I recently commented to a friend and fellow history teacher that these past few weeks have been a trying time to teach history, government, or current events. I realized as I said it that my trying week is nothing compared to the weeks, months, years, decades, and centuries endured by black people in the United States. The time has come to face history, and to face my own complicity in systemic racism in our country.
So, what am I going to do to make the changes that need to be made?
* Educate myself by reading works by authors of color and by authors of other
* Call out racist language when I hear it, whether in a classroom or in public or online
* Thoughtfully educate my students about the realities of slavery, emancipation,
"scientific racism," and civil rights in our history, and bring to light current events that
relate to the same topic
* As a citizen and a voter, exercise my right to vote, work to protect the rights of others
to vote, and strive to reform the legal system
I've never thought of myself as racist (who does, right?) but I'm realizing that I have often been a contributor to systemic racism without even realizing it. The events of the last 2 weeks, and what I have read and heard, have opened my eyes and further opened my heart and mind.
One of the reasons I love teaching is that I have an excuse to be an eternal student. I need to embrace that now like never before. I have so much to learn! As a white, cisgender, heterosexual, suburban woman the time has come for me to take all of that privilege and do something with it and with all that I continue to learn. I know I will make mistakes, but I will continue to work to do what is right. When we know better, hopefully we do better, right? That is my goal.