This past weekend I received an increase in hate mail — much of it includes threats of racial, gender, and sexual violence towards me. This hate follows articles written by Fox News, Yahoo News, and Texas News Today about my article “How White Supremacy Lives in Our Schools”. My article is featured in education trainings by brave leaders who act upon their belief that schools should be places where all students feel valued and seen. Most recently it was shared during an education training hosted by Panorama Education (co-founded by Xan Tanner, the son-in-law of AG Merrick Garland). It’s fallen into the hands of people who fear threats against white supremacy and their response is to project their fear in hopes of scaring me away from advancing racial justice.
My response to their hate is…I said what I said, and I’m not the one.
I was never scared to, and never will be scared to stand by what I believe in. If you’re more angered by me calling out white supremacy than you are at white supremacy itself, then you are the problem. I’ve always known that fighting against oppressions like white supremacy would cause conflict. This work implies confrontation with the status quo: inequity, -isms, white supremacy, etc. This work implies that those who want to uphold the status quo will be angered. If my ambitions for calling out white supremacy anger you or scare you – good. I don’t expect my work to please you. If anything, I expect my work to haunt you.
The vision of a better future gives me strength. I’m fired up by my freedom-dream of a world more equitable and more just than the one we know. And honestly, I’m also motivated by those who express their hate for this vision. If racists are mad, if white supremacists are mad, if those threatened by justice are mad then I’m doing something right.
I recognize I can’t do my part in bringing this vision into fruition unless I double down on this vision. So this is me doing just that.
Like I said, “White supremacy is everywhere, pertinent and pervasive, woven into the fabric of our society and reflected in every institution and organization in the U.S. including schools…If we are not actively combating the norms of white supremacy culture, we are perpetuating them.”
There is nothing, definitely not right-wing fanatics, clickity-clacking away behind computer screens that will scare me away from fighting for racial justice.
To the people who believe in building a world where racial justice persists: we are currently far from that vision. In order to achieve it we have to confront the ugly truth — white supremacy built this country and white supremacy is woven into the fabric of this country’s institutions. White supremacy is the norm — schools are not excluded from this.
White supremacy is why Black students are suspended at far greater rates than their white counterparts for the same behavior; why Black children are treated like adults while White children enjoy the privilege of being seen as children; why schools with high rates of Black children are more likely to be policed; why the bodies of Indigenous children are found buried under schools in the US and Canada; why schools across the country challenge critical race theory denying it’s honest reflection of America’s history.
This work requires us all to double-down on this vision. Every moment of everyday life is an opportunity to create the world that should exist. We must keep the fire of this vision alive. If you’re someone committed to dismantling white-supremacy, share this article so that it continues to reach and be a tool to the right people — those who believe in a just world.
If you’re ready for the challenge of creating racially just spaces for youth and adults, I’m here to help you – contact me.