I have been meditating on the idea of being a teacher of special education and teaching students with disabilities. Though the program I am a student in at Teachers College is called “Secondary Inclusive Education,” the reality is that students in special education are often marginalized, perceived as other, and less than. As a black woman in academia, as a Haitian-American, marginalization and less than come with the territory, but this conflict becomes tiring. It is tiring. I am tired. It is easier to not defend, and allow people to think what they want. Football coach, Vince Lomabardi once said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Football, like conflict, is a full contact sport. Conflict done well has a resolution. In football, one team wins, and one loses. I have found that it does not always matter how gracefully I play the game, something is wrong. My tendency is to think that smart Black women have been playing a losing game, and like good football players we need to learn to create strong defensive lines.
My ideas and ideals are further complicated with my identification as a Christian. How do I remain humble, be angry and not sin, all the while not growing bitter, and resentful? This is the skin I am in, and as an adult navigating the politics of work and education there are times when it is extremely uncomfortable. I wrote this piece as a response to the places I occupy.