Good day, my friends.
I’m coming to you with another serious blog post. I don’t tend to post things like this unless it’s something serious, whether it’s local or national. Today’s post touches on a sensitive issue: racism
As I’m sure some of you know, a school employee, Mary Ingram, is filing a lawsuit against the Buford City School District. Ingram’s suit claims the superintendent, Geye Hamby, wrongfully terminated her for a petition to add gold to the school’s emblem to signify the importance of the black community in the district. The suit includes recordings of Hamby using the N-word in reference to African-American construction workers and making death threats toward them. At the time of the posting of this entry, the local paper reported that Hamby resigned from his position in light of these allegations.
This makes me angry on so many levels. For starters, this is a reminder that racism still runs rampant in this country. Whether it’s in a big city or a small town. For anyone to tell me racism no longer exists hasn’t been paying attention. I, as well as other Black Americans, are fighting an uphill battle to be treated as equal citizens. And to be honest, “uphill battle” doesn’t begin to describe what we’re enduring. As it relates to this case, we have to ask ourselves, “when did an employee—a paraprofessional, nonetheless—raising questions about the treatment of students become a punishable offense?” Ingram had reasonable concern and was bold enough to shine the light onto the subject.
In addition, there’s the question of who else on the school board is racist. I can’t make assumptions, but I’m willing to believe there are more. Hamby got caught.
Second, this sheds light on a double standard in relation to racism. If I said anything disparaging and derogatory toward a White person or made death threats, I would be fired on the spot. It wouldn’t matter if I was a cart pusher at a retailer or a partner at a law firm. I have a responsibility to represent my employer the best I can. Hamby is no exception. What makes this worse is that citizens voted him in with the understanding he would what’s best and what’s right for the students. He violated that trust.
And that leads me to the most damaging consequence in this suit. The mistrust students and parents will have. Most students and parents have met Hamby. Prior to this suit, he and Ingram were well-respected in the district. Now, parents will have the difficult task of not only talking about his heinous actions, but talk about the subject of racism.
It’s something no one wants to discuss. I don’t even want to talk about it. I have a responsibility, however, to educate and protect my kids. They need to know and understand that there are people in the world who will not like them because of their heritage. So much so that they will not just spout slurs. They will be inclined to inflict bodily harm on them. As a parent, it’s my job to protect them, but I can only protect them for so long. So I will educate them and give them tools to become strong, upstanding citizens.
There will be a school board meeting this upcoming Monday night. I will be at that meeting. And I hope many other POC will be in attendance. We need to take a stand and tell the school board we will no longer tolerate the lack of proper treatment for our children. They deserve better. And Buford City Schools should expect better.