Monday, October 28, 2013

Racist Teachers are the Worst

I saw the story that's associated with this video and immediately thought about a dumb teacher I had in grammar school. I don't remember her name, but I remember her name changing because she got married. I was too young to know what her engagement ring symbolized and that she was out for a week for her wedding. I remember that ring though. It was a diamond in the shape of a diamond and it was huge. It used to show up on the projector screen when she was doing math problems. I loved it. For a long time in my life that the type of diamond engagement ring I wanted. Very 90s, I know. This was my fourth grade teacher and I had skipped third grade so I was the tender age of 8. I was just as much of a smart alec then as I am now. We were having health class and she asked how much we wash our hair. Someone said every two weeks. Someone said every three weeks. Someone said once a week. We were a classroom full of little black kids. We didn't really wash our hair that much. She looks at us all, flabbergasted and says "NO! That's disgusting. You are supposed to wash your hair EVERY. DAY. Do you hear me? Everyday." Her little terrified white heart couldn't believe that a bunch of little, poor, black kids had never been taught hygiene. I remember thinking "She's dumb as hell" and getting back to my business. It never occurred to me to tell my mother. It never occurred to me that this teacher should have had ZERO ACCESS to a room full of black students. It never occurred to me that some of the self-esteem issues that any of us dealt with came from having dumb teachers like her who have no cultural training and think the world they live in is the only one that exists. Fortunately for me, I was in a school full of black kids and my teacher was the one isolated. I cannot imagine being in a school full of white students and my teacher asking me to speak with poor grammar and diction and labeling that as speaking "blacker." I cannot imagine living in a world where my own children make have to deal with that foolery. But I don't have to imagine it, because it just happened. Racist teachers are the WORST!

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