Why do you ask?

We listened to this in class the other day.

I loved Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech when I was a kid, because it appealed to my sense of justice. I love it even more today, because I spend five days a week surrounded by students who are, to borrow a phrase from Nina Simone, “young, gifted and black,” and — like Dr. King — I dream that they “will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

My kids have opportunities their parents and grandparents could only dream of. But there are still way too many people whose thoughts remain merely skin-deep.

Every time my school district makes headlines for the wrong reason, some narrow-minded, self-righteous bigot will start peppering me with questions about our racial makeup, as if the presence of minority students somehow validates the wrong-headed belief that minorities are to blame for all the evils of the world.

I hate that my kids have to deal with this mindset day in and day out.

Dr. King’s dream is closer to being a reality now than it was 45 years ago. But we aren’t there yet.

Keep dreaming. Keep working. And keep fighting for the dream. My kids need you — and perhaps more importantly, whether you realize it or not, you need my kids. They are brilliant. They just need room to prove it. Don’t let anybody clip their wings before they’ve had a chance to fly, hey?

Emily

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