Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Educational Evolution: Racism

How and when we learn about Martin Luther King and racism.

Kindergarten: Just don't say the n-word, okay?

Grade 1: Martin Luther King is just another word for Santa Claus. Regard him benevolently.

Grade 2: Ditto JFK.

Grades 3-4: Martin Luther King and JFK cured racism.

Grade 5: Also, Malcolm X existed... Moving on.

Grade 6: Let's watch this film strip about slavery.

Grade 7: Let's watch this short movie about slavery.

Grade 8: Screw it, we're watching Roots.

Grade 9: Regurgitate all learning from grades 3-8.

Grade 10: Abraham Lincoln did some good things, as did this one random black shoe cobbler. So everyone played an equal part.

Grade 11: America also did a number on the Asians.

Grade 12 (Honors Track): The whole MLK, Malcolm X, JFK et al... thing was pretty complicated.

Grade 12 (Regular Track): Wasn't MLK the best? Assemble a mobile to show everyone how much you love him.

College: Martin Luther King died in vain. Everything is racist.

Graduate school: Racism is systematic. You are uniquely qualified to fix the system by virtue of your lack of marketable skills.

After school: MLK? Good guy. Good guy. Wait, the banks are closed? Screw civil rights.

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