Saturday, June 13, 2015

Was It Proper for Karen Fitzgibbons To Have Been Fired From Her Teaching Job?


I see that as a nation we are more determined to eradicate racism. Many clamored for the police officer David Eric Casebolt to resign for manhandling a teenage girl and unholstering his gun against two black teenagers, and he did. Alberto Iber lost his vice principal job at North Miami Senior High School for voicing his opinion about the incident. Tracey-Carver-Allbritton, the white woman who instigated the fight got suspended from her job at CoreLogic. Then yesterday, I read that Karen Fitzgibbons, a teacher at Bennet Elementary in Wolforth, Texas was fired for utterances she made about the incident. In her rant she said, “…The blacks are the ones causing the problems and this ‘racial tension… I’m almost to the point of wanting them all segregated on one side of town so they can hurt each other and leave the innocent people alone,” I disagree that any of them should have lost their jobs. The police officer should have been given a warning, Tracey-Carver should have received a suspension for fighting with a kid in the street, but Karen Fitzgibbons should not have been fired because of freedom of speech and also because revenge or retaliation does not resolve hatred.
Acts like this actually augur ill for the black people. They think that they are winning, but they are actually losing because they are rendering racism more sophisticated. Lady Macbeth once told her husband: Macbeth this, “O, never shall sun that morrow see! Your face, my thane, is as a book where men may read strange matters. To beguile the time, look like the time. Bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue. Look like th' innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t.” (Macbeth, 1. 5. 52-55).  Permit that I paraphrase it into Modern English. “Oh that day will never come. Your face exposes your evil intentions against them. To deceive them, you should appear the way they would not know, have great hospitality, greet them well, speak well with them so that you look like the innocent flower, but you should hide your evil plans.”
This is what is going to happen. The racists will hide every evil intention to marginalize you in their hearts. You will go for a job an interview, they will receive you well with perhaps a cup of coffee, they will pad you on the back about your job, but they will not give you the job because they do not want a black person around. You will not even think about it as they will write you one of those generic mails that they appreciate your interest, but they have found another person. Sometimes the person is not even as qualified as you.  They may be in position of authority, but the joy of life eludes them just because of their evil ways. I don’t have, but I have always slept peacefully and happily. Those who have treated me as a sub human have hopped from one pain to another and one chagrin to another.
She should not have been fired. We are becoming a very intolerant society to a point where people will just practice racism in their hearts, without putting it in words. That does not solve the problem. Do we banish our siblings and friends when they point out that we are the problem of an awkward situation? We ask them, how? Her speech should be an occasion for discussion. We should be able to take in people's ugly rants and look at them as imbeciles or simpletons. All of us know that the black people are not the problem in America, so why make it a big deal? If you watch the Spelling B competitions, they are an eyeopener because they show many Americans that there are many English words that are pronounced differently from the way they know. How many times have I heard a teacher or student tries to correct my pronunciation until I send them back to the dictionary? That humbles many people who think that the way they speak is the norm for English language speakers. She might wish segregation, but it is too late; America will never be segregated, so it is a wish no sensible person should worry about.
As much as what she said was despicably offensive, she should not have been fired. This country has something that most dictatorial countries don't have; that is freedom of expression. If your own brother or sister told you that you are the troublemaker in the family, will you banish him or her? We are teaching kids that they cannot deal with angry rants. Firing her does not eradicate racism; instead it makes it more sophisticated like the mindset of Lady Macbeth. Karen's words were the book through which we read the strange matters, but she has paid for them. Others will beguile the time by looking like the time and bearing welcome in their eyes, hand and tongue but within them will lie the venomous serpent that strikes with no antidote. 

Until then, may we build a tolerant and reconciling society?


St Arrey of Ntenako


“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor 15:19). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Hamilton Ayuk. Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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