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Teacher Ought to Be Banned

June 30, 1988

San Dimas High School substitute teacher James Willard should be banned from teaching his theory that blacks and Latinos can be compared to dogs. And Bonita Unified School District officials and administrators who defend such teachings should be run out of town.

The white majority in communities where these kind of incidents usually occur see no harm intended. But let a black, Jewish or Latino teacher put forth a theory that casts the majority white population in a disparaging light, and that teacher is castigated by parents and school officials.

Calling anyone a dog, no matter what the race, is cause for almost certain confrontation. Though we love the critters for their protection and companionship, we do not relish the thought of being likened to them.

I do not have any hard data supporting my contention that such incidents are increasing, but I think they are. And, in each instance, the white majority says they are a poor choice of words or are not in good taste.

Carlsbad school officials said a photograph of a black student dressed in a diaper and T-shirt, that was captioned "The Tar Baby," was not racially motivated. In incidents elsewhere, high school students posed for a yearbook photo in Ku Klux Klan garb and former Kentucky Gov. Happy Chandler said that blacks in the town where he grew up didn't mind being called "nigger."

Parents of those black students in the class may have been appalled at Willard's actions, I am not. There is a lesson in this for them. Just because you move into a virtually all-white neighborhood, join the local Rotary and Lions clubs, you do not escape racism. You should also join your local NAACP or another civil rights organization.


San Gabriel Valley branch,

National Assn. for the

Advancement of Colored People

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