We asked a Black teacher what it’s like to go back to school

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We asked a Black teacher what it’s like to go back to school

By Comrade Juma

You ever dream about your own funeral? What about the funeral of your child? To see your baby laying in the casket, and in the pit of your stomach knowing that a white person has gotten rich off of their blood.

Two weeks ago, I woke from this dream terrified, struggling to catch my breath. I leaned over to kiss my infant, feeling a sense of gratitude that it was only a bad dream. I reached for my phone to check the time, and remembered why I couldn’t breathe.

The night before, as I got ready for bed, my school district emailed everyone about protocol for returning to school for the 20-21 school year.

The thought of going back to work for the schools, surrounded by COVID-19, forces you to sit with the sick reality that Colonial governments are trying desperately to cover up.

If I return to school, I can become infected, and in turn infect my infant with the novel coronavirus. Reading about babies dying from COVID-19 is haunting, especially when Black and Brown children are six times more likely to get hospitalized from the virus.

The reactions from colonizers have been overwhelmingly cruel. Cave beasts on social media have screamed in comment sections, “Only 1% of children have died,” As if 1% of 50 millions children is not 500,000 deaths.

 

Even one African child’s death is one too many. The virus could have been controlled — has been controlled by anti colonial governments like Cuba and Vietnam — and yet white nationalist are once again forcing the plague into our communities.

Even more disappointing is these same colonizers bullying teachers with a “get over it” mindset, so schools can reopen. Colonizers have chosen a doomed economy over human lives. Our blood keeps the entire system running, and without us it dies.

Colonized people should not be so ready to die along with it.

My school district’s vision of reopening goes like this. First they prioritize safety; emotional, mental, and physical safety of our community, which looks like asking constant forgiveness as their standards continue to change. Then they ask us to be flexible, to persevere when they force us back to school. Our district leaders, white liberals, have extended virtual classrooms for one month, but due to the state’s power, and their spinelessness, we must return in September.

The sickest joke out of the district’s plan to “keep going” is the false “representation” handed to us as we complete mandatory surveys asking our preferences: how would you like to return to the slaughterhouse? Our survey asks,

1) What is your preference for teaching this fall? Virtual or In Person?

2) If you chose virtual, are you willing to relocate to another school or teach another subject that is better fit for online teaching.

3) If you are not willing to relocate or teach outside of your subject preference, do you agree to terminate your position with the district.

The threat of termination is buried right there in the survey. If my teaching certification is for English, and you asked me to teach Math, I am out of work if i decline, with no way to pay rent.

These are the impossible options left me by Colonialism. Return to school, contract the virus, infect my infant, and hope neither of us dies, or lose the very livelihood that allows me to care for my child.

Only one solution

One fact does not change: kids are going to get infected and die from COVID-19 when schools reopen. This is a global pattern that has persisted, but it has not stopped amerikkkan lawmakers from sending children as sacrificial offerings to maintain their profits.

This pattern has only been broken by anti colonial governments who actually value the lives of poor and working class people of color. Black Hammer is leading this example inside the heart of the Colonial empire; we are building Hammer City.

Hammer City is a place without rent, without pigs, without Coronavirus. A land free of Colonial influence, where Colonized people can enforce their own dictatorship over their lives, including over their education system. Another world is possible outside of the impossible choices inside Colonialism.

Hammer City is the solution.

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