“Why are people so fascinated about showing people in blackface? Not only is a live demonstration not necessary, it will upset dome students. The children should be taught about the KKK is he going to come to class with a hood and a sheet?”
“That was one student. He didn't have consideration for all of his students. Next time will he teach about the KKK and wear a hood?”
jestermarcus on Jun 3, 2014 at 14:58:58
“Why would he wear a hood? He didn't wear black face, he showed a video that showed people wearing blackface. Are you suggesting young people in this courntry should never see these things and learn what it looked like? Should they just be forgotten?”
“Jill you don't seem to get it. Did it ever occur to you that the black students in the class would be embarrassed to see such caricatures of themselves? Trust me I know that I would.”
AnuWoman on Jun 3, 2014 at 12:13:14
“What really is the embarrassment is the white people who participated in black face.”
MarcEdward on Jun 2, 2014 at 20:57:23
“If we don't know where we came from, how can we tell how far we have come?
It's not enough to say "oh back in those days racism was worse", it's much more effective to show how widespread and acceptable it was.”
onetravlnnurse on Jun 2, 2014 at 20:05:50
“Did you ever wonder what those feelings might say about you?”
PamperedHousecat on Jun 2, 2014 at 17:05:35
“Have you ever seen "Eyes on the Prize"?
My black students were not embarrassed, by those caricatures, but it did irritate them.
They were more irritated...no. Angry, when they saw police dogs and firehoses being turned on unarmed demonstrators.
I DO get it. My students did NOT identify with the blackface characters, but they did identify with high school boys and girls being arrested because they marched down a street carrying signs demanding voting rights.
Frankly, I think black kids should see EOTP by 5th grade. Possibly it will educate them into seeing black men fighting for equality, rather than what passes for black life on videos.”
buffalogal1972 on Jun 2, 2014 at 16:35:42
“No, I believe the AA students have more hutzpa than you give them credit for.
I am not sure how you would know the students' response would be.
Your discomfort does not equal their discomfort.
It is all how the teacher presents and guides the material.”
jestermarcus on Jun 2, 2014 at 15:34:04
“Actually, interviews with a black student in the class says she was more offended that they turned it off and tried to hide that stuff like this had actually happened.
“All he got was a month long paid vacation. True he is a history teacher but he never stopped to think, is this really appropriate? The children can be taught about people who performed in blackface without showing them an example. It never once crossed his mind maybe some of my students would be very uncomfortable watching that performance. I know I wouldn't be pleased. That being said why did it take them a month to investigate the incident? While I dislike what he did, the teacher should have been told what he did wasn't acceptable and to not do anything like that again. Why all the hoopla?”
Diaspora14 on Jun 14, 2014 at 18:27:17
“Ann Draper you are absolutely wrong. Children learn by seeing, hearing, and doing. Seeing and hearing if their is no doing. This is history events that actually took place and the teacher was within his responsibility as a teacher to make the soundest impact on the students mind. If some students are uncomfortable then the impact is being made. It is better to be uncomfortable than to be ignorant and emotionally indifferent. The reason whites would feel uncomfortable because they would be watching other whites who they then have to identify with show their intolerance and ignorance which reflects bad on whites as a whole and at one time was the underlying fabric of the backbone of American society. You would be uncomfortable because it strips you of the ability to deny spiritually the reality of what America was and how it treated human beings who were not white. Not to mention the actual treatment of white women. It so knocks the shine off our self given title of Greatest Country. As a history teacher I have shown Roots, the strange fruit hanging from trees of the south, dogs and fire hoses turned on children in Birmingham, Ala. and the slaughter of innocent men, women, and children in Selma. All students responded, with amazement none were uncomfortable. Black and White, they wondered what kind of white people use to live in this country? The thought it was shameful. That was one of the things his class was to learn.”
Fran Jaime on Jun 3, 2014 at 13:34:12
“Why was it unacceptable? It would have been unacceptable if he had lauded it or applauded it. He presented a historic truth. That's what teachers do!”
Chuck S 2 on Jun 3, 2014 at 13:24:15
“They should have been uncomfortable. The teacher was not offering his opinion, he was offering historical fact. We can't hide from facts just because they make us uncomfortable. The best way to deal with a legacy such as this is to deal with it head on and not stick our heads in the sand. I mean, come on, it's not like it was showing someone's head getting blown off.
This teach never should have been suspended. At least it was a paid suspension.”
rochrist on Jun 3, 2014 at 12:44:47
“Yeah, no. Not even a little bit inappropriate.”
mld1983 on Jun 3, 2014 at 11:23:03
“Who's to say even addressing the issue wouldn't have been offensive? Should he have avoided it all together? He presented it responsibly, with context and purpose. Nothing wrong with that at all. The fact that he presented it that way shows he considered that.
This story sounds to me like an administration official who allowed assumptions to lead them and created an embarrassing event. Happens all the time. The AP was there; why was it necessary to find out what actually happened? No contested that he showed the video or explained the purpose of the lesson and video.
Everyone, every single person in this nation, is going to have to come to the understanding that if we're going to really address this history and it's impact on today's society, that that effort is going to be terribly painful and uncomfortable before it gets easier.”
hawaiianstile on Jun 3, 2014 at 03:40:26
“lessons on racism should NEVER be comfortable, to allow these kids to be numb to the facts of how systemic racism inform today's reality would be to endorse its continuance.”
Carl Swart on Jun 3, 2014 at 01:43:22
“It seems he was told what he did WAS acceptable. Because, you know, it is acceptable. The only thing in this situation that is unacceptable is that a history teacher was put on suspension for teaching history. I say that unambiguously, what admin did here is unacceptable.
Sometimes history makes you uncomfortable. If you think that showing students "The Jazz Singer" in order to give them some idea what happened in that Little Gap between the Revolutionary War and last hear's VMAs, makes them squirm, wait until they get to unit on the Holocaust! Showing an example often reinforces why something is worth learning. I'm sure you would know this if you were a professional who had devoted half a life's training to educating young people, but since you aren't, why not leave it to the professionals?”
Pho3n1xSun on Jun 3, 2014 at 00:01:00
“to be honest, there's A LOT in our American History that, if we had video footage to witness it, would be BEYOND UNCOMFORTABLE. But that is the U.S.'s dark and muddy past. We've done a lot things that we can never be proud, but its best for this kids to know of, and if necessary be shown the horrors so that they know such actions can never be tolerated again. especially after last Halloween, oh they REALLY need to see it”
wanderer12 on Jun 2, 2014 at 19:51:41
“That is silly. Watching Al Jolson in the Jazz Singer is going to scar someone. First of all it is a notable film. These performances are part of the history of the US and the arts in the US. Life is uncomfortable. People need to live with it.”
Patrice Stevens on Jun 2, 2014 at 17:06:40
“As a person of color I have to disagree, when we have adults, who should know better thinking its ok to use black face in this day and age, a little bit of discomfort is worth the impartation of knowledge. We can not continue to shy away from the the things that make us uncomfortable. We have to know our history...all of it even the parts that make us cringe.”
Misty Braden on Jun 2, 2014 at 17:04:52
“HuffPo's wording is a little misleading - he wasn't on paid leave for a month, it's just that he went ON paid leave LAST month - he was out for a little less than 2 weeks, and that includes a holiday in the middle.”
buffalogal1972 on Jun 2, 2014 at 16:27:21
“History, at times, is not pretty or painless or comfortable. History, taught with candor, insight and empathy, can be a learning experience which has positive outcomes,
for the students and the teachers. It is okay to be admit discomfort or displeasure, Great way to start the conversation.
And children are more resilient then many adults. Not having the history and baggage we adults carry, children may see the lesson in a different light, with less unease than one would expect.”
Jennifer Lynne Salins on Jun 2, 2014 at 16:18:22
“It was educational, not a porno. It WAS appropriate. Sometimes you need to see something with your own eyes to fully understand it. And so what if his students were uncomfortable? That's the point. It is uncomfortable. Racism is an ugly, uncomfortable thing. Merely glossing over it so you don't offend someone's sensitive eyes does a disservice to those who did and still do live through it every day. Education is the solution, and that education can't be a watered-down version. I do agree that the hoopla was unnecessary.”
Powerslave Six Six Six on Jun 2, 2014 at 15:31:19
“Yes, teaching history in a history class is appropriate.”
bouge75 on Jun 2, 2014 at 13:27:54
“It's a part of history. How is him showing this video any different than showing Roots as a teaching tool. There are may inappropriate things teachers have done, this isn't one of them. If kids were learning history in their home, they wouldn't be shocked at all. Are we not supposed to teach our kids about our past?? It's hard looking at pictures of lynchings, or black actresses playing the "Mammy" role, but it's part of our history. No need to hide from it.”
considerthis on Jun 2, 2014 at 12:41:11
“We shouldn't hide the parts of our history that may be embarasing to some. This teacher was trying to show the truth - we did it, it is inappropriate we don't do it anymore and here is why....It is true, if we ignore history, we are bound to repeat it (as we do too often)”
joyfulworld on Jun 2, 2014 at 12:31:42
“Maybe the students would be uncomfortable...I would hope so. But the fact remains that black-face is a part of our history. It happened. It was real. You can't simply ignore the parts of history that you don't like. Truth is what matters here, and the truth is that everything that happened in our history is appropriate to teach in a history class!”
“He was BORN and RAISED in Canada. He's not eligible end of story. There is no need to bring President Obama's name up, he was BORN and RAISED on American soil.”
CharlesDunstan on Jun 2, 2014 at 10:02:40
“The GOP again shows their hypocrisy.I might have some shred of agreement with some of the GOP points on certain things, but this hypocrisy they constantly show kills any lingering hope I have that they care about this nation and are capable of making decisions to make America an even better nation
I have no faith in the GOPs ability to lead America, with America's best interests truely at heart.”
“Marc, I find that hard to believe. Why would you insult everyone's intelligence like that?”
MarcEdward on Jun 1, 2014 at 13:30:54
“Well try it yourself - start a business, put up a help wanted sign and see who comes in looking for jobs. Than you'll have a better argument than "well I don't want to believe facts that don't square with my assumptions"
The saddest folks are all the older folks who waited till their unemployment ran out and started looking for work.”
“I'm not blaming anyone but something her ex-sister-in-law said struck a chord in me. She said the both of them joked, who would take bath in s hotel room? I feel the same way. There is no way I would get into a tub in my hotel room either.”