In this post I am sharing my letter to the director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Board of Education at Howard County Schools. I believe this letter is a powerful testimony that exposes the lack of truth being taught to our children in the schools. I wrote this letter in 2018 when, I found out that the schools were adding the BLM movement into the black history month curriculum.
Dear Kevin and Board of Education members,
I wanted to express my concern regarding the addition of a curriculum during Black history month that is highlighting the Black Lives Matter movement. I was pretty upset about this because I feel like the concerns which started the movement are valid. They are a concern to me and every person I know. However, in many of cases these protests morphed into rioting, destruction of property, violence against police officers and others in the community. It also facilitated a form of discrimination in that it encouraged the belief that all police officers do not care about black lives.
The civil rights movement is an extremely important and valuable movement, we must stand up for unfair treatment of anyone of every race. All life is valuable and should be respected and treated fairly. I think Black history month is a wonderful way to celebrate all the contributions of African Americans to the history of America.
It is my feeling that if the school is going to talk about this movement it must be willing to reveal and talk about all the consequences of the movement. The things that were right about the movement and the things that were wrong. In the resources that you sent me, which contained recommendations for the teachers to use, I saw no materials referencing the violence that occurred or the way police officers were portrayed. There was no condemnation of the rioting and the violence that happened and the facilitation of mistrust and hatred for police officers. Need I remind you of the extreme devastation this movement caused in our own city of Baltimore and the communities that saw violence and destruction in the name of Justice. In Baltimore 20 police officers were injured, 250 people arrested, 285-350 businesses damaged, 150 vehicle fires, 27 drugstores looted, thousands of Maryland National guard troops deployed to Baltimore and state of emergency declared in our city.
Considering this was a big news event and many students saw this unfold, I am not sure why the resources you provided do not address and express a firm condemnation of the hate, violence and destruction that was associated with these protests. You don't reference the target of hate that has been put on the backs of those who work to protect our cities, communities and neighborhoods from violence. Nor do I see in the resources any reference to the many black lives and all lives police officers save every day. There is no mention of the important role they play in keeping our communities safe.
In the words of the late great advocate for equal rights for all people, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote:
Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love...
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
I would like to ask that you consider adding all aspects of this movement to your curriculum and provide resources that specifically condemn the spread of hatred, violence and racism in all of its forms. I would like to hear back from you regarding my concerns.
I never did receive a response regarding my concerns.