Black Women : If this was your daughter...

Discussion in 'Black Women - Mothers - Sisters - Daughters' started by NNQueen, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If this happened to your daughter, what would you do?
    __________________________
    In mid-March, 2000, the mothers of three African American high school girls came to us for help. The mothers said that their pleas to Maria Carillo High School officials to protect their daughters from the racism and sexism at the school had gone unheeded. After considering a number of options, the women decided to jointly send a letter to school officials, to local civil rights groups, and to the press. Following is the mothers’ March 23rd letter to the superintendent of schools:

    "We are three mothers, each with an African American daughter who, until this week, was attending Maria Carillo High School. We are writing you with serious concerns about the safety of our daughters at this school. One of the girls was wrongfully expelled from the school on Wednesday. Because of long, escalating hostilities, we are now afraid to have the other two girls go to school. In fact, for the last two days we have kept the girls at home.

    Throughout this school year, and last year too, the girls have told us about ongoing and unabated racial hostilities directed against the girls by other students. As parents, we have had several meetings with school officials asking for their help in putting a stop to this constant racial and sexual harassment of the girls. And we have been very dissatisfied with the school’s inability and seeming unwillingness to enforce their policy of `no tolerance’ for this kind of behavior, behavior that is so dangerous and so obstructive of the girls’ rights to an equal education.

    In the last couple months the situation has escalated alarmingly. There have been writings on school property that say ”(girl’s name), the black one, is a ******. I’m going to kick her ***.” The girls have heard comments like, “I have black people in my family tree, and they’re hanging from it” and more. The girls are razzed by classmates whenever they attempt to participate in the Black Student Union. Some teachers do nothing to stop this harassment. And in one case the teacher actively blocked the girl’s ability to get to the meeting on time.

    onfederate flags, clothes bearing slogans such as “the KKK is getting larger,” and other oppressive symbols are allowed to be worn and displayed throughout the school, even though the girls have gone to school officials a number of times to say how upsetting and offensive these things felt to them. The girls have been variously called “Ho’s”, and “*******”, and “Monkeys”, and it has been made clear to the girls by some students that they (the girls) are not wanted at the school. When one of the girls attempted to defend her culture and let the teacher know that a comment just made in class was upsetting her, the teacher snapped at the girl and told her more than once to act “civilized”. During a talent show, while these girls were performing, racial and sexual remarks were being made by a number of students in the audience. Following the performance, when the girls were in tears over the incident, a school official told the girls to `leave it alone’ and then did nothing to help the girls.

    In the last two weeks, these hostilities have broken into physical fighting in at least two incidents and the kids are beginning to dangerously gang up, with only the minority kids being held accountable."
    ______________________________

    Read the entire story at http://www.justicewomen.com/cj_threemothers_en.html


    Queenie :spinstar:
     
  2. AfroBoricuaRoni

    AfroBoricuaRoni Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    So sad :(

    It's so unfortunate that things like this have to happen, but it's very much a part of reality. I would say that, even though I'm not even of age to consider becoming a mother, I'd have to say that the mothers should take these girls out of this school. The curriculum can't be that superior to other schools that they should fight to stay there. They are subjected to things they shouldn't have to face. The hatred others carry with them should affect themselves, not other people let alone these girls.

    Being as though I could probably relate more to the girls, attempting to put myself in their shoes I'd want to be transferred to somewwhere I could learn and be safe at the same time; I'd might even want to study amongst my own. :eek:
     
  3. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I'd sue the school; however, in the meantime I'd send my kids somewhere else. It is inexcusable for Blacks kids to be suffering this type of treatment after all the struggles we as a people went through in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Man.....we have really fallen asleep at the wheel. :mad:
     
  4. Nita

    Nita Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    smh

    This is sad...I agree with Pan..these families should fight back by taking the school to court. Our school system is in enough trouble as it is without having to worry about issues such as this one...

    So sad...so sad indeed :mad:
     
  5. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Looking at my original post I see that I didn't finish my thought; however, I know you ladies knew what I meant. It is frustrating that Black people continue to fight the same battles over & over & over again. We aren't the only people in this country to face discrimination, basically all non-WASP (white anglo-saxon protesants) have at one point or another. Yet all other groups: Italians, Greeks, Polish, Russian, European Jews, even Asians, Arabs, and Latinos have little problems once they have assimilated (learned the language). No matter what black people do, nor what rights we gain, we always have to continously fight to take advantage of them.
     
  6. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In this situation and the reactions of the parents, do you think that the behavior these mothers exhibited can be considered "typical" among African Americans today? Are we aggressive in our speech and more passive in our behavior (all bark and no bite)?

    Has the "system" beaten us down to the point that we've become politically correct in our reactions to even overt racism/sexism?

    I'm not trying to imply that writing letters to school officials is a bad idea, but I am questioning is it enough in view of the nature of the hostility that these young women had to confront? (vis-a-vis Alabama Church bombing in the 60s)

    Racism is a system not a one-time occurrence. Racism perpetuates illnesses in Black people. It affects our mental and physical health and well-being and definitely shouldn't be taken lightly. More and more African American women are suffering from clinical depression these days due to racism. Hyper-tension, diabetes and obesity have also been attributed to racism according to some recent health studies.

    As we maneuver as citizens throughout American society, at some time or another we're bound to encounter racism in our lifetime, and as we can see, so will our children. How we deal with it will have a major impact on our health and well-being. We need to address these issues not just when they happen, but also when they don't because we know at some point they will.

    This particular situation with the school happened four years ago. I wonder how it eventually turned out. But more importantly, I wonder whether there are still any long-term affects of the incidents on the families involved.

    In my opinion, we need a cafeteria-style set of strategies for dealing with these and similar types of racist situations and they should range between the conservative to the most radical approaches. Letter writing campaigns is a good ploy but we need to start threatening to shut down businesses and even schools when there is evidence that racism is being practiced and tolerated in these places--public and private. Being soft-spoken might work sometimes, but boycotts, pickets and rallies and using the news media like they use it against Blacks should be included in our strategies. When people want to shut down or expose an abortion clinic, what do the pro-life people do? Short of shooting teachers and school officials, racism should be exposed in the same way, in my opinion. If enough people's jobs and ability to graduate to pursue life ambitions are forced into question, maybe we'll start getting some better treatment.

    Queenie :spinstar:
     
  7. river

    river Watch Her Flow MEMBER

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    I feel you Queenie.

    One thing I know if the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence it's because the people on the other side are taking care of it. We fought and cried and bled for the White man to let us sit on his pretty grass. Now we wonder why our own grass is still in shambles and the white man still doesn't want us sitting on his grass. We don't need to stay in the White man's schools. We've got integration on a piece of paper but the hearts of the Whites are still the same and the attitudes of the Blacks are still the same if not worse.

    We have to change our attitude toward power. In today's political arena the victim has clout whether you're talking about minorities, women, gays or whatever. But this is false power. Victimhood doesn't build the person up. Used effectively it turnes the person into a childish ***hole with a chip on his shoulder the size of a Sampsonite two-suitor suitcase. Used ineffectively it just makes a person a waste of good skin that crawled into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn't looking.

    We need real power. That's not something that someone can give us. We have to see it and sieze it from within ourselves. As a race of people we must stop acting like a bucket of crabs and start taking care of our grass.
     
  8. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Welcome

    Greetings river and welcome to our community. What a powerful message! I liked it very much. We hope you enjoy your stay with us and join us in Voice Chat for our scheduled classes or for just sitting back, relaxing, listening to our music and having a good time. Check our class schedule for details.

    Keep sharing your knowledge with us because it's very much needed here.

    Peace,
    Queenie :spinstar:
     
  9. river

    river Watch Her Flow MEMBER

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    Hi Queenie,

    Thanks for the welcome. I am enjoying this community and I still have so much more to see. I will check out the classes and voice chat. It may be hard for me because I am hard of hearing and have the most trouble when a lot of people are talking at once. But I never stayed away from something just because it was hard. I guess this is part of taking care of your grass, knowing that the only things that grow without our effort are weeds.

    holla atcha
     
  10. happy69

    happy69 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Complicated.

    I would hope that if I had children I would have more sense than to send them into that kind of situation. Somewhere along the way, We have hoodwinked ourselves into believing that taking **** off of White folks and their co-conspirators are some kind of badge of courage.

    A Haitian friend of mine sent her son to an all white school...she was so proud of him; she told us of how he was into hockey and rock music and all the friends that he had-he was different etc... Not too long after that he started acting out, one of the worse situations was him trying to hit her, and he smashed in the wall instead. That was years ago. I used to ask her if he was "alright" at school.
    "Oh yes, she would say, he loves it." Well, to cut it short-- he was kicked out of that school and just about every other school, and still today, he hasn't even finished high school...sometimes he's in sometimes he's not. Eventually, she found out about all the hell she allowed her child to go through...he blamed her...he got tired of it and took matters into his own hands... she would literally cry, sometimes.

    I don't know how to take things. On one hand I feel sorry for the situation; on the other hand I blame the parent's for letting this go on... because I think that usually these kind are the kind who don't want to be around other black people. And then, what kind of caring parent would allow such?

    Isn't it ironic that we hear of these kinds of things from people like; Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods (named only for reference), Ms. America a couple years ago, and some of the Black Racist Republican/Conservatives... they talk of heinous treatment by Whites towards them:
    MJ talks of how they wouldn't swim in the same pool; how he was called N etc...
    TW talked about how he got his royal butt whipped daily (???) how he was called N etc...
    Ms. America (named because she said in situations where she has to choose, she chooses African-American); I mean, this lady and her family's house was torched...they were taking up a collection to buy a gun and kill her!

    Irony: These people literally live in midst white folks.

    I just don't get it; I have not had any overt incidences in my life; now, I'm sure some people, including my own Black folk have probably called me N; and I cannot display or issue up that kind of trust for them.

    One way I have started getting folks down here to act is spur them on; I have made signs, one relevent to this issue is this:

    YOU RUN OUT TO WHITEVILLE
    THEN COMPLAIN HOW YOU ARE TREATED WHEN YOU GET THERE!

    and the refrain goes (on all the signs--We have 6)

    WHO CARES?
    THEY JUST BLACK FOLK.
    Don't like what I am saying?
    Good.
    Come to the meeting.

    (a person years ago, started me off with that; it was something that they were doing in their community)
     
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