Here’s a teacher having an old, tired, familiar argument with his students…and the students getting the better of him.
It’s not clear what happens between the first and second clip, but context clues suggest the teacher told the students that he used to be racist but had since stopped being racist, in his own opinion. In the next clip, another student says, “So are you trying to say you used to think that?”
“Yes, sometimes,” the teacher said.
The student who asked to go to the bathroom told the teacher, “You said ‘I am racist,’ that means right now,” suggesting that this was not something he had put behind him. The children continued to try to get him to say whether or not he is racist. “So you are a racist,” a student says.
“Damn, how many times do I gotta say it?” the teacher said, adding, “I’m frustrated with this conversation,” after the kids called him out for swearing.
“You guys don’t think that I’ve made peace with all this stuff? You think I’m still walking around prejudiced against people?” the teacher asks. One can assume they probably did.
In the final clip, the teacher explains, “Deep down in my heart, I’m ethnocentric, which means I think my race is the superior one … I think everybody thinks that and they’re just not honest about it.”
The students explain to him that no, not everybody thinks that. The teacher says he believes that “on that level” everybody is racist. The students then tell him that they have lost respect for him, to which he responds to by telling them that they should have more respect for him now, because of how he is honest.
I’ve had that argument applied to me, too. The racist likes to claim that he’s not so bad, because everyone thinks their race/ethnicity is superior. But it’s not true! That’s just projection. I’ve never felt that being white makes me better than anyone else — I admit to sometimes feeling superior to individuals, but that’s just because I too often find myself in the company of creationists, never because of my complexion.
That final claim, that the racist is better because he’s honest about his racism, is just more bullshit.
The teacher is in Texas…no surprise there, although there are bad teachers everywhere. This one isn’t a teacher anymore, at least temporarily — he’s been placed on administrative leave.