Because Slavery Wasn’t Fun Enough the First Time?

Crooks & Liars covered this today. I found the video where the students who were “sold” were interviewed. Jesus, I have no idea what this teacher was thinking. Read about it, but don’t re-enact the humiliation. Everyone gets that a person being bought and sold like cattle and produce is humiliating. Isn’t this a given?

Oh, and you’ll see in the video that this isn’t the only crap VA schools have pulled.


ETA: Oh lookie. Another black person other than the parents of the “sold” kids who found it offensive:
Virginia Teacher Holds Mock Slave Auction of Black Students

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Mock Slave Auction, posted with vodpod

54 responses to “Because Slavery Wasn’t Fun Enough the First Time?

  • lbwoodgate

    They are just trying to reclaim their “lost America”.

  • lobotero

    I have noticed the VA is as slick and crappy as Texas….they think their sh*t does not stink because Jefferson was a Virginian….do not get me started on Jefferson…lol

  • RunawayLawyer

    I can’t believe I just typed “ain’t.” Twice. I may have to go wash my keyboard off now.

    • Spinny Liberal

      Haha keep Clorox wipes handy next time.

    • lobotero

      Just feels dirty…huh? A very popular word where I live….eeeeewww

      • Spinny Liberal

        Is it true that in some places in the South that using y’all in school papers is acceptable?

      • lbwoodgate

        Not in public schools. They may get away with in some home school or deeply devoted southern charter schools but not in public schools.

        And to be honest spinny I don’t think they allow it even in home schooling or charter schools. Just being my usual cynical self.

      • Spinny Liberal

        🙂 I’m sure all sorts of crap is allowed in home schooling.

      • Terrance H.

        There is no “allowing” anything when you home school children. You claim religious exemption, as I have with my children, and the state stays out of your business, particularly when you hire a lawyer like I was forced to after being harassed by the school district.

        When they get older, they’ll have to take competency tests in order to qualify for college aide and acceptance et cetera, but until then, the state pretty much leaves you alone.

        My kids will be taught Evolution and Intelligent Design. They’ll be taught the whole shebang, and there’s not a damn thing the state can do about it.

        Thomas Jefferson once said:

        If a book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But for God’s sake, let us freely hear both sides if we choose!

      • Terrance H.

        I can’t say I didn’t expect the terse reaction……………..I am, after all, responding to the Left. I know you guys despise home school, Intelligent Design, Thomas Jefferson, et cetera….

      • Spinny Liberal

        I despise home schooling? Where did I say that? If mom/dad/teacher is intelligent enough, why not?

        Intelligent Design? Fine but not in a public school classroom. I’m a theistic evolutionist myself.

        I didn’t know I hated Jefferson.

      • Terrance H.

        Just the impression I get, ’tis all Spinny. But I can’t imagine why a teacher would laud home schooling, something that has the potential to take money out of her pocket.

        So you’re not O.K. with Intelligent Design being taught in a voluntary philosophy course? Why? Because you believe it’s Creationism? It’s not.

        The Left just seems to hate some of his ideas, like, say, freedom of religion rather than freedom from religion. For evidence, see above. The mere implication that students be taught that it’s quite possibly that our existence is owed to a higher power, even if based on science, you reject it.

      • Spinny Liberal

        Considering the ratio of students to teachers, the violence, etc., I can totally understand why a parent would want to. More power.

        Voluntary is fine. Alongside evolution in say a high school biology class? No.

        Like I said, I am a theistic evolutionist. Teach evolution in school (if it’s public). Higher power stuff you can get at home and church.

      • Terrance H.

        I agree with the first and second paragraph.

        Evolution should be taught in public and private schools and home schools, because it has practical applications in other fields, like microbiology, et cetera… But introduce Intelligent Design, in a voluntary course, and let them decide. I don’t agree with those parents who don’t want evolution taught at all. They don’t seem to understand that parts of evolution are simply fact.

      • Spinny Liberal

        ID as a course in college is fine. I just don’t know why a public school should use money to teach it, even if it’s voluntary. As you said, there are parts of evolution that are simply fact. That money could be used for arts and music.

      • Terrance H.

        Wait a minute. Instead of offering kids another possible explanation for our existence – which is pretty damn important – you would rather them be taught art and music? I say we teach it all.

        If we want kids to be well-rounded, then, for God’s literal sake, let’s do it!

      • Spinny Liberal

        “Another possible explanation for our existence” is not about the scientific method, the periodic table, or dissecting fetal pigs – that was for my high school biology teacher who knows about this blog, so if he’s reading Hi Mr. Elliott! 😀

        So hell yes, I’d rather have that precious public school money go toward art and music. The other “possible explanation for our existence” can be covered in Sunday School.

      • Terrance H.

        If your H.S. teacher thinks I.D. doesn’t utilize the scientific method, then he’s wrong. It clearly does.

        I.D. has no place in Sunday School because it’s not Creationism. Rather than continue spewing falsehoods, I’d recommend a thorough reading of this website, taking the time to listen to both sides of the story. You can listen to the scientists who actually subscribe to the theory of I.D. and hear what they have to say. Or, you can read what the Daily Kos has to say. Up to you.

      • Terrance H.

        BTW, I say “thorough” reading because you’ll discover how they have to attack I.D. They claim it’s “religion,” yet it’s not. Read the website, then watch the movie, then read the website again.

      • Spinny Liberal

        I went to a private high school. God was a given.

        Utilizing the scientific method in the traditional sense means using natural phenomenon to reach conclusions. When you can’t reach a conclusion or there are gaps, do you use the “supernatural” to explain things?

        I’ll check out the website. I don’t go to DK for science. 😉

      • Terrance H.


        The website is an anti-I.D. website, but I offered it to show you how they attack I.D. It’s the same nonsense over and over again. “It’s religion!” or “It’s Creationism under a different name!” The same nonsense. Watch Expelled and then listen to the scientists who came up with I.D.; it’s based on science.

      • Spinny Liberal

        I’ll check it out, even though there are very religious scientists who reject ID. I’m always open to learning more.

      • dcmartin

        “I know you guys despise home school, Intelligent Design, Thomas Jefferson, et cetera….”

        Hmmm……isn’t it the CONSERVATIVE Texas State Board of Education that voted to replace Jefferson with Calvin as an important figure in American history? And isn’t conservative Texas, being the largest purchaser of textbooks in the country which in turn influences what textbooks reach the rest of the country, basically telling America “Jefferson SUCKS, ignore him”?
        Liberals in Texas and around the country were not happy with that.
        AT ALL.

      • Terrance H.

        Far-Right faction of the Board of Education replaced Jefferson with Calvin in one textbook, i.e., Enlightenment Thinking.

        I don’t agree with that. I would have replaced him with Jerry Falwell. 🙂

        If you want to subscribe a far-right ideology to me, then I’ll subscribe a far-left ideology to you. O.K., Mrs. Marx?

  • Terrance H.

    I don’t share the liberal outrage, I’m afraid. When I was in fifth grade, I remember our teacher doing the exact same thing, only no racial group was excluded from the “auction.” Perhaps it would have been better to “sell” all colors.

    I think the teacher is trying to insure that the significance of slavery isn’t lost on children. On that group, I doubt it ever will be.

    • Spinny Liberal

      Not just liberal outrage. Educator outrage. Even if your teacher did it without repercussion, it’s one of those things that should make you think twice before doing it. You know, common sense.

      The significance is not lost, but at the cost of humiliation.

      • Terrance H.

        Do you want this country to hide from our history, Spinny? That’s what happened. Blacks were auctioned off like cattle. I see no problem with recreating it. I think perhaps some of those white kids who see their black friends treated like that may think twice about adopting the views of their racist parents.

        Politics has trumped education.

        I do think the teacher should have auctioned off all races rather than one, but aside from that, I see no problem with it. And ABC should have talked to more parents. I bet many saw no problem either.

      • Spinny Liberal

        You’re not hiding from it if you’re learning about it. It’s the way you learn about it. You can read about it, watch movies, but to pretend to be one of those slaves?

        Not political at all. It’s common sense that certain topics should be approached with care.

        We can learn about the KKK through books and documentaries. I don’t think a faux lynching would be appropriate.

      • Terrance H.

        Getting kids involved through reenactment is a far better way to educate children than simply shoving boring facts from a book up their tales. And while I may not be a “teacher,” it hasn’t been that long since I sat in a classroom. Anytime we were out of sits and actually doing something, we had fun – while learning!

        I don’t understand why you guys think this is humiliating. Do we know what the teacher said during the exercise? Do we know the way she approached it outside of what ABC tells us? No, we don’t, so how we can sit here and jeer this teacher without all the facts is quite simply stunning.

        The teacher should have went a step further. Some of those kids should have played the part of the tribal leaders who sold their own people into bondage and forced labor. We shouldn’t be hiding from that fact either.

        I respect your input, Spinny, but I think you’re making too big a deal out of this. I’d like to hear what some of the other parents have to say.

      • Spinny Liberal

        Oh I can jeer her all I want because common sense should be required in an educator. I don’t care how she prepped it or what she said, honestly. You just don’t go there.

        You really don’t get how that is humiliating? I don’t know about other people. but if I was black, I’d rather not participate in a re-enactment where I was the one on the block and my classmates were the buyers, checking me out if I’d make a good slave. Traveling back in time to when I was considered a fraction of a person doesn’t sound fun, even if it’s just pretend.

        Hey, maybe the reactions of other parents are out there. I saw the reactions of the parents of the “sold” kids. That’s all I really need.

      • Terrance H.

        Yes, yes. We don’t want all facts; they might ruin our parade.

        Why don’t you go there, Spinny? If the goal of a teacher is to insure the message is understood and in fact indelible, then I can say with a great degree of certainty that the mission has been accomplished in this particular case.

        Those kids were not considered a fraction of a person, but nothing of a person at all. And that was the point. We can’t hide from our history. Reading something in a textbook doesn’t quite have the same impact; it can be too easily forgotten. And why would anyone want to forget such an injustice? You forget it, you’re bound to repeat it.

        If anything, it made the white kids look like damn fools. Something like, “See? This is what your ancestors did to my ancestors!

        You saw the reaction of two parents. I’m sure there were more than two black kids on the “block,” as you so delicately put it.

      • Spinny Liberal

        What she said before, during, or after doesn’t make what she did any less insensitive.

        There are movies, documentaries, etc. You don’t have to play master and/or slave for learning to be impactful.

        Angry Black Lady explained why this “lesson” sucked a whole lot better than I ever could. See added link in post.

      • Terrance H.

        That is assuming you accept what she did as insensitive; I don’t. Quite the opposite, in fact. Failing to instill in children the injustices different people have had to endure, simply for being different, is the greater tragedy.

        Boring movies and boring documentaries.

        I seen it; it’s nonsense.

      • Terrance H.


        I did say, though, that she should not have segregated the children; she should have “sold” whites, blacks, and Mexicans alike. But I do understand why she did it the way she did.

  • Terrance H.

    I watched the video again and realized it took place in Norfolk. HA! I used to live there!

    I lived in Norfolk, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and just outside of Williamsburg for a semester for school at WIlliam and Mary. I ran out of money and had to come back home. Sort of annoyed me because I would have loved to continue going there.

  • Beneath The Tin Foil Hat

    If they wanted to do a true reenactment, they should have brought the whole family in wearing shackles. Then split the family up by selling them individually to the children who lived in neighborhoods that were the furthest apart. Afterward, the white children could take turns flaying the skin off their backs. Wouldn’t that make for a great “hands on” education?

    What an idiot. Jeez.

    • Spinny Liberal

      Now that’s a lesson plan that will drive the point home. Scars from whip marks for a permanent reminder.

      • Terrance H.

        You guys make less and less sense every time you try and make your point. We’re talking about a harmless exercise, not a complete mock environment. Be reasonable, for crying out loud. The children didn’t look too shook up and nobody has explained sufficiently why it was insensitive.

  • dcmartin

    Perhaps, in the interest of not hiding from history the next lessons should include herding some Jewish students into a boxcar and then into a prop oven, putting some Asian kids in an “internment camp”, and just to keep it current, racially profile all the Hispanic children before having “ICE Agents” deport them and then line up any swarthy-looking kids and have the class call them terrorists and fake-burn some Korans.
    You can get the point across with a better method and a better lesson plan.
    For children who are still learning about and stuggling with the issue of racism, this WOULD be very humiliating. Kids don’t have the perspective we do, and even we ADULTS don’t always “get” it. Maybe her heart is in the right place, but her method sucked.

    • Terrance H.

      I’d be fine with that. Why lie to children? Why butter up reality? Let’s show them what people are capable of when an ideology takes hold…

      • Spinny Liberal

        Oh my holy Lord, Terrance. Seriously? I guess the people who could play the ICE Agent, Master, Internment Camp Guard, and Schutzstaffel have no frickin’ problem with the whole thing.

      • Terrance H.

        You guys have taken a harmless exercise and turned it into Hitler Meets Mr. Rodgers or something. And you wonder if I’m serious? Please.

        The teacher should have sold all the children, not just blacks. I’ve said that from the beginning. But I do understand why she did it the way she did. It’s not that big of a deal, but you guys sure are making it out to be. The kids are not “psychologically” damaged anymore than they would be reading it out loud in a textbook in front of other students. What the teacher did is a better way of teaching, in my view.

      • Spinny Liberal

        Harmless is your opinion. I guess I shouldn’t have asked considering you advocated this upthread:

        The teacher should have went a step further. Some of those kids should have played the part of the tribal leaders who sold their own people into bondage and forced labor. We shouldn’t be hiding from that fact either.

        You were obviously serious. Agree to disagree because I would not recommend any of that, including what the teacher in VA did. JMO.

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