Matt Barnes Leads March For Stephon Clarke

This week, between that Heineken ad, Roseanne’s non-act­ing ass back on TV (notably on the same net­work pan­der­ing to “unheard white work­ing class America” yet nix­ing a Black-ish episode about NFL play­ers kneel­ing) and now a min­strel show at an ele­men­tary school, I think wyp­ipo are prank­ing us with overt racism fol­lowed by “Who me?”

Latest case in point: On Friday, an Atlanta char­ter school had to issue an apol­o­gy for a black his­to­ry month pro­gram that had 6- and 7‑year-olds hold­ing black­face masks com­plete with bug eyes and red lips.

Posted by Semone Banks on Thursday, March 29, 2018

As you can see, the class­room includ­ed both black and white sec­ond graders at the Kindezi School at Old Fourth Ward recit­ing Harlem Renaissance poet Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask,” which reads in part: “We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes, This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleed­ing hearts we smile.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that after par­ents began post­ing the video, the school, which has three loca­tions in Atlanta, issued a state­ment: “This was a poor and inap­pro­pri­ate deci­sion and we sin­cere­ly apol­o­gize and accept respon­si­bil­i­ty for the hurt, anger, frus­tra­tion, and dis­ap­point­ment that this has caused in the Kindezi com­mu­ni­ty and the com­mu­ni­ty at large.”

Whatever that teacher was TRYING to do for Black History Month (in March no less), they failed mis­er­ably. The fact that the teacher used black­face to demon­strate “the mask” that black folks wear every day and had her white stu­dents wear it shows even good inten­tions can lead straight to hell. It would be a stretch for a col­lege the­ater class on the his­to­ry of min­strel­sy to get away with this, so why some­one wouldn’t flag this at an ele­men­tary school is beyond me.

The irony is that accord­ing to the school’s web­site, “Kindezi” is a Bantu word which describes the act by which a com­mu­ni­ty edu­cates, loves, and val­ues every child.

In addi­tion to an apol­o­gy, Kindezi says it is plan­ning to offer cul­tur­al com­pe­ten­cy train­ing for teach­ers – one of whom, I think is try­ing to be racist. Because he or she cer­tain­ly wasn’t not not try­ing to be racist.