I want to keep this short and sweet today but I feel as if I owe an apology to the folks in Alabama who found my blog post from two weeks ago to be hurtful, inappropriate and incendiary.
That was never my intention. And you should know that I took down the post.
Though I thought I went out of my way to salute the educators making strides in the Deep South — the ones really laying it on the line in an admirable way who are working their tails off, bringing change and fighting for social equity in the Alabama schools — apparently, that point was lost and some Alabamians felt unfairly targeted. Re-segration through gerry-mandering was the broad picture theme of the post but I have a tendency to be flippant, smarmy and insensitive at times in my quest to be entertaining as well as informative — and I seem to have genuinely hurt some people’s feelings.
I am not Glenn Beck. I am not an anger-monger. I actually find this kind of rage to be detrimental to productive growth and in the spirit of seeking to open an earnest dialogue, I instead opened something else to which people took a great deal of offense.
I have no ambition at all to hurt people, destroy the morale of educators and the such. And with so many teachers already feeling demoralized (see this article — a whopping 40%!) I certainly have no aspiration to add more salt to our collective educational wounds.
BTW, choosing to take down the post was a real Catch-22 for me because I am not one prone to bow to pressure or censorship. However, in the end I believe I erred. I made a mistake. Why? Because I was insensitive and even came across as haughty (cause it ain’t like the state of California doesn’t have issues with race, poverty, small-mindedness and so on… which I do feel I often point out in my blogs but hey, that’s a different story.) Yet at the end of the day, my greatest mistake was that I added a bunch of negativity to a bunch of hard-working educator’s lives and that’s not who I want to be nor what I want to do… so I have taken a step back and decided to simply say, “I am sorry and I will try to do better in the future.”
Obviously, some people are gonna be furious with me forevermore for insulting Alabama. I can’t change that. However, I do know that if there is a productive, positive conversation to be had about gerry-mandering school district zones and institutionalized racism, by no means will I be shying away from this topic in the future, Alabama or not. But I will work harder to make sure I don’t paint such wide brush strokes in the name of going for a giggle.
I messed up. Oops! Time to move on.