My last post was about believing absurdities leading to committing atrocities. Well, we have one, and it's right down the block from my house, at Chabot Elementary School.
We have no kids, but as neighbors, we're on the school mailing list. Last night about 11:10PM I got an email from the principal. They had arranged a playdate last Saturday for all the families and children of color who attend the school; they were trying to "to increase a sense of belonging among all of our students and their families." It seems to have gone very well, especially in a school and a neighborhood that is mostly white, although the news reports suggest that the kids at the school are about 45% BIPOC.
The email continued, "A member of our community found the idea of this playdate exclusionary and posted their thoughts and questions on Reddit. This post has gone viral inviting emails and calls from all sorts of anonymous folks who do not understand what we are trying to do at Chabot and in OUSD." And finally the principal included this appalling message:
“Hi there you racist pieces of sh**! Just wanted to stop by and let you know that if you keep this sh** up we're going to put you back in chains or in the jungle where you belong. Go ahead and keep pushing for segregation. If you want a race war we'll f***ing give you one and you won't like how it ends. Have a wonderful day :)”
This is a school that serves children from kindergarten to 5th grade. I was and am appalled. But I wasn't surprised when I left the house at around 10AM to go to an exercise class and saw the school intersection blocked off with crime tape, at least 2 Oakland Police cars there, a couple of Oakland cops walking around, and a person being interviewed by someone carrying a TV camera. I walked down to see what was up and was told by an ABC reporter (yes, I'm apparently somewhere on ABC's coverage, although I haven't found myself yet; 2 of my friends have contacted me!) that there had been a bomb threat! I now know from the news coverage that the bomb threat came via email at 7:30 this morning, fortunately before the normal start of class, and that the police, the FBI, and a bomb dog unit were going through the school to make sure it was clear.
If you Google Chabot Elementary Oakland CA today you'll see all the coverage. By noon when I returned from my exercise class it had all been cleared away - I assume they didn't find a bomb. But it looks like the principal has decided not to have any classes today; there are no kids on the grounds. I was relieved to see an Oakland police car turning the corner by the school as I left on an errand this afternoon.
There is no excuse for this crap. Wikipedia says, "There is broad consensus across the biological and social sciences that race is a social construct, not an accurate representation of human genetic variation." I agree with Wikipedia that the genetic differences between the races are smaller than 1%.
The whole "race" business was invented by our European ancestors, centuries ago, to explain why they kept finding people (in the areas they were colonizing) who didn't look like them or act like them. You may not have European ancestors, but I do. I'm afraid the whole "race" business was really developed because a portion of the human race wants to have someone they can look down on, someone they can feel superior to - because they are disturbed by the people who (for financial, social, or political reasons) are "superior" to them. We clearly have some of those people making trouble at Chabot Elementary. I wish they would grow up and get a life.