A teacher at Norman North High School in Oklahoma recently upset his students when he boldly proclaimed that all white people are inherently racist.
One of his white students, who requested to remain anonymous, recorded her teacher’s lecture with her cellphone. "And he pulls out this globe with a bottle of white out and marks over a country or a piece of country and puts his name on it,” the student told News Channel 4 in Oklahoma. “So he was basically comparing what he had done to the globe to what we did to America.”
The lecture apparently covered the mistreatment of Native Americans and sought ways to heal the racial divide. However, the student appeared to misunderstand the teacher’s lesson on colonization and became immensely offended when the teacher said “to be white is to be racist, period.”
“Am I racist? I say yea. I don’t want to be,” the teacher admitted in the lecture. “It’s not like choose to be racist, but do I do things because of the way I was raised?”
She continued by explaining that half of her family is Hispanic. "...I just felt like, you know, him calling me racist just because I'm white... I mean, where's your proof in that?”
Norman Public Schools issued a public statement regarding the controversy. "Racism is an important topic that we discuss in our schools,” Dr. Joe Siano, superintendent of Norman Public Schools, said in the statement.
“While discussing a variety of philosophical perspectives on culture, race and ethics, a teacher was attempting to convey to students in an elective philosophy course a perspective that had been shared at a university lecture he had attended. We regret that the discussion was poorly handled. When the district was notified of this concern it was immediately addressed. We are committed to ensuring inclusiveness in our schools."
Nearly 370 miles north of Norman, a UW-Madison student in Wisconsin has been receiving death threats after pushing a similar message across his college campus. Eneale Pickett, who is black, has been wearing shirts that reads “all white people are racist” to fight discrimination in the area. He told UW’s student paper, The Badger Herald, the he began selling the hoodies after his friend was called racist slurs and he was spit on.
“A lot of people want to talk about race in this very nice way,” Mr Pickett told KWOW. “If for this conversation to happen, you need to be comfortable, that’s a problem.”Reuse content