What I Told Third Graders who Fear President Trump
March 30, 2018By Tiffani Knowles

"Noooooo!"

This was the unanimous outburst that the elementary school students to whom I was presenting made when I flashed a slide of their president Donald J. Trump on the screen behind me.

                 

By the seventh class, I was beginning to think that this reaction was not to be taken for granted.

                 

In February, myself and a team of mentors from the group Training for Greatness, Inc., visited an elementary school in North Miami-Dade for their annual Career Day. We all had specialized knowledge to share with the students and were each given a classroom to do seven sets of presentations to rotating classes of second, third, fourth and fifth graders.

                 

Of course, I offered them tidbits about my work as a college professor and a published author. The content of my book HOLA America: Guts, Grit, Grind and Further Traits in the Successful American Immigrant struck quite a nerve with them. Just like many Americans, these cherubic children were not immune to the vicious stories that certain political officials and influencers were saying about immigrants, particularly immigrants of color.

                 

They had heard the inflammatory, nasty things others have said about their Haitian immigrant fathers and their Latin grandmothers. That they’re lazy, unwashed miscreants. Yet, the immigrant matriarchs and patriarchs that they see working both day and night jobs to keep their school uniforms on their backs and food in their bellies don’t seem to fit that description.

                 

A handful of boys and girls in different sessions even refused to raise their hands after I asked “Who here speaks Creole?’ following my “Who here speaks Spanish?” question.

                 

They avoided my glance and shook their heads in rejection of their father and mother’s tongue, only to be outed by their classmates who pointed and said, “He does…he speaks Creole.”

                 

To set them at ease, I offered the class a few words in both Spanish and Creole, all to say that it’s okay to speak a language that identifies you as “the other” or the “descendent of that sh*thole country.”

                 

They had heard their president use unsavory language about immigrants from where they’re from.

                 

They had heard that President Donald Trump was raiding neighborhoods like the ones they lived in and were deporting people who looked like them.

                 

They had heard that their president was trying to build a wall to keep Mexicans out.

                 

They had seen their president send unkind tweets.

                 

Soon, the discussion moved from my professional life in the work world to controversial questions burning in their young minds:

·         Why does President Trump want me out of the country?

·         Why does he not like Mexicans?

·         Why does he hate us? We didn’t do anything wrong.

·         Why does he love to make tweets like those?

·         Why is he always arguing on social media?

                 

Being careful to not turn my students-for-a-day into a band of anti-establishment, rabblerousing grade-schoolers, I answered the questions by telling them briefly about the rationale for the wall (both pros and cons), the contributions that immigrants from the Caribbean and Latin America have made to the country over the past several decades and why being a bully – whether on social media or on the playground – isn’t right.

                 

Lastly, I told the kids about me. I told them about my Bahamian dad (the co-author of my book) and my Jamaican mom. Their ears perked up as they saw we had things in common.

                 

I showed them an old picture of myself and asked them to guess how old I was and what grade I was in at the time. They guessed right. Second grade. I told them that from a tender age my parents raised my siblings and me to be young scholars, to be goal-oriented, to be twice as diligent as our American counterparts. My parents – just like theirs from Cuba, Panama and Trinidad - knew that leaving the only country they ever knew for a land with different roads, customs, dress, and language, required guts. It required grit. It required grind. There was no looking back, only the pursuit of success.

                 

At the end of our session, I had students coming up to me and asking for autographs (mainly because they thought I was Beyonce’s cousin). Still, it caused me to ponder at how impressionable these young children of color are.

                 

We must build them up so that one day they can give a talk just like I did, proving all the naysayers wrong. We must train them for greatness!

        

TIffani Knowles is the managing editor and founder of NEWD Magazine. Her hope is to become as "newd" as possible on a daily by embracing truth, authenticity and socio-spiritual awareness. She is bi-vocational as she is the owner of two businesses and a professor of Communication at Barry University in Miami, Florida. She is also the co-author of HOLA America: Guts, Grit, Grind and Further Traits in the Successful American Immigrant.

                 

                 

                


Visitor Comments (3)
LOAN OFFER
Posted By WENDY RYAN on June 13, 2018
BEST AVAILABLE WAY TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM {upstoxfunding@yahoo.com}
Are you looking for financial freedom? Are you in debt, you need a loan to start a new business? Or you collapse financially, do you need a loan to buy a car or a house? Have you ever been rejected by your bank in ever finance? You want to improve your financial? You need a loan to pay off your bills pay off? No more looking, we welcome you for an opportunity to get all types of loans at a very affordable 3% interest rate for others. For information, contact us now by email at: {upstoxfunding@yahoo.com}

Do you have a bad credit? Do you need money to pay bills? Is it necessary to start a new business? Do you have an unfinished project due to poor funding? Do you need money to invest in any specialty that will benefit you? And you do not know what to do. We offer the following loans;both Personal loans [secure and unsecured], Business loans [secure and unsecured] ,combination loans ,Student loans,Consolidation loans and so many others.

Company name: UPSTOX FUNDING
Company Email: upstoxfunding@yahoo.com
Text/Call :(302) 273-5794.
LIBERATED FROM DEBT ./
Posted By HEATHER615 on April 25, 2018
LIBERATED FROM DEBT, NOW PROPERTIES OWNER WITH THE HELP OF PROSPER LOAN: prosperloanfirm@yahoo.com

Share this to help a soul right now, Ya'll will agree with me that the rate of online scamming is increasing by the day. I'm also a victim of it as i was scammed about 25,000usd all in the quest of seeking for an home loan. I actually gave up until a government official directed me to PROSPER LOAN FIRM, Despite the fact of my plight i had to give it a try since it was coming from a top government official. All comment ya'all see online are crap, I know the pains i went through just because i was looking for a loan i had to keep on selling valuables to keep paying unforeseen fees. I and some great personality have started a movement to end online scam because people are dying everyday, losing their homes, selling their property just because they need a loan. Apart from been a beneficiary of about 295,000usd in PROSPER LOAN FIRM lending scheme , We have also made a research to see that they are the best around the globe as far as online lending is concern, They have proven their self trustworthy and reliable back to back without failing. To end people debt, financial burden and been victimized here is the details of prosper loan firm. Email: prosperloanfirm@yahoo.com OR call 1(816) 366-8769 to put an end to your financial needs now. I'm Heather Patrick from Georgia, United States. It doesn't take you anything to share this great information and good news. Email: prosperloanfirm@yahoo.com OR call 1(816) 366-8769 and celebrate financial outbreak for the rest of your life.
LOAN OFFER
Posted By PROGRESIVELOAN on April 21, 2018
HOW I BECAME A VICTOR AFTER SO MANY FAILED ATTEMPT OF GETTING A LOAN.

I feel so blessed and fulfilled. I've been reluctant in applying for a loan i heard about online because everything seems too good to be true, but i was convinced & shocked when my friend at my place of work got a loan from Progresive Loan INC. & we both confirmed it and i also went ahead to apply, today am a proud owner of my company and making money for my family and a happy mom. Well i'm Annie Joe by name from Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. As a single mom with three kids it was hard to get a job that could take care of me and my kids and I had so much bills to pay and to make it worst I had bad credit so i couldn't obtain a loan from any bank. I had an ideal to start a business as an hair stylist but had no capital to start, Tried all type of banks but didn't work out until I was referred by my co-worker to a godsent lender advertising to give a loan at 2% interest rate. I sent them a mail using their official email address (progresiveloan@yahoo.com) and I got a reply immediately and my loan was approved, and I was directed to the Bank site where I withdrawed my loan directly to my account. To cut the story short am proud of my hair stylist company and promise to testify to the world how my life was transformed.. If you are in need of any kind of loan, i advise you contact Progresive Loan INC and be financially lifted Email: progresiveloan@yahoo.com OR Call/Text 1(603) 786-7565



Loading...
Related Articles · More Articles
What are the differences between kizomba dance and its more sensual and percussive cousin tarraxinha from Angola?
Nelson Mandela, whose birthday is today, and we remember him for languishing in a Robben Island prison for 27 years then getting out to run his country of South Africa. Great men think alike.
Do you remember all the talk of draining the swamp and the arrival of a new day in Washington---the stench of business as usual disappearing over the horizon with the heralded appearance of the gentleman from New York? Are we turning backwards?
Back To Archives