School Leaders Response

(The Founding Principal of Roots PCS, Bernida Thompson, Ed.D., responded to the issue raised in a recent Washington Post article.)

I would like to respond to your report about public schools in DC being segregated.  It’s important to recognize that integration isn’t the opposite of segregation.  Don’t get it twisted.

Segregation is a forced separation for the purpose of treating people inferior.  It is when the ruling class separates people from the wealth, dignity, respect, and ability to achieve power over any of these three things.  Integration doesn’t change the philosophy of segregation – it still uses ruling class standardized tests to measure proficiency, not taking into consideration that nobody is proficient in everything and people’s needs for specific proficiencies are different.  Everybody’s needs, interests, proficiencies, and talents are different.  This is where real consideration for diversity becomes an actuality.   The opposite of segregation is independence and choice.  People of all races should be given the independent means to develop wealth for their communities, the choice to set up schools and other institutions for the benefit and needs of their children and community.   

Unfortunately, capitalist U.S. needs a permanent underclass.  This is why you see so many homeless families in all of the major cities.  The most conscious people of African descent know that the wealth of the U.S. was built upon the labor of their people and that there is a need to teach their children the knowledge they need to know.  African-Centered schools are not segregated schools.  Through African pedagogy and the spirit of Ma’at, they are schools that teach children about the glory and pride of their African heritage and explain the world through a more correct history and vantage point of African people.  



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