What Were They Thinking?

March 4, 2010 

This week three white male Los Angeles elementary school teachers were placed on administrative leave after orchestrating a stunt giving the students portraits of O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul to carry in a Black History Month parade. The celebrities are not historical figures so what was the point? What was the intended message? O.J. Simpson, once Heisman trophy winner, NFL player, sports broadcaster, actor and accused killer on the road to perdition lost his fame. Dennis Rodman is another retired athlete and NBA star now known for his celebrity antics. And there’s Rupaul an actor, drag queen, model, and singer-song-writer. The celebrities are neither a credit nor a disgrace to their race. They are just men who happened to be Black. What where these teachers thinking, that’s what I want to know. Was it mean spirited mischief? We may never know.

Teachers are supposed to create a learning environment conducive to optimum achievement academically, socially, and emotionally. They are to be models of decorum and respect guiding students as well as honoring them. This is in no way to honor Black history but only reinforces racist attitudes and a lack of appreciation of other ethnic cultures.

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