That Time When Dr. Miss Called out the Fucking Xenophobes

I’ll give you a one sentence abstract here and then you can decide if you want to keep reading:

Your xenophobic bullshit is going to negatively impact your bottom line.

Still here? Good for you. You must not be a bigot. Welcome, friend.

 

I work in a diverse community on the south side of Chicago. We have a large number of undocumented students within our population. We also have many students who are documented, but their parents are not. Thus, as of late, the students have been anxious about the national increase in ICE raids and deportation orders.

Related to this, we received an email today from our principal:

There are many rumors circulating around immigration raids, and mass deportations that are having an impact on some (of our) students.  Earlier today community members reported that immigration raids were being conducted in Blue Island.  While this situation turned out to be a barricade situation that police were responding to on 119th and Longwood, many of our students and their families were frightened.

While we cannot eliminate all fears and anxiety, we can surely reassure them that they are safe in school. 

Thank you for your time.

My first reaction was to mentally scan through my classes and to determine which students might be needing some extra TLC today. Which students were worried about their families being torn apart? Which of them were going to have sad eyes when I greeted them at the doorway? Which ones were going to be absent because they were afraid to leave their homes?

My second thought was, “Damn, I’m glad we don’t have to take the fucking PARCC next month. That would be a real disaster.”

Because here’s the thing: Children who are anxious and afraid do not do well academically.   They are suffering from undiagnosed forms of PTSD and their brains are overwhelmed by stress. This results in damage to the hippocampus, which is part of the limbic system of the brain. Pause and let that sink in, please. Prolonged stress and traumatic events damage our students’ brains. As a result, these children have difficulty with storing and recalling information. They may also struggle with putting aside vivid or disturbing memories.

By this point, some of you may be saying to yourselves, “What does this have to do with immigration, you bleeding heart libt*rd?”

The ICE raids and deportation orders are going to negatively impact the students’ performances on standardized tests.   Whether one agrees with standardized testing or not, it is not going away.   This spring, Illinois’ public elementary students must take the PARCC and secondary students must take the pre-SAT or SAT. Secondary students may also opt to take the ACT or AP exams.

The PARCC and SAT scores are part of a school district’s “report card” and these “report cards” are often referenced when folks are considering a move to a particular community.  Children who experience PTSD and/or prolonged periods of anxiety, such as the fear of deportation, will not do well on standardized tests. Their brains have literally been damaged by stress. Thus, tests that allegedly tell us how “good” or “bad” a school is may have negatively skewed results.

Communities that are perceived to have “bad” schools, which may be partially based on standardized test scores, often have lower home values.  Lower home values are difficult to revive. Once a community has a reputation as being “bad,” good luck with changing that perception. The home values tank and it is partially due to students not doing well on standardized tests.

All of the bigots and xenophobes who say, “Hell, yes, deport those immigrants right now!” are to blame. Good job.  I hope your xenophobia is a comfort to you when your home is worthless and you’re unable to retire. But – hey! - I heard there may be some jobs with picking vegetables in California...?

 

Let’s go through this nice and slow for the fucking xenophobes sitting in the back:

1.Have the Grand Old Party inexplicably nominate a presidential candidate who says that Mexicans are rapists and Muslims are terrorists. Oh, yes, let’s do that, ‘Murica.

2. Provide lots of press coverage to the aforementioned candidate as he spouts hatred for minorities, discusses building a border wall, and – again, for the slow xenophobes in the back – says he wants to deport 11 million people from our country, most of whom are not felons.

3. Make sure that everyone understands that this level of hatred for brown-skinned people, especially immigrants, will Make America Great Again.  Get some token brown-skinned people to hold MAGA signs at rallies too. (WTF, btw...you guys, seriously...a big WTF on that one...)

4. Get elected and, in between incessant commentary about Electoral College votes, immediately start chattering about the wall and how Mexico is going to pay for it.

4b. Get trolled on Twitter by the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quesada. If you haven’t followed Quesada yet on Twitter, please do. He is a delight and a total badass.   Love, love, love him. (@VicenteFoxQue)

5. Just for fun, order a travel ban on select countries and cause chaos in airports around the country. Be sure to handcuff and detain children who are from these “banned” countries. Separate them from their parents too. Quick reminder: these children will be taking the standardized tests this spring. I hope they live in your “nice” communities.

6. Nominate an education secretary who paid millions of dollars in bribes to get her job.   Be totally cool with her wanting to cut funding to public systems and, thus, cut funding to students who need Special Education and psychological support services.

7. State that deportations will only be for undocumented convicted criminals, but remain silent when ICE raids are clearly terrorizing broad swaths of communities. Talk some shit too about cities that dare to say they will be “sanctuaries” and that they plan to protect their residents from these raids.

8. Go to Mar-a-Lago every damn weekend. Hang out with lots of rich white folks there. MAGA, people. It’s all about the MAGA.

9. Lather, rinse, repeat.

10.  Lists always need a #10. You’re welcome.

Your xenophobic bullshit is hurting your community and, down the road, it is going to hurt your financial stability.  Step outside of your "white privilege" bubble and get to know the immigrants in your community.  It's time.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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