Things That Matter

A White Woman Is Suing Two Black Teachers Claiming Reverse Racism After She Banned Black History Lessons

For the past several years, the country’s educational system has been challenged over what students should be learning in school and, for a good reason. The classes, in particular, history, are antiquated and, even more importantly, incorrect. As a society, we’ve been taught a white version of America’s history, and it’s only when we get to college or continue our studies elsewhere that we begin to discover the truth. But little by little, through education reform, teachers are attempting to change that in order to teach students about the real America and how their ancestors make up the fabric of this country. Some, however, in power positions don’t want that. 

A legal battle has ensued between a Bronx principal and teachers in which both parties are calling each other racist.

Credit: @TravelsWithTony / Twitter

The issue between these two parties began in 2018 when Mercedes Liriano, a teacher at Bronx Intermediate School 224, began teaching her sixth graders about the Harlem Renaissance in her art class during Black History Month. 

Patricia Catania, a white principal of that school at the time, told her to stop the lesson immediately. She took away posters that students were carrying that depicted the image of singer Lena Horne. Catania said that Liriano didn’t approve her lesson plan for Black History Month, but Liriano, a black teacher, said she submitted her entire lesson plan for the year. Furthermore, in an interview with the Washington Post, Liriano said that she has been teaching those lessons during Black History Month for the past 14 years. 

Teachers and parents were so appalled that the principal would prevent the teacher from teaching the Harlem Renaissance during Black History Month that they protested the matter.

Credit: YouTube

The matter last year garnered national attention, and many high-profile black activists got involved. 

“We’re learning about slavery and Harriet Tubman, but she says that I’m an ELA teacher and therefore should not be teaching that,” Liriano said last year to a local news station. “But it’s part of the New York state curriculum.”

While the school board investigated the matter, Catania continued to work at the school. This June, however, Catania got a demotion and was moved to another school just a mile away. She became the assistant principal at a different school. 

Now, months after her demotion, the former principal has filed a lawsuit against three black teachers and the union because she says they falsely accused her of being racist and claims they discriminated against her.

Credit: National Black United Front / Facebook

“There is literally not a racist thought in my head, nor a racist molecule in my body, nor have I ever made a racist comment, or acted in a racist manner in my life,” Catania said in a sworn deposition.

Her lawyer adds, “She’s been portrayed as the villain, but she’s really the victim here,” Anthony Gentile, Catania’s lawyer, said in an interview with the Post. “It was racism, pure and simple, [even though] some people may not see her as sympathetic as when this happens to a brown-skinned person.”

Liriano wrote on Twitter, “Reverse racism does not exist when we were not or have ever been the oppressors! All I have ever done was instill PRIDE! in my students! My children! By teaching them about their rich culture and true stories!!”

We shall see how this matter plays out in court. 

Last year, another Bronx school official was also investigated after she made some of her black students act as slaves so they could endure what they did.

Credit: YouTube

Teacher Patricia Cummings at another Bronx school had some of her black students lay on the floor to reenact a “slave trade — and then stepped on their backs to show them what slavery felt like,” The New York Daily News reports.An investigation found that she didn’t do everything she was accused of. She was still fired, and she is also suing the school board for a billion dollars. Yes, you read that right. 

“They’re on the record for saying the reason I’m being terminated is because of my performance as an educator and the report,” Cummings said according to ABC News. “My performance as an educator, I’ve been rated effective by the Department of Education. I’m an effective teacher.”

READ: Students At This High School Apparently Thought It Was OK To Drag A Black Mannequin By A Rope At Their Homecoming Game

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8 Of The Biggest Bombshells Dropped In Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Interview —’I was ashamed to say it at the time’

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8 Of The Biggest Bombshells Dropped In Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Interview —’I was ashamed to say it at the time’

Millions of eyes were on Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night when the three of them sat down for an exclusive interview. The interview was the first the couple has given together since they stepped away from official royal duties last year and the first time they spoke out about their life and experiences as royals.

Check out the biggest bombshells below.

The ‘Firm’ had a lot of “concerns” about Archie’s skin tone.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM – OCTOBER 25: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend a roundtable discussion on gender equality with The Queens Commonwealth Trust (QCT) and One Young World at Windsor Castle on October 25, 2019 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

In one of the most shocking revelations of Meghan and Harry’s interview, Meghan revealed that the royal family expressed “concerns and [had] conversations about how dark [Archie’s] skin might be when he’s born.” Later, Harry and Meghan underlined that Harry’s grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, were not the ones who made the comments.

It was also the Firm’s decision to not give Archie a title.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 09: Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 9, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Harris – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Meghan also revealed that while the public was told that she and Harry did not want their son to have a title, it was actually the firm that made the decision.

“They didn’t want him to be a prince . . . which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security,” Meghan explained. “We have in tandem the conversation of, ‘He won’t be given security. He’s not going to be given a title.’ And also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”

In her darkest days as a member of the Royal Family, Meghan said she contemplated taking her own life.

Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gesture during their visit to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, in London on January 7, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / various sources / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

“I was ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry. But I knew that if I didn’t say it — then I would do it,” she explained. “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.” She went onto add that she “thought it would have solved everything for everyone.”

She also revealed that before a January 2019 outing with Prince Harry she told him about her thoughts. “I remember him saying, ‘I don’t think you can go,’ and I said, ‘I can’t be left alone.'”

Meghan added that she also asked for help from the palace and was told “there’s nothing we can do to protect you because you’re not a paid employee of the institution… it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

The queen was not blind-sided by their exit, despite reports and suggestions.

Britain’s Sophie, Countess of Wessex, (L), Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (C) and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence (R) watch from a balcony as they attend the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph on Whitehall in central London, on November 10, 2019. – Remembrance Sunday is an annual commemoration held on the closest Sunday to Armistice Day, November 11, the anniversary of the end of the First World War and services across Commonwealth countries remember servicemen and women who have fallen in the line of duty since WWI. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite reports that Meghan and Harry’s decision to leave their posts as senior working royals was sudden, Harry said the opposite was true. 

“No, I never blindsided my grandmother,” he explained that he had three conversations about the subject with the Queen and two conversations with his father Prince Charles adding he had “I have too much respect for her.”

Kate was the one who made Meghan cry and not the other way around.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 09: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 9, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Harris – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Six months after their wedding, headlines reported a pre-wedding feud that left Kate Middleton in tears in 2018. In actuality “the reverse happened.” 

“I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding, and she was upset about something,” she explained. “But she owned it, and she apologized and she brought me flowers and a note apologizing.” Meghan later called Kate a “good person” and lamented headlines that pit the two royal women against one another. 

Meghan was silenced. Punto.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM – OCTOBER 25: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend a roundtable discussion on gender equality with The Queens Commonwealth Trust (QCT) and One Young World at Windsor Castle on October 25, 2019 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“Were you silent, or were you silenced?” Oprah asked at the top of the interview. In response, Meghan replied, “The latter.”

“That was really hard to reconcile because it was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected, but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family,” she explained. “They weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”

Later, Meghan shared that her biggest regret from her experience in the royal family was thinking she’d be protected by them. “I regret believing that because I think had I really seen that that wasn’t happening, I would have been able to do more, but I think I wasn’t supposed to see it,” she explained. “I wasn’t supposed to know and now because we’re actually on the other side, we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving.”

Meghan and Harry were married before the big wedding.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex dance as they arrive for a visit to the “Justice desk”, an NGO in the township of Nyanga in Cape Town, as they begin their tour of the region on September 23, 2019. – Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan arrived in South Africa on September 23, launching their first official family visit in the coastal city of Cape Town. The 10-day trip began with an education workshop in Nyanga, a township crippled by gang violence and crime that sits on the outskirts of the city. (Photo by Betram MALGAS / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BETRAM MALGAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Meghan revealed that she and Harry actually were married in a civil ceremony in their backyard. The small wedding was overseen by just the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before their publicized 2018 wedding. “I think we were both really aware, even in advance of that just, this wasn’t our day,” she explained. “This was the day that was planned for the world.”

It’s a girl!

Prince Harry (2L), Duke of Sussex and Meghan (L), Duchess of Sussex arrive to visit the District Six museum in Cape Town on the first afternoon of their tour of the region on September 23, 2019. – Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan arrived in South Africa on September 23, launching their first official family visit in the coastal city of Cape Town. (Photo by HENK KRUGER / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read HENK KRUGER/AFP via Getty Images)

In the sweetest and most loving portion of the interview, Meghan and Harry revealed that they are expecting a girl.

“To have a boy then a girl — what more can you ask for?” Harry told Oprah.

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They Made Fun Of Her Accent During A Zoom Meeting But This Latina Councilwoman Clapped Back With Pride

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They Made Fun Of Her Accent During A Zoom Meeting But This Latina Councilwoman Clapped Back With Pride

Have you ever not spoken up out of fear for how people might judge your accent? Or maybe you’ve heard racial comments about how your abuelos or your tías speak?

Well, one Latina councilwoman knows exactly how so many of us feel after having experienced racist comments during a Zoom meeting on racial injustice amid her community’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. But instead of remaining silent, she is urging anyone with an accent, especially Latinos in her community, to speak up and wear it with pride.

A chat about racism led to racist comments about Navarro’s accent.

A Maryland county was hosting a virtual meeting the racial disparities taking place amid the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, when two people giggled and mocked the accent of the county’s only Latina councilmembers.

During the, Nancy Navarro, a member of the Montgomery County Council, spoke passionately about the county’s coronavirus vaccine rollout, which she said is failing people of color. According to CDC data, Maryland ranks near the bottom when it comes to getting vaccines in people’s arms.

“For me personally, I’ve always had this interesting dilemma in my years of public service, which has been this bizarre disconnect in terms of who we are in Montgomery County,” Navarro, the first Latina and the only woman serving on the council, said. “We’re still perceived as a totally, we’re like some other hologram of a county that doesn’t look anything like who we actually are.” 

As Navarro spoke, there was some chatter and laughter in the background — two people who apparently thought they were muted were talking about Navarro’s accent. 

“I love how her accent comes out and pronounces words like she thinks they’re pronounced,” one person said, specifically calling out the way Navarro pronounced the words “represent” and “hologram.”

Navarro spoke up and urged anyone with an accent to wear it with pride.

Navarro wasn’t aware that the incident had happened until two staff members notified her of that the employees had said in the background.

“What happened to me on Tuesday was not an isolated incident, it fits a pattern of microaggressions and racist acts that wittingly and unwittingly make the workplace, and by extension, our community spaces hostile spaces for people of color,” Navarro told CBS News.

“Make no mistake, these dysfunctions are deeply ingrained in our county and in our country, racism has become a public health crisis,” Navarro added. “What hurt was that these employees are part of our team, charged with working daily with a diverse team of Council members and staff on initiatives that require a sensitivity to and respect for racial and ethnic differences.”

Since the incident happened, Navarro is urging Latino immigrants with a Spanish accent to “wear it with pride and keep moving forward.”

Navarro’s story is one that so many of us can relate to.

Like so many of us, our friends, and our family, Navarro’s story is one that is widely reflected in our community. She was born in Venezuela but came to the U.S. with her family when she was 10. Her family eventually returned to Venezuela but Navarro came back to the U.S. for college and moved to Maryland with her husband, where they’ve lived since the 1990s. Her story is 100% American.

Navarro hopes that this incident will drive people to consider the impact of their words and actions. And, ultimately, she hopes the council will strengthen its efforts to hire a staff that reflects the diversity in its community.

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