Commentary: Skip Black Lives Matter's Action Week in Philly schools

By Christopher Paslay

To coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter, in partnership with a group of Philadelphia schoolteachers called the Caucus of Working Educators, is sponsoring a "Week of Action" in city schools to stand up for racial justice and equality. The organizers are asking that teachers across Philadelphia wear Black Lives Matter T-shirts and buttons, and use curriculum resources - based upon the 13 Guiding Principles of BLM - to design lessons in their classrooms.

Although I'm a 20-year veteran of the School District, and have taught, coached, and mentored children who have been marginalized by society, I'm going to forego the BLM T-shirts and buttons, and most importantly, the curriculum.

Why? For starters, I support President-elect Donald Trump, and he isn't very popular with BLM. After reading the calendar of events for their Week of Action, it is clear that they have no tolerance for our new president.

That attitude is demonstrated in a "kick off event" titled "Courage for Racial Justice in the Era of Trump." The event flyer speaks of building a powerful resistance to Trump and what they call the "death culture," and asks for support from anyone whose is "horrified" by what Trump's election will mean for America.

The death culture? Strong words. Obviously, the Week of Action does not include any Philadelphia teacher, student, parent, or community member who voted for Trump. This is quite interesting, because 105,418 people voted for Trump in the city. And apparently these Philadelphians should not feel welcome at the planned events.

What BLM does welcome, though, is the breakdown of two-parent families. One of BLM's 13 guiding principles, titled "Black Villages," says, "We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and 'villages' that collectively care for one another, and especially 'our' children to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable."

Why would BLM want to disrupt the nuclear family when 40 years of educational research proves that children raised in two-parent families have higher academic achievement, better emotional health, and fewer behavioral problems than children born out of wedlock or raised "collectively" in alternative situations?

BLM also welcomes repressive dictators who violate humans rights, such as Fidel Castro. Shortly after his death, BLM stated that they felt "an overwhelming sense of loss, complicated by fear and anxiety," and that they must "come to the defense of El Comandante."

Incredibly, BLM praises cop killers, too. According to Breitbart News, BLM co-founders Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi have publicly paid homage to JoAnn Chesimard, a.k.a. Assata Shakur, who is currently living in exile in Cuba and wanted by the FBI for the murder of a New Jersey state trooper.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of BLM is its selective morality. What are Philadelphia students to think when young black lives are taken on a daily basis - mostly by other young black people - and BLM remains silent? In 2015 alone, nearly 6,000 blacks were killed by other blacks in the United States, and BLM didn't say a word.

Tragically, it appears that BLM's Week of Action is more about growing its organization by indoctrinating our city's children with a radical "social justice" curriculum than standing up for true equality.

To quote Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., who is African American, "Black Lives Matter has no more to do with black issues than Students for a Democratic Society had to do with democracy. They are means to an end, and they use the black population as sacrifices for their goals."

I'm going to skip BLM's Action Week, and if I were a parent of a Philadelphia school student, I'd demand that my child's teachers and principals skip it, too.

Christopher Paslay is a Philadelphia teacher who blogs at https://chalkandtalk.wordpress.com. cspaslay@yahoo.com