Black students at Coosa High School in Rome, Georgia were suspended after they planned a protest in response to white students waving a confederate flag and saying racial slurs.
According to Insider, the student who organized the protest said that the confederate flag made them feel disrespected. The students who joined the protest were Black, Latinx and white. The school’s administration said that students involved in the protest would be “disciplined for encouraging unrest.” However, Insider said only the Black students were suspended.
White supremacy affects Black children almost immediately after they are brought into the world and then for the rest of their lives. When Black parents send their kids to school so they can learn and receive education to be able to navigate in a world that directly opposes their existence.
The Black students being suspended while their white counterparts received no repercussions displays just how much white supremacy is ingrained in every institution.
In order to destroy white supremacy there needs to be more assertive efforts to combat it within the classroom.
Racism is the only other explanation as to why the Black students at Coosa High School were the only ones suspended. There is no other way to describe it. Schools punish Black students at an extremely higher rate than their white counterparts.
Black students are 338% more likely to be suspended than white students, according to The New York Times.
Schools are often not mentioned when discussing systems of white supremacy. Most Black children experience their first encounters with racism and the function of white supremacy at school.
According to the Seattle Times, many Black children experience racism as early as preschool. White teachers even scored Black students’ academic abilities lower than their white peers while they had identical scores, according to the Seattle Times.
Picture how antagonizing school environments can be when Black children have teachers, students and administrators that are displaying racism. You are going to school every day knowing that you will experience harm — this is the life of many Black students.
What outlets do Black children have at school to express the harm that they have experienced? Who is there to advocate for them when they can’t do it themselves without the fear of being punished? Can you imagine the impact that can have on a child mentally?
While there have been efforts to learn about the harms of white supremacy and racism, there have been even more efforts to do the exact opposite. Some states have banned curricula which aim to talk about institutionalized racism.
People say that “children are the future.” How are Black children going to be able to think about changing the world in the future when there's nothing in their daily lives that gives them anything to look forward to? At every corner of their life, white supremacy is there looking them in the face.
It’s easy to tell Black parents to find new schools, but racism and anti-blackness are everywhere.
The onus shouldn’t be just on parents. There have to be systemic changes. Having conversations and seminars about racism won’t work if institutions still remain how they were previously. There has to be real action in order to make sure that white supremacy no longer affects the lives of Black children.
White supremacy needs to be destroyed.