Your Co-Teacher is a “Woke” Trump Supporter

Math and Common Sense

If you look at the election results and do some simple Math, your co-teacher is probably a “woke” Trump supporter. The teaching field is over 80% white or white adjacent. According to exit polls, 55% of suburban white women voted for Trump. According to this data set, it’s safe to assume that many closet Trump supporters are roaming the hallways of schools in your districts.

Talking Politics

I remember when talking about your politics wasn’t as sexy or accepted as it is now. Personally, when it comes down to educating kids, I don’t care who you voted for; I care that you reach kids and they learn from you. The problem with some of the folks that voted for Trump is that people who voted differently will equate their votes with racism. It has been stated at nausea that those that supported DJT are racist.  I honestly don’t know if I am there yet.  I want to give one issue voters grace.  This is not a popular opinion, so please excuse me for my moment of naiveté.

Justifying Your Trump Vote
woke philly maga
Dear Philly,?

If you keep your vote to yourself, you’re right. If you didn’t and want to know why your vote for Trump is so offensive, call in your Bb friends. If you have no friends to call, well, that might be where you need to start. Get some Bb friends. You can also get some liberal friends who aren’t afraid to call out racism and bigotry. Either way, there needs to be some dialogue so that you can openly discuss your decision to vote for DJT. If the ability to make the said decision does not consider others’ lived experiences, you probably don’t have enough empathy to be in a classroom.

Fine Line

As an administrator, I have to walk a fine line in terms of politics. Sometimes my moral code is impacted by politics. For example, I may agree with a candidate and their policies, but if the politician is vitriol and racist, it’s hard for me to support that kind of person. In my heart, exposing kids to the good of people can only benefit students. However, evil exists, so even though I’m afraid I have to disagree with other people’s politics, part of me feels like kids need to be exposed to alternative viewpoints to make informed decisions.  My teachers never forced their politics on me. I also grew up in an era where social media wasn’t a thing. My teachers were asleep and less dangerous than “woke” Trump supporters.

If It Is You
reality
Reality!

If you are a Trump supporter and a teacher, it’s okay. It is also a decision you have to live with it. All I ask is to open your hearts to teaching Bb kids to the best of your ability. Try very hard not to impart the rationale that made you vote the way you did. Leave your politics at home, and while you are educating kids, give them your best. It’s going to be tough, but you can do this, you got this. I guess the paradox is, Can you be a “woke” co-teacher and be a Trump supporter?

Reframing School Reform

I recently read an article from www.the74million.org written by Rob Pondiscio, a dope writer and a friend to the reform movement. There were some salient points from the paper and some items that did not resonate with me. I won’t go line for line regarding my likes or dislikes of his piece, but I would like to offer an alternative perspective for those that care to hear one.

Schools Are Bad for Everyone

I agree with Robert’s assertion that schools have failed minoritized students for generations. However, schools haven’t been great for rural and suburban white kids either. In sum, schools just haven’t been good. My thoughts are that if we focus solely on how schooling has been for Bb kids, we miss an opportunity to point out the obvious, schools in their totality are just bad for all kids, not just the schools that serve Bb families predominately. Real reform won’t occur until it impacts white kids. Making this argument an “All Minds Matter” argument is a more powerful argument.

Wilson (former CEO of Ascend Charter Network) states, “Those who founded and ran such schools built their pillars— academic achievement and high expectations for all students—are in a defensive crouch, stunned seething or bending to a knee to a new social justice orthodoxy that now frames their effort to advance racial justice as just the opposite: an attempt to impose white supremacy on Bb children.”

Lived Experiences

For those of you that do not know, I’m a charter school insider. In his article, many of the schools Robert named were the governing models and provided playbooks for other charter schools. If you speak with reflective charter school leaders who led schools during that era, they will openly admit to the schools’ harmful practices. I ride for charter schools, but if we can’t be self-reflective on practices that didn’t work and openly discuss those policies’ residual impact, we are no better than any other movement for students. Regardless of the success of these schools, the lived experiences of students and families are essential. This article fails to capture the voices of the tormented souls that attended these charter schools. The students who wore yellow shirts when they did not submit to white school leaders’ will. Students who were isolated from the general population (Gen Pop) when they broke the rules. Students who had to sit on hard wooden floors to earn their seat at the table. As a newly fermented charter school leader, I admit my complacency in these Civil Rights violations. It was my first year as a dean of students, and my job was to enforce these rules. I found a workaround, built relationships with students, so they complied based on being treated like humans. Yet, I witnessed white colleagues that treated these students as anything but human. And when I finally built up enough courage to speak out against student treatment, I earned the label of not being a team player and was non-renewed.

No Excuses for the Damages Done by No Excuses

I’d visited some public schools around the time when Zero-tolerance charter schools were sexy. The article mentions that some of the public schools were wild. There’s truth to that. Much of the popularity behind Zero-tolerance charter schools centers on school safety. Parents compromised their students’ rights to provide them with physically safe learning environments. In doing so, many parents did not address the psychological impact that these schools had on children. So, when you see alumni lashing out, it’s not because they aren’t grateful for the opportunity; it’s because many still live with the trauma inflicted upon them by the schools they attended.

Room to Grow

I wanted to read this article and disagree profusely. I don’t. However, when items like this come out, it’s essential to include a multitude of voices. I’d love to see the representatives of Bb founders and prominent school leaders that identify as Bb. They may be hard to find. If you look at the movement under a microscope, that’s where it fails Bb students, in my opinion. My suggestion is the next time an article like this publishes, let’s find students who had horrible experiences in these schools and let them include their voices. Parents who have had less than stellar experiences in these schools also include their votes on the record.

Covid-19 Uptick

Record New Covid-19 Cases
Record # of new cases
A daily world record in the number of new cases.

My prediction is that there will be many more Covid-19 diagnoses in the upcoming days. Americans of all hues and beliefs enjoy their families. We have several landmark American holidays on the horizon. Because of these holidays and people not fully understanding the spread of Covid, I predict A colossal spike in new covid-19 cases, so much so I fear massive closure of schools across the country again.  We are in desperate need of leadership in the United States.  Our students are already being left behind.  The students have already lost a year of learning.  The impact on poor and disenfranchised students may be one that is insurmountable.

The mainstream media is no longer talking about conditions. The Covid task force between the governors and the vice-president Mike Pence has not met consistently in months. This call for leadership isn’t a partisan play. It’s life or death for some of us.

America Needs Leadership

Moreover, the current president has ostracized Dr. Anthony Fauci. Many of us believe the science. We need to hear expert voices to Remain calm. There is currently a disconnect in how we should address this pandemic. Will there be another shutdown if Biden is elected? I’m not sure which direction we should move, but I know we need leadership and accountability. Our students have already lost a year of learning and comprehension. If you work in schools with the most vulnerable learners, you’d understand the urgency to get schools reopened. Reopened under safe conditions where parents feel safe to send their students to school, and teachers feel safe to work at schools. I can’t underscore the importance of getting this disease under control to heal as a country.

Covid-19 is Omni-Partisan
covid
Covid-19

Regardless of whoever The president is, we need a plan. We need to hold our elected officials accountable and force them to implement said plan with fidelity. Covid-19 is an Omni-partisan disease that is killing Republicans, Libertarians, Democrats, Independents, and Kanye supporters at the same rates. We need to finally and effectively address Covid-19.  With over 240k deaths, Covid-19 has proven its realness.

 

 

Why I’m Moving Away from Karenism

Directional

Because of our inability to have decent conversations, we have trended into dangerously divisive ways of being. For example, instead of calling racist white women- racist white women, we have adapted what I’ve coined as Karenism. Today, we are selecting what direction our country will go in for the next four years. Will the 45th president be re-elected, or will we celebrate a 46th president? Either way, our country has changed, and in my opinion, this change isn’t for the better. If you analyze the 2016 election results, one of the uncomfortable trends for people to discuss is the voting patterns for the college-educated and suburban living white women. Rather than focusing on this pattern, we have seen folks scapegoat minority voters.

Karenism is this pseudo-intellectual woke way of acknowledging white women. Their tears and fears are fashionably weaponized 
and can outright destroy lives.

 

Dangers Exist

While I will not dare contend with the dangerousness of white women crying, I will say I won’t continue to box all white people in the same category. Of course, some white people are racists, but we can’t overlook the fact that there are decent white people. We need to refocus our energies on surrounding ourselves with positive portrayals of decency. These last four years have made us question everything. All of the weaknesses of our country are exposed. We have seen America at her worst, and although it’s good for us to remember and embrace those evils, it’s also vital that we highlight decency when it occurs.

Moving away from Karenism

Moreover, this is why I have made the conscious decision to move on from Karenism. I think we have more in common than we are all willing to admit. By focusing on those commonalities, I’m looking to decrease the division we have endured for the past four years. I recently mitigated a Twitter exchange. My same message to those impassioned tweeters was the following: before you all discuss the differences you have, start the conversations off with something you all can agree on. For example, there is a lot of talk about school choice, charter schools, and schools’ education types. Rather than focus on the different types of schools, the initial conversations have to be on, do kids deserve good schools? The next part of the exchange should center on what schools are working for kids. Then and only then can we began to disagree.

Ray’s a Sellout

Some people won’t understand my stance. They will call me a sellout, or perhaps some other insult that they don’t truly understand.  I’ve never been one to do things because of others. I do it because of what is inside of my heart. Hopefully, this helps you to move away from Karenism. Just call them who they are, racist people.

 

Trash Rapper turned Political Pundit

Guys, come on, I know you all laughed out loud when you saw the picture of Dwayne Carter, aka Lil Wayne, pictured with President Trump. Yet another trash rapper turned political pundit. If you haven’t seen this picture, it was a horrifying sight but not for the reasons that you may think. A lot of Black celebrities with influence are throwing their hands into politics.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Gustavo Caballero/South Beach Photo/REX/Shutterstock (9468887z)
Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne Young Money Merch Launch, Miami, USA – 16 Mar 2018

It isn’t new; I know you all recall Trapper Young Jeezy and his hit song, “My President is Black.” That was a nostalgic moment for me; it felt good to type when my president was Black.

Moreover, this wouldn’t be the first time Lil Wayne has said something controversial or just outright stupid. He’s the same guy that said, “There is no such thing as racism. Racism doesn’t exist.” Wayne lost me, and he should have lost many of you when he made that statement. It just shows how, when you abuse narcotics for so long, no one knows the extremes of absurdity that can surface in your comments.

But let me say this, Wayne is not entirely stupid. He’s doing what the top 1% does. He is advocating for his self-interests. It just so happens that his current self-interests do not align with what Americans need at the moment. Anyone that makes over 400k a year is scared shitless right now.  A Biden tax code that confiscates 28% of income earned is a substantial amount of money. The issue is real for Wayne, but I would never want to be a trash rapper turned political pundit even now.

Trump is doing what he set out to do. He has us talking about Dwayne Carter and not Donald Trump. People won’t talk about his racist candidacy. Why are we not talking about his record for the past four years? The past four years have been the dismantling of a system put in place by President Obama. We can’t do four more years of the current administration.  So the next time a trash rapper becomes a political pundit, remember, “There’s nothing to see here.”

Trust the Process

Trust the Process
Belief in self
You’re dope, create!

If there is anything that I have learned during this Covid-19 pandemic is to trust the process. Not everything is going to happen when you want it to happen. However, for real success to occur, you have to be willing to take risks. Sometimes risks are calculated, but sometimes they aren’t. You have to trust yourself and go with your gut.

Delaying

Honestly, I had been delaying the release of season three of the Edupurist podcast. For some reason, I doubted the content and wasn’t sure of many things associated with the pod. Self-doubt took over and made me question if I was putting out a quality product. Of course, those reading this and those that follow the work I know this inaccurate, but I now see the turmoil and stress put on creatives. So, if you’re reading this, know you’re dope, and you should trust the process.

Risk-Taking
Trust the Process
Creates sometimes doubt themselves but have to stay the course.

Any opportunity that you have to showcase voices or to shed light on issues you care about— do not let that opportunity pass you bye. First, come to a more in-depth understanding of who you are and the positive attributes you possess. Next, remember why you do the work. If you are selfless in your approach, your blessing will come back to you two-fold. Lastly, people that are dope are often tough on themselves. If you’re self-reflective like I am, no one will ever be able to judge you as critically as you judge yourself. But through the midst of all of that internal strife, make sure never to forget to love yourself.

Season 3 The Edupurist Podcast

With all of this inner turmoil and self-doubt, I bring to you season 3 of my podcast, The Edupurist podcast. In the first episode of season 3, I enlist some super friends to talk about the selection and implementation of K-12 literacy. This episode follows a blog I wrote on the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. #TCRWP is a curriculum adapted by many urban school districts that do not have the necessary components for Bb students to experience reading and writing with fidelity. We had a great conversation about literacy, and at the end of the day, improving K-12 education starts with a conversation. It also starts and ends with trusting the process.

 

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