Then the student called me a racist. He claimed I was picking on him because he was Latino, and that I wouldn’t be pulling him out of the class if he were White. . . . Was the student race baiting? You bet he was. He was making specious and unsupported claims of racial victimization in order to distract from his own obnoxious behavior.
. . . Just to be clear about the program. These kids all come in for a one off session and there is rarely if ever any repeats. I had never met the student in question before that day, nor had I had ever spoken to or about him before the incident. This is a voluntary program for the students and I do not take attendence, so there was no reason to even say his name. To my knowledge and belief, there was absolutely no reason for the student to make the claim he did other than for the reasons I’ve already stated. End of story.
End of story indeed. For Night Owl, this Latino student’s experience PRIOR to attending his class DID NOT EXIST. The racism and bigotry that permeates our culture and our country DID NOT EXIST. The feelings this Latino student had about his own experience outside of that classroom prior to meeting NIght Owl DID NOT EXIST.
GET OVER IT is Night Owl’s advice. ‘Why do we need to consider the racism and bigotry of our culture and nation? I am not a racist. I am not a bigot. Sure I am white. But I am not a racist. I am not a bigot.’
This sounds like nothing more than someone sayng “I did not own slaves.” Why should I pay for it? Most of us are familiar with this line of thinking. It is what is used to oppose affiramtive action, civil rights laws, indeed most every program designed to address the race issue.
A lot of people believe that the problems of race are attended one by one, individually. On one level, this is true. But the notion that the institutional, cultural and national racism and bigotry of our country can be washed away without addressing what racism and bigtory have done to our current situation, that we can walk into a situation with a clean slate, is ludicrous to me. It is equivalent to saying you do not want to do anything about it.
It is not possible imo to remedy and address racism, sexism and bigotry even we do not face up to the hard truths about oursleves, our cultures, our society, our Nation. We can not pretend what has happened did not happen. We can not pretend we do not live in a racist, sexist, bigoted country.
Just as Night Owl should not have pretended that the Latino studet’s life started when he walked into that class, no one can pretend that we as a People in this country can pretend that slavery did not occur, that peoples were NOT subjugated, that Jim Crow, redlining, segregation, etc did NOT happen. That people are not out there argung TODAY that non-whites are less intelligent than whites.
It is true that Republicans, racialists and some idealists want to pretend the past did not happen. But it did. And it causes a lot of things to happen today.
It is my opinion that attitudes like the one expressed by Night Owl are extremely harmful to fighting against racism and bigotry. And while I am sure Night Owl is no racist, his attitudes lead to aid and comfort to racists and RACISM.
It is why I will continue to fight against those attitudes. I think it is important to have that fight.