This evening, after a small schools presentation at the East Oakland School of the Arts at Castlemont, a small group of students performed two dance routines for the guests, which included school board members, principals, politicians, organizers and foundation representatives.
Considering that four police officers were recently gunned down less than a mile from the high school (and the time it must take to put together a 4-minute dance routine), I’m pretty sure the opening song was chosen before this tragedy.
“My Life,” by Oakland native Mistah F.A.B., tells a story of police brutality, racism and survival, themes that surely resonate with some kids. But hasn’t Castlemont held assemblies to stamp out the N Word? It was bleeped out during the performance, but one of the lines goes “Cops don’t give a damn about a negro/Pull a trigger kill a n** he’s a hero.”
Given what the city has been through in the last two weeks, and efforts to bring about peace in the wake of this and the Oscar Grant shooting (and subsequent violence), the music selection struck me as a bit tone deaf. But maybe it shouldn’t have. What do you make of this?
photo of vigil by Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group