was a choice”.
the previous class leaves, Marlon comes in and says “ Mr. Bishop, I gotta tell you some things about
Mike. First off, this nigga is a coon!” he says with a devilish grin. It is important to note that Marlon
has a sharp tongue and loves to roast people. He and Mike have a chess rivalry and go hard on one
another verbally and mentally.
books. Don’t you know how many countless slave rebellions they had back in the day? You had Nat
Turner, Denmark Vesey and then you have White men like John Brown at Harper's Ferry- but there
were many. There were more than I can try to list. We have people fighting our oppression right now!
It's not even over.”
Where were they gonna get weapons?”
bitches, then, in some way you must think you are born of bitches. You are not. You come from
warriors. Warriors who fight the system till this day. You have to know that.”
twice. "That will be your face!”
have headgear. I would box you if I could.”
Marlon from behind and fell to the floor. I just remember the screaming.
Something like “Let’s goooo. Let’s do this!”
I got hims singed up at a great martial arts school nearby.The choke attempt from Marlon was not
effective. Marlon looked at me with a face like “This ain’t working and I’m not worried” and raised his
hands like “I’m not responding.” He could have thrown elbows, he could have set it off. He was
present and calm. He knew I would not let either of them harm one another.
quietly walked to the office.
“Slavery was a choice” lie had Black boys fighting one another to reclaim a dignity that they NEVER
technically lost. The struggle never ended.
I told them that in my opinion Marlon used supreme restraint and did not fight back when he was
well within his right. I told Mike that both of them needed to have tougher skin when holding onto
polarizing political social opinions.
24 hours since taking Kanye’s side kids had been calling him a coon and other names. He was
so upset that he lost it. He said he had been going through "tourture" since siding with Kanye and
he just could not take anymore. I felt bad for him. He was sincere.
that he felt that because Mike attacked him from behind that he felt it was cowardly. Then he turned
to the Principal and said “I don’t know what you plan to recommend, suspension or expulsion but I
recommend you do nothing to Mike. It was a small incident and it won’t happen again.” They shook
hands. My jaw was to the floor. I have never seen anything like that in all my years of teaching. That
maturity they both showed after the incident was truly unprecedented. The Principal agreed.
The next time they came to my class they were chill, battling on the boards and talking smack but
maintaining boundaries of respect. I was super proud of both of them. I was happy with the way the
Principal handled it. I gotta say though that Kanye really has become a weapon of division in the
Black community and education circles. I wish he could come to Realm Charter school and talk to
my kids and see the damage he as done. Not just to my classroom, but in many schools and
homes across across the country. Kanye know's too many wise people. He does not need me to
teach him about slavery. But I would if he asked. He needs to use his network and his net worth
“coke white” shoes on.
“How ironic” I laughed.
Adisa, The Bishop is the author of Bobby, Bruce & the Bronx: The Secrets of Hip-Hop Chess and Guest Curator of the Oakland Museum of California's current exhibit RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom open until August 12, 2018.
*The kid playing chess above is NOT a part of the incident.*