Look, if we have a FEDERAL holiday declared in honor of a European man’s “discovery of America” and subsequent annihilation of the true Americans, this lady can have a seat about 11th graders learning to think critically about the justice system and civil rights in America.
According to Fox News reports:
A lesson plan asking students to draw parallels between late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal is an “absolute disgrace,” the widow of the fallen officer told FoxNews.com.
Maureen Faulkner, whose husband Daniel was gunned down in Philadelphia on Dec. 9, 1981, said the latest effort to glorify Abu-Jamal’s past using a lesson plan posted on the Oakland (Calif.) Unified School District’s website is akin to advocating violence to young students.
“It’s a travesty,” Faulkner told FoxNews.com by phone early Thursday. “You’re going to teach children about a man who murdered a police officer? That’s not a good lesson to be teaching children. He was a radical, a militant. My question is: Are our tax dollars paying for this?”
The lesson plan, which was authored by teacher Craig Gordon for 11th-graders within the 37,000-student district, suggests to “critically examine a possible parallel” between King and “someone else many believe is currently targeted by the U.S. government, Mumia Abu-Jamal.”
It also asks students to consider the following statement: “The media, prison system and law enforcement organizations have censored Mumia Abu-Jamal. On one hand, there have been occasional stories in print and broadcast media about Mumia Abu-Jamal. On the other, despite the widespread support for Abu-Jamal that has made his case the most renown and controversial of death penalty cases in the world today, these stories are extremely rare and always refer to him as a ‘convicted cop-killer.’”
Despite Abu-Jamal’s “prolific writings” in several books, none of his work can be found in mainstream media, according to the lesson plan.
“My first take on this was: There’s a lot more educational things you could be teaching children about than a cold-blooded murderer,” Faulkner told FoxNews.com. “It’s an absolute disgrace that they’re trying to make any comparison.”
Do you think she has a point or do you think her own personal experience makes it impossible for her to be objective about the value of Mumia’s teachings?
In any case, it looks like she’s mad about a lesson plan that is no longer being taught:
Troy Flint, director of public relations for the Oakland Unified School District, said the lesson plan is no longer part of the district’s curriculum and was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
“The fact that a website documenting Urban Dreams remains accessible is an oversight related to technology management; it does not speak to current instructional practice in OUSD,” Flint wrote FoxNews.com in an e-mail. “To avoid any confusion in the future, we will conduct an inventory of the numerous websites created to support learning districtwide to ensure they conform with our present academic philosophy and do not inadvertently misrepresent Oakland schools.”
Oakland is the best. Sorry but if you want your kids to question the status quo in America, the prison industrial complex, the crooked ways of law enforcement and the detrimental effects of drugs on the inner city there may be no better place than Oakland. #JustSayin
And for those who are unfamiliar with Mumia Abu-Jamal, the political prisoner, many a scholar will have you know there are comparisons to be made between him and Dr. King:
Mark Lewis Taylor, a professor of theology and culture at the Princeton Theological Seminary and a longtime Mumia supporter, identified two major differences between Abu-Jamal and King, saying the former radio journalist has worked more obviously than the assassinated civil rights leader within an “international framework of justice struggle.”
Abu-Jamal, according to Taylor, also worked more than King to “mobilize grassroots organizations” and movements. King had a tendency, Taylor said, to privilege black church organizations and, at times, espouse a certain sense of black middle-class advantage and leadership.
“But what King and Abu-Jamal shared should not be overlooked,” Taylor wrote FoxNews.com in an email. “One shouldn’t juxtapose a respectable ‘cuddly’ Martin Luther King over and against a more radical and supposedly ‘villainous’ Abu-Jamal — as the media hype often has it when they relentlessly misrepresent him as a ‘cop-killer.’ In fact, authorities have had the wrong man on death row and in prison these 32 years, not the man who actually shot Officer Faulkner.”
So what do you think? Would you be opposed to your children learning about the Black Power movement just as they may learn about women’s rights and civil rights?