This Oakland News Now post is based on a Facebook entry by famed Oakland Hip-Hop Journalist Davey D. His text forms Part One of this series, and which you can read at this link, then the embed of the multimedia content is below, along with the views of Kev Choice.
Davey D note on the featured photo:
The gentlemen in the front is from Brooklyn.. He says he grew up in the projects.. His kids go to Crocker.. The woman said shes half Samoan and thus we were inaccurate in seeing the crowd as lacking diversity. She lives in Berkeley her kids go to school in Berkeley..
In the first part of this blog series, Davey tagged Kev Choice, Oakland musician and community activist. Mr. Choice left his Facebook post to be shared with a public audience, so here’s Mr. Choice’s view of events:
Kev Choice On The End Teacher Supremacy March At Lake Merritt
I felt all kinda feelings as I stumbled on this rally after leaving the Black vendors and Black Solidarity activities literally about 100 yards away. I was curious about who these people were, an about 90-95% group of white folks with signs about “open our schools” and practicing chants like “Schools not Screens”.
I then noticed media trucks and the mayor in the middle of the crowd giving interviews, which got me more heated. I was wondering how she would even be aligned with this small group of white privileged parents and supporters, definitely not reflective of the demographics of Oakland or OUSD.
I was mainly observing and I lost it when I saw a group of women walking up with signs that said “End Teacher Supremacy” and bashing teacher unions. At that point I lost it and start screaming at the whole crowd that this was some BS and where are the black and brown folks from schools in Oakland? Where was y’all during the OUSD board meeting on Thursday calling for Black Reparations? Where y’all at when schools in certain areas of the city having to cut every arts program and are barely hiring any teachers of color?
The issue of opening schools can not be had without representation across the whole city and especially from families at schools who are being impacted the most by these crisis.
As I was yelling I got ran up on by two white guys, one saying his child was mixed, half Latina, so that they are here representing. He was so aggressive a brother from OEA, walked up to try to ease the tension. I was like dude are you serious, what school she at, and he said Montclair, One of the most privileged resources schools in the district and while city. Another cat was all in my face too talking about how he’s from Brooklyn and if New York schools are going back, Oakland schools should as well. I asked what school his kid at, he said Crocker Highlands. I got even note hot then, asking where’s the parents from Brookfield, or Elmhurst, or MLK, or any deep east or west oakland school. They had no answer. A couple more folks walked up, basically saying that it doesn’t matter that this crowd isn’t representative of Oakland, that reopening needs to happen no matter what.
I appreciate Davey D for jumping in and getting on folks heads. Especially, the cats not even from Oakland trying to defend this crowds position. And also asking why these folks not going across the street and talking to black vendors or are they aware of OUSD vote on black Reparations? They had lame responses.
All while the mayor jumps up and gives a lame speech about opening and then calls all the kids up for the photo op. Might of been 2-3 kids of color out of about 50. Disgusting.
I was offended by this whole rally, As an Oaklander, as a teacher, as a black man, and a community activist. While I do agree, we need a plan for School reopening, I believe it has to be an inclusive conversation, Black and Brown folks, communities most impacted, schools with the least amount of resources to open safely, teacher unions, school admin, school district representatives, community stakeholders. This rally was not the solution. It had the look and rhetoric of a MAGA rally lite. Unacceptable here in Oakland, CA.
I felt all kinda feelings as I stumbled on this rally after leaving the Black vendors and Black Solidarity activities…
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