I’m so PISSED right now. I need to remind myself that there are amazing, inspiring, down CMs who are DOING WORK every single day. For now it’s a little eclipsed by open racism by CMs (who for whatever reason love to talk about their racism on this very website). In fact, a CM just wrote (writing about the thoughts in her mind she knows are racist and wishes she didn’t have as she met students at a mostly black school in Dallas):
“I wonder what it’s like at home? I wonder if they ate breakfast? I wonder what they plan to do after school? I wonder if you’re in a gang? I wonder… Why do we wonder so much? Why can’t we just teach?
Uh, excuse me, WTF? Why can’t you just teach – because you are racist enough to look at black skin and see poverty and violence. I would never, never, never, never, never let a teacher who expressed that type of hatred (that’s what it is folks, good intentions or not, having that level of fear about a child is hateful) for black people teach my children. What upsets me – is that thanks to TFA some parents now won’t have that option. I want to call them and tell them, because I don’t want those students to have to suffer under the racism of low expectations that this teacher holds so near and dear. This is why I hesitated before I hit accept, because I didn’t want to be part of an organization that gives this individual the power to deeply impact childrens’ lives. I know there is so much good happening in TFA. I have had amazing conversations with CMs all over the country, I love my region staff, but I hate this. It makes me want to jump ship. I know – then racism wins, then this CM pushes me out of the classroom and I won’t let that happen. I know how to turn this around and use it for motivation, but it doesn’t mean I’m not pissed. Why am I internalizing this and not using it to call TFA to task? Can we do some better anti-racism work? What about an accountability policy? Okay, okay – imma make this work (that is if I don’t get distracted and join a gang on my way to the regional office!)
Addendum: I’m mostly upset because I’m assuming the aforementioned CM speaks for many CMs and just folks in general. It’s personal because I can imagine how she / they might treat my future children and how said treatment is part of the maintenance of a system in which white people are privileged and brown folks aren’t. I don’t actually have and ill will towards this CM, rather I wish she’d stay the hell away from little brown children.