Nelson Mandela

The Top 8 Things That Are Just Like Apartheid, By Grant Wiggins

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

Nelson Mandela

That’s it. I’m proposing that, as of now, there be a Mandela’s Law, a Godwin’s Law corollary, which states that anytime you make inappropriate use of apartheid in an argument, you’ve already lost. Exhibit A (and Ground Zero): Grant Wiggins’ latest salvo on teachers and students having different restrooms and cafeterias.

Um, what?!

For one, I know plenty of schools where the students’ cafeterias and restrooms are in better shape than the teachers’ restrooms. Secondly, and more importantly, kids aren’t getting shot and killed for looking different from teachers, much less for wanting to share the same facilities. With all the inequities we have, one of the few things society has generally agreed upon is the separation between adults and kids in certain quarters. That’s just a matter of ethics, not a racist institution that continues to affect millions of South Africans even today.

Nelson Mandela went to jail for decades over different toilets? Nope. You’re wrong, Grant Wiggins.

I’m consistently annoyed by the co-opting of racial language by “well-meaning” progressives to get the upper hand in an imaginary argument. Why use people of color as a weapon for your cute morality when there are plenty of other ways to make your point meaningful?

But alas, you went there. As such, here are the top 8 things that, if we go by Wiggins’ rubric, are just like apartheid:








1. Grant Wiggins and the understanding of apartheid.

Just like apartheid. He’s in Paris, too, which means he doesn’t know what it means, but it’s provocative. It gets the people going.

Jose, who feels so good to be back …

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 3

  1. Kris

    Thank you for writing this. I cannot believe he would invoke apartheid and Jim Crow laws in his discussion of student toilets. So very insulting to the millions of men and women who suffered under these systems and those who were imprisoned and killed to stop these evil systems of oppression.

  2. Pingback: Grant Wiggins’ Essential Question about ‘Apartheid’ | Chris Thinnes (@CurtisCFEE)

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