Blacks Students Need To Be Reminded Yearly That Slavery
And Oppression Are The Only Topics Relevant To Them.
17.1 Let’s examine something interesting. On the DSBN Equality, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Community Advisory Group, Pratima Burton who is the sole person of East Indian descent and a racialized individual. For Black History Month in 2022, Pratima Burton was involved in publishing a single story about Black History month and it was publish February 22, 2002 in The St. Catharines Standard.
17.2 Pratima Burton offered up a 10-year-old Port Colborne student named Hailey Moller, who each day in February created an art image focused on Black History Month as motivation to end racism.
17.3 Each creation by Hailey Moller has the words “We all share this world together.” Hailey was “so inspired” by what she has learned about Black History Month outside school, she went to her Grade 6 teacher to ask about doing activities in the classroom. “I just wanted my classmates to learn some more about Black history,” said Hailey. “There should be no racism around the world… Black Canadian history,” she added, “is world history.”
17.4 “For District School Board of Niagara, having students such as Hailey bring educational ideas to their teachers and principals is part of what the board wants Black History Month to be about. Pratima Burton, student achievement leader of equity, inclusion and anti-racism, said February is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions and achievements of Black Canadians. Black communities have been a part of the fabric of Canadian heritage since the 1600s when Mathieu Da Costa arrived, and they have a rich history of resilience, innovation and determination that’s very important for all of us to recognize and learn about,” said Burton, in a statement.”
17.5 The most amazing aspect of this whole story was not the issue about trying to end racism, but that Pratima Burton offered a Caucasian student who Pratima Burton went above and beyond to champion for. Why? Because the DSBN culture believes that Caucasian individuals are the ultimate race, the ultimate fixer of all problems and the ultimate experts in all fields.
17.6 Pratima Burton did not offer a Black student who was actively attempting to eradicate racism and oppression in the world during Black History Month. Nope, Pratima Burton decided during Black History month, without any hesitation, to spotlight a Caucasian student and her call to end racism. It appears that Pratima Burton must have had a hard time finding a single Black student who would be able to contribute a valuable story to “Black History Month” that she could rally behind for the local news papers.
17.7 The question that is now posed is if East Indians were to have their own month to celebrate their culture and history. Would Pratima Burton have been so keen to locate a White Face to represent her culture and history and have them write about it? I utter the exact same words as the reader; NO!
17.8 Pratima Burton – Student Achievement Leader of Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism at the DSBN is clearly unable to comprehend the challenges that Black individuals and Indigenous people have had to endure in this country. It is clear that Pratima Burton is just unable to comprehend the message she was sending when she decided to champion for a White Face during Black History Month.
17.9 By permitting this to occur, the DSBN, Warren Hoshizakia and its entire leadership team have shown once again that they are so oblivious to their own discriminatory and insensitive behavior as they do it without fear.
17.10 And under the leadership of principal Jacqueline Ravazzolo at Connaught Public School, like her predecessor Christopher McInnis, they continue to do nothing in person or online in regards to Black history month. Connaught Public School thinks that by talking only about slavery, play Bob Marley music over the PA system and say Yeah Man! is all that they need and should do for Black students during Black History Month. They have virtually ignored year-after-year all of the positive things that Black individuals have contributed to their communities and the world.
17.11 Connaught Public School and their workforce basically year after year do absolutely nothing out of this redundant and empty jester routine. The applicant filling this complaint teacher Kevin Maddalena. Again this year spent one subject period (50 minutes), during one day talking about slavery and the Caucasian typical stereo typed Black heroes like Martian Luther King Jr., Bob Marley and Harriet Tubman
17.12 Under the entire senior leadership of the DSBN, Warren Hoshizaki, DSBN Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Community Advisory Committee, Jacqueline Ravazzolo, School Trustee Mary Anne Gage, Christopher McInnis and Kevin Maddalena. They all seem to think that all Blacks students want and need to be taught and reminded every year is that slavery and oppression are the only relatable topics to them.
17.13 Consider this: Our bi-racial (Black/Caucasian) children have attended elementary schools for a total of 20 years, including four high school years. This is a total of twenty-four years, during which they have had countless instructors and classes. There has never been a single Black teacher, principal, vice principal in that entire time!
17.14 Which means THEY NEVER HAD A SINGLE BLACK ROLE MODEL THEY COULD LOOK TO AND WANT TO EMULATE OR SIMPLE JUST HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON WITH. Do you realize how many vice principals, principals, and teachers there are in this group over 24 years? And there was NOT A SINGLE BLACK ROLE MODEL to emulate! That is in total six elementary schools and two high schools. Noting that three of the elementary schools and 1 high school were located in Scarborough!
17.15 Hence, this is nothing new what is going on at the DSBN under the leadership of Warren Hoshizaki. White Staffing has long been a practice in Canadian and Ontario schools even when the neighborhoods are predominantly full of racialized individuals.
17.16 As a Caucasian male growing up in Hamilton in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. I had just one racialized (Black) teacher Scott Tyler – CFL Hamilton Ti-Cats and NFL Indianapolis Colts legend throughout the 14 years that I attended five elementary schools and five high schools and of course he had to be a gym teacher.
17.17 Segregation and oppression still exists; it has simply taken the form of Organizational Whiteness which the DSBN and Warren Hoshizaki have been promoting since 2006. Sure any racialized individual can apply to work for the DSBN, but good luck trying to get hired!
17.18 So, regardless of the justifications and tales Warren Hoshizaki and the DSBN offer for their discriminatory, oppressive, racist, and sexist actions. The audit by Turner Consulting Group is truthful and factual
17.19 Keep in mind that there are 28 positions of authority, ranging from the Director of Education to Superintendents, Senior Managers and the Board of Trustees and there is not ONE RACIALIZED EMPLOYEE who is NOT just a consultant or advisor! This is what is called Bias of Professionalism Standards.
17.20 The Bias of Professionalism Standards Professionalism has become coded language for White Favoritism in workplace practice that more often than not, privileges the values of White and Western employees and leaves behind individuals of color.
17.21 One thing can be said about Warren Hoshizaki and the DSBN. That is to say, they honestly did not perceive or take into account color when choosing people to join the DSBN workforce. If your skin tone wasn’t Caucasian, there was an 87% chance you wouldn’t get the job because it was only for those of White/European ancestry!