It turns out the topics of “Racial Justice, Black Lives Matter, and Critical Race Theory” engender strong emotions in people and sow seeds of discourse on social media. Who knew?
So here’s what happened:
The illustrious and talented “Mock” of “Mock n’ Rob, Inc.” posted a letter to “The Facebook” from listener John, whose children attend Hamilton Southeastern Schools. John’s letter pertained to an email that parents in the HSE district received immediately following the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
“Wait. Why was John upset with HSE? What did they say about the Chauvin verdict?”
Dear Hamilton Southeastern School Community,
We hope the outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial will begin to bring healing to our community and address the many factors that we know adversely affect families of color. While justice prevailed in this case, the racial trauma and repeated exposure to stories of violence and inequalities is still an ongoing concern.
We cannot address problems that we refuse to see, and we pledge to do better for all our students. The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, and recently, Daunte Wright, are a critical reminder of policies and practices which have negatively shaped the experiences of our black and brown children and that we have more work to do to create and sustain a just and equitable society and school system.
We also understand the pain that many of our students and teachers feel when discussing the inequities in the current judicial system. We have heard from parents who have described the task of preparing their children for the two Americas. The racial division that we see today is not a new phenomenon; it is centuries-old, embedded in the fabric of our country. Dr. King articulated the impact of racism when he noted, “But tragically and unfortunately, there is another America.” And so today, we affirm the following:
- Black Lives Matter.
- We stand united with our students of color and allies in the fight against injustice, racism and discrimination.
- It is our responsibility as a school community to uplift our core values of awareness, advocacy, social justice and empathy.
- We are not powerless to change; we are committed to moving beyond good intentions to measurable and impactful results.
- Racial justice initiatives are for the common good of all children.
- We will continue to engage stakeholders in conversations, even when it is uncomfortable. All HSE students benefit from an anti-racism education.
- We commit to turning the mirror inward and advancing an anti-racist and equity-based learning community.
Students are encouraged to reach out to their building equity coaches, counselors, teachers and administrators to help in processing the news about the Chauvin trial. Attached are tips to keep in mind when discussing this event with your family. More information and resources are also available on the HSE Equity Page.
“‘All HSE students benefit from an anti-racism education?’ Okay, I get why some parents might have concerns about this letter – especially in the midst of controversy regarding the teaching of Critical Race Theory in our schools. So what did listener John write?”
When my wife and I moved here, we were very excited about the opportunity to raise kids in this great city and to have the opportunity to send them to what was a great school district in HSE. Sadly, over the years I have become more and more disappointed in the messaging I have seen from the district. It seems the district is more concerned with creating social justice warriors than educating our kids to be critical thinking, productive members of society who are also skilled at reading, writing, and arithmetic. This all culminated with the disgusting email I received last night following the Chauvin trial.
The assumptions made in that email regarding both the trial itself, as well as other ongoing instances of minority deaths was absolutely irresponsible for you to send to HSE families. In addition, whatever happened to HSE (a public school system) staying neutral on these types of things?For example, you state, “While justice prevailed in this case.”Who are you to determine what justice is in this case? Is it justice that we have elected officials threatening violence if they don’t get the result they want, during a trial where the jury was not sequestered? You didn’t make any comments on that in your email. Why not? I thought you were interested in diversity of thought. Perhaps, not all HSE families see the results of that trial in the same way you do. Please keep that in mind.Example two, “The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor and recently, Daunte Wright, are a critical reminder of policies and practices which have negatively shaped the experiences of our black and brown children and that we have more work to do to create and sustain a just and equitable society and school system.”These only negatively shape the experience of black and brown children because of the way they are falsely portrayed in the media. An example of this is Breonna Taylor. The fact is that she was NOT asleep when she was shot and it was her drug-dealing boyfriend who fired shots at the cops who ultimately got her killed. Why don’t you mention any of the responsibility that those who have been killed have had in their own deaths? Do you want diversity of thought and points of view or not? A few weeks ago, Dr. Bourff told me you did, but I don’t believe that to be true.Another point that irritates me is the assumption that America is currently a racist country. May I ask, what are the specific, “ inequities in the current judicial system” you intend to teach my children about? Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law so I would like you to explain to me how our system is racist.I would argue it is your responsibility to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. I can handle the rest at home. If you intend to indoctrinate my kid with your version of social justice, please let me know ahead of time so I can make sure they are absent.Racial justice initiatives are for the common good of all children. [J] Teaching our white children they are to blame for all the wrongs that happen to others is not for their, or the common, good. It only propagates more racism. How about we teach our kids to see beyond race and judge each other by the content of their character as Dr. King said? If we teach them to see race first, we will invariably teach them racism.As I stated separately to Dr. Bourff, at this point I would recommend, to anyone considering it, against enrolling their kids in HSE schools. Unless they are fans of a Marxist and social justice-based curriculum. For my family, we are going to begin looking for alternative schooling, hoping we can find something within our budget or perhaps we will move, which we do not want to do.
“Okay, so what’s the next part in the story? I’m getting tired of reading all these words and just want the facts.”
- Mock posted John’s letter to Facebook.
- People started arguing in the comment section about ‘Critical Race Theory,’ ‘BLM,’ and ‘Racial Justice.’
- The “Proponents of Teaching ‘Critical Race Theory’ and Stifling Free Speech” phone tree was put into effect and SJWs who haven’t learned to regulate their emotions (but I repeat myself) swarmed the post and turned our Facebook page into a war zone.
- Mock delivered multiple virtual throat punches before treating herself to dinner with friends.
- The post received 400-500 comments before Mock elected to pull the original post and re-post JUST John’s letter by itself.
And that’s when things REALLY got out of hand.
Mock n’ Rob pick up the story from here in the clip below.
“Alright, I’ll listen. By the way, I like these imaginary Q&A sessions. We should do more of those.”
Okay, but listen to the clip first.