Ron Clark, co-founder of Atlanta’s Ron Clark Academy, took to social media to ask his fellow “white people” to take a stand against racism. The post went viral within a matter of minutes.
NBC’s 11 Alive reports that Clark, an educator who teaches both black and white students, posted the heartfelt Facebook post in light of the recent police shootings going on across the nation. Clark, a white man, indicated that he only can see racism through the eyes of a teacher who watches his black students go through judgement from other people based solely on their appearance. He’s now urging white people to take a stand against those who judge before they know.
Local educator: 'Where are all the white people at' post goes viral. READ: https://t.co/VAmPWpVfPU— 11Alive News (@11AliveNews) July 8, 2016
“If only African-Americans speak, I promise you, people only hear the “angry black people who are being ridiculous. It takes white people to have the courage to speak up when you hear racism and let others know it’s not acceptable. The cops out there who are racist have had their thoughts fed into them by family members and friends who were also raised to have those thoughts. People aren’t born racist; their community makes them racist. We, as part of the community, have a duty to stand up and speak out.”
Clark also touched on the issue of white privilege, a term defined as societal privileges that Caucasian people benefit from, simply due to the color of their skin. Although the term is highly debated, with a number of skeptics claiming that white privilege isn’t real, Clark feels that it is, and that since it benefits white people only, they should become leaders in ending racial tension and misunderstandings.
“I can tell you all, white privilege is real because I experience it both in noticing how I am treated and how those who don’t look like me are mistreated. When only white people are in the room some people feel comfortable to make horrible and stupid comments, and the biggest problem is that they aren’t even aware of their ignorance. We, as white people, have to be leaders in this movement to end the racism and misunderstandings.”
This isn’t the first time Clark’s been recognized for his dedication to his students. Oprah Winfrey, as part of The Oprah Show‘s plight to find the world’s best teachers each year, saluted Clark for going out of his way to make sure his students are entertained while they learn. Clark originally appeared on the show in 2001, while he was teaching in North Carolina. He told Winfrey he always wanted to build his own school, and fill it with the best teachers in the nation.
In 2007 he did just that. During a “Where Are They Now?” episode of The Oprah Show, Clark said he achieved his goal after he found a factory in Atlanta that he turned into a prestigious, non-profit middle school.
“I wanted to build a school that would be creative, filled with innovation and the best teachers in America. We ended up finding a location in downtown Atlanta, Ga. It was a 100 year-old factory — the windows were busted out, it was an eye sore on the community. And I looked at it and I said, ‘This is it; this going to be our school.’”
The school is still going strong in 2016, with a student body count of 113 students. The average class size is 27 students, with a staff count of 22. Along with an exemplary educational curriculum, and an indoor trampoline, and gymnasium, the Ron Clark Academy offers extra-curricular activities such as soccer, tennis, basketball, cheer-leading, drumming, aquarium research, robotics, a poetry team, financial literacy, tutoring, African dance, acting, and much more.
Ron Clark’s mission is “to deliver the highest quality educational experience where global citizens are born through advanced rigor, engaging teaching methods, and a passionate climate and culture.”
[Photo by Shutterstock]