My name is Odessa Schwei and I want to thank Senator Janet Bewley for giving me the
opportunity to talk about Assembly Bill 411, which would prohibit schools from providing
instruction on a wide variety of subjects centered on race and sex discrimination, but was vetoed by Governor Evers.
Being a black, female high school junior, I know what it feels like to be uncomfortable when
talking about race and discrimination; to have a whole class of white kids turn and look at you whenever slavery is mentioned. But as uncomfortable as it can be, we shouldn’t stop teaching about racism just because there are white people in the room. And we shouldn’t stop teaching about sexism just because there are men in the room.
In fact, being uncomfortable when learning about events in the past isn’t a bad thing. The only way we can move forward together is by understanding our past, even when it makes us uncomfortable.