Journal entry calls out lies about Columbus
Most of us know that Christopher Columbus was a terrible human being who never set foot in North America but instead accidentally “discovered” some of the Carribean islands where he then enslaved, murdered, and terrorized their inhabitants. And yet, in many parts of the country, we still celebrate Columbus Day. Well, one child was asked to reflect on the day’s lesson about Columbus in his school journal, and he did not hold back.
On Monday, Facebook user Alanya Kolberg posted the following image to her timeline where it quickly went viral:
Here’s what this child, a boy named King Johnson, wrote. See if you can get through it without laughing till you cry or giving a standing ovation to no one:
“Today was not a good learning day. Blah blah blah I only wanted to hear you not talking. You said something wrong and I cannot listen when I hear lies. My mom said that the only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace. Because Columbus didn’t find our country the Indians did. I like to have Columbus Day off but I want you not to teach me lies. That is all. My question for the day is how can white people teach black history? King Johnson.”
Underneath his entry, his teacher wrote: “King, I am very disappointed in your Journal today.”
King thought about it and then wrote back, “Ok.”
Lord, please help me because I am not going to make it.
King had some truths to tell that day, didn’t he? It’s unfortunate that, rather than commend him for his honesty and support his completely justified feelings, the teacher told him she was “disappointed” in him. That’s exactly the kind of response he neither needs nor deserves. This journal entry is the opposite of disappointing. In fact, it exceeds all expectations for classroom journaling. She should be high-fiving him and giving him extra recess for this. Because isn’t this what we want our kids to do? To be critical thinkers who call out racist lies when they see them, are brave and stand up for truth, and also praise the name of the great Christopher Wallace? I see zippo to be disappointed in, here.
This child’s journal entry is, almost line for line, full of quotes we need to start using in our day to day lives: “I only want to hear you not talking.” “I cannot listen when I hear lies.” “The only Christopher I acknowledge is Wallace.” “My question for the day is how can white people teach black history?” And, when people give you trouble you don’t need? “Ok.”
King is the best.
Twitter also raved about the child’s journal entry:
Kolberg found the image online and shared it, but she’s not King’s mother. As she wrote above the picture: “Whose baby is this? He has me hollering! #SomeoneComeGetKing #IKnowHeBelongsToOneOfYou.” She just had to share this bright kid’s words with the world, and we thank her for it.
We hope that King’s parents are proud of their son today, and we hope King gets to see all of the praise he’s getting for his writing so he knows that what he wrote wasn’t remotely “disappointing” — it was inspiring.
This article was originally published on