I am beginning to hate Oakland’s carpetbagger protesters. Idiots who come from Berkeley or Walnut Creek, to break windows, snarl traffic, and now F up the Oakland Unified Board meetings. Enter the Oakland Education Association’s BAMN caucus, a group of largely White people whose recent infamy comes from ramblings about the “New Jim Crow”, or calling our Black Supe “a Tom”. Meanwhile Black folks who actually lived through Jim Crow, shake their head in bemusement. You can read more about it here.
Were these crackers not so misguided it would be funny. Elaine Brown, from the Black Panthers is in the room and a bunch of young White people are railing about “Jim Crow”. Something they totally misunderstand, but are unwilling to listen to actual Black folks about. Many of us want to learn from Elaine Brown, Mr. Oscar Wright, Ms. Oral Lee Brown, these are our elders and heroes, who actually have fought for other Black folks. Not the BAMN folks, they would rather shout down a meeting than listen.
A friend of mine who grew up in Mississippi—where they had real Jim Crow—where you walked to school, and you could see the bus with the White kids blow by you every day, where you literally picked cotton, sun up to sun down, for a couple of dollars on a good day. She just shook her head. She could not understand, and did not want to come back to another OUSD meeting.
It’s farcically ironic, but there is a cost. These idiots suck the air out of the room, and actually make what should be a public space, less hospitable. For students to see this as a model of public decision making is tragic, and when these people claim to represent the “public” and they show their ass, and disrupt the meetings—a reasonable response is to alter the meeting rules and limit public comment. So the fools set a standard that lowers the discourse for those that actually want to participate.
Nobody who goes to these meetings, in their right mind, wants to sit through this crap, exploiting kids, spreading misinformation, and then the idiotic chanting and disruptions. Hey Ho Hey Ho These Berkeley crackers have got to go.
And I use the term “cracker” deliberately. You didn’t see these people out there doing this crap when the White dude was running things. I have to agree with the NAACP on this one, where they have critiqued the denigration of the dialogue.
And again, it’s particularly galling to see a bunch of mighty White folks, parade Black and Brown kids, and disrespect their elders and our Superintendent. Disagreements are fine, I like disputes, but this racialized disrespect if out of bounds. And in the Black community we teach our young to respect our elders. Not sure what is happening in Antioch.
We have a ton of work to do in Oakland to deliver quality education equitably. The special education system that BAMN is so fervently defending gives special education students a 9.6% chance of completing the A-G courses required to even apply to UC or CSU, and 7% chance of reading on grade level in grade 6. Looking at the numbers I don’t see a whole lot to fight for there.
If you care about Oakland, or our most vulnerable students, let’s start talking about what we do to change things, with some concrete proposals.
If you want to come to OUSD and bang a drum—stay in Berkeley.
And if you want to throw around epithets or sound a racial dog whistle—just stay the F home.
We got work to do while you are just wasting everyone’s time.