#fbf to the amazing talk I attended with Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Me: “I’m an elementary teacher here in LA. What would you say to parents, educators, admin, or anyone who thinks that education shouldn’t be politicized, and that issues like race are divisive, and don’t belong in the classroom?”
T-NC: “I would say that issues like race are always present in the classroom, no matter what. The absence of teaching things like race and gender make them present, because leaving them out of textbooks is a political decision. I don’t think there is any such thing as an apolitical education. Either choose to speak the truth, or don’t.” I’ve been following a number of teacher stories recently (shout out to @thedesignerteacher in particular), and it frustrates and infuriates me to see so many receive messages such as, “I’m unfollowing you because your posts are too political,” or “I don’t think topics like race are appropriate for kids.” Hold up. As educators, are we not supposed to encourage our students to listen to and respect different perspectives and points of view? How are you setting an example for your students if you’re so easily willing to blow off someone on Instagram? Textbooks that omit the colonization of indigenous peoples, ignore the contributions of minorities, and paint our Founding Fathers are idols have all been written with political bias. Choosing to ignore these issues IS political, so your role as an educator is political, no matter if you engage or disengage. If you KNOW the truth about the racism and bigotry that are plaguing our country, SPEAK AND TEACH THE TRUTH.