Recently, Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens was dismissed from the football team and suspended indefinitely by commissioner Roger Goodell. Ray Rice is appealing the NFL decision through a grievance process which includes the NFL Players Association.

Once Ray Rice is reinstated, it will present a dilemma for the Baltimore Ravens. The Baltimore Ravens coaching staff and ownership reinstatement is an embarrassment for the Baltimore Ravens. It is an indication of a dysfunctional organization making an illegal decision. This decision will definitely strain the relationship between Ray Rice and the NFL Baltimore Ravens. The only way for them , the Baltimore Ravens, to “save face” is to trade Ray Rice to another NFL team.

This pattern between Ray Rice and the Baltimore Ravens is similar to the same pattern racism in education that Black students face in our public schools. This pattern normally begins with a teacher submitting a referral for a classroom disruption. Most classroom disruptions between White teachers and Black students are the result of classroom cultural clashes. After a number of incidents, like Ray Rice, the student is suspended.

The symptom of racism in education is inability for educators to educate Black students results in an embarrassment for the school. In the past, this embarrassment manifest itself as low student performance on standardized testing. Rather than face this continued embarrassment, school districts will attempt to seek other placement for the students. Or students who continue to fail may decide to eventually drop out of school.

While this is normally an extreme case, it parallels the extremity of the Ray Rice incident because of the domestic violence. The same way that schools seek alternative placement for Black students is the same way that the Baltimore Ravens will have to trade Ray Rice.

However, there is a significant difference. Ray Rice was mandated to attend “Domestic Violence Prevention” classes. Black students described in this similar pattern may receive counseling services of some type. Teachers do not receive training that eliminates classroom racism which in many cases is the source for the racism in education between the Black student and teachers.

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

 

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