Friday, November 11, 2016

Opportunity Knocking

Did that last essay sound like a prayer for opportunity?

Oops, yes it did.  And I got the phone call at 6:00 pm.

Looky there Sherie - and all the other people who have been telling me to WRITE IT DOWN - someone is listening.  Or at least taking time from His busy schedule to read my blogs!

So yeah, I was pretty impressed with myself after writing that last entry.  Aren't I wise?  Aren't I witty?  Aren't my words going to inspire and unite and change the world?

Note to self: you said no one person would do that, but the collective power of each and every person.

And then Amitee called.  Had the twins told me what had happened in the classroom today?  Her son, Adam, was extremely upset and worried that he was going to get a detention on Monday.  The deputy principal was coming to talk to the entire class on Monday and Adam had been told that the teachers did not want a panicked email from his mother over the weekend; that it was no big deal and they were handling it.

Later, I asked the twins more about it and started texting Amitee some pertinent details Adam had been scared to tell her.  That was when the twins panicked - thinking I was texting their teacher - and said that they had been told not bother their mother with it either.

Which explains why they hadn't told me anything until I questioned them following Amitee's phone call.  Tell THEIR mother not to write or get involved?!  Hah.  Might as well tell her not to breathe!

Jump back almost five years to when I was told by the twins' previous school that I had no right to post negative things about them on facebook.  Huh?  Say WHAT?  They hadn't minded when I raved about the school on facebook and anyway, it's a free country, right?

I remember looking it up.  Yes, Australia IS a free county.  No, it does not have anything in it's constitution about free speech, but it is implied.

In the interest of Adam, and because I DO believe the school has a handle on it and will deal with it properly, I will not send an email.

But I do want to apologise to Mike and to Diana and to Sarah and Ronald and to all those whose plight I trivialised in that last post.  They haven't complained - they are mobilising and hoping for the best - but I feel the shame of a little white girl sitting in Australia telling millions of minorities - racial, religious, sex and otherwise - that it is going to be okay.

I know you will forgive a kind, but still naive, heart.

Adam is being bullied in school.  I don't know if it is precisely because he is black; his parents are immigrants from Europe, mum white, dad of Moroccan descent.  I like to think that it isn't because of his colour that Adam is the brunt of so much aggression - the twins say it is because he is better at soccer than the bullies and so they say anything to hurt him.

But the twins are also better at soccer and no one is calling THEM  "nigger."

That was a text I did not want to send: telling a mother that little boys are calling HER little boy "nigger."  How does that make a mother feel?

She texted back that yes, Adam confirmed that the boys were calling him that, but he hadn't bothered to tell her because he didn't know what it meant and therefore wasn't offended!

How great is that?!

I felt like I had told him there was no such thing as Santa Claus.

And that, even if there was, he wouldn't be visiting Adam's house, because his father is Muslim.

The problems in the class - and I have noticed increased aggression and inappropriate language and machismo in both twins this year  - goes beyond Aaron.  The deputy principal is not coming in because Aaron - or one of my twins according to eye-witnesses - called the class bully and his mother 'retarded.'  Or because the bully - who has been calling Aaron 'nigger' all year - was so upset by these unkind remarks that he went to the teacher crying.

He is coming in because another boy took a boy's drink bottle, placed it in the toilet and defecated on it.

Boy is the school not going to like me posting that!

At our previous school, the little boy who was smearing his feces on the bathroom walls was - and probably still is since social workers see fit to keep him with his mother and step-father - being abused at home.

I'm not saying, but just saying.

This is in one of the best primary schools in Queensland and I school I admire and respect.

But it shows that there is anger and there is fear and there are little children growing up with both even in our naive little Brisbane area.


("Where Is The Love?"  Black -Eyed Peas.  Maybe I should be playing it on a loop.)

This morning I read a letter written by a little Muslim girl in Melbourne.

While one family is teaching their child the word 'nigger,' (and it is not a word the average elementary school kid would know around here at least) another family is teaching their child she has to be afraid of being Muslim.


Sorry,  I had to play that again.

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