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[teacherartexchange] African Unit

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From: Jean Womack (jeaneger_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Aug 05 2005 - 11:54:20 PDT


Dear Friends,

When I was in high school around 1958, I went with a Unitarian church group
to a Woolworths in Greensboro, North Carolina, to protest whites-only signs
on the restrooms there. All we did was sit down at the lunch counter,
completely filling all the seats. We sat there for about 20 minutes and
didn't do or say anything, and didn't order anything. Then we left.

You will recall that the civil rights workers in the south were accused of
being pot-smoking hippies. Well, we weren't that when we started out. We
were straight arrow people, just as conservative as they come. The US
justice department, I think, was charged with implementing the new civil
rights laws, and I, unknowingly, was part of that. They studied the
peaceful tactics of Ghandi, the great Indian leader.

When I arrived in Richmond, California, brought here by my ex husband, a
judge said that I had been given pot as a way of disqualifying me from
voting. I guess they had done that to black people too, in the south, to
stop them from voting. So that accusation was dismissed. That judge is no
longer alive. There was a big contingent of Klu Klux Klan members in
Richmond in the 1930's, I guess in anticipation of many African-Americans
arriving here to work in the war industry. That has been documented in
history books of this area.

A local retired cop told me that community policing means the police don't
do anything about it, the community does the policing. That's when you see
gangs taking over an area. And then justice is done vigilante style, KKK
style. That means that there is no justice. You will recall Martin Luther
King calling out in his speeches, "Where is justice?" I think he meant
where is the justice department? I guess there weren't enough of them.
They couldn't protect him. Bobby Kennedy was in the justice department and
he was killed too.

I don't mean to be a troll, but sometimes silence is not the best policy. I
don't want to get killed. I want to stay alive. If people want to go back
that far to get something against me, then it is not worth it to me to be a
school teacher. I just thought you'd like to know what it is really all
about--white cops in the south wanted to keep their jobs. When the cops
start handing out the drugs, someone ought to start asking questions. By
the way, they hinted to me that I should apply for a job with the San
Francisco police department, but I said no thanks. I don't want to be a
cop.

Jean Womack
MA in Art Education

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