NAME Statement on the Buffalo Mass Killings of Black People
The National Association for Multicultural Education recognizes the-all-to familiar disbelief, sorrow, and outrage following yet another white gunman’s mass killings of Black people, this time on May 7 in Buffalo, N.Y. A white supremacist male shot thirteen people, murdering 10 at a grocery store in a mostly African American neighborhood. Authorities said the 18-year old mass murderer planned the racist assault at least two months in advance, previously scoping out the supermarket, presumably on the lookout for unarmed Black elders.
This white supremacist had posted a 180-page document online, detailing how he “planned to kill as many Blacks as possible.” He echoed mainstream white supremacist conspiracy theories, including the “replacement” theory or “white replacement” theory that argues for extermination of most people on the planet. National Public Radio reports that these white supremacist theories have recently moved into the mainstream, elevated by Republican politicians, media, and ex-President Trump’s own efforts. These beliefs, which blame immigrants of color for white America’s purported struggles, have gained traction through Fox News and other intentionally racist news outlets, extending the willful ignorance and anti-Black, anti-Jewish, anti-Asian, anti-people of color efforts of white supremacist movements.
NAME reminds that murderous attacks like the one in Buffalo are intimately connected to the foundation of U.S. society. The 1619 Project, clearly reports many instances during and after slavery of Black people being slaughtered:
“Things were no different in the twentieth century. In Atlanta in 1906, white men went on a killing spree against Black people in the city. On trolleys, in barbershops, in hotel lobbies, on street corners, African Americans were hunted down and slaughtered.”
This same anti-Black violence, echoed by ongoing police murders of unarmed Black people, mirrors the anti-critical race theory assault on public education, as white movements aim to enact genocide against Black communities. With sustained assaults on reproductive rights, on queer and trans communities, and on the right to exist, NAME urges vigilance in safety and care for each other. In these ongoing daily anti-human violences, NAME remains committed to the teaching of multicultural education, and to healing practices of rest and love, as foundations for the collective movement building we need.
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NAME Statement on Confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson
The National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), like much of the rest of the country, celebrates the U.S. Senate’s vote on April 7, confirming U.S. Appeals Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first African American woman to hold a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Her appointment to the highest court in the country fulfills a campaign promise of President Joe Biden to appoint a Black woman if a seat opened up. She will replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who earlier announced that he will be retiring this summer. Jackson will be sworn in at that time.
When Jackson is seated as a justice, the Supreme Court for the first time in its 233-year history, will have four women justices — Jackson, 51; Sonia Sotomayor, 67; Elena Kagan, 61; and Amy Coney Barrett, 50. While this representation gives pause to celebrate, NAME reminds that only three of the four women justices have advocated for the rights of women in their careers, recognizing that representation is a necessary, but insufficient civil rights goal.
Indeed, the racist, sexist, publicly disrespectful treatment that Justice Brown Jackson had to endure in the Senate confirmation process reinforces the anti-Black women context the U.S. continues to elevate. During the hours-long Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, the imminently qualified Jackson showed great professionalism and patient restraint by putting up with Republicans’ intentionally inaccurate and offensive attacks on her record. The delay in the vote due to Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky arriving late, and Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim Inhofe voting from the GOP cloakroom because they were not wearing ties as is required by Senate rules on the floor represent intentional public displays of disrespect for Jackson, and for all Black women.
Like so many Black women before her, Justice Brown Jackson modeled poise and professionalism in the face of blatant lies and intentional white supremacist disrespect. No person should have to face such targeted attacks, and yet the hearing revealed, yet again, how U.S. politics normalizes anti-Blackness, especially in relation to Black women. NAME understands that such behavior intentionally reinforces the need for the public to be intimately aware of the teachings of critical race theory as well as The 1619 Project to fully understand how racism continues to negatively impact African Americans.
Yet such healing, community-driven movements remain open targets for censure and elimination in schools and colleges by Republican-led state legislatures nationwide as well as local school boards throughout the country. NAME strongly encourages our Democratic lawmakers to stand proudly by educators, parents and students to honor Justice Brown Jackson by ensuring educators are adequately prepared and supported to teach children a robust multicultural education that honors the many Black women who have led the way towards a more just union.
NAME knows that the 6-3 conservative slant of the Supreme Court will not change as a result of Jackson being confirmed as a justice, however, despite all of the negativity, the progress shown by her appointment cannot be ignored and must be celebrated.
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NAME Statement on Governor Abbott’s Anti-Trans Call to Violence
The effects of anti-Transgender legislation on Transgender students and their families is well-documented, with around 75% of Transgender students reporting feeling unsafe at school because of their gender expression. Despite the clear evidence that shows that Trans kids are psychologically healthier and less likely to engage in self-destructive behaviors when their gender is affirmed, Texas Governor Greg Abbott doubled-down on the attack against Transgender children recently with a directive that equates gender-affirming care as “child abuse.” Even worse, the directive orders teachers, doctors, and other licensed professionals to report the parents of any child who is undergoing gender-affirming treatment to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) for prosecution.
NAME strongly condemns this action by the Texas governor. Children should not be subjected to the bigoted and baseless opinions of elected leaders, and teachers should never be in the position of having to go against their own values–and the safety of Transgender children–to satisfy a directive that deliberately denies facts and intentionally causes harm to Transgender kids and their families. This directive will only ignite fear and anxiety among all those who help Transgender children become their full and authentic selves and increase the already high rates of suicidality among Transgender children.
Such efforts to criminalize humans are not new, and indeed, are the foundation of the United States. From colonization to slavery, from Chinese exclusion laws to banning Jewish immigrants during the buildup to WWII, the United States has continued exclusionary, exploitative, and violent ways, always in the service of white supremacy. 30 years ago, California voters passed Proposition 187 in 1994, which effectively required public servants (teachers, social workers) to report suspected undocumented immigrants. While Prop 187 was held up by the courts as unconstitutional, such efforts align in a long arc of white supremacy, eugenics, sexism, heteronormativity, and ongoing state-sanctioned oppression, specifically by requiring public servants to aid in the criminalization of an already targeted group of people.
NAME recognizes and encourages educators to teach about Governor Abbott’s current attempt as just the latest in a long line of efforts to ultimately end the existence of Trans people. This is a call to violence that is paralleled by other states, athlete bans across the states and Olympics, and can be seen in the intentional isolation of Trans people fleeing violence in Ukraine. Educators must resist these anti-Trans actions, in part through teaching, but also through policy, praxis, and elevated calls for direct action to support and affirm Trans community rights.
NAME would like to elevate the work of Catalano, Haslerig, Jourian, and Nicolazzo, whose Association for the Study of Higher Education convened report, “An Affirmation of Trans Livelihood In and Beyond Postsecondary Education” offers immediate actions for scholarship, pedagogical praxis, and policy efforts. This report, and others like it, map transformation from the violence of educationally enforced gender binaries, towards a full affirmation and support of Trans people and communities in all areas of society, and most particularly, schools and colleges.
CONGRATULATIONS to our 2022 NAME Award Winners
Carl A. Grant Research Award
G. Pritchy Smith Multicultural Educator of the Year Award
Multicultural Children’s Publication Award
Lulu the One and Only
Author: Lynnette Mawhinney
Philip C. Chinn Multicultural Book Award
Civic Education in the Age of Mass Migration: Theory and Practice
Author: Angela Banks
NAME Presidential Chapter Award
Texas Chapter of NAME
NAME 2022 Spring Conference Theme: MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION: LIGHT in a TROUBLED WORLD
A global pandemic, social distancing, inequitable vaccine availability, a threat to democracy by domestic insurrection, public school funding for special education and other equity-focused programs in jeopardy, teaching and learning via zoom and other virtual platforms leaving many of us feeling alone and isolated….
The NAME family has been touched by loss with the transition of our long-time Executive Director, Bette Tate Beaver. We all have lost dearly loved ones.
The world is indeed troubled.
Multicultural education is a beacon of light and hope for students, educators, families and communities alike through its commitment to socialjustice and culturally inclusive and unifying practices that pave the path to a brighter and more just future.
As we move toward living in places of peace and justice, NAME and our friends and allies encourage conversations about possible ways to address the inequities and systems that stand in the way of progress.
Though we meet virtually NAME's Virtual Spring 2022 Conference will bring together the NAME community at this vital time for educators and our democracy. Our gathering March 10-12 brings additional contact and comfort during this era of isolation, division and burn-out. illuminate our work and lives.
Check the program page #NAME2022 Spring Virtual Conference. Access to recorded sessions and MC Films is available until 4/30.