Monday, September 8, 2014

DTFO!!!

I have had one of the most uncomfortable mornings teaching that I have ever had in eleven years of standing in front of a classroom.  For the first time in my career, one of my students said something blatantly racist.  We were discussing how long drugs can be detected in someone's system through their hair, and this fifty year old woman pipes up with "That's why so many black men shave their heads bald."

Umm...what?  No.  No, it isn't. 

This woman has not struck me as the brightest bulb in the box.  She's needed more help to get less done than everyone else in her class, and now?  Now, she says something blatantly racist like that in a class where everyone is twenty years younger than her, at least, and then tries to defend said statement with "I'm not racist!  My fiance is black!"

Wow.  And she didn't even realize that the whole class was about to dog-pile her for that statement, and glared at me when I shut discussion down to move to another topic. 

There were two black kids in that class.  And the young man is one of the two cleanest-cut of his particular age group in the class.  There are four Muslims in that class, and they are all very dark, and were just as shocked and disgusted as everyone else.  The one sitting next to her got up and moved a seat down away from her.

And she didn't realize how angry the entire class was.  Nor that the whole class was about to dog-pile onto her.  Nor yet that almost all of the black men on campus wear long, beautifully maintained cornrow braids, nor that most of the bald guys in the area shaving their heads are white.

That takes a special kind of stupid, one that I don't have patience with, and doesn't belong in a college setting.

I don't care what you think, only that you think...and that includes determining when and where is appropriate to open your mouth and spew stuff that sounds like it came from the Jim Crow south.

This dumb bitch really needs to drop out...or at least drop my class.  

12 comments:

  1. "A special kind of stupid".......

    And she votes and has children, too.

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    1. Sadly. My brain still hurts, after a shot of rye whiskey on the rocks...

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    2. I don't think I could ever be a teacher.

      I've taught technical classes before, but that was a case where the students were very sharp, curious, and really wanted to be in the class, and were vetted beforehand.

      You have my props for your patience!

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  2. At least you got it handled before it COMPLETELY blew up...

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    1. The only reason I shut it down instead of letting them verbally rip her a new one was that once you lose control of a classroom, it's a lot harder to get it back.

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    2. Yeah, that. I'm so glad I gave that up some years ago. You are a better person than I.

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    3. I seem to be the only person in the department that thinks that writing well is as simple as following a formula. My students need that. All students need that, but they're not getting it.

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    4. I can get behind that as well as I can how to subnet a network. Yeah, same thing only different =)

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  3. "...My fiance is black!"

    uh huh, stupid has been confirmed.

    -Moe

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  4. A colleague had to deal with similar one semester, but on more than one occasion: he had a student with some kind of unspecified disability, part of which was that this student had no "filter," and all kinds of wtf-ery, including racist wtf-ery, came tumbling out of the student's mouth. Colleague had developed a distinct eye-twitch by the end of the semester.

    Several semesters later we find out it's possible for a student causing those kinds of issues to have what is essentially a Come to Jesus meeting with the disabilities coordinator and the prof and put some kind of a "behavioral contract" in place, where the prof is allowed to first reprimand and then throw the student out if he or she violates the contract.

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    Replies
    1. This is an older woman who simply isn't bright. I think she's a little bit racist, so ingrained that she doesn't even realize it. It happens, but most are smart enough not to say crap like that when there are members of the disliked group in the class.

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