Black History Month is supposed to be about celebrating the accomplishments of black people, the things that have helped to make this nation what it is. While part of that discussion tends to also deal with the warts of American history — namely slavery — it’s always been more about the good than the bad.
However, a video recently shown at Glen Allen High School in Henrico, VA, does something a little different. The short film titled “Structural Discrimination: The Unequal Opportunity Race” – produced for the African American Policy Forum – “shows metaphors for obstacles to equality, which affirmative action tries to alleviate.” That’s what they’re sayin’ anyway.
You be the judge. Is it likely to do more to deepen racial divides than solve anything?
Some parents are more than a bit upset over this, and so are a lot of other folks.
Look, the idea of there being a time when minorities weren’t given a fair shake is hardly controversial. This country has done some crappy things to people who weren’t white in the past. No one is disputing that.
However, this video does only two things. One is to deepen resentment between social groups that are already bad enough. The other is deepen resentment and jealousy against people who have more than them.
It’s stuff like this that leads many opponents of the current public educational system to scream about “indoctrination”…because it is. This is no different than China trying to ram “patriotism” down student’s throats. If anything, it’s more insidious. At least China’s not trying to make half it’s population into evil supervillians.
The school system, however, offered this statement regarding the video:
The students participated in a presentation that involved American history and racial discourse. A segment of the video was one component of a thoughtful discussion in which all viewpoints were encouraged. As always, we are welcoming of feedback from students and their families, and we address concerns directly as they come forward.
“[A] thoughtful discussion in which all viewpoints were encouraged.”
We know all too well that many students don’t feel as if they are free to voice their own opinions in class. Which should this be any different?
* UPDATE * 02/15/2016 via Greensboro.com
GLEN ALLEN, Va. — A school district in Virginia has decided not to use a video about race and affirmative action after it made students uncomfortable and drew criticism from parents who called it “white guilt.”
The video was shown at Glen Allen High School during two assemblies for Black History Month. Henrico County School Board Chairwoman Michelle Ogburn apologized to those who were offended and said administrators across the district have been instructed not to use the video. She says steps are being taken to prevent the use of racially divisive materials in the future.