NHTA George Floyd BLM Announcement
My Dear Sisters and Brothers,
There is no doubt that the experience of the COVID-19 world wide health crisis will result in changes in our world of public education. However the current turmoil locally, statewide, nationally and now worldwide as well, calls for an even greater need for change. The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis shows us all the need to address the racial injustices that we have known for many years. Historically, there has not been enough done to address the biased treatment of Black People that is based in White Supremacy and White Privilege. The massive protesting throughout the country shows that we all can say together, “Enough is Enough”.
The 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin at the hands of a self appointed vigilante, sparked the foundation of Black Lives Matter (BLM) by three women of color in 2013. The BLM mission statement is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in the violence inflicted on Black communities by state, local government systems and vigilantes. Although the BLM movement was and is very much needed, it has been met with the typical misinformation campaigns by those who believe that treatment of the Black community is not a valid concern. The early messages of “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” do have merit; however, the context of those messages served to dilute and dismiss the concerns of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Only when there is an acceptance of the existence of White Supremacy and a concerted effort to eliminate it by demanding that our Black brothers and sisters be treated with the full human dignity that all people are entitled to, will all of our lives truly matter. To quote Dr. King, "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." We can not be silent.
As members of the NHTA, we see first hand the effects of biased treatment of our Black students. From Kindergarten on, we are the first systematic government contacts. Our awareness and acceptance for the need to change the treatment of Black students are the first steps to bring the needed change in our system of Public Education. We know we can create a wave of intentional support by providing a school environment with enhanced awareness of our Black student's needs that will result in a more successful education experience for them and all our students.
I hope you all take a moment to reflect in this time of urgent need for acceptance, support and change. Perhaps consider my personal “North Star’ mantra that has guided me in work and life,
“Be the Change You Seek”.
Be well, healthy and safe during these tenuous times.
In Solidarity, Change and Peace.
Joe Ku’e Angeles
New Haven Teachers Association
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