Confluence | Mar 15, 2019 | 0
3 Stories You Should Read 4/23/2019: Teaching Black History, White Privilege, and Impeachment, Trump’s Taxes
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In the category of: Empathy matters
A teacher at an Arizona charter school had third graders yell at a black student during a lesson on school segregation. It’s part of a larger problem.
Classroom simulations about slavery and segregation can be especially harmful for black students
The past few months have brought numerous examples of teachers using highly questionable lessons — like mock slave auctions and Underground Railroad games — to teach students about the history of slavery in the US.
But these stories are hardly new. Every school year seems to bring at least one high-profile story of a school lesson on slavery gone wrong, with black parents and students regularly calling the activities offensive, irresponsible, and degrading.
The schools themselves have had varying responses to the incidents. In some cases, like an incident earlier in April where a physical education teacher in Wisconsin allegedly asked black seventh graders to research how to play “slave games,” the schools have apologized and placed teachers on leave. In other cases, like the recent Phoenix example, schools have attempted to explain why the activity shouldn’t be seen as offensive.
In the category of: Privilege comes in many forms
How excellent it must feel to be exempt from the whims of an addlebrained white supremacist with unchecked power who repeatedly points a rifle loaded with racist policies at your head! It is easy to call for patience when your children are not being ripped from your arms. White people can stand to ruminate on their course of action as the president packs the courts with far-right judges who have displayed anti-black animus both anecdotally and statistically. It does not hurt white people to delay or even deny justice while Trump dismantles affirmative action, reverses rules on discrimination, destroys health care, promotes gentrification, champions police brutality and downplays the rise of white supremacist hate groups.
Yes, waiting is for white people.
In the category of: Tax day comes for everyone.
Trump’s plan is apparently to disobey the law and hope a friendly judge bails him out.
House Ways and Means Committee chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) told the IRS in a letter that if it fails to comply by 5 p.m. Tuesday, “your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request.”
The IRS and the Treasury Department, which oversees the IRS, have suggested they won’t comply with the law, which says the Treasury “shall” hand over any tax returns that the Ways and Means Committee wants. Neal said the law is “unambiguous and raises no complicated legal issues.” Experts have said they’re unaware of any previous instance of the IRS defying a disclosure request.
A Democratic aide said that if the request is denied, Democrats will probably issue a subpoena for the documents and then sue in federal court to enforce the subpoena if needed.
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