Critical RacIST Theory (a poem)

I guess we can’t teach why Native Americans shed tears on that trail

I guess we can’t teach why Japanese Americans were interned in those camps and jailed

I guess we can’t teach why Jews fleeing the Holocaust came to America and were forced to reverse sail

I guess we can’t teach about those who had their rights stalled at Stonewall as they cried and wailed

Too many in America caught up in ignorance and denial

They’d rather have you forget history than learn about its tribulations and trials

They’d rather NOT teach you the history so white folks don’t feel guilty

They think white kids will only see themselves as evil and filthy

But where were your laws when I was learning about me?

When my history books taught I only came from Slavery?

When my mathematic classes left out black contributions?

When my science classes left out our contributions to evolution?

When my classes talked about America’s hopes and intentions

But didn’t lift my hopes by teaching me about Black inventions?

You don’t think I felt guilty? Like 3/5 of a man?

When y’all taught that I was only civilized when you brought me to this land?

—Nubia—

But I ain’t gonna be selfish, it ain’t just my history dismissed

Cause I can talk about Latino, Asian, Indigenous, and Jewish

Cause y’all wanna exclude the Chinese Exclusion acts from the books

You don’t wanna know about all Latinos labeled as Chicanos…and crooks

And even though there are white Muslims, that narrative won’t work

Cause y’all wanna teach that Muslims are just terrorists who murder and hurt

You don’t wanna teach Islamic contributions to science and math

You don’t wanna teach about Native American soldiers present and past

But maybe at the end of the day we’re all fools

Arguing about something that isn’t even taught in schools

But to me CRT ain’t Critical Race Theory

It’s Culturally Relevant or Culturally Responsive Teaching…hear me?

For teachers teaching and reaching for the truth, your efforts, I applaud it

For the rest of y’all if you didn’t want history taught, why did y’all record it?

But I digress, because my faith in white students is stronger than yours

I know they can handle full history and all of its flaws

They can learn the evils of some white people ’cause those evils were defeated

And when we teach them the history they’re inspired to never repeat it

I know that white kids aged 16-19 can handle 1619

Even white kids in elementary and pre-teens

Because too many students get angry when they find out the truth

About America’s complete history that wasn’t taught in their youth

America can only be as good as its promise when we teach history in full

So let’s support our teachers in teaching the truth in school!

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