Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse Sides With Students Who Sent Out Hit List And Delivered Racist Poem At School Assembly Because We Should “Listen To Those Whose Experience Of America Is Different From Our Own”
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Holyoke’s child mayor Alex Morse responded to our blogs about the racist speech given by a Puerto Rican at a Puerto Rican heritage assembly at Holyoke High School, in which a student was applauded for lecturing white students about how bad white women are at cooking, and how she “cannot coexist” with her white oppressors in the crowd.
It was completely inappropriate and sanctioned by the school. Many students felt uncomfortable and walked out. For that they were put on a hit list by another racist student named Illiana Rodrigeuz.
There’s only one appropriate response for an elected leader when something like this happens – pointing out that racism and threats will not be tolerated. But since the racism and threats were coming from a Latina girl, Morse came up with 5,000 words of buzzword bullshit:
“Every student, regardless of their background or beliefs, should feel safe within the walls of our schools. And I have no doubt that the schools will remain safe learning environments for our kids – tomorrow and every day thereafter.”
Wait…..what?? There’s a freaking HIT LIST being circulated on social media. Parents of children on that list have every right to be worried about whether or not HHS is a safe learning environment for their children. What has been done to remedy this? The student hasn’t been suspended. No actions were taken against the speaker. But it’s all good, because Mayor Alex isn’t worried about it.
Outside of school, we adults have an obligation to be role models, and to never direct hateful words or threatening language at our young people. On that, we should all agree – and I hope any adult who has engaged in this behavior will immediately cease and reconsider their choices.
Translation – instead of addressing the actual problem here (hit list and racist school sanctioned speech) I’m gonna blame random yahoos saying mean things on Facebook.
At the assembly, a student read a spoken word poem she had written for the occasion. The piece dealt with her experience as a Latina and person of color in the United States, and placed her experience within the larger context of American history and colonialism. It was a thought-provoking and sometimes unsettling piece that clearly came from a place of deep thought and feeling for this student.
The speech was filled with historical inaccuracies and fabricated lies. The most obvious of which is that the United States never imperialized Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rican citizens have voted AGAINST independence overwhelmingly on several occasions. But because it was the girl represents diversity, people like Alex feel the need to kiss her ass and tell her that her bullshit was “thought provoking.”
This particular performance has been the subject of much debate and the source of anger for some in the community. Some students left the assembly during the performance; others expressed their frustration later.
Translation – if you left the assembly then it’s your fault for not being open to new ideas. You’re just angry.
What none of us should dispute is that both the student who wrote the poem and those who objected to it have the right to express their beliefs – in writing, in speaking, in taking a knee, in choosing not to listen to speech they disagree with.
Of course she has the right to express her misguided beliefs. You just can’t say racist shit at a school assembly. Pretending this is a freedom of speech issue is such a political copout from a GUTLESS politician trying to straddle the fence.
It is only natural to be proud of your country – the place that has given life its sense of purpose and possibility for generations. And to hear your country’s history criticized can understandably arouse some feelings of hurt, or anger, or confusion.
Newsflash – people weren’t mad that she criticized our country’s history. People were mad that she called them slave masters, blamed them for genocide, and made fun of their mother’s cooking. If this history she was criticizing was true then we’d applaud her. But she literally made up facts as she went along.
But loving your country must mean more than to celebrate what is right about it. It must also mean a willingness to see the hard truths of history, and be willing to correct the ways in which we haven’t achieved our best selves or highest ideals.
He’s siding with her right here. He’s going out of his way to justify every racist thing this racist student said in her racist poem.
Sometimes, that will mean listening to those whose experience of America has been different from our own. Sometimes, that will mean being willing to hear other people’s experience not as an affront to our country’s history, but as an opportunity to make our country the place we’ve always aspired to be.
Listening to her experiences? She didn’t talk about her experiences. Her experience in America involves going shopping, doing her hair, and taking pictures with her iPhone. Just like 99% of other girls her age.
We should also be willing to listen to those students who felt alienated by the performance – because these issues are complicated, and not always easy to grasp. And it can hurt to feel that you are being blamed for a historic injustice, or that your own history is being thrown into question.
But you’re not listening to them. You’re not even attempting to understand where they’re coming from, and now you’re throwing this out there to make it sound like you’re King Solomon.
If we are looking for reasons to be hopeful for our city’s future, we should look no further than our students. Recent events have understandably garnered much attention – but less noticed are the small, everyday ways our kids work together and learn from each other. Our kids don’t want to minimize each other’s experience or hurt one another.
The kids don’t want to minimize each other’s experiences or hurt one another? There’s literally a hit list that threatens kids because they have different life experiences than the spoiled brat on stage making fun of their mother’s cooking.
Then there’s this:
The work ahead will require open hearts and open minds, and a willingness to admit fault when necessary. Let’s take our cue from our students – and let’s continue to build a Holyoke that has space for us all, in all our difference, to live free of fear and with hope for a better future.
That right there is the definition of fluff. Nothing more than meaningless, feel good buzzwords that politicians say because they’re obsessed with hearing themselves speak.
Of course Alex is just doing this because he’s playing to his base. Don’t forget, he’s quite chummy with notorious drug dealers like Heriberto Escalera:
Politicians like Alex Morse are everything that is wrong with this country right now. They’re much more concerned with spouting off feel good buzzwords and pushing SJW agendas than they are fixing actual problems. That’s why he constantly feels the need to play identity politics and victimize himself because he’s gay:
Good for you Alex. But Holyoke has bigger problems than your sexuality. Holyoke’s biggest problems are crime and the abysmal funding they give their fire department. Don’t forget, Alex Morse got three people killed in January because he cut funding for a fire engine and then blamed the firefighters.
Maybe you should be worried about stuff like that instead of rallying behind racist students.
The guy Alex is running against is Jay Ferreira:
“Jay doesn’t gain my endorsement because he’s a nice guy. Jay gains my endorsement because he has been the strongest advocate for the public safety of our citizens, pushing back hard against the mayor’s plan to permanently take out of service Fire Engine 2,” Siciliano said in an email.
“He is a strong proponent of local control of our public school system, which stands in sharp contrast to our mayor, who not only helped usher in state control of our schools, but had nothing but praise for it at the only scheduled preliminary debate on Sept. 20,” he said.
Holyoke High School got like this because the state took over and started pushing this agenda. Morse supports this 100%. We highly suggest Holyoke turtle riders vote for Jay Ferreira on election day.
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