Tag Archives: empowerment

On the Topic of Racism: With Teija O. Kishna, or, Bravo CSD!


M. Richard Horrellschmitz

Hello all!

Today I am delighted to share with you a video, in ASL, made by my daughter, Teija.  After she and I talked about an incident at school and her school’s response, she filmed herself explaining it and we edited it together for you all.

This video is dedicated to all those who erroneously believe that “racism is over.”  And to all those who know that it is not…  this is for you.

Please CLICK HERE to watch the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnqUq3DKwcI

For those who require English Access, Ms. Kishna’s speech is transcribed below:

Good news
(Intro slide)
Hello my name is Teija Kishna.  I am a student at CSD Fremont as well as the treasurer for the Ebony Club on campus.  I am also a rep for the Bay Area Black-Deaf Advocates.  
Last week there was an incident on campus.  A white student used the N word –N word–N word…. In class!  
(N word slide and “wrong” slide)
He was caught using the N word on film.
(How did administrators respond? Over “hate” slide)
CSD addressed this issue of racism by first suspending the student.  And when he returns from suspension he is required to come to the ebony club where he will face his Black peers.   This will really make him regret using that word.  Is the intent to simply to punish him.  Not at all.  The goal is to educate him, teach him, help him make changes and improve himself. 
(Various slides depicting Eracism, etc)
Thanks for watching our video.  

Yes, BRAVO CSD for taking appropriate steps to stand up for your students of color showing them, and their parents, and the community at large, that CSD is making steps toward becoming more the kind of school at which all students of all backgrounds, ethnicities, family structures, ability sets, gender identities, and cultures are supported.
Moreover, bravo for educating students and empowering students to be a part of this change (by allowing the Ebony Club to be part of this student’s learning process).
But I am left with two nagging questions:
1) What is next?  This is just one student; when will CSD become proactive and educate ALL of its students?
2) Why does the burden of responsibility still fall on the oppressed minority?  Where are the WHITE allies on campus standing up and teaching other white students about the N word?  More to come on this…
Warmly and Sincerely,
Just me

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