolerate. Hope that helps.
In love and struggle,
P.S. – The letter wasn’t about her.
P.P.S. – “You’re an idiot, baby.” – Jay-Z by way of Bob Dylan