Cannot Count on Ignorant School Administrators
“That may have been the most inept quarterback decision I’ve seen in the NFL. When you need precision decision making you can’t count on a Black quarterback.”
The racist comments about Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson by Lynn Redden, the superintendent of Onalaska Independent School District, should not make “colorblind” and open-minded citizens think for a second that the district will fire him.
In a school district in which less than one percent of the student body identifies as African-American, it is doubtful that any African-American sits on the school board.
Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the school board will care about how ignorant their leader is or how bad he has made the district (approximately 85 miles north of Houston) look.
However, anyone that is bold enough to write such racist things on Facebook, even though Redden said he believed he was responding to a private message, has said much worse behind close doors.
And anyone that harbors such racist views should not lead a school district of young people.
As a Texans fan since 2002, Watson’s late game miscue against the Tennessee Titans was boneheaded.
But what does his race have to do with the equation?
It is not like the Texans have the quarterback lineage of the Green Bay Packers with Hall of Fame talent like Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.
The Texans have suffered through quarterback play from less than star players like David Carr, Matt Schaub and the debacle known as Brock Osweiler.
So it is hard to believe that Redden has not seen worse from a Texans quarterback.
Did he ever bring up the race of those White quarterbacks when they had subpar plays?
If not, why play the race card with Watson?
When African-Americans mention race, we are accused of playing the so-called race card.
But when White people bring up race, I do not hear other White people criticizing them for playing that same card.
I guess people like Redden are not playing the race card in their eyes.
They are just stating facts in their opinion.
“Over the history of the NFL, (Black quarterbacks) have had limited success,” Redden said in his explanation of his controversial Facebook post.
A journalist should have asked Redden to cite the sources of those statistics because for decades the NFL basically prohibited African-Americans from playing quarterback, citing stereotypes about a lack of intelligence so many did not get the opportunities that their White counterparts received.
Many star Black quarterbacks had to switch to wide receiver or defensive back just to get a shot in the NFL.
In the late 1970s, star University of Washington quarterback Warren Moon had to go to the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League before getting a shot at quarterback with the Houston Oilers in the 1980s.
Even then, Moon and his family still endured racist comments from fans in the Astrodome who felt that race had something to do with Moon’s ability to competently play the position of quarterback.
It got so bad that Moon would not let his family sit in the stands with Oilers fans, opting for the privacy of an Astrodome luxury suite.
Later in the 1980s, Grambling State alum Doug Williams became the first African-American quarterback to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory, earning game MVP honors for the Washington Redskins.
Throughout the 1990s, African-American quarterbacks like Randall Cunningham, Steve McNair and Jeff Blake continued to shine in the NFL.
McNair earned co-MVP honors with Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts for the 2003 season.
McNair led the Tennessee Titans to a Super Bowl appearance.
Cam Newton led a team to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2015 season, earning league MVP honors for that season.
Donovan McNabb also led the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl appearance in the early 2000s.
Russell Wilson later became the second African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl while playing for the Seattle Seahawks.
With all of that success, despite prejudice and a lack of opportunity, it is hard to believe that the statistics on African-American quarterbacks are as bleak as Redden believes.
Furthermore, a superintendent of a school district usually holds a doctorate degree.
Anyone who has ever gone to graduate school or professional school knows that a professor or advisor will eat you to pieces if you present something as fact with no sources to back up your accusation.
So for someone who molds the minds of young people to be comfortable enough to speak such hatred without concrete facts is dangerous for the students and employees that he leads.
African-American children already face harsher discipline at schools than their White counterparts for the same infractions.
It is easy to see why that is true if the people leading these classrooms, schools and school districts harbor such racist feelings toward African-Americans.
African-American students make up only 16 percent of public school students.
However, African-American students make up 40 percent of suspended students.
Furthermore, male students and students with disabilities often face harsher discipline as well.
In high poverty schools, African-American students get suspended 25 percent more than other racial groups.
And in more affluent schools, African-American students get suspended 12 percent more than their non-African-American peers.
Those facts make Redden’s racist comments about Watson so unacceptable.
Educators and school administrators mold the next generation and train the next generation to lead the community and the country.
An educator has the ability to pass on their stereotypes to the next generation just like parents, so having someone in such an influential position is extremely dangerous.
Furthermore, educators should remain neutral in their students’ scholastic work, and having educators with such racist views in their heart makes it impossible to treat students fairly and equally.
I once had a professor, who happened to be White, who would give extra study guides to White and Hispanic students.
However, she would not give them to the African-American students.
How do I know this for a fact?
Because one of my Hispanic classmates told me and I made him email me the special study guide.
That type of preferential treatment can alter grades, achievement and ultimately future job opportunities.
Anyone that cannot treat people fairly, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or any other superficial physical characteristic, should not hold a job in which people’s future rest in their hands.
Educators and administrators have to be able to make precise decisions.
Educators and administrators cannot be inept.
Educators and administrators have to be good decision-makers.
Most of all, educators and administrators have to be intelligent because you can never count on an ignorant and racist school district superintendent.