Can We Please Return Texas to Mexico? Part MMMMMMMMDCLVII
In Southlake, Texas, a suburb of Dallas and Ft. Worth, education officials at the George Dawson Middle School are looking to ban the autobiography of George Dawson.
Yes, these are the SAME George Dawsons, so they are considering banning the book written by the guy who they named the school after.
Why? Racism, because it always comes down to racism, and they are concerned that any discussion of lynching might give some white people a sad, and Mr. Dawson related how his best friend was lynched:
You name a new school building after a man or woman, and decades later few remember who that person was. In the case of the late George Dawson of Dallas — he of George Dawson Middle School fame in Southlake’s Carroll ISD — the reason his name is on a school is something of a miracle.
Yet now we learn from Dallas Morning News Education Lab reporter Meghan Mangrum that a committee of district educators reviewed Dawson’s book to check for, in the words of Superintendent Lane Ledbetter, “age and content appropriateness for students.”
Students can still read most of the book. But for seventh graders any discussion of the most important chapter must instead be overseen by a teacher as part of a guided discussion. To me, it sounds like the book’s key chapter might not get read at all, but instead be summarized by the teacher.
Critics call this a book ban. The Carroll district, already suffering image-wise from a slew of battles over race relations in its schools, fights this labeling. I’d say it’s more of a book censoring than a banning. Is there a difference? I’m not sure.
This has not come up in the first 20 years Dawson’s name has been on that building.
I never met George Dawson, but I studied his life on the day he was buried in July 2001 by reading his book. And it’s a most remarkable book.
In summary, he was the grandson of a former slave who learned to read at age 98.
The Dallas man became a symbol of literacy worldwide, appearing on Oprah Winfrey’s show, and being profiled in newspapers and magazines. He lived to 103, long enough to know that his name was on a building. And yes, he could read it.
What follows is the specific story that some Carroll leaders believe is inappropriate for 12-year-olds. You can decide.
The boy in town he most looked up to was a friend named Pete, one of the finest baseball players in East Texas. Pete once gave George the ball from Pete’s game-winning hit with the advice: “You practice with it, George. You’ll be a hitter someday, too.”
When George was 10, he was downtown in Marshall with his father when Pete was accused of getting a white woman pregnant.
“It wasn’t me!” Pete screamed as a mob encircled him. “I didn’t touch her! Lord, let me go!”
The true story is that the woman became pregnant with her white boyfriend, and the baby’s birth months later would prove that. But to avoid the wrath of her father, she blamed Pete.
As the lynching took place, George buried his head against his father’s chest. Pete’s neck broke instantly.
“His eyes were open,” George writes. “Pete was still looking at me, and I knew that he alwways would be.”
You know, if the parents of George Dawson students are so concerned about their children thinking that they are racist, perhaps they should stop being racist.
Your white hood is showing.