Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

A Racist Writes

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

A Racist Writes

Article excerpt

Dear Ask Oswald,

I'm writing to you with a delicate problem: my son, who is white, is being taught by a teacher whom I can only describe as "black". What do you suggest?

A. Vegetable

Dear Vegetable,

This is a very common problem. My advice to you is a variation of the old adage "softly, softly, catchee..." Well, you know. The first thing to stress is that you must not complain about the fact that your son is being taught by a black teacher.

This may seem counter-intuitive - surely a blunt approach is faster? But the truth is that, in these benighted times, many schools have the notion that such a complaint would constitute an offence. We frequently see schools observing the obsessive niceties of human rights, the Race Relations Act and other institutions. They may even have a policy that eschews discrimination. It is sadly true that the parent who wants to openly complain about the blackness of a teacher will find themselves at the wrong end of a visit from the constabulary.

Fortunately the wise parent need not suffer such privation. There are far more effective ways to deal with this unfortunate situation.

Your son can take action immediately. He should refuse to do any work and, when challenged about this, insist that it's because he doesn't understand what he has to do. If the teacher attempts to explain the task, your son need only wait 10 minutes before repeating the process.

After enough of this, the teacher may be minded to take action; at the slightest rebuke, your son should start an argument, creating as much fuss as possible. …

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