My mom called me this morning to share that she read my blog from yesterday. She reminded me of how proud she is regarding how I carry myself; particularly how I am carrying myself through this past issue. You see, I moved here for a job and because people are too afraid to be honest and assist with the growth of the culture, I am moving. But I am not just moving, I am uprooting my son, and I have received a document full of lies. I fuss at students because I care. As a matter of fact, I found a picture of a note that I wrote to my students in Florida where I mention I fuss. Raise your hand if you are a teacher and have never fussed at a student that you cared about? Better yet, raise your hand if you are a parent and have never fussed at your child. If you have never done this, send me an email or call me and let me know your secret….
But, it has not been too hard because it is my natural temperament, but she also gave me another Bible “go to:” The Prayer of Jabez. https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/the-prayer-of-jabez-5-inspiring-lessons.html
When parents tell their kids that they are proud of them, it never gets old. So that made me feel good even as I am close to embarking upon 40. That made my day!
We discussed how quiet I was as a young girl. It was not necessarily because I was passive, but because I hate arguments and the “blue:” Check out personality types: https://truecolorsintl.com/the-four-color-personalities/blue-personality-type/ personality really hate any type of discourse. I am quick to admit my wrongs and I don’t do deceit….. I have learned when to pick your battles.
A couple of months ago, I was told by a former colleague that I respect, that I don’t need to be Malcolm X. In a culture where racial issues are implicitly and explicitly known, this was a bit shocking to me. We should address such issues so we can fix our country, right? Or I guess for the masses, we stay quiet and we bring more Blacks into the environment only to have them “ssssshhhh” so the master will not try to beat them. Recently I reread a few slave narratives from My Folks Don’t Want Me To Talk About Slavery ( https://www.amazon.com/Folks-Dont-Want-About-Slavery/dp/0895870398) and I thought about what conspired with me over the last couple of months and how we still have so far to go. Because Blacks and other minorities are so low on the totem poll, they are afraid to voice their opinions. They are afraid to advocate for what is right and many are afraid to stand up and hold up their Greek sign in fear that those majority will think something….#GreeksIncorporatedToHelpWithThePlightOFAfricanAmericanIssuesSoWhyAreYOUAfraidtoWearYourLetters….Yeah, its a long hashtag, but its meaningful.
So, a Black woman and a Black male; who are supervisors received an email from their Black employee begging for help. The Black employee literally cries, she pleads, they see, they know, but instead of helping ( because they are so concerned about how it would look to help a Black versus the equality and fairness and justness), they turn their head and PROTECT themselves. In order to admit they did wrong would obviously make them look bad, so they just walk away and attempt to sweep it under the rug….
It reminded me of “You better not be caught with a book. They read the Bible and told us to obey our master, for the Bible said obey your marster” (pg. 18). Instead of taking up for what is right ( because it might seem as if you are advocating and trying to change the climate; which is obviously needed), they closed their eyes and made a pact to protect themselves. I wonder how hard that is. I wonder how hard it is to know that you had an employee that was truly an asset, but to let her go because they cared what the “new era masters” would say.
When I was a child, I didn’t have a voice. As an adult, I have changed and annoyed with people who turn their heads, I speak up when it is needed. There are many that would throw a person out to the wolves versus admit they were wrong. I had a lunch with a parent whose child was used to make me out to be a monster. I was said to humiliate her child because as a Black woman, my tone is firm. I picked with him and told him very often that I would because his parents and I saw that he needed this; he had very poor grades and shared “thanks for caring.”
We all laughed because their child also saw the issue. My son saw the issue and that encrypted email that was sent to me (the only one) told the issue; they were afraid and to appease those parents of kids who plagiarized, who lied and constantly use the ranks of their parents, they bowed down. Being afraid to stand up because people still care what others think, and to think rationale when it deals with racism is to be seen as a “pro Black” and of course in certain arenas that is a no go if you are trying to advance. Kissing ….OH stop Kiera….ASS is what is most important. They don’t care about the kids…I know they don’t care about my son. He shared many times he felt bullied and that complaint I sent was stuck in the “outbox” for over a month…ha! Watch out for self= the secret to success and gaining money!
Mary Church Terrell wrote a piece “The Progress of Colored Women” resonates so much with me and many of my Black counterparts who are true change agents; those that are not Malcolm X, but those who are unafraid to open their mouths and advocate for change. We are proud Black women who still see that Black Lives Matter; Equality is Still Missing, and I Will NOT Kiss Your Ass Because I am Afraid…OH and Change Is Gonna Come.
You see, “the immorality of colored women is a theme upon which those who know little about them or those who maliciously misrepresent them love to descant” writes Mary Church Terrell. My strong stance, my vibrant ways, and my firm, authoritative voice makes a young girl and her alcoholic dad who verbally abused her mom believe that I was “bullying” and taking “retribution” so much that after I sent an email notifying my superior that I was taking him to HR, he submitted a termination letter although the punishment scale shows it could have been much lenient. One of the things we as teachers deal with are listening to stories and reading journals about students. I wonder if that was “investigated” or did that twenty minute video/audio show students tell me their parents could and would get me fired, or how my colleagues bullied my son or…how I hugged that young man and that young girl along with many others daily.
But OH>>>how an educator who allowed a Type 1 diabetic to play basketball with a 500 blood sugar was not seen as abusive; or that teacher that is “married” to her student from last year and was under investigation still has a job? But, then I wonder how administration still hold positions after lying and ….let me stop and just show the emails or not…I already sent to EEO and forwarded them up the chain and they still are holding on to their word, their lie….#noIntent #ButICRIED #RacismISEVERYWhereHESaid #HeToldAColleague #MARCH19 #MARCH20 #MARCH21 ….
You see, I am not bitter. I am unbothered. I have prayed and I have taken myself out of the situation, but what I advocate for and what I seek is justice for is a woman who might not be as strong as I am. A woman who is a single mom like I have been. A woman who might not have the support that I have. Black women “may be found courageously battling with those evils which such conditions always entail. Many a herione of whom the world will never hear has thus sacrificed her life to her race amid surroundings and in the face of privations…” Black men work “with tireless energy and eager zeal…in every conceivable way to elevate their race.” Well, most of us…You know those that are not afraid to admit things. Those that will stick to their “truth” and I can assume what will be said….
I recall chatting with Gilmore when he was unsure about how to read the data for PARCC testing. He was nervous because Dominguez showed up during our convo, but I stated “When I get to my room I will send the email” because he obviously had no idea what he was doing. But I would not want anyone to fail, so I helped. This is what many cannot seem to do. I also remember (and this is what he will use against me and say again, I had no intent of resigning on March 20th even though my resignation has this date and I told him face to face with tears in my eyes) having a conversation with him about his wife and I being Geminis. He shared about his wife and her temper.
Although I am a Gemini, it takes a lot to upset me. It takes a lot to “ruffle my feathers.” So, when I resigned with the intent never to come back to Fort Knox High School because my sanity was more important than dealing with bullying, harassment, and disrespect from my colleagues, it was not an emotional decision. It was a decision that I spoke with several about. It was a decision that I prayed about and it was after that meeting that I knew I couldn’t work for a person who was afraid….to be a Black man….A Black man that was afraid to wear a durag and who would walk on egg shells when telling his story. One that was afraid to just say point black, the word nigger is outdated and share the “sentiments” of such word as it relates to being a Black man in America, but of course …. it wasn’t.
It was a decision that I made because I was tired of being that mockery of a Black woman. I had decided I could not do what I saw others who looked like me do. It worked(s) for them, but not for me, so when I shared with him I was done, I was done. Most of my mentors are Black men and through the emails they had first hand viewing and the objective incidents I shared, they reminded me at 69 plus years old never to remain quiet. They reminded me (most in politics) that I need to use my voice because in order to help our babies, we first need honest people who will always stand up for what is right; even if that does provoke a person to call me Malcolm X. We like Malcolm because he stood for something.
So today as I reflect on my “formal complaint” filed with DoDEA, regarding the termination that I wrongly received that my old supervisor is too much of a….SHUSH Kiera, you don’t want them to think you are being #petty, I realize that I truly do not care if they accept or dismiss it, because L. Gilmore and Y. Washington read my emails and know very well the harassment that not only I, but they have and will continue to face while being a Black face at Fort Knox. My letter of resignation was sent to Gilmore on March 20th. He received it and told me before I sent it that he would not accept it. It was accepted after the termination, but in order for it to be accepted now, that ole Gilmore must admit he was wrong and I don’t expect him to do it without a fight because that would make him look bad….
I am ok because my student and his parent ensured me that they are thankful that I care and the love and respect from those who are unafraid to advocate are all that I need. I will have that letter in my folder from this student that I “harassed” and “bullied” and all of those emails from Gilmore; to include him implying this whole situation was a mess. So as I continue to not just be a Black woman, but a fair person, I will “climb, onward and upward…hoping that the buds and blossoms of [our] desires may burst into glorious fruition” while “seeking no favors because of [the] color” of my skin and only “knock at the door of Justice and ask for an equal chance” at being a Black woman who is unafraid to advocate for others.
What if this was something that another woman had to encounter who was not strong enough or to a child (like my son Anthony) who might have contemplated suicide after L. Gilmore failed numerous times to contact his parents back. Hell, he still hasn’t had the respect to contact either of his parents to say anything. I guess we aren’t as important as those parents who wanted their kids grades changed….HA! Oh the world that we live….https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomlindsay/2019/03/30/the-other-college-scandal-grade-inflation-has-turned-transcripts-into-monopoly-money/ What if that child and mother had no other place to go, but because L. Gilmore and Y. Washington are so focused on looking right in the eyes of those that scare them, they lost it? My son and I matter and no EEO complaint or bogus investigation where people take up for each other to “keep making the money we make” can satisfy this. The only thing that I would respect is honesty and standing up even when a person is afraid.
As you embark on your journey of life, be true and don’t be afraid to be that “skunk at the picnic” or that person that will “in spite of handicaps and discouragements, not lose heart.”
#ThisThingCalledLife…stand up for what is right!
#KieraVargasfussesATStudentsOutofLove #KieraVargasIsUnafraidtoAdvocate #ImaGemini #DontClassifyMeWithOthers #ImNotBitterImAtPeace #Habakkuk #TheStudentWasNeverInvestigated #MyRecordingsSayITAll #LiveYOURLieAndKarmaIS… #BlackTeachersMatter #Equality #MYEmailsDontLie