Imagine your child coming home from school and complaining about a lesson, but it isn’t about the work being too difficult — it’s about racism in the actual lesson. This was the experience for a Lansdale, Pennsylvania mother who goes by the name Shane-Muffin Smith on Facebook. Her son, who is in the fifth grade, showed her a seriously problematic school lesson, which she posted online.
The lesson is a bizarre video of what appears to be about slavery. A white man says, “You are about the laziest Negro this side of the river” and “Don’t want no slaves stealing meat.” You can hear the mother saying, “Definitely unacceptable.”
The mother captioned the video on her Facebook page with, “My son school lesson…I’m beyond pissed. My son will not sit in class and feel less than while others fell superior.” She said that only six out of the 22 students in the class are Black and the teacher is white, adding, “My son says this makes him feel so angry.” Watch below:
The origins of the video appears to be from 2013, which is supposed to be an interactive program to teach children about slavery. However, there are other ways for children to learn about slavery and language like “the laziest Negro” is unacceptable for an interactive program that children need to click through.
There appears to be way too many white teachers who are reaching for ways to “reenact” slavery as a “teaching tool.” In September, white teachers reenacted slavery by duct taping black children’s wrists and the teacher acting as if they were ship captains. Last month, Illinois teachers had Black students pretend to be slaves for an “Underground Railroad simulation.”
If white teachers need “simulations” or “interactive programs” with racist content, maybe they should call on Black educators to do their job.