School gives African-American child Confederate hat as auction prize

20 Jan

Two brief thoughts:
1) The child bid on the cap. Sounds like there were other options. Might there have been a reason he wanted it? Don’t assume ignorance on his part. That is bigoted, in and of itself. This might be more of a nuanced situation where the mother needs to speak to her child about her values and choices, rather than immediately descending on the school in a rage.

2) There are African-American Civil War re-enactors, including on the Confederate side. History is nuanced, even if this mother does not believe it is. Not every African-American parent would have her reaction. It is when we realize that people have a wide range of beliefs and feelings that we most confirm them as the unique humans they are, created in God’s image. If we caricature people, saying things like “All blacks despise the Confederacy” we unthinkingly demean all African-American people. Some African-Americans are eminent historians who have studied the Confederacy and written on it. One size does not fit all, especially in opinions about the Confederacy.

Yes, slavery in the U.S. was unqualified evil. Even the plantation owners who loved their slaves should have gotten to the point where they understood they needed to pay them to work (make a contract with them instead of forcing their labor).

But the Confederacy was not all about defending slavery either. And some eminent African-American historians would say that. So let’s not automatically have a kneejerk reaction if an African-American person is wearing a Confederate cap. He may be a top notch historian, or a re-enactor.

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(WGHP) – A mom in Reidsville, North Carolina is upset after her son came home wearing a replica Confederate army hat he received as a reward at school.

Natasha Lea noticed her nine-year-old son Jacob was wearing a new gray hat when he got off the bus earlier this week, and a closer look revealed it was a confederate-style costume piece.

“I did not want to believe that. That the school actually let him walk around as an African American child with a Confederate cap on,” insisted Lea. “This stands for a dark time in our history,” she said, pointing at the hat.

Rockingham County Spokesperson Karen Hyler said the school system is aware of Lea’s concerns.

“At South End Elementary a classroom teacher rewards students with ‘big bucks’ for positive behavior,” Hyler explained in a statement today.

“Before winter break in December, the class had an auction where…

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