05 October 2015

Uncommon Commentary #478: It’s the Teacher Who Needs the Lesson

On 18 September, a teacher in Virginia got into trouble after a member of her history class raised the most important issue of our time, which is, of course, the nickname of the NFL’s Redskins. (Perhaps their name ought to be spelled “R______s” or called “the R-word”.  This suggestion is sarcastic, but some might take it seriously!) Presumably displeased by that fact that “The kids kept saying, ‘It's no big deal; it's a football team’,” Lynne Pierce asked her charges “What would you think if someone started a team called the Newport News Nigger?”  It ought to have been obvious that she was referring to this word as an insult rather than using it as one (see UC #456), yet a student took offense and reported the incident to the administration of the re-education camp—I mean, school—, which put Pierce on leave.  This is outrageous, and, were I the principal, I would reinstate her, though only after warning against turning classroom discussion into a means of political indoctrination; I would also have a talk with whoever informed on her, explaining that, if he doesn’t want to grow up to be maladjusted like the rest of our society, he’ll have to stop overreacting.  The purpose of this uncommon commentary, however, is not to go to the aid of Pierce (in whose defense a campaign is already being waged), but, rather, to note the instructive irony of the situation: that she became a victim of the very paranoia and hypersensitivity that she apparently was attempting to instill in her pupils!