Just the facts ma’am…

Since no matter what we do or say, somehow the facts get scrambled I decided to point out a few things that have been said that are not true.

Kenney is not now nor has he ever been a Baptist. Nothing against Baptists but for some reason Mr. Rhodes stated that he was to the press and it keeps getting repeated. Once again, Kenney is not Baptist.

Kenney is Native American  and we do have DNA test results to back that up. No, he does not have any government issued cards saying he is Native. He prefers not to be registered since that is what is done to animals. The other surviving group of  minorities to be issued numbers don’t like to be asked about that either. Got it? Good.

Once more, repeat it with me now anyone can adopt any religion they want to without being born into it. Its called the land of the free for a fucking reason.

I am white, caucasion, anglo etc. Red hair and hazel eyes, its pretty easy to figure out what I am and what I am not. See previous factoid please.

We are raising our son as we see fit. We are teaching him our spirituality and beliefs.

 We will not can not just cut his hair.

We will not just move somewhere more tolerant.

We will not just go back where we came from.

We do not practice some made up religion.

We do not want to break rules just for the hell of it.

We are not just looking for attention. If all we wanted was some attention we would get it in a way that was much less stressful and time consuming.

If this wasn’t important to us, we wouldn’t be doing it.

People keep saying maybe we should have looked into the community we chose to move to a little more before we decided to move there.

Well, we did. There were no signs posted saying “Beware! Needville is at least fifty years behind the times when it comes to tolerance and equality! No instead I found out that crime is low and the schools have good ratings. Why wouldn’t we want to move there? Nobody ever said Needville will spiral into the sun if a little boy with long hair goes to school there! Nope, not a one. All we ever saw was a nice quiet little town where our son could be raised with plenty of space to roam under the Texas sky.

Now for a little story time.

Not too long ago, there was a man tying to push his broken down truck down Needville-Fairchild Road. People were passing him by and shouting at him and throwing things as people tend to do when someone else inconvienences them with their own bad luck. No one stopped to help him push that truck down that road on that hot country day.

 Then another man came along and saw the first man toiling away trying to get that truck to the service station. The second man stopped and got out of his own truck to help the first man push. The first man said, why don’t you push my truck with yours instead of getting all tired out? The second man said he would rather push with his hands so he didn’t mess up the first man’s truck. The first man said it was ok and the second man got back into his truch and pushed the broken truck down the road to the gas station where the problem could get fixed.

When they got to the gas station, the second man got out to check on the first man and say goodbye. The first man tried to give him a few dollars for his trouble but the second man refused saying “it was the right thing to do, that is how I was raised”.

The first man thanked him and said “that is a mighty Christian thing to son”. The second man kind of smiled and said, “no sir, it was the right thing to do. I haven’t stepped foot inside a Christian church in over 14 years. Those men who were passing you by and throwing trash and angry words at you were the Christians”.

The second man was Kenney.

 

Now there was a man at the board meeting talking about his pride in Needville and how much he respected the traditions there. He pretty much echoed the other citizen speakers at the meeting but he was louder and obnoxious about it. That “gentleman” just like the others didn’t even have the courtesy to offer a lady his seat. A lady who just finished her last cancer treatment and is only just now starting to re-grow her hair and regain her health. That nearly bald lady that had to stand with the rest of us throughout the meeting wasn’t sporting some new fashion trend, that lady was my mom.

There were some Native gentlemen at the meeting and some native gentleman of Needville that were not. I think you know who you are.

This is exactly what the citizens of Needville talk about when they are talking about not allowing my son into school with his braids. They love to talk about their pride and traditions and how well they raise their children. How well mannered their kids are and how repectable the people of Needville are.

Kenney and I know that those of you that do not want our son to go to school with his long hair don’t like us. Thats fine, we don’t expect everyone to like us and well, frankly we really don’t care. But know this, if Kenney were ever seated in a room and a lady had to stand, he would give his chair up in an instant no matter what his feeling were for that lady because that is the way he was raised. Those are his traditions and upbringing and I am proud of him.

 

 

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6 Responses to “Just the facts ma’am…”

  1. Summer Says:

    I’m so sorry that you and your son are having to deal with so many closed minds. Stay strong.

  2. Rose Anne Hamilton Says:

    Hmmm…as another redhaired hazel/green-eyed you-know-what-I-am I stand by you and your husband 100%. And am genetically am attracted to a good principled scrap. LOL.

    Being pragmatic I suggest that there might be some other angles to look at that can leave everybody with a saved face, your beautiful son with his braids and an education, and civil rights intact – and perhaps strengthened.

    Simply:
    The dress code is discriminatory against boys and children who undergo certain treatments for cancer! This is not only in terms of religious practice either. Girls may wear their hair long. Boys may not. Girls may decorate their hair with ribbons, etc. Boys may not. I am assuming turbans and kippot are also banned. If the refusal to honour NA spiritual tradition is part of the dress code, then boys must also be banned from turbans and kippot and beards and prayer curls. And eventually girls from headscarves. Which also means that a child who has had chemo and lost their hair may not cover their head either, as non-religious use of headscarves and caps is also presumably banned.

    This has nothing to do with hygiene or religion and everything to do with reinforcing sexual stereotypes which is against state and federal laws. Therefore the dress code itself is unlawful for not simply stating that all hair must be worn neat and clean and, if so chosen by the student, in accordance with the cultural and religious norms of the student’s family. This would protect also a child who chose NOT to wear a Sikh turban and long hair, for example. Both parents rights to bring up their child with a moral and spiritual practice, as well as childrens’ rights to reject such a practice, should be respected.
    The dress code also violates a parent’s right to decide what is appropriate and hygienic attire for a child of that age. E.g. just as you may not force other Native American students to wear long hair, nobody can forbid your child to wear it either. Or force him to wear a kippot.

    So, in order to maintain order, rules, and make no exceptions for anyone under any circumstances, all children should have shaved heads. This will make sure that no child recovering from cancer or a head injury, ringworm, or alopecia, or just an unfortunate run-in with a bucket of tar, has to be schooled in a separate classroom.

    Of course, if the purpose of keeping such a rule is to discourage the attendance in NISD of any children of Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Native American, or medical backgrounds…well then, I guess NISD won’t be able to afford education for awhile unless they conform to federal laws against racial and other discrimination.

    Suggesting to isolate a student in education from all other children simply because of either his attire and/or religious practices and spiritual beliefs is also illegal. (In other words, if he is allowed to wear his braids, but not to school with other children because of them, his fundamental rights – and the rights of other children to associate with him – have been violated.)
    Not to mention a hideous waste of funds on a child who is assumed to be a discipline problem without lawful or reasonable cause.

    Mind you, long hair is a distraction in class. Mine was a real problem. Both for me and the boys who admired it.

    Keep trying to make friends and help folks push their trucks at every opportunity. Take the high road. It isn’t easy, but I think you and your husband are doing the right thing for all of us as human beings and a nation of laws for all.

    Walk in Beauty and Slaínte
    Rosie

  3. The Queen Says:

    First, I want to thank you for publishing this blog for the rest of us to read.
    Second, I can’t believe this is happening to you and your family.
    I’m from Canada and just recently graduated from an ex-residential school, turned public university. I am also plains Cree. As a child, I attended one of the last closed residential schools open in Canada. It makes me angry, frustrated, and upset that in THIS day and age THIS kind of thing is still happening to our people. I would like to think that with the recent Canadian
    apology and the years of “healing and understanding” for the Anishnabe people over the mass genocide, that school board officials would not only be embarrassed to even suggest cutting your sons braids but that THEY as educational leaders wouldn’t even consider making such a request.

    The whole situation is not only demeaning and offensive but embarrassing to the Fort Bend school board. If this situation is any indication on the type of education your son will be getting I would also be bringing to their attention that there should be some improvement in curriculum. I wonder if Fort Bend is also teaching that slavery didn’t exist.

    Please carry on with your fight and I’ll ask Gitchi Manitou to help you win.

  4. Michael Says:

    What a heart-wrenching story. I came upon it by accident, and I realize now that it was no accident at all. I too am Native and started growing my hair as a boy and have cut it when family members died, or had a ‘name’ change, whatever.
    I’m an adult now and have been employed by the same employer for six years. Two years ago I had to undergo a similar situation where my job said I wasn’t going to be allowed to wear long hair. After pleading my case to human resources, they finally gave. But it’s really no one’s position to say to me (or to you and your son) that you must prove that it is a religious practice. When someone converts to Christianity and decides they don’t work on Sundays all of a sudden, no one says “well, you need to prove this is something you’ve practiced for a documentable amount of time”.

    It’s quite bogus, and please, if you need anything, let me know. I’m praying for your family and your son. This school board, and particularly this superintendent are way out of line and not in touch with reality. The land they’re living on once belonged to the folks they’re slapping in the face.

    Don’t worry though. The law is on your side. There are not only plenty of court cases that uphold the rights of non-carded Indians, there are even more that uphold the religious and cultural practices of personal appearance, particularly in public schools. Long hair isn’t a hard one to prove for Native religions. Just ask any man at a powwow.

    Michael
    Writer, http://www.allthingscherokee.com
    Member, Southeast Cultural Society
    Member, Tribal Voices
    Board Member, All Nations Native American Center

  5. Freki Says:

    When I read about cases like these, I just want to scream! And I’m glad you realize that it doesn’t matter if Kenney was ever Baptist, has any Native American DNA or anything else. He, and everyone else in this country, has the right to choose their own religion. Good for you, scream it loud, ’cause obviously people just aren’t listening.

    I raised my children in my own spiritual path, and I know it isn’t always easy. It sounds like you’re doing a great job with your son helping him to understand things at his own level. Good luck on the next round with the school system!

    Freki

  6. DJ Says:

    After reading this blog I feel for you and your family, and for any other family that has or is having to endure the prejudice, racism, and any other form of discrimination that is being brought upon them. I also wonder, after people notice the actual rudeness, impolite practice, hypocrocy, and so forth that is infected in the town of Needville, why on earth would someone of good moral values like yourselves woudl want to still live in this town with these types of people? I understand the principle aspect of the situation, but even so why go through all the mistreatment simply because these people choose to be narrow-minded and ignorant? After reading a previous blog comment from a Lisa, I was left wondering why her family was still living in that community.

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