Sunday, August 3, 2014

BATs Statement on the Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Equality Subgroup

The founders, managers, admins, and moderators of BATs have disaffiliated with BATs Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Equality (RECE). RECE was created as one of many secret/subgroups of BATs where fellow BATs could come together on particular issues to discuss them in more depth. After the creation of RECE many people who left BATs or were banned came to RECE. Although they were no longer in good standing with the main BATs group they were allowed to stay as part of RECE. Over time the anger and animosity that some of the former BATs felt spilled over into RECE and made the environment toxic to all BATs. Admins and moderators for BATs, especially those of color, were made to feel unwelcome and treated with suspicion by many of the members of RECE. BATs acknowledge that some of the people in RECE were justified in their anger with the organization as a whole. BATs issued a formal apology (read here) to all members who left or were marginalized for having discussions about race and diversity. It was never our intention to silence these important conversations, but we did because we were new and trying to keep the group focused on our mission. We have come to realize that issues of diversity and social justice education are a part of who we are and what we do and cannot be put aside so we can focus on high stakes standardized testing, CCSS, TFA, and all of the other privatization tactics we are opposed to. 

            Although we are trying to learn from our mistakes and move on, some people refuse to accept our apology, and that is something we will just have to accept. But what we will not accept is people who try and stop us from being successful by attacking our founders, managers, admins, and moderators. For these reasons, BATs is no longer affiliated with RECE. We have created a new group, BATs D.R.E.A.M (Diversity Race Equity Acceptance Mobilization), where all BATs who want to work together on these issues and share and learn from each other are welcome to participate.  For DREAM to be successful it is imperative that those who join understand that each of us have diverse viewpoints that need to be respected not attacked. We will not always agree with each other but we will be respectful and try to learn from each other. If you are interested in joining DREAM, click on this link http://facebook.com/groups/BATsDREAM  and ask to join!  

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