No NAACP. No You Don’t.
You have not been given a blank check to speak on behalf of colored people all across America. I certainly don’t remember signing up for or agreeing to that. You don’t have the hands-on knowledge needed to develop an unbiased, clear and inclusive position that represents how parents like me feel about charter schools. Your track record disqualifies you from making such a sweeping decision that will do irreparable damage to the lives of black families.
In fact, it is beyond my understanding how your organization or the Movement for Black Lives could have the audacity to speak as a voice for Black America. You don’t speak for me. And In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, you have written “a bad check, a check that has come back marked insufficient funds”.
I am a father. I am dedicated to fighting for educational equity for black children. And as we toil to educate parents and mobilize parents, you fight against us. As we work tirelessly to elevate parent voices and find allies who support us, you fight against us. As we work to engage educators, administrators, and community stakeholders as partners, you fight against is.
You are not an ally. You are in the way. You are not with us in the trenches doing the hard work it takes to ensure that black children have access to the quality schools they deserve. I don’t recall seeing any of my local NAACP or Black Lives Matter representatives at important meetings involving my children’s education. I didn’t see you at the public school unification meetings in New Orleans. Yet all of a sudden you emerge from the shadows with a bold statement against school choice and then have the gall to claim you’re doing it “for the people.” A national moratorium on charter schools is your way of helping me when you haven’t walked even a half mile in my shoes?
This action by the NAACP and the Movement for Black Lives is such an attack on the black community and their overwhelming support for school choice, 160 education leaders came together to sign a letter asking the two organizations to rethink their position on this moratorium. These signatories see this action as a shot across the bow that will only hinder parents’ ability to make the right choices for their children’s education.
I truly appreciate the 160 education leaders for standing in the gap for me. But as a parent leader, I have a few things to say to the NAACP and the Movement for Black Lives.
You don’t show up to hear our stories. You don’t visit the schools that you impugn. And where is your call for a moratorium on the schools that have been failing our children for decades? The black community can’t afford to be used as a pawn in your politically motivated education games.
Don’t fight against us. Join us. We need all hands on deck to get our children the schools they need and deserve. Come into our community. Introduce (or reintroduce) yourselves.
Work to build a working relationship with us, the citizens and parents in the community. Listen to our stories, our opinions, our experiences. Work with us. Support us.
But if you can’t do that, we are not open for your business. Your money, that bad check, is no good here.