Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Difference Color Makes: A Riot Is the Language of the Unheard... Pt. 2

A friend reminded me that two weeks ago I posted the first edition of this entry, with the intent to have at least an second one. So here it is! Thank you for the reminder friend.

Last week I attended an On the Table talk sponsored by the Chicago Community Trust. OTC provided Chicagoans with an opportunity to come together at different locations through the city to discuss feasible solutions to make our communities, safer, more sustainable, and more dynamic. THe host organization was Global Strategists Association. The topic we discussed was "Racial Equity". I found it interesting that the conversation some how always reverted back to the youth, future, and our responsibility to ensure that we provid them with tools to succeed.

Naturally, conversations of the current #BlackLivesMatter movement arose, as it stands to protest against an onslaught of police brutally, and the value of Black lives. We then talked about the best course of action to be taken. It has been stated that you can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar, reigns true when in opposition.

As educators of children of color, we have to ensure that we are equipping our students with tools that not only facilitate academic success, but to promote them building a sound message when fighting for justice.
Retrieved from

What does this mean for educators, those who influence our youth, and those who have an investment in the fairness and equity of our future? Quite simply, we have to understand that there is a time and place for noise, and movement in silence. Most specifically, it is ever more crucial when the skin
color of those involved is other than white.

Let's take a look at how the Waco, Texas Motorcycle Club massacre has been betrayed versus that of the Baltimore Riots. In Texas, we have White grown men participating in abhorrent violence, resulting in a deaths and massive arrests, sparked by gang rivalry. Whereas, in Baltimore, young people, as well regular citizens, participated in, what some may regard as civil disobedience, looting and assault of officers, sparked by the death of a Black man in unlawful police custody.

I will not harp on the disparities in the cases, but I will state that violence and chaos ensued in both towns. However, the image and widespread response for each varied in volatility of language, the amount of coverage from liberal and conservative media outlets, as well as the National Guard. Hosts of bloggers and op-eds have mentioned how the motorcycle gang members have been regarded as just that, while the children and looters in Baltimore were regarded as looters and thugs.

Why is this important for our children? Many of us educate poor Black and Brown children who face injustices on a daily basis, the odds are stacked against them upon birth. As educators, we ought to stress to them that, yes you are capable of affecting change in your communities, but your delivery is crucial, and whether you're clamouring for racial, educational justice, or peace, your plea will be racialized due to the color of your skin. Therefore, we've got to educate them on how to hold officials and government accountable, but in a manner that promulgates a truth that impacts all.

In an effort of transparency, I do not believe that this would completely obliterate prejudices exercised by the media and lay-people when it comes to noise makers, and trouble makers. I do, however, believe it will attract a wider audience, and more bees.

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