We Gotta Wake Up Ya’ll!


My heart is so heavy. So so heavy.  I’m emotionally….spiritually…..physically drained with the events that have transpired this week.  Last night I was so exhausted I couldn’t even talk….literally. I crawled in the bed and was asleep by 9:30.

On the way to work today, I was listening to the Steve Harvey Morning Show and there was an officer who was on as an interviewed guest. There was a question asked of him about things that could be done to better prepare officers so that they’re not afraid and don’t overreact when they encounter people of color.

Immediately I thought about a conversation I’d just had yesterday with a few colleagues of mine about teachers who are afraid and/or overreact when they deal with children of color. We talked about how sometimes people get into this profession for the wrong reasons, how frequently they’re ill equipped to handle difficult students who are not like them, how sometimes they become jaded and apathetic to the needs of children, or how truthfully…..I don’t even think they even LIKE kids.

The correlation between our conversation and that interview was startling! Do we all think that preparation programs (higher ed and police academy) do an effective job of getting these babies (and I mean no offense by that) ready for what they’ll encounter when they walk into that classroom, police car, office on their very first day? Heck No! They come in bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to change the world. And then that exuberance is beat out of them through the pressures of being overwhelmed and under supported, lack of mentoring, and sometimes being led astray by cynical colleagues who just don’t give a crap anymore.

But since these situations aren’t just happening with young fresh faced darlings, that cannot be the entire problem. So what’s really missing is tolerance, empathy, and a refusal to acknowledge our own biases. Someone shared a Facebook post where a teacher shared her passion and desire to teach her kids to be color blind. Frankly, that’s straight up bull. 9 times out of 10, race is the most effective way of identifying someone. No one should be afraid to say that someone is White or Black or Hispanic as a way to describe them. That’s NOT the problem. If we’re completely honest with ourselves, it’s not the fact that someone is a different color, race, or religion than us that’s the problem. It’s the biases that we associate with those differences that are the problem. It is unrealistic to say that we are completely unbiased. It is only when we acknowledge those biases and work towards changing them and healing our country.

Our country is in peril and we will all perish if we don’t work towards being better….each and every one of us.

Until the next time,


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  1. Carla, you know me well enough to know that the many events of the last week are also weighing heavily on my mind. However, as a white person I don’t know what to do to help solve the problems of violence and racism. Any suggestions?

    • I truly believe that you are an example of someone who does the work of what is needed. You don’t judge people by the color of their skin, you empathize with the plight of those who are different than you, you recognize your biases and make adjustments. That’s what is needed. We HAVE to acknowledge that there is a problem and do our part to make our piece of the world a better place. We can call out to injustice and be willing to have uncomfortable conversations with others who are interested in improving the conditions for our children.

  2. Should we teach our students, and ourselves, to be color competent? To acknowledge our similarities but also our differences, and then work side-by-side, anyway? I’m truly not sure what the answer is. I honestly don’t know what to say to my students.

    • Yes! We should acknowledge our similarities but also our differences (which include a lot more than race) and then work side-by-side anyway. Because truthfully, just because someone has the same skin tone as we do doesn’t mean we are the same. We would encourage our students to do that in any situation. Conversations are difficult, because I children come to us with the biases that have been established at home. We can set the example. Children believe what we show them – not what we just tell them. I thank you for your words.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *