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By Christina Laster, a mother, grandmother, community activist, and a policy director
I’m sure y’all heard about Karen. You know, that White lady who calls the police on Black people for no reason. I can assure you, there’s a Karen living in every American city somewhere. But did y’all know that she has a second cousin named Lynette? Lynettes are those woman who can’t resist telling Black mom’s how to advocate for their children. 🤦🏾♀️
Y’all, she popped on social media 👩🏼💻, 👀 ranting about how the Black community needs “to step up and do something about the root cause of” violence in our kids’ classrooms.
Here’s an excerpt of what Karen’s relative, Lynette, said:
While I agree with some of her points, she still missed the mark. And, if Madea-ing were an expression, I certainly personified it after reading some of her ignorant responses, too. 🤯
First, will someone tell Karen’s cousin that Black children AREN’T BAD, but hurting from the symptoms of systemic racism?
Second, Black people get shot every day in this country just for being Black. And trust and believe Black children are suspended for being Black, too. In fact, studies show that Black children are disproportionately suspended for petty offenses that their White classmates regularly get away with.
It’s quite clear that Lynette is afraid of Black children and thinks they are dangerous because they come from fatherless homes — as if Black women are incapable of raising emotionally healthy, intelligent Black children. And to assume that Black children are dysfunctional or bad because a Black father isn’t living within the household is problematic as hell; it’s actually racist.
Lynette failed to realize that the slit on her dress was cut a little too high, exposing the racist undergarment from last century’s Jim Crow fashion catalog.
I’m sure Lynette is unaware that she holds racial biases against the Black community, but I honestly don’t care. I’m tired of teaching and pointing out to White people how their undergarments are showing.
But what I do care about is the numerous Black students whose lives she’s negatively impacted with her critical heart condition and thoughts about them and their Black parents.
That’s what I’m mad about. Call me an angry Black woman if you feel led. I have a right to be mad as hell when little Black lives are on the line.
Lynette’s thought process and feelings are not out of the norm. The blaming of Black children and the households they come from is common in the realm of White teachers who dominate the traditional education system.
Meanwhile, as she professes to praise school choice, she spews venom into Black children’s lives through the district-run school daily; it’s hypocrisy at its finest –telling parents, they should choose quality education options and, at the same time, not educating children effectively.
How can you teach a child anything of substance if you dislike them and their families? That answer is simple. YOU CAN NOT!
We have to put a full stop on the Lynettes and Karens in education. We, as Black parents, need to see and recognize what’s blatantly in our face. We might not be able to change the system’s behavior, but we can always choose to change ours.
Enough of the madness!
We must collectively stop leaving our children in the hands of people that don’t want to educate them, don’t like them, are afraid of them, and continue to fail them.
We know what to expect from teachers like Lynette and her second cousin; they’ve shown us for decades how they truly feel about us.
Our children can’t wait!
So to the Lynette’s and Karens of this world, I say, Byyyyeeeee. Time’s up on the created, perpetual, achievement gaps, and excessive, harsh, exclusionary, punishment, zero-tolerance practices that feed our Black children into the prison industrial complex.
As for me and my house:
👏🏾WE 👏🏾WILL 👏🏾NO 👏🏾LONGER 👏🏾ENROLL NOR 👏🏾SUBSCRIBE!
So, Black America and White accomplices/advocates for Black Lives, put your best walking shoes on and follow MY lead.
Choose what’s best for your child!✊🏾
Christina Laster is a proud Black /Afro-Latina woman, mother, grandmother, Civil Rights Activist, Humanitarian and Director of Policy and Legislation at the National Parents Union! She was born and raised in San Diego, California where she gained a deep understanding and appreciation for culture and diversity. Laster graduated from the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science then moving on to earn a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Laster worked for nearly 13 years in the San Diego Unified School District as an early childhood education and a special education para-educator.
She’s deeply committed to children, families, and communities. Her passion includes equipping parents, families, and community leaders to become more fortified in their establishment of foundational, generational, adequate progress, and lasting change. A favorite Bible scripture: And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32. The motto she lives by is: Let My People Think!