Friday, February 15, 2013

Suburban High School Honors Black Panther Party

This story has been picked up by KSTP Channel 5 (Twin Cities); they will be broadcasting an interview with one of the concerned parents tonight on their 6pm program.

East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minnesota decided to use Valentine's Day as a day to commemorate the Black Panther Party in a school-wide presentation.  Apparently, the day set aside for all things love is the perfect day on which to roll out information about one of the most violent and militant groups in the USA's recent history.

According to the transcript obtained by a concerned parent (after the principal refused to honor her request for a written copy of the announcement that her son had heard that morning. A few hours later a district representative contacted her and gave her the transcript) the presentation, led by Social Studies teacher, Tishanna Brown, began with a reading of A Black Child's Pledge, by Shirley Williams, which was originally published in The Black Panther Newsletter on October 28, 1968:

I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO MY BLACK PEOPLE.
I PLEDGE TO DEVELOP MY MIND AND BODY TO THE GREATEST EXTENT POSSIBLE.
I WILL LEARN ALL THAT I CAN IN ORDER TO GIVE MY BEST TO MY PEOPLE IN THEIR STRUGGLE FOR LIBERATION.
I WILL KEEP MYSELF PHYSICALLY FIT, BUILDING A STRONG BODY FREE FROM DRUGS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES WHICH WEAKEN ME AND MAKE ME LESS CAPABLE OF PROTECTING MYSELF, MY FAMILY AND MY BLACK BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
I WILL UNSELFISHLY SHARE MY KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING WITH THEM IN ORDER TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE MORE QUICKLY.
I WILL DISCIPLINE MYSELF TO DIRECT MY ENERGIES THOUGHTFULLY AND CONSTRUCTIVELY RATHER THAN WASTING THEM IN IDLE HATRED.
I WILL TRAIN MYSELF NEVER TO HURT OR ALLOW OTHERS TO HARM MY BLACK BROTHERS AND SISTERS FOR I RECOGNIZE THAT WE NEED EVERY BLACK MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD TO BE PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY STRONG.
THESE PRINCIPLES I PLEDGE TO PRACTICE DAILY AND TO TEACH THEM TO OTHERS IN ORDER TO UNITE MY PEOPLE.
The presentation went on:
"Good Morning, East Ridge! I'm _____________. 'Power to the People' and 'Black is Beautiful' are two of the slogans associated with todays "Black History Month" person, or should I say, "People" of the day.  Today we commemorate Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, co-Founders of The Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
In October of 1966, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. In the most part to address the rampant police brutality faced by many black communities around the country.  The Panthers practiced militant self-defense of minority communities against the U.S. Government, and fought to establish revolutionary socialism through mass organizing and community based programs such as free lunch and medical programs. The party, consisting mostly of men and women under the age of 25, was one of the first organizations in U.S. history to militantly struggle for ethnic minority and working class emancipation" (SIC)
Page 1 of Original Transcript
Page 2 of Original Transcript; note the change in
font and lack of punctuation; evidence of the
teacher "cutting and pasting" info from
www.marxist.org
According to an East Ridge parent, the principal told her that this presentation was one of many the school was doing for Black History Month and meant to draw attention to the historical significance of the Panther's movement.  So, basically, folks, there is no reason to freak out because this was just an educational exercise.  There were no other groups that are historically significant in Black American History that should be given the same level of honor and significance.  There aren't any other positive historical Black Americans from which to choose, nope, we must choose the ones that somehow manage to mix "revolutionary socialism" and "militant self-defense" with "organizing and community based programs such as free lunch and medical programs..." (Which, by the way, how did the teacher say that sentence with a straight face?)

It is no wonder that with the glorification of such groups as the Black Panthers that there are people who are excusing and adoring another cop-killer this week, Christopher Dorner.  It is no wonder that our kids have no real concept of American history when they are fed sound-bytes like the one above.

It is offensive to me and should be to any American that out of the many people and groups who could be honored for Black History month that East Ridge would choose The Black Panther Party as one that they chose to honor. I wonder if I were to go to the school, enter American History classes and ask random students who Hiram Revels was, if they'd know he was the first Black American elected to the Senate in 1870? Or what about CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) a group of which MLK was part, which focused on non-violent actions to gain racial equality?  Google or Bing "Black Americans in History" and hundreds of links pop up - even a lazy teacher could do that and come up with better examples of Black Americans in History than the Black Panthers.  Either the East Ridge Principal, Aaron Harper and his cohort Tishanna Brown are ignorant of the great tapestry of Black American History and too lazy to research examples of people worthy of honoring or they have an agenda that they are following to further some perverse purpose of encouraging children to believe that "militant self defense" against the US Government and police is ok as long as one is combining that with "free lunch and medical programs."

Another point: say a student's interest in the Black Panther Party was piqued during this presentation, so s/he goes online to check out the group.  What will that student find? The following is an example of what a brief search would give that student:

In October of 1966, in Oakland California, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The Panthers practiced militant self-defense of minority communities against the U.S. government, and fought to establish revolutionary socialism through mass organizing and community based programs. The party was one of the first organizations in U.S. history to militantly struggle for ethnic minority and working class emancipation — a party whose agenda was the revolutionary establishment of real economic, social, and political equality across gender and color lines.
Oh, but wait, isn't that the EXACT language used by the teacher in the presentation? Why, yes, it is.  Funny, but isn't that called PLAGIARISM? Which website did Ms. Brown steal this from? That's right, www.marxist.org.    It looks like Ms. Brown cleaned it up and made it a bit nicer by adding "like free lunch and medical programs," but otherwise, she seems to have been at a loss as how to write an original statement about the Black Panthers herself.

But, never mind that, parents, there is no agenda here. This was an educational opportunity used to enlighten and educate the students on Black American History.


18 comments:

  1. if we didnt have a marxist in the white house actively white washing the horrors of marxism, i'd say 'unbelievable'. But we do, and i cant.

    i, as a taxpayer, am outraged my tax dollars are going to pay the salary of a woman who is using violent, racist, terroristic murders as 'role models' for black history month.

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  2. Nothing to see here, folks. Just keep moving on. No damage done. Just teaching the kids some good old American history. After all, it's all about self defense and free lunches - that's all! Don't pay attention to the crazy hockey mama lady. She probably also supports that crazy second amendment! In fact, she probably supports all of that antiquated piece of parchment known as the Constitution! :) (I hope you sense my sarcasm here!)

    Do you know if the other glorious high school in our community did the same?

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    1. My sources have told me that this is not going on in at WHS. But they will let me know if it does.

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    2. you morons are soooooo fucked up .Welcome to the new marxist USA!!!!!!

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    3. My, my, aren't we the true Vulgarian! Tell, me do you kiss your pimp with that mouth?

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  3. Here is an article from the Woodbury Bulletin:
    http://www.woodburybulletin.com/event/article/id/43176/publisher_ID/23/

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  4. When the school pleads for more funds... remember this crap.

    I don't care who takes responsibility! Some people need to be fired! NOW!
    We no longer have schools of learning.
    Our funds are supporting Indoctrination/Propaganda Centers!

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  5. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
    Perhaps you Tea Party members should read ALL of the Constitution, not just the parts you feel benefit you. I bet you think "one nation under god" was part of the original Pledge of Allegiance and that the framers of our Constitution were all religous men who wanted god in our government.

    I am not saying what the school did was proper. I am saying they broke no rules by doing so. You should not agree with all things said by all people. You should agree all people have the right to say what they feel. Men and women gave their very lives for these rights. You have the obligation to be upset and to express this feeling. You do not have the right to punnish others for saying their words. What are you so frightened of?

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    1. Go live in Africa you fucking marxist.

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    2. THe courts have ruled that there is no 'free speech' in schools, but if you were informed, you'd know that. Those kids were captives to a woman who has an agenda that is radical at best, violent at worst.

      It is one thing to pledge allegiance to the Country and our Constitution, it is quite another thing to pledge allegiance to a race.

      The school broke the rules of common courtesy, good judgement and decency. The public address system is no place to air hateful racist rants. Are you excusing it because of the color of her skin? Because, THAT IS RACIST.

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    3. I understand the rules associated with schools and how they find ways te exempt themselves from the First and Fourth Amendments. So, again, why you so frightened? If it were about the jews and Nazi party I bet you would be ok with saying all kinds of rotten things. Please remember, us whites were using fire hoses and dogs on black people who were marching for equal rights. I am sure your parents were part of those who were upset at a group of people trying to have same rights as they had. Also, I find those who have no argument tend to call their opponents names. I would not call you a racist, or any other "name."

      Why would you assume I am a liberal? Because I do not agree with your analysis of the law? I would be willing to bet large amounts of money I have read far more law than you will ever see in your life. The history of the United States is full of discrimination by the government, by individuals, and it will always exist. Teachers should teach facts and not opinions. For example, I would be willing to also bet you believe in either Adam or some type of devine intervention instead of evolution and you get upset about science teachers not wanting to include your theory. Yet, teachers are not there to teach religion, they are there to teach science. Religions, even those based upon the same basic belief, ALL argue about the fine points. Catholics don't feel the same about certain elements as do those who actually read the bible. How could a school possibly cover all of the aspects of the different religions? Then we cannot forget about Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, and so many others.

      Reading a poem is not an attempt to have your children become Black Panthers. I doubt the Panthers would want your kids to join their ranks. It was showing an example of our history, the history we all come from and must learn about. If the school read something from the KKK that does not mean the school is trying to find new memebers for them either. It is an exmaple from our past. Move on to something important, like staying home and shopping while your husband is trying to stay awake at his job.

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    4. Dear Anonymous:

      Wow. It is hard to have an intellectual discourse with someone who has so many issues on so many levels.

      "I'm sure your parents were part of the group".....holy cow is that a personal attack bordering on slander and bullying. What gives you the right to assume that I am white? What gives you the impression I called you racist? (i said excusing behavior on account of skin color is racist, if you did, then that makes you racist which is not my judgment but a reflection of your inner mind) Maybe it was YOUR parents who we racist and you are compensating for it. I dont know, but it is offensive and indicative of a shallow argument base.

      It is your obsession with race is more than disturbing. It is indicative of someone who is sympathetic to groups like the Black Panthers, who wanted groups other than theirs to feel guilty, forever. Someone who still sees people for the color of their skin or historical ethnic roots. I am an American first. I am not a hyphenated group who feels victimized by the system. That is a world you may choose to live in, but it is not one we should be requiring our kids to live in.


      You state that teachers should teach 'facts' not 'opinion'. I agree. But that requires a teacher who is ethically responsible in presenting a balanced approach and activating critical thinking. Looking in to this teachers curriculum, it is not clear that is the case. Again, accountability and transparency are required. We, the tax payer, are entitled to know what our teachers are teaching and how it is being taught. That is what we are attempting to discern. If this teacher is teaching in an ethical way.

      Lastly, it is clear to me that you are no longer worth one more word.

      "like staying home and shopping while your husband is trying to stay awake"

      You hide behind 'anonymous'; are judgmental of people you dont know; are lacking in civility, and YOU ARE OFFENSIVE. No amount of cloaking your hateful, offending statements in big words and nice sounding bites can make up for the fact that you have serious issues. I would suggest a therapist, this is not the forum for your personal racial issues. This is an issue about violence and marxism.

      Then again, maybe you are a racist marxist, so it is perfectly ok? I dont know, and unlike you, it is a question mark, not a statement.

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    5. Margaret , a citizenFebruary 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      I believe this comment is actually from a thinking individual - one who cares about the schools which are in our midst and trying to "school" the next generation. If shallow arguments are at work, it is because the person writing them also did not learn how to think, but just REACT and condemn others, lacking the ability to actually interact appropriately and with aforethought. Keep up the discussion, because even though I don't have kids in school, this occurrence was totally RACIST against "other than Black", and is very disturbing. Thank those of you who care, and are willing to speak up!
      M

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  6. I would contend that this is not about race, but about violence.

    This teacher feels it is justified in certain circumstances to use violence as a means to achieve an end. That is the polar opposite of what we have been teaching our kids, that we use our words and work things out.

    Then again, maybe we should find out what this teacher is teaching in her classroom? If she feels comfortable spouting this over the PA system, my guess is that she is saying it in stronger terms in her classroom.

    It is obvious that what we THINK teachers are teaching is NOT what they are actually teaching. This High School owes the parents an apology for celebrating a group that did, and still does advocate violence means to achieve their desired goals. That is called Domestic Terrorism.

    I think the school board should check out this womans class and curriculum. THe principle should provide education to all the students as to who the Black Panthers were, what they did, what they believed in, and then present a counter point to it. That is called teaching Critical THinking. What that teacher appears to believe in is Indoctrination.

    It appears her glorifying violence as justifiable is not isolated to a suburban community, as we have seen played out in the Minneapolis High School last week.

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  7. For the 'anonymous' who seems to support the PA broadcasting of the Black Panther Pledge over the PA system at the High School.
    Multi-culturalism is killing this country. (just look at the kids tweets). Then again, maybe for people like that, that is the goal:

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/lamm.asp

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  8. Hmmm, if anyone thinks that was OK to teach in High School, then this should also be taught. As this was also a HUGE part of “Black History”…Read this and see if you think Tishanna Brown would allow such.

    From the 1925 Klansman Manual.

    111. Its Nature
    I. Patriotic. One of the paramount purposes of this order is to "exemplify a pure patriotism toward our country." Every Klansman is taught from the beginning of his connection with the movement that it is his duty "to be patriotic toward our country."
    2. Military. This characteristic feature applies to its form of organization and its method of operations. It is so organized on a military plan that the whole power of the whole order, or of any part of it, may be used in quick, united action for the execution of the purposes of the order.
    3. Benevolent. This means that the movement is also committed to a program of sacrificial service for the benefit of others. As a benevolent institution, the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan must give itself to the task of relieving and helping the suffering and distressed, the unfortunate and oppressed.

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