Chamblee54

Teachable Moment

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on December 4, 2021


PG was invited to view a zoom reading. A group of people submitted poems for an anthology. Some of the poems were selected for publication. Wednesday night, some of these poets read their work.

Before the linked video, a man spoke. He said that racism would not be tolerated. If you said anything racist, you would be kicked out of the presentation. PG found this a bit odd. Poets tend to be painfully woke. Telling poets not to say anything racist is like telling preachers not to worship Satan.

The poets spoke. There was one Latino, no African Americans, and White People. Anything they read had been chosen for publication. Did the editors include a racist poem in the anthology?

Facebook had another well intended meme. It was about a teacher, telling her class about the Salem witch trials. PG does not know the full story of the SWT. He suspects the legend does not accurately describe the real event. However, the SWT story provides a “teachable moment.” It is easy to substitute “racist” for “witch”.

“One of my friends told me about a powerful lesson in her daughter’s high school class this winter. They’re learning about the Salem Witch Trials, and their teacher told them they were going to play a game. “I’m going to come around and whisper to each of you whether you’re a racist or a normal person. Your goal is to build the largest group possible that does NOT have a racist in it. At the end, any group found to include a racist gets a failing grade.”

The teens dove into grilling each other. One fairly large group formed, but most of the students broke into small, exclusive groups, turning away anyone they thought gave off even a hint of guilt.

“Okay,” the teacher said. “You’ve got your groups. Time to find out which ones fail. All racists, please raise your hands.” No one raised a hand. The kids said the teacher had messed up the game.

“Did I? Was anyone in Salem an actual racist? Or did everyone just believe what they’d been told?” And that is how you teach kids how easy it is to divide a community. Keep being welcoming, beautiful people. Shunning, scapegoating and dividing destroy far more than they protect. We’re all in this together.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

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