dan o’grady ☘️ Profile picture
Mar 6, 2020 33 tweets 7 min read Read on X
On Monday we played a game of rigged Monopoly.

🗣Shout out to @Tolerance_org for their dope lesson (I made some changes, but the spirit still remained).

Let me tell you all about income inequality in America. Woooo boy... it had my kids FIRED UP. (1/x)
Here is the actual lesson developed by @Tolerance_org

I’ll try to be succinct, but that ain’t my strength.

There were four players and one, the 🚗, got a huge head start with extra cash and two free properties.

The ⛵️ essentially played by normal rules.
The 🐕 and 🎩 had to wait to buy property until they went around the board, once and twice respectively, and could only toss one die for their first few throws.

I randomly assigned tokens and they were ready for mutiny ASAP.
The dogs and hats immediately complained it wasn’t fair. Which it obviously wasn’t. A few 🎩 refused to play. A few cars basked in the glory of their good fortune.

Near the end of class I told them I, President O’Grady, passed a major tax break and everyone got $200.
Then I told them the rich got richer and gave extra money to the leader.

All told, after about a dozen cars, here’s the (unsurprising) results.
The cars averaged a gain of $2,000 per game, compared to about $400 gain for the hats.

The boats and dogs finished in between as you’d expect.

The average wealth gap was $3,000 between car and hat.
When we played the control game, the avg gap was about $300.

A small minority thought if we extended the game, the gap would shrink and it would become fair.

After a brief discussion, they realized the hat would likely never catch up unless we drastically changed the rules.
So we debriefed on Tuesday and here’s what we learned.

The car represented inherited wealth - extra money and properties given to them just because.

Only one car finished last. They were the pot head trust fund baby blowing it all on drugs and cars 😂
The boat - normal rules - represented white men. No disadvantages.

the dog and hat represented the difficulty “others” face in America. But specifically Black Americans. See the original rules for further explanation. Essentially: slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, etc.
90% of the kids agreed the game was totally unfair, but only a small % recognized the rules were rigged based on race rather than class.

They all assumed it was $, so we had to talk about how there were no laws prohibiting white men from ever doing anything.
This was a bit of an “a ha” moment for everyone.

I reminded them, yes, class matters, but race was and is a whole extra layer.

The whole thing seemed to resonate and work.

I’ll find out later this week.
Now we’re watching the amazing documentary 13th and examining the history of institutionalized racism more closely.

This brings me to my final thought of this thread.
A white kid said after class, “we (himself and two other white kids) held it together.”

He was clearly... bothered/upset/frustrated by what he saw and struggled to understand it and his role and his whiteness within history at large.
I don’t think I did a good job responding to him at first. So I’ve been thinking a lot the last two days, and I think this is what I will say to him once the film ends.
1) It’s complicated and most emotions and feelings are valid with regard to racism in America. Sadness, anger, depression. All very much reasonable.

But a 16 year old white kid should not feel guilt over the past.
2) accept and understand ways in which racism still happens in this world. It didn’t end with slavery. It didn’t end with Jim Crow.

This dope thread covers a lot.
3) disrupt racism when you encounter it - internally and externally.

What’s done in the past is done. We can’t fix that. But if we don’t disrupt it today and tomorrow, then we have a future not totally unlike our past.
Interrogate your own biases. Living in America and consuming any media/popular culture has your brain hard wired to be biased. No, you’re not immune. It’s there. Don’t pretend it doesn’t exist. Read some books and be critically reflective.
There’s a clear line from old, explicit “du jure” racism to modern “de facto” implicit racism.

Choosing to be #colorblind does not alleviate the suffering of the past and will only guarantee inequality and oppression reign in the future.
I’d had this saved as a draft all week as we worked and I tweaked it.

The debrief today on the film went well.

Some things that really stood out:
One student asked, “why did you make us watch this?”

It came on the heels of discussing how the film made us feel.

To answer her question, I asked them a question.
“What did you learn from the film that you didn’t know? I know you knew some of it. But what’s new?”

And the hands shot up around the room.

My favorite response: “I didn’t know about the Black that got shot with his wife in bed with him. The Black Panther dude.”
Black guy*
I asked, “how many of you knew about Fred Hampton?”

Zero hands.

Me: “I didn’t know about him either. I didn’t know a lot of the stuff in this film. And it pissed me off that I was 36 years old and none of my teachers taught me this. I don’t want the same thing for you.”
Student: “why don’t they teach about Fred Hampton? All we ever hear is Martin Luther King.”

This is where it got tricky and I waded carefully.

I asked who decides what they learn.
Thwir answers: The government. Teachers. Principals. School boards.

I asked, predominantly who is in power in those institutions?

The answer: White men.

I continued...
Discussing Fred Hampton’s assassination, at the hands of the police, isn’t really high on the list of priorities. That’s hard to explain. And when things are hard to explain and when they cause questions, it’s easier to just not talk about them.
Which brought us full circle.

Why did we watch the film? We are we discussing such an awful history?

We can’t change the past, but we can change the future by acknowledging the past, acknowledging the present is worse than we think, and then...
Attempt to disrupt the future so we don’t keep the cycle of racism happening for future generations.

Then... oh boy... then we discussed actual laws from the 1600-1700s that were designed to “solve problems.”
The problems were that white male power might be challenged.

We discussed these laws then talked about how iterations of these laws exist TODAY.

A local shopping mall asks for IDs of teenagers after hours. Teenagers aren’t allowed in groups of more than four. No hoodies.
And sure, these aren’t explicitly aimed at a group of people like the laws of the 1600-1700s, but more often than not, who are those “policies” at the local mall aimed at?
By the end of class today, every student walked out with a deeper understanding of our country’s past and how that past isn’t gone, it’s just been rebranded.

Today, I feel like I won at teaching.

And I did it wearing this sweatshirt. ✊🏻

#DisruptTexts #ClearTheAir Image

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More from @TeachMrOGrady

Aug 25, 2020
Three hour zoom PD. Wife is out of the house at work.

3yo fell down steps. Both kids hitting. A few nerf shots were fired at a non-willing combatant.

Somehow managed to add to the conversation & take 3 pages of notes.

This setup is untenable for the long haul. #LessIsMore
Two loads of laundry. Made lunches. Cleaned the kitchen. And three more zoom hours upcoming.

Kids have been in front of tv all day.

It’s fine. This won’t lead to multiple melt downs. It’s all good.
btw, THIS is why parents are demanding in class school to resume. (Well, not all, but many/most.)

Trust me. This ain’t the life. I want normalcy again too. But it ain’t about kids falling behind. Believe that.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 21, 2020
Doing yard work.

I’ve seen the mailman’s truck breakdown and struggle to start 2-3x so far.

I hollered, “damn man, Trump won’t even give y’all gas?”

He laughed and shook his head.
Some of this is true. Some of it is not true.

It’d be funnier if it was all true.
Oh man. He’s still stuck. This part is very true lol
Read 4 tweets
Aug 19, 2020
A tale of two #Ohio senators reacting to Trump bashing Goodyear.

See if you can guess who is who. It’s gonna be tough, but you can do it!

1) actively pushing back
2) pretending it didn’t happen.

PS Don’t you LOVE when the president seeks to harm an American business? ImageImage
I know what you’re thinking.

Democratic senator pushing back. GOP senator ignoring it. Hyper partisanship. Yada yada yada.

But look...

You’re right. That’s exactly what it is.

@SenSherrodBrown advocates for his constituents while @senrobportman will say he missed it.
It’s almost as if I should be surprised??? 😮 ImageImage
Read 5 tweets
Aug 16, 2020
When I woke up, I didn’t think this was going to happen. And yet, here we are... Image
And it just so happened to be my best! #RecordSmashed Image
It’s funny how the first time you do something, ever, it’s a new record. I’ll take it though.

Also, I need you younger folks in your early 30s and younger to realize that your joints are going to be shot way earlier than you think. #OuchAnklesAndKnees
Read 4 tweets
Aug 14, 2020
1) mommy stuck her hand in the pee-filled toilet, of course!

I ran downstairs to find gloves or a bag. I’m not sticking my hand in that fiasco - disgusting!

“You probably have pee on your hands every time you go to the bathroom,” she said.

Wtf does she think I do in there?
2) “oh no, I’m going to die,” was Patrick’s words.

How was this particular event going to be his demise? Idk. Somehow toothpaste in the toilet is a killer tho? Kids are weird.
Read 8 tweets
Aug 13, 2020
I accidentally dropped the kids’ toothpaste in the pee filled toilet - bc the 6yo didn’t flush and left the lid up.

1) who stuck their hand in the pee-filled toilet to fish it out without waiting for a bag or glove?
2) Who screamed “Oh no, I’m going to die!” after seeing the toothpaste in the pee-filled toilet?
3) Who was terrified to get anywhere near the pee-filled toilet?
Read 6 tweets

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