Discrimination is discrimination, regardless of whether it relates to a person’s skin color – ethnic origins – hair color – sexual preferences – any physical or genetic or health issues or abnormalities – age or youth – whether a person is left or right handed or ambidextrous – a person’s religious or other beliefs – a person’s political views – a person’s schooling – their parent’s jobs – their own jobs – their schooling – their interests in sport – or music – or worm farming – or anything else.

One of the greatest pleasures I have been given in this life has been the opportunity to move around my own country, to move around Asia and Europe and Africa, and to meet other people – people of all descriptions.  I speak and/or read a number of languages, mostly either my “native tongue” (LMAO – that’s silly – I have several of those!) but others that I have picked up “on the hop”, mixing with other people – or just simply being interested enough to pick up a book or a magazine or an article on the net and being interested enough to try to read what it says, even though the language was initially completely unfamiliar.

I have been privileged to have been accepted into the lives and hearts and homes and families of people from all over.

I do not look to see people’s appearance – their differences or their similarities.  I look to see their personalities – their laughter – their interest in the world around them – in animals or music or plants or whatever else comes to mind.  If there are differences between us, they add to my experience of life, of living, of the world and everything in it. They enrich my whole being.  And they allow me the pleasure of a smile, at night, as I put my head on the pillow and drift off to sleep.

And I have a VERY deep seated resentment of ANYONE who departs from that approach but – instead – engages in practices or conduct calculated to humiliate or denigrate anyone who is “different”.  EXTREMELY deep seated, in fact, when the target of their abusive and nasty behavior is a person who is unable to defend and protect him or her self – a child, for instance, like the victim in this story.

It is disgraceful, disgusting and unforgivable for a person to whom the care and education of a child is entrusted to behave in such a despicable fashion – repeatedly, it seems.

There can be no excuse or explanation.

This is “mental cruelty” – this is bullying – this is NOT the behavior of an educator – it not even the behavior of the gutter.

Jean Pierre


Teacher Investigated for Race Conflict

High school English teacher Marilyn Bart has come under fire for singling out a 14-year-old black student with a questionable request.

Lesson on stereotypes went very awry

George C. Marshall High School Student Told To Read Langston Hughes Poem ‘Blacker’

Posted: 03/18/2012 3:42 pm Updated: 03/18/2012 10:16 pm
[If you go to this URL, where this article was posted, you will find a short video clip, in which both Mr Marshall and his mother are interviewed and given the opportunity to put their point of view – he and his mother are both pleasantly spoken and seem somewhat shattered by this experience]


A Virginia high school English teacher is under investigation for allegedly asking the only black student in the class to read a poem in a “blacker” manner.

Jordan Shumate, a ninth-grader at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va., says he was reading aloud Langston Hughes’ “Ballad of the Landlord” when teacher Marilyn Bart interrupted him.

She told me, ‘Blacker, Jordan — c’mon, blacker. I thought you were black,'” Shumate told The Washington Post.

When the 14-year-old student declined to continue reading the poem, Bart read it herself to demonstrate what she meant.

She read the poem like a slave, basically,” Shumate told the Post. When he asked whether she thought all black people speak that way, he was reportedly told to take his seat and reprimanded for speaking out of turn.

The poem was written in 1940 about a black tenant thrown in jail for challenging a landlord.

It’s very, very unprofessional,” Shumate told WJLA-TV. “It should not happen. She didn’t do it to any other kids. Why did she have to do it to me?”

The student brought the issue to his mother’s attention after the teacher reportedly singled him out again during a lesson about stereotypes. Shumate said Bart asked him to explain why blacks like grape soda and rap music.

Shumate’s mother, Nicole Page, told WAMU that she is “very sad” for her “child’s loss of innocence” through the experience. The teacher had also previously asked the student to rap out a poem by black rapper and actor Tupac Shakur, Page said.

We’re in 2012 with the first African American president,” Page told WJLA-TV. “In this era how could such a statement be made, particularly by an English teacher?”

Shumate’s claims come after two shocking and racist YouTube videos surfaced in Florida last month that feature white teen girls making disparaging statements against black students.

At least one of the incidents forced the video’s creators to apologize and leave their Gainesville, Fla., high school.


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