My prediction is that there will be many more Covid-19 diagnoses in the upcoming days. Americans of all hues and beliefs enjoy their families. We have several landmark American holidays on the horizon. Because of these holidays and people not fully understanding the spread of Covid, I predict A colossal spike in new covid-19 cases, so much so I fear massive closure of schools across the country again. We are in desperate need of leadership in the United States. Our students are already being left behind. The students have already lost a year of learning. The impact on poor and disenfranchised students may be one that is insurmountable.
The mainstream media is no longer talking about conditions. The Covid task force between the governors and the vice-president Mike Pence has not met consistently in months. This call for leadership isn’t a partisan play. It’s life or death for some of us.
America Needs Leadership
Moreover, the current president has ostracized Dr. Anthony Fauci. Many of us believe the science. We need to hear expert voices to Remain calm. There is currently a disconnect in how we should address this pandemic. Will there be another shutdown if Biden is elected? I’m not sure which direction we should move, but I know we need leadership and accountability. Our students have already lost a year of learning and comprehension. If you work in schools with the most vulnerable learners, you’d understand the urgency to get schools reopened. Reopened under safe conditions where parents feel safe to send their students to school, and teachers feel safe to work at schools. I can’t underscore the importance of getting this disease under control to heal as a country.
Covid-19 is Omni-Partisan
Regardless of whoever The president is, we need a plan. We need to hold our elected officials accountable and force them to implement said plan with fidelity. Covid-19 is an Omni-partisan disease that is killing Republicans, Libertarians, Democrats, Independents, and Kanye supporters at the same rates. We need to finally and effectively address Covid-19. With over 240k deaths, Covid-19 has proven its realness.
Because of our inability to have decent conversations, we have trended into dangerously divisive ways of being. For example, instead of calling racist white women- racist white women, we have adapted what I’ve coined as Karenism. Today, we are selecting what direction our country will go in for the next four years. Will the 45th president be re-elected, or will we celebrate a 46th president? Either way, our country has changed, and in my opinion, this change isn’t for the better. If you analyze the 2016 election results, one of the uncomfortable trends for people to discuss is the voting patterns for the college-educated and suburban living white women. Rather than focusing on this pattern, we have seen folks scapegoat minority voters.
Karenism is this pseudo-intellectual woke way of acknowledging white women. Their tears and fears are fashionably weaponized
and can outright destroy lives.
While I will not dare contend with the dangerousness of white women crying, I will say I won’t continue to box all white people in the same category. Of course, some white people are racists, but we can’t overlook the fact that there are decent white people. We need to refocus our energies on surrounding ourselves with positive portrayals of decency. These last four years have made us question everything. All of the weaknesses of our country are exposed. We have seen America at her worst, and although it’s good for us to remember and embrace those evils, it’s also vital that we highlight decency when it occurs.
Moving away from Karenism
Moreover, this is why I have made the conscious decision to move on from Karenism. I think we have more in common than we are all willing to admit. By focusing on those commonalities, I’m looking to decrease the division we have endured for the past four years. I recently mitigated a Twitter exchange. My same message to those impassioned tweeters was the following: before you all discuss the differences you have, start the conversations off with something you all can agree on. For example, there is a lot of talk about school choice, charter schools, and schools’ education types. Rather than focus on the different types of schools, the initial conversations have to be on, do kids deserve good schools? The next part of the exchange should center on what schools are working for kids. Then and only then can we began to disagree.
Ray’s a Sellout
Some people won’t understand my stance. They will call me a sellout, or perhaps some other insult that they don’t truly understand. I’ve never been one to do things because of others. I do it because of what is inside of my heart. Hopefully, this helps you to move away from Karenism. Just call them who they are, racist people.
Guys, come on, I know you all laughed out loud when you saw the picture of Dwayne Carter, aka Lil Wayne, pictured with President Trump. Yet another trash rapper turned political pundit. If you haven’t seen this picture, it was a horrifying sight but not for the reasons that you may think. A lot of Black celebrities with influence are throwing their hands into politics.
It isn’t new; I know you all recall Trapper Young Jeezy and his hit song, “My President is Black.” That was a nostalgic moment for me; it felt good to type when my president was Black.
Moreover, this wouldn’t be the first time Lil Wayne has said something controversial or just outright stupid. He’s the same guy that said, “There is no such thing as racism. Racism doesn’t exist.” Wayne lost me, and he should have lost many of you when he made that statement. It just shows how, when you abuse narcotics for so long, no one knows the extremes of absurdity that can surface in your comments.
But let me say this, Wayne is not entirely stupid. He’s doing what the top 1% does. He is advocating for his self-interests. It just so happens that his current self-interests do not align with what Americans need at the moment. Anyone that makes over 400k a year is scared shitless right now. A Biden tax code that confiscates 28% of income earned is a substantial amount of money. The issue is real for Wayne, but I would never want to be a trash rapper turned political pundit even now.
Trump is doing what he set out to do. He has us talking about Dwayne Carter and not Donald Trump. People won’t talk about his racist candidacy. Why are we not talking about his record for the past four years? The past four years have been the dismantling of a system put in place by President Obama. We can’t do four more years of the current administration. So the next time a trash rapper becomes a political pundit, remember, “There’s nothing to see here.”
If there is anything that I have learned during this Covid-19 pandemic is to trust the process. Not everything is going to happen when you want it to happen. However, for real success to occur, you have to be willing to take risks. Sometimes risks are calculated, but sometimes they aren’t. You have to trust yourself and go with your gut.
Honestly, I had been delaying the release of season three of the Edupurist podcast. For some reason, I doubted the content and wasn’t sure of many things associated with the pod. Self-doubt took over and made me question if I was putting out a quality product. Of course, those reading this and those that follow the work I know this inaccurate, but I now see the turmoil and stress put on creatives. So, if you’re reading this, know you’re dope, and you should trust the process.
Any opportunity that you have to showcase voices or to shed light on issues you care about— do not let that opportunity pass you bye. First, come to a more in-depth understanding of who you are and the positive attributes you possess. Next, remember why you do the work. If you are selfless in your approach, your blessing will come back to you two-fold. Lastly, people that are dope are often tough on themselves. If you’re self-reflective like I am, no one will ever be able to judge you as critically as you judge yourself. But through the midst of all of that internal strife, make sure never to forget to love yourself.
Season 3 The Edupurist Podcast
With all of this inner turmoil and self-doubt, I bring to you season 3 of my podcast, The Edupurist podcast. In the first episode of season 3, I enlist some super friends to talk about the selection and implementation of K-12 literacy. This episode follows a blog I wrote on the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. #TCRWP is a curriculum adapted by many urban school districts that do not have the necessary components for Bb students to experience reading and writing with fidelity. We had a great conversation about literacy, and at the end of the day, improving K-12 education starts with a conversation. It also starts and ends with trusting the process.
If I told you about my frustrations with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWPBS), you wouldn’t believe me. First, you would think I was making it up. Unfortunately, I am not making it up. This curriculum isn’t in the best interest of Black and Brown kids. As a result of my willingness to express my thoughts openly, I am open to criticism. I’m good with that. It comes with the territory and upholds the assertion that no one that educates students should be beyond reproach.
Further, I always thought of this program as a budget buster. Here it is, you have an expensive reading and writing program, in tandem with an expensive Professional development component. Teachers want what’s best for their kids. Educators believe in the TC brand, which makes it’s easy to sell this program. The people that developed the program are super smart and know their audience. Their audience is folks that are desperate for an answer to improve education for students. Sadly, this curricula is not the answer.
Not Questioning Intellect, I’m Questioning Motives
Additionally, I want to be clear; I’m not questioning the intellectual capacity of those that design or implement TCRWPBS. I’m asking about the intentionality of the programming. Simply put, this program is not for Black and Brown impoverished kids. The students mentioned above lack the background knowledge to explore and make the inferences it would take to be a successful participant in a Teachers College Reading and Writing curricula. Put another way, at best, TCRWPBS is an anticipatory set and should be used to supplement other types of meaningful curriculum that teaches students the foundations of reading.
Bad for Poor Kids
Moreover, for schools like my own that have invested thousands of dollars in the curriculum and its training modules, it’s little to no solace that Lucy Caulkins has decided to be transparent about the curriculum she’s made millions off. Sadly, there are folks at TC and other academics that won’t say a word about this. As a result, it’s dangerous to call out TC and other curriculum developers. I’m okay with the backlash that may come from my criticism of this program. I’m actually thinking about how many lives have been damaged, how many students have been wrongly diagnosed, and how many kids have been left behind due to this program’s blind brand loyalty.
A Push for Anti-Racist Curricula
If we are making a push to discuss anti-racist teaching, now is the perfect time to discuss the racist materials pumped into students’ minds. For instance, students need to see themselves in the materials they read—Any other approach to reading furthers the divide between affluent and poverty-stricken students. You can’t expect a socio-economically disadvantaged student to have background knowledge of something they have never understood. I was and remain openly defiant to the Teacher College Reading and Writing Project. Finally, I think the material is anti-Bb (Black and Brown), anti-rural poor White, and negates how poverty plays a role in deficit teaching and learning.