The murder of George Floyd served as a catalyst for confronting racial injustice and white supremacy in the United States—yielding in a repudiation of the racist regime that was the Trump Administration during the election of 2020. That confrontation was met with a backlash that has taken multiple forms. The first being the insurrection in January of 2021.
What followed was a more targeted assault on the multicultural democracy in form of voter restrictions, protest restrictions, and specifically outlawing the teaching or facilitating of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools and government offices. In outlawing CRT, the most prominent strategies include enacting legislation, banning books and conservatives (specifically parents) participating in school board elections.
Parents running for their local school board may be the most grassroots effort to fight against antiracist, anti-discriminatory, anti-justice efforts. However, these conservative parents receive help to not only run, but to identify where they ought to run. One such support is in the form of Turning Point USA (TPUSA).
TPUSA is an organization whose efforts point to teaching young people to endorse free market values. That’s what the website says. But in reality, the group is a conservative organization led by its founder Charlie Kirk, a Trump disciple, designed to indoctrinate young people to stand against anything that challenges the very white settler values that have formed the United States. For example, here is what Kirk’s TPUSA believes:
- The United States of America is the greatest country in the history of the world.
- The US Constitution is the most exceptional political document ever written.
- Capitalism is the most moral and proven economic system ever discovered.
Their IG page features a school board watch list post where perceivably, they target districts for their followers to consider running in elections due to someone within the district or the district themselves taking a stand against white supremacy or whiteness. Conservative white nationalists call that wokeness, which is code for confronting anti-Black racism, but I digress.
As you can guess, TPUSA can’t stand wokeness and they’ve identified a target for their animus: Penncrest High School Assistant Principal Samuel Evans. Evans is a target of TPUSA because of a series of tweets, where he said:
If I hear another white man or white person say they’re not racist? Or white privilege isn’t real… I am asking for your location so we can talk! #yupImpullingup #BlackLivesMatter
Dear White People: saying that “you don’t have a racist bone in your body.” Means nothing to Black people. What we (Black people) want to hear and see is that you are antiracist and that you are committed to an antiracist lifestyle #dearwhitepeople #BlackLivesMatter
It’s past time for Black and Brown children to force community leaders to dismantle and abolish white education institutions that aren’t committed to the FULL LIBERATION of our children! #liberateBlackandBrownchildrenNOW
His tweets are protected. I can only assume that’s as a result of him being a target of TPUSA. But honestly, he didn’t say anything wrong per se. While “pulling up” on someone could be perceived as threatening behavior, pulling up means confronting and generally white folks don’t like to be confronted about racism. There is a history behind the phrase, “I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”
… and yes… white educational institutions should be abolished honestly. What about Black education institutions the conservatives in the room (expectedly) ask? We wouldn’t need them if y’all weren’t racist to begin with.
But this is where we are… Black (male) educators calling out whiteness and white supremacy, become targets of conservative groups who believe that white settler colonialism has created a “nation” that is the envy of civilizations throughout history and can’t possibly understand, “hardships” notwithstanding, what issue Black people have with the way things are?
What’s the problem with racial capitalism? What’s the problem with whiteness as the standard? How is it that the United States is not the greatest country in the world? How could someone think differently?
It’s not that these questions weren’t being asked before. But answering those questions come with consequences for Black people particularly, as I’ve previously said. As a result of answering incorrectly according to conservatives, Black people have lost their jobs and elections where they had the power to determine the policies, procedures and posture of their community; whether in government or on the school board.
Historically, as Rutgers professor and author of Takeover: Race, Education and the American Dream has shared, school boards matter because they were a primary vehicle for Black people to enter politics.
Mr. Evans is now part of a group of Black activists and educator activists speaking out against injustice. TPUSA has reached out to the Rose Tree Media School District (Mr. Evans employer) and much to TPUSA’s dissatisfaction, the district hasn’t taken any action against Mr. Evans for what they believe has created a hostile environment on school grounds.
All of this is as of May 20th of this year, per the IG post of TPUSA.
But what conservatives like Charlie Kirk and conservative groups like his TPUSA must realize is that Mr. Evans is just one of many Black folks targeting you. His tweet was designed to be confrontational. Because if a white educator says they’re not a racist (especially after displaying racist behavior or a racist mindset) and/or that white privilege doesn’t exist, don’t be surprised if a Black educator “pulls up” to confront you and challenge you to either get your mind right or get your butt out.
Black educators will not be quiet. We will not be reserved. We will not allow white educators to say what they wish concerning the education of Black children and other children of color. We’re here. We’ll continue being here. So, to conservatives… get use to Mr. Evans and others like him.
Racists tried to scare the ancestors who educated themselves. Even as some were murdered, others continued to learn in order to liberate and be liberated. Racists tried to discourage Dr. Carter G. Woodson on his quest to educate Black people of our history. They tried to drown the voices of James Baldwin, Toni Morrison and now Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates… and they’ve failed. Now, they are try to do the same with Mr. Evans and like in the past, they will fail.
Get used to us. You should know by now… we’re not going nowhere.