So Mock Slave Auctions are Cool Now?
Dear white people, slavery isn’t cool anymore. Neither is simulated slavery. Hell I don’t even like date auctions. I would rather we not do fake auctions to “see how it felt” to be property. It doesn’t teach empathy or sympathy, and if you have to go through a simulation of being property in order to feel how wrong slavery was, then something is already seriously wrong with your brain. You guys don’t do simulated gas chambers or concentration camps to teach people about the Holocaust, and you certainly don’t do simulated death squads to teach people about Rwandan genocides. What the hell makes you think slavery is so different?
That being said, why would anyone think that it would be cool to send FOURTH GRADE students through a simulation of a slave auction? That’s what Jessica Boyle, a teacher in Norfolk, VA did on April 1st. Was it just an idiotic April Fools joke gone awry? We’ll never know. However, it wasn’t the first time this has happened. Last month, a similar auction happened in Ohio. Earlier than that, in 2005, another VA teacher came under fire for doing the same thing. What the hell?
Apparently this has been a part of some elementary school teachers’ curricula for years. If you are a teacher reading this, STOP DOING THAT SHIT. There is nothing you can teach a kid about slave auctions that can’t be done with “Roots” or pictures. Even if it were an effective and not racist thing to do, it’s totally inappropriate for 4th graders! Also, what’s the point of what you’re doing if in ALL of the mock auctions you make the white kids the masters and the black kids the slaves? What are you teaching them? Black folks how to feel degraded and exploited as an inferior race and white folks to feel superior for no reason? Oh wait, every day of our lives teaches us that. Stop.
Perhaps you guys don’t really understand what went on during slave auctions, or what it must have felt to be, as a black woman, to be sold as a child bearing vessel only and to have your genitals poked and prodded to demonstrate health in front of hundreds of men. Perhaps you didn’t realize that families were broken up at auctions, that people were sold with cattle and hogs, and displayed naked as one of them. Like animals. Look here’s some pictures.
All of those teachers should be fired. And if you think it’s cool to do things like this, odds are you may be racist.