Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists told students that they live in a “misogynistic, masculine society” that claims “women should stay at home” to cook and clean and that as black women, they are “overlooked a lot” and encounter people who want to harm them because of who they are, according to a video obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Four female activists with Indy10 Black Lives Matter, Jessica Louise, Kyra Jay Harvey, Michelle Anastasia, and Leah Derray, gave a talk to over 150 participants during the spring of 2020, where they told students that black people often don’t have the same opportunities as their white counterparts, according to a video of the lecture given to students at the K-8 Butler University Laboratory School 60.
The DCNF obtained the video from Tony Kinnett, district science coordinator & instructional coach for Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and founder of Chalkboard Review.
Derray said she and her fellow activists like what they do because it allows them to speak at schools and engage people about “the history of revolution and activism in this county … as it relates to black people.” The women also said they “fight against police brutality,” and legislative bills that they think don’t benefit the community, and initiatives like “defund the police … so they [police] will not hurt anyone else.”
The lecture was part of a “Racial Justice Speaker Series,” which serves students in kindergarten through 8th grade. During another lecture in the same series, the district’s top equity administrator, Dr. Patricia Payne, spoke to students for over an hour, where she told them that their black peers are sometimes considered “less than” and encouraged them to “stop all this madness,” by becoming activists, the DCNF previously reported.
White Supremacy And Capitalism
Anastasia told students that through her activism she has learned about the different ways people are raised and how it can impact the way they think, which is “not always a good thing.” She said her work has encouraged her “to really challenge the information” she was given when she was younger and question why she was taught to think the way she did and “really combat that.”
“I was raised to be a capitalist,” she added. “I was raised to want as much money as possible, as many things as possible. It’s really, really, challenged some of those ideals that were handed to me and assigned to me … I learn every day more about how those things affected me … and how to try to take them out of my learning now as an adult.”
Derray talked about people she knew when she graduated high school, who were “all sent to prison.” When she was younger she was taught “if you do the crime you do the time” but argued “it’s not about us doing crime, it’s about crime being done to our communities.”
“I’ve really had to learn to retain my anger,” she said. “You know, when you really start to learn about white supremacy and capitalism and how it really harms black and brown people.”
Growing up, she, along with her parents, friends, and siblings experienced “harms” and trauma, which she said put them “in situations that result in us doing things that locks us up.”
“The thing is, not that like everyone doesn’t commit crime, everyone does commit crime,” Derray said. “Crime is made up. People created these rules and people break them. It’s just that if you are black, brown, or poor, you are more likely to be jailed for these things, to be enslaved, imprisoned, for these things that a lot of people do.”
As part of the group’s work, the Indy10 BLM chapter has a list of “demands” for the city of Indianapolis, which Derray said includes calls for the end of cash bail because “freedom should be free.”
Our ‘Misogynistic, Masculine Society’
“Black women and fems [females]” live “in this misogynistic, masculine society,” which tells women they “should cook and clean” and “stay at home,” Harvey said. “We live in this world where masculinity, that’s power.”
She said as “black women and fems,” they are often overlooked, their “voices are not heard” and they “don’t get seats at the table.” As a result, “it took awhile for people to recognize that we were leaders in this city, because we’re black women and fems,” she said.
As black women, she said people see them and want to harm them. They also encounter “some people who don’t think there’s anything wrong with the police, or think the police are doing their job.”
Black females are victims of “emotional labor” because people don’t respect their autonomy or the fact that they are people, Derray said. “We still operate as people,” but “we don’t always have the answers and sometimes folks aren’t used to that,” she said.
Mentions Of Prominent Critical Race Theorists
Anastasia brought up founding critical race theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw and her theory of intersectionality, a word she coined, which purports that “all the different layers of human existence that can interact all at once.” Crenshaw has described Critical Race Theory (CRT) to CNN as “an approach to grappling with a history of White supremacy that rejects the belief that what’s in the past is in the past, and that the laws and systems that grow from that past are detached from it.”
CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
If we really want to change the world, and I got this from Angela Davis, if we want to make the world a better place, we got to start with our communities first,” Derray said. “And it doesn’t matter if I want to make black people free and equal all across the globe, if I’m not working right here in Indianapolis … That’s what it’s going to take, working with people that you might not get along with.”
Davis, a former member of the Black Panthers and Communist party, said she fears “that if we don’t take seriously the ways in which racism is embedded in structures of institutions, if we assume that there must be an identifiable racist … who is the perpetrator, then we won’t ever succeed in eradicating racism,” in her book “Freedom Is A Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine And The Foundations Of A Movement.” Davis was also previously on the FBI’s “10 Most Wanted” list, but was acquitted in 1972 for alleged conspiracy, murder and kidnapping, the Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.
Students gushed that they were “meeting real life superheroes right now,” as the teacher read comments from the chat. He himself praised the speakers, describing the “power” that he saw “about you all being open about who you are and the challenges that you faced and kept going.”
Kinnett, who leaked the video, is currently suspended with pay while the district investigates him for “potential misconduct,” according to a letter he provided to the DCNF.
He went viral for a video he posted to Twitter in November, where he blasted the claim school districts and politicians have made across the country arguing that CRT is not being taught at the K-12 level.
Teachers are told to teach students differently based on their skin color and that every problem is the result of “white men” and “that everything western civilization builds is racist, capitalism as a tool of white supremacy,” Kinnett said in his video. He claimed that all of those points are straight out Crenshaw’s book, “Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement.”
He called out IPS for allegedly telling “principals at the beginning of the year that if a parent asked if you’re teaching Critical Race Theory in your school, you tell them no,” Kinnett told the DCNF.
“But the lying to parents and forcing your staff to lie to parents, I don’t go for that,” he said. “So [I] honestly just decided, you know what, parents need to know more about what’s going on in Indianapolis, more than I enjoy the comfort of a salaried position”
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