And...I just went on my 3rd Disney vacation. *face palm* This one just hit home. I guess 3rd times a charm and someone is not as "woke" as they thought. Real talk though...I'm woke...I just fudged up and I'm here to share that so you don't find yourself in my predicament. (See...how very woke of me!)
No. I don't think that we should be celebrating "Dr." Seuss, but I also think we have to end this Disney addiction too. According to the article "Duck in the Hat," written by Didier Ghez, Theodor Seuss Geisel ghost wrote "The Life of Donald Duck" which only lists Walt Disney's name. They both gotta go. They all gotta go.
In the first episode of Killer Mike's "Trigger Warning", he lives 48 hours only buying and using 100% Black products. All the way down to the weed he smokes. It was extremely tough to accomplish, and I was proud to see him highlight various Black owned businesses, farms, and resources in Georgia. He even visited the We Cycle bike shop that's owned by an old friend of mine, Shawn Deangelo Walton, where he teaches children bike safety and how to rebuild bikes as an incentive program in the West End of Atlanta. #TeacherMagic
Photo of Shawn Deangelo Walton and Killer Mike via ShawnWalton.com
Exposed biases will make you ponder the actuality of living a life where you are buying ethical and ONLY supporting businesses that have a clean track record. But I'm still left questioning, "Are you genuine?" or "Have you just not been caught?"
Is it realistic? What do I do with the things I've already acquired? Do I keep them? Do I donate them? Do I throw them away?
Some people will argue that Seuss apologized and exhibited gestures of change or that Disney has removed quiet a few blatantly racist characters, scenes, words, etc. from earlier films, but the stereotypes still exist and can't be ignored. That's actually one way that racism continues to live on, ignorance.
Honestly, I don't have the answers either Sway. Would I want someone to judge every body of my work based on things I did when I was ignorant and uneducated? No. I mean...heck...I just made the horrible decision of spending major bucks on a Disney Cruise, a company that DEFINITELY has a racist past...and I knew better. I did. I can't even explain away the lapse in judgement.
So much of this post was inspired by various educators, but it was a post by Liz Kleinrock aka @teachandtransform that reminded me of how imperfect we all are and how "messy" the journey to wokeness is.
I believe it is possible to live a minimalistic, off the grid life...but in the meantime...until I get there, I believe it's also important to not have a closed perspective about anything. This is at the forefront of my mind as I prepare myself to talk with my daughters' school about their Seuss activities. My objective is to educate and enlighten, while continuing to build community amongst educators.
I'm very curious to know your thoughts.
*Don't CELEBRATE Seuss's birthday. Focus on the beautiful diversity of America by following a plan like the one created by Vera aka @thetututeacher.
*Share the article written by @theconsciouskid to provide your administrators with researched information pertaining to Seuss's racist history.
*Complete an author study with your students and share why each year more and more educators are ridding Seuss from their lesson plans.
*Research & highlight other major companies, public figures, etc. that have taken a stance against discrimination and encourage your students to become advocates for change like Emily aka @readitwriteitlearnit.