Author writes about racist teacher who could not believe that he had written an essay himself
Author Khaya Dlanga says the #StJohnsCollege saga‚ involving a teacher found guilty of making racist comments‚ reminds him of a time while still at school when a teacher wouldn’t mark his essay because she didn’t think he wrote it.
Sharing the racist experience with his followers on Twitter‚ he said the teacher could not believe that a black child was capable of writing the essay – despite the fact that he had scored the highest marks in one exam.
“’Really? She asked. Then she said‚ ‘OK‚ what mark should I give you?’ I looked at her and just walked away‚” Dlanga tweeted on his account Khaya Dlanga @khayadlanga. “In fact I got the hieghest [sic] marks in the June exam and do you know who marked that paper? The principal of this school!” he added.
Dlanga continued: “’It’s got nothing to do with colour.’ I got tired and said‚ ‘If you had done your homework you would have known I get great marks.’”
“Turned to the page‚ did the same thing. Eventually I got tired and said‚ ‘Miss‚ why didn’t you ask any of the white kids?’”
“Then she opened my book and started to point at certain words and asked me what word meant. I was shocked‚” Dlanga recounted.
‘I farrowed my eyebrows and said yes. She asked if I was sure. I think I may have said yes impatiently and loudly.”
“The bell rang after what seemed like an eternity. I walked up to her desk and she opened my book and asked‚ ‘Did your write this yourself?””
Dlanga concludes relating his experience with this tweet: “Did I get it so wrong that I got zero and she didn’t want to embarrass me in front of the class? I wondered. My attention was gone.”
Several people responded to the tweets‚ saying how they had been accused of plagiarism because of the colour of their skin. . One tweeted: “White lecturer said I plagiarized my honours rsearch proposal & asked me the meaning of some terms I used.”
Another tweeted: “Just last week my niece was telling me that her teacher accused her of plagiarizing and told her ‘she isn’t capable of writing such English’.”
“Teacher in a school told grade 8 non-white kids that they’re privileged to be taught by a white person‚” tweeted one of Dlanga’s Twitter followers.
Another suggested to Dlanga that he find his old English teacher and “post her a copy of all your books!”
“Reading about your English teacher’s attitude in your book#ToQuoteMyself just made me think of how many times do we have to prove ourselves‚” one follower lamented.