A perilous political moment is over, but white supremacy remains. Over the past four years of former President Donald Trump’s administration, resistance took on urgent, even life-or-death, importance.
We lived through an attempted coup incited at the highest level of government. An unabashed homegrown bigotry took over the national stage. Our kids witnessed the full weight of state violence from their homes, while attending our schools virtually.
Yet, some colleagues contend that, even in such times, education must remain politically impartial. “Why must we always make everything about race, class or gender?” is a question I hear often, even among colleagues at my own school. My response is simple: Teaching in, and leading, schools that serve Black and Brown students is inherently political. There is no neutrality to be found; the passive objectivity we were taught in our academic training simply doesn’t exist.
We must not be satisfied with an outrage that does not propel us to action.
Our schools need people who believe that equity is a mere stop on the way to liberation. The cost of remaining polite, of trying not to offend, is too high. Educators who are too comfortable with the status quo, who overlook the political forces roiling society, are dangerous in the way that a swaying pine tree is to a Southern house — acceptable for the moment, but treacherous when a storm comes along.