Teaching Racism

On Thursday, September 20th, 2007 some of the faculty and parents of the kindergarten and first-grade students at Alma J. Brown Elementary School at at Grambling State University (GSU) had the children hold a rally and march in protest of the imprisonment of Mychal Bell, and the apparent racial bias shown toward Blacks in the Jena, Louisiana. They made signs and marched around their playground in support of the six young men who were, to my mind unjustly charged with attempted murder after a schoolyard fight.

mock-lynching of a young Black girl

Before marching the young students were given a lesson in racism. No, not a lesson about racism, but a true and grizzly lesson in racism. Members of the elementary school’s faculty and some of the students’ family members decided, without the approval from either the school’s Principal or the University’s Director, to hold the mock lynching of at least one young Black girl! The students were also made to walk around while wrapped in heavy iron chains, dragging them around like slaves being moved to ship, auction block or plantation.

mock-lynching of a young Black girl

What lesson can this teach the children except the fear and hatred of Whites? How is this little girl – or her classmates – going to feel every time they see a White person? There is a profound difference between teaching the facts of a brutal and hateful part of our history and willfully propagating it. How long must our society go on infecting each new generation with the phobias and prejudices of the past.


Yes, it was a rope around the little girl’s neck. It was a (safe) demonstration as to what the rope symbolized to blacks. This was my granddaughter and she along with so many of the other students did not understand the intimidation of the noose. I held her in my arms and she knows that I would not harm her or put her life in danger. In order to understand racism one must experience it to make the connection.

— Irene Booker

Exactly, Mrs. Booker, your granddaughter along with so many of the other students did not understand the intimidation of the noose.” That item had no visceral impact upon them and no power over them as of yet, but you cured them of that lack of fear and hate didn’t you?

Mrs. Booker and her ilk aren’t content with their own hatred; they have to spread it around to the children in placed in their care. They teach racism, fear and hate to each new generation under the guise of teaching them history or making them aware of racism. How is what they do different from what White Supremist groups do? Forget the Jena 6, these people need to charged with Hate Crimes.

I like to thank David W. Boles who has a great post on this topic at Urban Semiotic . I might not of known of this outrage without Mr. Boles’ diligent efforts to bring attention to matters that affect the people in the urban centers of America.

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