Friday, November 06, 2009

Accurate, Insensitive, or Stupid?

I guess the three are not mutually exclusive, but I can see all sides of this issue and have a hard time choosing amongst them. I do know, though, that if the the docent had been white, his actions would have been described as "racist".

During a lesson on the Civil War, tour guide Ian Campbell, who is himself black, made black students pretend to be slaves in front of their white classmates...

One parent said Campbell took his enthusiasm too far when he picked three black elementary school children out of a group of mostly white students to play the role of cotton picking slaves during a his hands-on history lesson. The parent said the students were also made to wear bags used to gather cotton around their necks.

Campbell said, "I was trying to be historically correct not politically correct"...

Although Campbell defends his decision, he said in the future he will take a different approach.

"I'm going to start asking for volunteers instead of calling people from the audience. I think that would make it a lot easier that way if someone is afraid of public speaking or getting up in front of peers it wouldn't embarrass them," Campbell said.

I disagree with the quote from the local NAACP president, quoted at the link.

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