We’ve felt we’ve been walking in a fog over the past two weeks. For nearly three months, it’s commonplace to not even know the day of the week, the next thing to do, or how to do a job well, since the entire world has changed. And then, in the blink of an eye, reality hits, and you’re thrown back into the 60s, but it can’t be, it’s 2020!
The brutal and horrific death of a man unknown to us, changes how everyone looks at each other, and not for the better. George Floyd, a person who we never knew, but will never forget, has lost his life, and his murder takes us all away from the pandemic, the hundreds of thousands of deaths from the virus, to concentrate on this one death, because that one death affects us all.
Here is Wall, where a white supremacist ideology is sadly in it’s roots. Wall Township in the mid 20th century, had been the regional headquarters for the Ku Klux Klan, with the hate group’s sprawling campus located at the old Marconi Wireless Station. These are not proud details of our past, but it’s our history, and this horrific and brutal death must bring our community together and relinquish all of the evils of the past. The action in Minneapolis cannot be allowed to continue unchallenged.
We as the members of the Wall Township Education Association bear a great responsibility for shaping society in our community. We have the opportunity to work with our students as their values form about the human race. All of us have a duty and a responsibility to work for a better, fairer, and more compassionate world, because it’s our students who will inherit the results of what we do now.
Attitudes and curriculum need to be changed and aligned, so that the horror of the trans-Atlantic slave trade is never forgotten, glossed over or disregarded. We all need to help infuse anti-racism as a fundamental value throughout all the work our Association does.
We will be part of the NJEA REAL movement. REAL stands for racial equity, affirmation and literacy. It is open to members of all races, colors and creeds. The only requirement for admission is a commitment to work on advancing racial justice in our schools, in our Association, and our society at large by acknowledging and working to break down the racist systems and structures that stand in the way of true justice for all.
If you are ready, and we hope all of you are, to be part of the NJEA REAL movement, please email us, and we will provide you with more information about upcoming opportunities to join with like-hearted and like-minded members in this critical work.
While we remain focused on how George Floyd’s life has ended, we need to create from this, a beginning. A beginning where we can support each other in our shared fight for racial justice and the creation of an anti-racist world for our students and ourselves.
Gail, Gene, Kathy, JaimieLynn and Allie