I was going to send this as an email; though thought better of it, considering how sensitive affluent white people are; and their historic manipulation of "the law" to condemn and punish those easier deemed heretics.
I went through the Orono Public School System K-12 ...
And it has taken nearly two decades for me to recover from the trauma; to be able to speak about the experiences from a place of compassion.
While sadly, I know for fact, that the demons which tortured me still haunt the now vacant halls of those remodeled buildings.
Sure, some aspects of the education pushed me to learn how to think critically.
When I went to the University, I was leaps and bounds beyond most of my peers; and I still am.
But this has less to do with anything positive which Orono might have contributed; because for truth, the entire experience was a hellish nightmare I am fortunate to have survived.
And it is one, from which, I will likely spend the rest of my life trying to heal.
Not everyone did, or perhaps, has.
He was a few years younger than me, his brother a few years older; and their mother had once been my teacher.
I was just entering middle school when he committed suicide.
Their reticence to accept their mistakes; their readiness to throw degrees in one's face, as some sort of testament to knowledge and superiority.
These actions do their students no service by modeling such behavior.
As their students take these ethos of entitlement and belligerence into their own futures; conflating their privilege into a demarcation of personal worth, or innate ability.
I've reviewed the credentials of most everyone on their school board, and in their administration; you see after I graduated from high school, I too went on to study education and psychology, along with economics, statistics and communications.
Now I spend my days discussing these topics with professionals the world over ~ my work has me within the technology sector.
While my life has me uplifting the neglected, and amplifying the ignored; like it is the only path to healing that will ever yield the outcomes so many claim to seek.
And my love, well, my love has me singing songs about hope, demonstrating a resilience, intelligence, and humility from which most would be wise to learn.
I wish nothing from them, save for you all to evolve.
And so I write these words; for if we are silent they will watch us slit our wrists, like that is all we were ever going to amount to anyways.
Even the best of their teachers are faulted, arguably beyond repair ~ and that is where they, and you, must start; with acknowledgement of such neglect and depravity.
For we cannot solve the problems we choose ignore; and the protective investment of whiteness is the epitome of this savagery.
The arrogance, needing feigned-ignorance to protect itself, from these inhumane truths; too overwhelming to consider how one might ever even begin to amend.
All amounting to a self-entitled refusal to authentically try.
I continue to watch other alumni, both students and staff, as they walk through the cloistered community that is Minnesota, and even beyond.
As I said earlier, it has taken nearly two decades to find a place from which I can broach these conversations without expletives fueled by the memory and recognition of the violence they, and perhaps you too, continue to pass off as educated, or suitably credentialed, perspectives.
And so, perhaps, these words having been written and, now published ...
My healing, at least, can begin, in earnest.
Self-righteous and entitled as that may be of me to say.