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  • Teaching in a black majority high school

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on July 6th, 2013 (All posts by )

    This essay has been around for a while but I saw it for the first time today. It is powerful but depressing. I wonder how applicable it is to the Chicago school system? I have a nephew who has a step daughter in a public school that is about half black. Her mother has to go to the school about once a week to complain about bullying. Catholic schools’ tuition is far higher than it was when I lived there.

    Here it is.

    A few excerpts: Until recently I taught at a predominantly black high school in a southeastern state.

    The mainstream press gives a hint of what conditions are like in black schools, but only a hint. Expressions journalists use like “chaotic” or “poor learning environment” or “lack of discipline” do not capture what really happens. There is nothing like the day-to-day experience of teaching black children and that is what I will try to convey.

    Most whites simply do not know what black people are like in large numbers, and the first encounter can be a shock.

    One of the most immediately striking things about my students was that they were loud. They had little conception of ordinary decorum. It was not unusual for five blacks to be screaming at me at once. Instead of calming down and waiting for a lull in the din to make their point — something that occurs to even the dimmest white students — blacks just tried to yell over each other.

    This must be an impossible place to try to teach. Are there any kids who want to learn?

    Black women love to dance — in a way white people might call gyrating. So many black girls dance in the hall, in the classroom, on the chairs, next to the chairs, under the chairs, everywhere. Once I took a call on my cell phone and had to step outside of class. I was away about two minutes but when I got back the black girls had lined up at the front of the classroom and were convulsing to the delight of the boys.

    Many black people, especially black women, are enormously fat. Some are so fat I had to arrange special seating to accommodate their bulk. I am not saying there are no fat white students — there are — but it is a matter of numbers and attitudes. Many black girls simply do not care that they are fat. There are plenty of white anorexics, but I have never met or heard of a black anorexic.

    “Black women be big Mr. Jackson,” my students would explain.

    “Is it okay in the black community to be a little overweight?” I ask. Two obese black girls in front of my desk begin to dance, “You know dem boys lak juicy fruit, Mr. Jackson.” “Juicy” is a colorful black expression for the buttocks.

    The attitude toward learning is totally negative. That is “Acting white.”

    “Once I needed to send a student to the office to deliver a message. I asked for volunteers, and suddenly you would think my classroom was a bastion of civic engagement. Thirty dark hands shot into the air. My students loved to leave the classroom and slack off, even if just for a few minutes, away from the eye of white authority. I picked a light-skinned boy to deliver the message. One very black student was indignant: “You pick da half-breed.” And immediately other blacks take up the cry, and half a dozen mouths are screaming, “He half-breed.”

    I have been teaching medical students for about twelve years. About 1/3 to 1/2 are black, most of them are foreign born, either Africa or the West Indies. Most are more dark than the average American born black but some, as those from Ethiopia, may be quite light skinned. The foreign born blacks have a totally different attitude than the American blacks. Of course, with medical students, I am seeing the highest achievers.

    Even so, I have met college students who are from Africa. One, I remember quite well, was attending Dartmouth in the mid-ninties. He worked the night shift in the dining hall, which was open 24 hours at the time. He could not understand white students who would come to the dining hall at 3 AM drunk. What were they doing at such a prestigious and rigorous college ?

    I also examine recruits for the military in Los Angeles. I talk to these kids and about 1/4 are black. Hispanics seem to be about twice their share in recruits but both groups are highly motivated. Some of the blacks are foreign born and I have spent some time talking to them. They show none of the social pathology I see in this article but, of course, it would be hopeless for such kids to try to join the military even if they wanted to. One young man I talked to last month is 25 and has 17 half-siblings. He said he never wanted to see any of them again. He is drug free and trying to improve his life. He was raised mostly in foster care and, I suspect, was luckier than most in his situation to have had that upbringing.

    Most of the blacks I taught simply had no interest in academic subjects. I taught history, and students would often say they didn’t want to do an assignment or they didn’t like history because it was all about white people. Of course, this was “diversity” history, in which every cowboy’s black cook got a special page on how he contributed to winning the West, but black children still found it inadequate. So I would throw up my hands and assign them a project on a real, historical black person. My favorite was Marcus Garvey. They had never heard of him, and I would tell them to research him, but they never did. They didn’t care and they didn’t want to do any work.

    Anyone who teaches blacks soon learns that they have a completely different view of government from whites. Once I decided to fill 25 minutes by having students write about one thing the government should do to improve America. I gave this question to three classes totaling about 100 students, approximately 80 of whom were black. My few white students came back with generally “conservative” ideas. “We need to cut off people who don’t work,” was the most common suggestion. Nearly every black gave a variation on the theme of “We need more government services.”

    My students had only the vaguest notion of who pays for government services. For them, it was like a magical piggy bank that never goes empty. One black girl was exhorting the class on the need for more social services and I kept trying to explain that people, real live people, are taxed for the money to pay for those services. “Yeah, it come from whites,” she finally said. “They stingy anyway.”

    Is there any hope for these people ?

    My department head once asked all the teachers to get a response from all students to the following question: “Do you think it is okay to break the law if it will benefit you greatly?” By then, I had been teaching for a while and was not surprised by answers that left a young, liberal, white woman colleague aghast. “Yeah” was the favorite answer. As one student explained, “Get dat green.”

    There is a level of conformity among blacks that whites would find hard to believe. They like one kind of music: rap. They will vote for one political party: Democrat. They dance one way, speak one way, are loud the same way, and fail their exams in the same way. Of course, there are exceptions but they are rare.

    Whites are different. Some like country music, others heavy metal, some prefer pop, and still others, God forbid, enjoy rap music. They have different associations, groups, almost ideologies. There are jocks, nerds, preppies, and hunters. Blacks are all — well — black, and they are quick to let other blacks know when they deviate from the norm.

    Reading this essay, and I recommend it, has made me a little more comfortable with the concept of amnesty for illegal aliens.

    My black students had nothing but contempt for Hispanic immigrants. They would vent their feelings so crudely that our department strongly advised us never to talk about immigration in class in case the principal or some outsider might overhear.

    Whites were “racis’,” of course, but they thought of us at least as Americans. Not the Mexicans. Blacks have a certain, not necessarily hostile understanding of white people. They know how whites act, and it is clear they believe whites are smart and are good at organizing things. At the same time, they probably suspect whites are just putting on an act when they talk about equality, as if it is all a sham that makes it easier for whites to control blacks. Blacks want a bigger piece of the American pie. I’m convinced that if it were up to them they would give whites a considerably smaller piece than whites get now, but they would give us something. They wouldn’t give Mexicans anything.

    We live in interesting times.

     

    77 Responses to “Teaching in a black majority high school”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      The article is very interesting. But, it is a little too perfect. I am concerned about its authenticity.

    2. T. Greer Says:

      So a qualifier before my comment – my words will reflect my personal experience. During 2011-2012 I was a missionary. Spent almost the whole time in urban ghettos in NE United States, teaching, working with, eating at the houses of, renting from, and otherwise be injected into people’s lives in the most intimate ways a stranger can in said ghettos. Lots of blacks included.

      I have also lived in rural Utah, white as can be and not too rich either. So with that said:

      The author does not distinguish between black culture and poor culture generally. Ever been in an under city house or neighborhood? It is not just black people who gyrate. That is how the underclass dances. It is not just black people who listen to rap and invent crude raps on the spot all the time. That is what all people from the urban underclass do. It is not just black people who think that the government is a giant piggy bank and the system is set against them. That is what almost every single person in the underclass thinks. It is not just blacks who have no desire to apply themselves in school and seek every chance they can to get five minute reprieves from the class room. That is what every under class room is like. Every. Single. One.

      Really, there was not a single thing he said (perhaps with the exception of the ‘black’ language he gives his student – which I doubt is real anyway, see Schwartz’s ‘too perfect’ comment above) that can’t be said of every other poor demographic America has. Even when he tries to make it really black-specific it falls flat on its face. For example:

      Whites are different. Some like country music, others heavy metal, some prefer pop, and still others, God forbid, enjoy rap music. They have different associations, groups, almost ideologies. There are jocks, nerds, preppies, and hunters. Blacks are all — well — black, and they are quick to let other blacks know when they deviate from the norm.

      This is what minorities – especially poor, uneducated groups – do. Mexicans do it, Cambodians and Vietnamese do it, Puerto-Ricans do it, Arabs do it, and back in the day I am sure Italians and Irish did it too.

      And really, almost all of this applies to poor, white people in urban ghettos too. All the way down to the being fat and rapping too much. That is just how things are in the urban underclass. (And why wouldn’t be? These people watch the same television shows, listen to the same music, and play the same video games. Ghetto black and ghetto white kids learn how to play the street from the very same sources).

      A lot of it applies to poor, rural whites too. I was a substitute teacher in rural Utah for a while. I don’t think those schools had a black person between them. Very loud. Very, very few kids who wanted to be there. Same type of disrespect. Same cultural conformity – just country music and Republican party instead of Democrats and rap music.

    3. Kirk Parker Says:

      T Greer,

      Indeed the author of the rant generalized far too broadly; I prefer Theodore Dalrymple on the underclass and its woes.

    4. VXXC Says:

      Get that kid out of that school starting tomorrow, Monday.

      And punch stoopid in the face for sending the kid there…

      Complain about bullying.
      ======================================
      Wow. Great article.

      The issues end when the subsidies end, like so many dysfunctions.

    5. VXXC Says:

      Amend – “Complain about bullying, WTF??!???”

    6. Michael Kennedy Says:

      The writer did note that his experience was in southeastern US. There may be some local variation. Theodore Dalrymple reports about England and England does have a white lower class that has much of the same ghetto mentality as US inner cities.

      I am not surprised at reluctance to accept this black picture. Still, there is no epidemic of white violence resembling the black teenage violence of Chicago or Detroit.

      I don’t understand the VXXC comment about my nephew’s wife and her problems with having a white child in a school in the area that used to be called “Blue Island.” The girl’s father pays no child support and my nephew is unable to pay Catholic school tuition. The girl is about 12 and is bullied constantly. So far she has been safe from injury.

    7. Lexington Green Says:

      T.Greer, what did you see regarding relative levels of violence and physical roughness in the Black versus White areas?

      I notice that the Black children in Chicago are often louder and rougher than middle class people of any race like to see, even when they are not really misbehaving.

    8. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      A word on bullying.

      I was born in Baltimore and lived there till I was five when my parents moved to the just-outskirts suburbs in the early 60′s. When I was 13 I moved back after my parents divorce and lived there again till I was 17, attending a Baltimore city high school (easily the best public school in the city, fortunately for me) until I was 17. The school was on the opposite side of the city and so daily I commuted, via public transit bus, across Baltimore by myself.

      There is a completely different culture in a city, especially a poor one, than in the suburbs. Life is lived close. Fear and weakness can be smelled and will be preyed upon relentlessly. You learn to fight, or you will be targetted. Continuously. Mercilessly. Violently. Ruthlessly.

      You learn to be on guard constantly and ready to fight in a moment. You develop a hair trigger of violent behavior that you switch on and off depending on the safety of your surroundings, though a degree of it stays ready at all times. You learn to sense predatory behaviors and attitudes. There are patterns to it. It’s exactly like animals in the wild. The predators are looking to cut out the weak, the easy prey. They generally don’t want a difficult fight, one they might lose. They get injured, and more importantly, lose status. (There are lessons there for foreign policy.)

      It stays with you forever. It you don’t get out of that environment you eventually become unable to move in other strata of society because you’re so easily roused to violence. Jimmy Cagney, a little guy who grew up in a tough neighborhood, had a famously short fuse if he felt someone was insulting him or trying to push him around. That was not an act or a put-on. It was learned survival behavior.

      A word on Black culture.

      Black people in America are unlike any black people I’ve met or worked with from anywhere else in the world. There is a degree of relentless anti-white, anti-anyone who is not exactly like them, behavior I’ve never encountered in any other group. Tribal is the best word I can come up with for it.

      I attribute this to a few things unique to their circumstances. First and most obviously is the slave history and the aftermath of Jim Crow laws and segregation. Working hard as a slave got you nothing, except maybe more and harder work. So you learn not to work. It becomes a little cultural wisdom passed-on in the group, don’t work hard, it’ll get you nothing, except more work. Work is for suckers.

      Second, I attribute it to the most insidious forms a political opportunism we see around us. Joe Biden’s ‘they’ll put ya’ll in chains’, for example. The Leftist media, CNN and MSNBC most egregiously, stirring up continuous racial hatred for political advantage, and the co-opted ‘black leaders’ who enable them for personal gain. The vile Al Sharpton and Julian Bond, and almost equally vile Jesse Jackson, come to mind, but they’re only the tip of the iceberg. They’ve sold “their people” up the river no less than the African tribes who captured and sold slaves to European traders. They’ve become famous and wealthy for their service to the Left, and I would suggest that if there are ‘house niggers’ in our society, they are it.

      Finally, the initially well meant but dangerously misguided policies of the Welfare State. We all know the history, but the current agreement seems to be this: vote Democrat and we’ll take care of you for life, you won’t have work. That your children will go to bad schools, that you’ll be the permanent underclass as a result, that’ll you’ll live in dangerous ghettos, these are caused by Republican Racism. Cue Al Sharpton and Julian Bond to repeat the message. Pay Al Sharpton and Julian Bond for their service.

      It’s an iron triangle of destruction, and we see the results around us.

    9. PenGun Says:

      A racist screed. No author … really that you print this garbage as any kind of fact is very revealing..

    10. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      @PenGun

      The fact that you produce no argument other than name-calling is even more revealing.

      You don’t need to inform people what the social truth is, the acceptable thing to believe and say. We all know that already. We are concerned with something else – objective truth. The debate in the thread, criticising the essay or agreeing, was about that.

      Social truth is interesting in its own way, but it’s limited. Yet for you, it is overwhelming. You were unable to state anything else.

    11. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Spent my career dealing with felons of all colors. If you catch a Black in the act of committing a felony, better than fifty percent of the time within the first three statements out of his/her mouth after “I didn’t do nothin’.” will be a variation of: “You’re just busting me because I’m Black.”. To a lesser degree a similar, Hispanic-themed, statement will come out of American born Hispanics. The real, hardcore gang bangers of both will either curse you, or be defiantly silent.

      Whites will give you a much wider gamut of responses, but if they are not drunk or on drugs [and regardless of ethnic, that means all sorts of nastiness] there is frequently an attitude that ‘yeah, they got caught’ that you rarely see in Blacks being arrested.

      There is a poor culture that crosses racial lines; but for “protected class” minorities committing crimes there is an overlay of presumed virtue because of assumed victimization, lack of personal responsibility for anything that happens to them or that they do, and a hatred and contempt of anyone outside their own. And a lack of empathy for anyone not themselves or their immediate families [however defined] and friends.

      Is black inner city culture excessively violent? A little Gedankenexperiment. If you look at worldwide statistics on the risk of being killed by a firearm; the US is in the top ten, sometimes in the top 5 depending on the source of the statistics.

      Now, remove just Black on Black firearms killings from 4 Leftist controlled urban areas: Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. Suddenly, this is one of the safest countries in the world as far as risk of death from firearms is concerned; both in absolute numbers and per capita. Just in passing, these are areas where the legal ownership and possession of firearms is made most difficult by the State.

      Is this difference Nature or Nurture?

      Continuing, here in Colorado we are fighting to defend the 2nd Amendment. Short form, the Democrats took both Houses of the Legislature and the Governorship and passed a series of laws attacking the 2nd Amendment. There is a counter. We can recall members of the legislature, and those petitions have been filed and are already certified for recall elections. We have the right of initiative, and we may repeal those laws at the ballot box. In Colorado, the Sheriff is the Chief Law Enforcement Official in the County. There are 63 counties. 54 Sheriffs have jointly filed suit against the laws as unconstitutional.

      There is a statewide organization called “Support Our Sheriffs” backing them and the lawsuits. Colorado, with the exception certain Leftist cities, is open carry. Any person not under legal disability can openly carry a firearm so long as they are not menacing or committing a crime with it.

      As part of the building of political support for “SOS” and the lawsuits; “SOS” is entering parades for holidays and local festivals. They are marching, openly carrying with long guns slung and pistols holstered, but armed as law permits. Always being led by the local county Sheriff, and usually with several others present who are also involved in the suits.

      In May, 5 Sheriffs led a block long parade entry in Canon City. On the 4th of July, 3 Sheriffs led 500 armed citizens in Westcliffe’s parade. [even the media confirmed the numbers, and I was there]. The only threats of violence came from various people from those supporting restricting the 2nd Amendment, and they were directed at the locals sponsoring the parades.

      The public response has been overwhelming. Cheers, applause, and after the parades a lot of congratulations from locals. Tuesday it will happen again in Colorado Springs at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo parade. And for the next two months at other parades scheduled around the state.

      NO incidents of threats, violence, or criminal activity by the marchers.

      Is the difference Nature or Nurture? Is the difference cultural, and if it is can it be bridged?

      Subotai Bahadur

    12. Sun_Zeneise Says:

      Assuming arguendo, that all presented is “true”, it doesn’t pass the So What? test.

      Doctor Kennedy, what did you intend to accomplish by this post? Inform? Is so, of what? Toward what end? Even if “true”, how does the this post improve education tomorrow – anywhere, or ameliorate the Monday mornings hence?

      And, too, I wonder if any unaffiliated reader had posted a similar comment, would it have been published?

      I am stupefied, because I thought I would never find myself on the the side of Pen Gun, and opposed to you, dear Doctor.

    13. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      “really that you print this garbage as any kind of fact is very revealing.”

      It is revealing. We are trying to discuss a problem you are incapable, emotionally or psychologically, of even looking towards.

    14. Gringo Says:

      PenGun:
      A racist screed. No author … really that you print this garbage as any kind of fact is very revealing..

      I would suggest that you teach or substitute in a predominantly black school,as did the author of the article. I would also suggest that experiences you may have had with people of Chinese descent living on Vancouver Island- many living in multimillion dollar condos- would not be the equivalent to teaching in a predominantly black school. You might also be interested in what those same Chinese descent people think of blacks. My experience in the US with people of Chinese descent- US or PRC passports- is that they are not overflowing with the milk of human kindness towards blacks. I wonder if you would term THEM racist for those sentiments.

    15. Gringo Says:

      Four years ago, Marty Nemko, who has a blog about careers, posted this article, which resulted in many comments. He apparently later removed the article from his blog, but posted many of the comments from the article in “A Nation of Cowards About Race?” A Full-Dimensioned Discussion of the Racial Achievement Gap.

      I had an unsuccessful year teaching at a poverty level minority school. I had also substituted there, so I knew better than other beginning teachers what I was getting into. IIRC, the school was split about half and half between blacks and hispanics. While student behavior at the school left much to be desired- as my attempts to control student behavior left much to be desired- it was not as bad as presented in the article. A telling comment about student behavior was that on a field trip to a local manufacturing plant, student behavior was impeccable. On the return trip, the bus got rowdier as we got closer to the school. The students knew how to behave. It was a matter of pressing the right buttons. If you can’t make us behave, we won’t. Easier said than done.

      Part of the problem of a white teaching blacks is that blacks are more accustomed at home to a harsher, more confrontational discipline style than is used in most white homes.[Yes this is a generalization, and yes, there are exceptions to the rule.] But then the question comes, if a white teachers uses as confrontational discipline style as a black teacher, will it fly? After all, even very gentle attempts at eliciting better behavior from black students can result in the race card being played. “You are a racist.” Though the race card got played on me more when I was a substitute teacher than when I was a regular teacher- when the students see you every day, they know the race card won’t fly.

      There is a Catch-22 situation with regard to grades.The Administration wants passing grades. They look good. Unfortunately for that point of view, if students don’t work and get passing grades, they see no reason to work any harder. A failing grade can act as a remarkable motivator for a student. A teacher at another poverty legel school who was considered a teaching star- but who left the teaching profession after five years- handed out failing grades to a third of his students in the first marking period of his first year as a teacher. The failing grades got the attention of students. Yet the Administration doesn’t want many failing grades to be handed out. Too many calls from parents, for one thing.

      I taught math. There was a high degree of anxiety regarding learning new skills- or unlearned skills which should have been learned several years before, such as fractions. The book being used didn’t help, as it went too fast into more complex problems. I spent a lot of time writing out more relevant problem sets. Re anxiety- the time I saw my 8th grade classes most on task was when I gave them some second grade problem sets. Everyone was on task for that. Now there is something I can do.

      Both before, during, and after my year of teaching there, the school had made considerable improvements in scores on the state-mandated math tests. The improvements were NOT made by incessant practice tests. Having done that, I can inform you incessant practice tests constitute a total waste of time. After I left the school, improvements were made by focusing on a given math skill that the state tested on- say adding fractions- and then focusing lessons on improving that skill. It can be done, but it takes a LOT of time and a lot of cooperation among teachers. No one person can do it alone- which means you get help from other teachers and help other teachers.

      One thing this does is kill the model of teacher as playwright, who writes all that is done in the class. Rather, the teacher is the actor who delivers the script.

      While state mandated tests are not easy for teachers, one reply to them is: do you want to make sure that you graduate students into colleges and universities who know basic math skills such as adding fractions? Without the pressure from state mandated tests, there will be such students who will enroll in college freshman classes without knowing such basic things as fractions. [Evidence: I knew a high school senior who told me that the only thing holding him up from being admitted to a given college was his passing the math part of the state mandated test- which tested competency up to 8th grade. He eventually passed- in April of his senior year.]

    16. Michael Kennedy Says:

      The black medical students that I have taught do have a history of slavery in their background so I doubt that as an excuse. When I was a child, I spent most of my time at home with a black nursemaid named Louise. She has worked as a childcare worker since she was 16. She was literate and cultured. I once called her the “N word” when I was about 6 and she chased me under the dining room table with a broom.

      One thing I learned from her was how anti-Semetic blacks are. I attributed it to shopping in the “Brownsville” area of Chicago with shops mostly owned by poor Jews. She was also very critical of young black men who were poorly behaved. There weren’t very many in those days. When I was a high school senior, a buddy and I hung out every weekend at a black tavern at about 67th and South Chicago Avenue. We were the only white faces in there. My buddy had worked as a helper on a beer truck and got to know the owner. We were in there every Friday night playing bumper pool. We got so good at bumper pool that we would both run the table every game. If either missed, he lost. The other (black) guys in the tavern (Ella Mae’s Hideaway) would get in line to play us. The way you did that was to put your quarters on the side of the table. Beer was a quarter and so was the game. We won almost every game that year and everybody was drinking. We would walk out at 1 AM never having bought a beer. I never felt hostility. We got to be bu ddies with some of the guys and took a couple t our high school beach party.

      Times have changed a lot. One sign of that is the squishy hostility to any mention of this subject. The young reporters in Norfolk VA learned that. After they were beaten up, neighbors told other reporters that they “were in the wrong neighborhood.” I was in “the wrong neighborhood” many times and never felt threatened. That was 50 years ago and more. Too bad and sad that no one wilk talk about it.

    17. Kirk Parker Says:

      Subotai,

      It’s culture. Can it be bridged? Who knows, some of the areas seem too far gone for recovery, and any individual who tries to make the effort gets pulled back down (or worse.)

    18. Whitehall Says:

      One of my long-time colleagues, another nuclear engineer, is black. He was focused, very competent and a hard worker, taking graduate correspondence math and engineering courses at MIT that would be a challenge to anyone.

      However, he has had the biggest chip on his shoulder about being black. Even as his own story was one of personal achievement, he still was prone to grousing about prejudice against blacks in general, although able to offer few examples in his personal and professional life, other than from women in a sexual context.

      His overall personality was textbook grouch so maybe his grouchiness just needed fodder.

      As to our high school teacher’s missive, one of the great points made is when he asked his class, “What would blacks do if the whites disappeared?” One kid shot back “We be screwed!” with the rest of class shouting in agreement.

      Blacks in the US are our fellow citizens. Both Jim Crow segregation and the liberal welfare state have failed. Our worst cities are ones with majority black voters who elect failing political leadership, largely due to their blackness.

      We need a new approach.

    19. Grurray Says:

      “Suddenly, this is one of the safest countries in the world as far as risk of death from firearms is concerned; both in absolute numbers and per capita”

      Here is a comparison for homicides in the US and Canada adjusted for demographics:

      http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2011/03/us-vs-canada-homicide-edition.html#.UdnfKvm1Ekg

      Here is a comparison of non-fatal assaults per 100,000 people:

      http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2011/03/us-vs-canada-assault-edition.html#.Udnfg_m1Ekg

      This one wasn’t adjusted for demographics, so it would likely be even worse in that case

      Homicide modus operandi:

      http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2011/03/us-vs-canada-homicide-modi-operandi.html#.Udng9fm1Ekg

    20. renminbi Says:

      My wife,an RN, taught in a vocational high school in Manhattan. One program involved training students to be certified as practical nurses. The big problem was getting students to master the material; most couldn’t be bothered. After flunking the certification exam there were often tears. Her answer: “I told you to study” The kids who passed were usually immigrants from the islands ( Caribbean ). The program was ended because of a low pass rate.

      The race card. A friend,who taught Math in West Philadelphia would warn students not to waste their time trying that ploy. The Principal and his assistants were black and were wise to that game. They backed up their teachers in disciplinary matters. Our NY schools were run by white liberals who were stupid enough to duped by the race card. All discipline problems were the teacher’s fault. My wife enjoyed teaching, but incompetent management poisoned the atmosphere. She quit as soon as she got her twenty years in.

      I did ask my friend if he thought the problem with back students was genetic. After twenty plus years of teaching he thought the problem was one of poor attitude and hostility to formal schooling.

    21. Tom Holsinger Says:

      A large component of the problem is absent fathers creating undisciplined children. This is much, much more of an issue in poor urban areas than poor rural areas.

    22. Sgt. Mom Says:

      “Blacks in the US are our fellow citizens. Both Jim Crow segregation and the liberal welfare state have failed. Our worst cities are ones with majority black voters who elect failing political leadership, largely due to their blackness.” What Whitehall said.

      I am in two minds about Michael’s post – the essay has been kicking around for a while – and Gringo put in the links to a long discussion thread about it. Which was interesting and depressing, all at once. It was suggested on another weblog – at Belmont Club IIRC and it suggested by one of the more level-headed commenters that it is a put-up job, largely debunked and was only posted as bait to get conservatives generally all exercised and to reveal themselves as the raaaaacists that they really are.

      The trouble is – whether not the provenance – this discussion and the thread that Gringo linked to are significant because of the underlying despair and exhaustion as far as persons of pallor are concerned with regard to the matter of inner-city blacks and perhaps the black establishment in general. The author of the original piece sounds like a well-meaning person, possibly dedicated beyond all reason to have stuck with the job he has been doing; it sounds like he was venting in the only avenue left to someone who whatever the job conditions, wants to keep it.

      And that’s the brass tacks, you see. Everyone of pallor and Anglo-Saxon background who has been paying attention to race relations and the people around them for the last four decades or longer has known that prejudice is a Bad Thing. We’ve gone to all the classes and briefings, been carefully schooled against expressing certain words (Just as a commenter chided me on the N-word post)- but more poisonously, we’ve been schooled in Not Noticing Certain Things. Just as many of us went through life in the last quarter of the 20th century, in the military and academia and business and government service and all – there were things we noticed that we could not mention. One of them being that openly-expressed black racism gets a gig on MSNBC, or high in academia and lives in an expensive gated suburb, while white racism lives in a trailer park. When it comes to crime, white-on-black gets wall-to-wall coverage on the national news and black on white gets a small story – ok, maybe front page below the fold in the local newspaper.

      It’s the elephant in the room – not the elephant of the Chicago Teacher’s Union rep, which another Chicago Boy posted a week or two ago. The elephant in the room is really the simmering resentment of well-intentioned and not-racist persons of pallor who are sick and tired of not being allowed to note the elephant of inner-city black pathology, are tired to death of having the race card swiped through the dispenser of freedom-from-responsibility and being blamed. God, are we tired of being blamed. I thought that the only bright spot of having Da Won elected the first time was that now we would be freed from the onus of being accused of being The Most Raaaaacist Nation, Evah!

      Obviously, I was misinformed. Probably has something to do with my WASPness.

    23. PenGun Says:

      “I wonder if you would term THEM racist for those sentiments.”

      Sweetie the Chinese in this part of the world think we are low life dogs. Yup racist describes many of the wealthy Chinese in Vancouver, and really everywhere.

      Really racists know no boundaries. The real thing they feel is a nagging inferiority and they really need to compensate by demeaning others. It’s very old.

    24. Gringo Says:

      PenGun, at least we can agree on the ethnocentrism/racism of the Chinese.

    25. IGotBupkis, "Faeces Evenio", Mr. Holder? Says:

      I recall a recent incident (can’t find any online reference to it, for some reason. Would’ve been reported in the Orlando Sentinel, though). An elementary school in Apopka, FL, just outside of Orlando, got its third annual “F” vote in a row — that is, it was evaluated by certain criteria, and found severely wanting. IIRC, it was one of six such schools in FL to get its third successive strike.

      Now, the residents of that area are mostly Haitian. Hence, mostly blacks.

      The State of FL had/has a law that says that, if your child is at a school that receives a third F in a row, you can take your kids out of that school and place them into any other school in the district.

      The Sentinel found several things:

      1) Teachers at the school sporting T-shirts that said “F for Fantastic.”
      Yes. They actually said that. Pictures, no less, of them. What message does THAT send to kids?

      2) Many of the parents were keeping them in that school.
      Why? Because the teachers there mostly also spoke/taught in Haitian. Because THAT is what’s important for your child to learn in schools in the USA — classes taught in Haitian.

      Freaking brain damage. That’s the whole of it.

      P.S., I’m also put in mind of a piece by (?)Wm F. Buckley (?) noting when he was in Liberia (?) he went into a theater which was showing Amistad, about a slave revolt on a slave ship. Buckley noted that the blacks in the crowd were not cheering for the slaves to get free, they were cheering for the authority figure — the captain — to win out. Derive from this what you will, as Buckley himself suggested.

    26. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “PenGun, at least we can agree on the ethnocentrism/racism of the Chinese.”

      The same is also true of the Japanese and most other homogeneous populations. The US is largely free of those sentiments because of our history of immigration. The exception seems to be the black population. The percentage of blacks who think blacks are the most racist segment of the US population is higher than the percentage of whites who believe that..

      “There is a huge ideological difference on this topic. Among conservative Americans, 49% consider most blacks racist, and only 12% see most whites that way. Among liberal voters, 27% see most white Americans as racist, and 21% say the same about black Americans.
      From a partisan perspective, 49% of Republicans see most black Americans as racist, along with 36% of unaffiliated adults and 29% of Democrats.
      Among black Americans, 31% think most blacks are racist, while 24% consider most whites racist and 15% view most Hispanics that way.
      Among white adults, 10% think most white Americans are racist; 38% believe most blacks are racist, and 17% say most Hispanics are racist.”

    27. Kirk Parker Says:

      I did ask my friend if he thought the problem with black students was genetic.

      I just got back from three weeks in Kenya and South Sudan. Most assuredly the problem is not genetic! These folks are desperately focused on education; in Kenya the obsession and effort parallels what I’ve experience from South Koreans.

    28. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Grurray Says:
      July 7th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      I note that the homicide figures and the homicide modus operandi figures you cite specifically exclude Black and Hispanic crimes. My comment was specifically on black on black firearms killings. And was about the worldwide rankings, not US-Canada.

      Subotai Bahadur

    29. T. Greer Says:

      @ Lexington Green –

      I did not notice a difference between violence/aggressiveness in black and white areas. It might have been there, but it was not perceptible. Then again, where I was at there was a lot of intermixing – many of the streets had all types, united mostly by their poverty. I can’t think of any neighborhood where blacks were not equalled by another group.*

      A slightly relevant observation: was with a lot of immigrant families. Many of the groups – Haitians and Hispanics from Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico come to mind – were very aware and concerned about the problems of American under class culture. Haitians who had worked hard, gotten an education in Haiti and otherwise done everything they could to get in America were very distraught to see their children falling in line with American underclass black culture and its attendant ills instead of sticking to their parent’s values. Very similar story with Hispanic Americans. Felt like they were losing their children. Very common concern we aimed to help with.

      *For information’s sake, I was in the New Haven, CT metro, north Boston metro, and Lowell, MA.

    30. VXXC Says:

      Mr. Kennedy,

      What don’t you understand? Get that kid out of the school TODAY. I try to refrain from strongly worded advice, but you did ask.

      It’s a GRRRL? OMG. Guess who’s coming to dinner?

      TODAY.

      “It you don’t get out of that environment you eventually become unable to move in other strata of society ”

      It’s not FAIR, it’s not GOOD, but it has the sharp edge of TRUE.

    31. renminbi Says:

      I have read that many Mexicans send their children back to Mexico to be schooled,just to get away from the poisonous influences here.

    32. VXXC Says:

      Clarification: “Guess who’s coming to dinner?”

      And I do mean GUESS.

      TODAY.

      ====================================
      There are 2 groups of people in our society who cannot be appealed to with reason or justice, facts, decency.

      One has no use for education and indeed spits on it being offered freely.

      The other is far too educated, and runs things. Very badly.

      Both in the future must be regarded as wards at best. Commanded and directed by force as the base currency of the exchange.

      Reasoning with either is a mistake.

    33. VXXC Says:

      No I don’t think it’s genetic.

      I don’t actually believe in “race”.

      BUT THE WORLD DOES.

      And I believe in TODAY.

    34. Trent Telenko Says:

      There are a lot of bad and government subsidized pathologies loose in the African-American community as Thomas Sowell outlines below.

      Stuff like this (Virginian-Pilot link – http://hamptonroads.com.nyud.net/2012/05/beating-church-and-brambleton) and the Zimmerman trial — which is a political show trial to prevent wider concealed carry of fire arms — are contributing factors in that poll mentioned up thread.

      ——————
      A Censored Race War?
      By Thomas Sowell
      5/15/2012

      When two white newspaper reporters for the Virginian-Pilot were driving through Norfolk, and were set upon and beaten by a mob of young blacks — beaten so badly that they had to take a week off from work — that might seem to have been news that should have been reported, at least by their
      own newspaper. But it wasn’t.

      “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News Channel was the first major television program to report this incident. Yet this story is not just a Norfolk story, either in what happened or in how the media and the authorities have tried to sweep it under the rug.

      Similar episodes of unprovoked violence by young black gangs against white people chosen at random on beaches, in shopping malls or in other public places have occurred in Philadelphia, New York, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles and other places across the country. Both the authorities and the media tend to try to sweep these episodes under the rug as well.

      In Milwaukee, for example, an attack on whites at a public park a few years ago left many of the victims battered to the ground and bloody. But, when the police arrived on the scene, it became clear that the authorities wanted to keep this quiet.

      One 22-year-old woman, who had been robbed of her cell phone and debit card, and had blood streaming down her face said: “About 20 of us stayed to give statements and make sure everyone was accounted for. The police wouldn’t listen to us, they wouldn’t take our names or statements. They told us to leave. It was completely infuriating.”

      The police chief seemed determined to head off any suggestion that this was a racially motivated attack by saying that crime is colorblind. Other officials elsewhere have said similar things.

      A wave of such attacks in Chicago were reported, but not the race of the attackers or victims.
      Media outlets that do not report the race of people committing crimes nevertheless report racial disparities in imprisonment and write heated editorials blaming the criminal justice system.

      What the authorities and the media seem determined to suppress is that the hoodlum elements in many ghettos launch coordinated attacks on whites in public places. If there is anything worse than a one-sided race war, it is a two-sided race war, especially when one of the races outnumbers the other several times over.

      It may be understandable that some people want to head off such a catastrophe, either by not reporting the attacks in this race war, or not identifying the race of those attacking, or by insisting that the attacks were not racially motivated — even when the attackers themselves voice anti-white invective as they laugh at their bleeding victims.

      Trying to keep the lid on is understandable. But a lot of pressure can build up under that lid. If and when that pressure leads to an explosion of white backlash, things could be a lot worse than if the truth had come out earlier, and steps taken by both black and white leaders to deal with the hoodlums and with those who inflame the hoodlums.

      These latter would include not only race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson but also lesser known people in the media, in educational institutions and elsewhere who hype grievances and make all the problems of blacks the fault of whites. Some of these people may think that they are doing a favor to blacks. But it is no favor to anyone who lags behind to turn their energies from the task of improving and advancing themselves to the task of lashing out at others.

      These others extend beyond whites. Asian American school children in New York and Philadelphia have for years been beaten up by their black classmates. But people in the mainstream media who go ballistic if some kid says something unkind on the Internet about a homosexual classmate nevertheless hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil when Asian American youngsters are beaten up by their black classmates.

      Those who automatically say that the social pathology of the ghetto is due to poverty, discrimination and the like cannot explain why such pathology was far less prevalent in the 1950s, when poverty and discrimination were worse. But there were not nearly as many grievance mongers and race hustlers then.

      Thomas Sowell

      Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute

    35. snopercod Says:

      Has anyone ever noticed that there are very few black pilots in America?

    36. renminbi Says:

      VXXC-don’t conflate spending a lot of time in school with being educated. That is simply an input. Too often the output is worthless, or renders one useless for any job not contaminated by government requirements. Yes, I’m thinking any “….. Studies” program or Education courses.

    37. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “Mr. Kennedy,

      What don’t you understand? Get that kid out of the school TODAY. I try to refrain from strongly worded advice, but you did ask.”

      I had already pointed out that the family could not afford Catholic school, the only alternative. They did finally take her out and she is now in high school having finished elementary education at a Catholic school. They are not in a position to home school her. Are you volunteering to help with $400/ month tuition. If so, just let me know.

    38. Bill Brandt Says:

      It’s only racially motivated if the crime is against a black person by someone other than black.

      Michael – I would be god to send $100 to help her – I’ll bet with the right marketing she could be set up well.

      What a hell hole that school was. All held together by the teacher’s unions and the Dems.

    39. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Thanks, Bill. Her father had started sending some support money but he now has been in a serious accident and that will probably stop. We’ll see what happens. Having to send a kid to public school in Chicago should be unconstitutional but some families, like this one with four kids, are stretched.

    40. Bill Brandt Says:

      Michael – I remember years ago a black school teacher, Marva Collins, was so fed up in the system she started teaching inner city kids in her home.

      In Chicago.

      And these kids were reading works like Thoreau – doing math.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marva_Collins

      So it isn’t the blacks – it is the disruptive blacks – she did prove that even in the inner city of Chicago there were some parents (probably primarily mothers) who want the best for their children, and have them tow the line.

      Her school closed after 30 years – 2008 – and I am reminded of a quote of a friend who – after some years at AT & T, got a pink slip.

      I asked him if he felt that he made a positive difference there.

      “Picture a bucket of “manure” “, he said. (in the interests of decorum I will edit the exact quote).

      “Now you have stuck your foot in it and there is an impression of your foot in the manure.

      “Now pull your foot out, and the manure slowly closes around your impression, leaving no trace of your existence. ”

      Such is the state of Chicago public schools.

    41. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Oh, she’s the one that I remember – Marva Collins! I remember watching her on AFRTS and wondering a certain number of things…

      http://www.ncobrief.com/index.php/archives/the-dead-hand/

    42. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “So it isn’t the blacks – it is the disruptive blacks – she did prove that even in the inner city of Chicago there were some parents (probably primarily mothers) who want the best for their children, and have them tow the line.”

      My high school in Chicago was St Leo High on the south side at 79th and Halsted. It is now 100% black and has a high percentage of students who are accepted to college. The last I read it was about 95%. I have sent them money for 20 years and have attended several alumni reunions the past 20 years. It is nice to see tables of black alumni at the reunions as the white alums die off. The school is much smaller and no longer has Irish Christian Brothers teaching but, I note at the web page< that they did march in the St Patrick's Day parade on the south side this year.

      The neighborhood is largely blue collar and it is by no means an elite prep school like an Obama son would attend. Still, I have read that tuition payments are above 90% current all the time.

      If anybody wants to support education for these kids, Leo would be a good choice.

    43. just a thought Says:

      “Those who automatically say that the social pathology of the ghetto is due to poverty, discrimination and the like cannot explain why such pathology was far less prevalent in the 1950s, when poverty and discrimination were worse. But there were not nearly as many grievance mongers and race hustlers then.”

      Poor reasoning because of gross simplifications.

      Take for example one aspect of the social pathology of ghetto-crime. Yes, one may say that crime is correlated to poverty and discrimination. Some may even say that poverty and discrimination directly cause crime. The situation in 1950s does not disprove their claim in any way. There are many factors which may influence crime rates. One is urbanization. Since modern societies have a higher rate of urbanization, it is possible that they may have higher crime rates in general (including in black ghettoes) even if there less poverty and discrimination in general today. So if someone is wrong, this is Thomas Sowell who argues that the situation in the 50s automatically disproves the cause and effect relationship between discrimination-poverty and ghetto social pathology.

      Second, the idea of underclass which is close associated with the ghetto mentality has less to do with the absolute level of wealth of poverty and more to do with the wealth relative to that of the other classes. So even if in absolute terms there is less poverty today, there is also a wider gap between the rich and the poor. In the end, the underclass is defined by this wealth gap and the wider the latter is, the stronger the sentiment of the former .

      Third, I think it is normal to expect that the segregation in the 1950s gave less opportunities to the “race hustlers” and “grievance mongers” of that time.

      As a last point, I want to say something else:

      I understand there is a problem in certain poor black communities. I also understand that certain statistics are not flattering for the black community. I am disappointed though when I see authors limiting themselves to pointing these statistics without offering any solutions. As somebody else said in a previous post, the original article fails the “So what?” test. It is also disappointed to see that some racists use these statistics to promote their political agenda. It is easy to find damning statistics to stereotype and discriminate against any group you want.

      Take for example crime statistics: It is well known that males comprise 50% of the population but commit more than 90% of homicides-with or without black or other minority offenders. Now imagine some hateful feminist trying to promote her political agenda by targeting the male population based on crime-statistics. Perhaps employers should discriminate against men because they are more prone to violence in the workplace, or perhaps health insurance rates should reflect the riskier lifestyle of the male customers, or perhaps car insurances should reflect the more aggressive nature of the male drivers. One can argue whatever he wants based on carefully chosen statistics. The real question is, do we really want to take this path? Because somewhere along the way, a piece of statistics is waiting to bite us.

    44. Larry Says:

      “Judge not, lest ye be judged”, ‘Just a Thought’? I’ve always thought that one of dopier sayings attributed to Jesus. Someone who doesn’t make judgments of others in life won’t get very far at all.

      I highly doubt that inner-city New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. are any more urbanized now than they were in the 1950′s, either.

      perhaps car insurances should reflect the more aggressive nature of the male drivers

      But they do, they most certainly do. Up until a certain age when differences smooth out, that is.

      The article strikes me as racist, even though much of it rings true to me. I went to a majority black high school in the SE, and I saw a lot of this behavior in relatively tame late 1970′s. It’s culture, and it’s not just black culture. The “poor white trash” kids were different in some ways, but generally equally touchy, prone to violence, and anti-academic. And racist. There were exceptions ALL around, of course, but more than enough examples to form a rough general rule. Even at the time, I despaired of what a wasteland of people’s futures these cultures produce. It used to be said that, “Poor people have poor ways”, but it’s no longer permissible in some circles to say that any more. “You’re blaming the victim!” Hardly. It’s just an honest observation. And they need to see, learn, and practice better ways if they’re ever going to be anything but poor. As a culture, we seem to be adopting “poor ways” instead of trying to suppress them. It’s late, I’m tired, and I’m sorry if this is disjointed. Mostly I just want to say that there’s no way I can dismiss the general thrust of the article, even if I don’t like it’s tone or over-generalization. And it’s not just a black problem, it’s a cultural problem that a lot of blacks and perhaps fewer Hispanics happen to share with some whites (percentages, that is, not absolute numbers).

    45. T. Greer Says:

      Those who automatically say that the social pathology of the ghetto is due to poverty, discrimination and the like cannot explain why such pathology was far less prevalent in the 1950s, when poverty and discrimination were worse. But there were not nearly as many grievance mongers and race hustlers then.

      Grievance mongers are a poor explanation. I will suggest a different one: from 1950 to now the bridge between the under class and the upper class has grown. In 1950 they watched the same television, listened to the same music, often lived in same neighborhoods, and ate the same foods. This is no longer the case. (I wrote a post touching on these themes recently, for what it is worth. A lot of it was heavily influenced by Charles’ Murray’s Coming Apart.) It is a lot harder for upper class values to be appreciated by lower class citizens when they no longer see them practiced. It becomes something irrelevant to their world – taking school seriously is what those people do. You know, like buying sushi or taking vacations in Europe.

    46. Ginny Says:

      Our junior college has few blacks. I am not sure why.

      One semester, though, the grouping was strikingly varied. One appeared quite middle class and didn’t hand in work (she was from Dallas, I believe); one girl had parents whose family was hit by illness & had gone on welfare; one was an older Haitian woman who worked at a retirement home, took classes to improve her mind, and tried to keep her family together as her daughter was finishing med school. She was upset when someone tried to set her daughter up with another doctor, but one from Africa and who didn’t, she felt, feel strongly enough about Christianity and monogamy. The class was hard for her – English was hard.

      The middle-class girl didn’t hand in papers and over Christmas she sent an e-mail asking if her F was a joke? The girl whose family had gone on welfare had been converted by some libertarians; she saw how easy it was to fall into dependency and wanted to know if she could use Sowell to argue for limited welfare terms.
      The final African-American girl that semester wanted to research the pros and cons of cohabitation before marriage; after some research and before her term paper was finished, she showed up with a wedding ring.

      The classes are filled with students who want to make the grade to get into the 4-year school. Many are serious and many aren’t, but the classes aren’t chaotic. It wasn’t my teaching, but talking to one another in class and coming into it with sturdy values, common sense, and a willingness to look at what worked that were leading them to choices more fulfilling, productive, and, well, happier.

      All of us accept a bit of “received wisdom.” The older Haitian looked to her church and the centrality of the family (she was upset her doctor was being set up with another doctor who didn’t share her ideas of religion, monogamy and family). One girl looked to libertarian economists. Another, despite the arguments of most social scientists, looked at the statistics and, again, her church. And one, well, she was clearly better off financially than the others, but every once in a while she would rouse herself from her texting in the back row and throw out a comment – like her strong belief that nurture was always more important than nature – a fact she said she learned in the social science class preceding ours.

      Of course, those epiphanies come more easily in a school ruled with the rigor of the nuns and priests; our minds are blurred with 5 people, we are distracted by hypersexuality, we want to part of the dominant (and bullies dominate) culture that disdains education.

      It is best to be honest that lack of money doesn’t lead to an anti-intellectual, impulse-driven, and hypersexual culture. Poverty may reinforce it, but clearly it reinforces poverty. To pretend otherwise does no one any favors. That the immigrants of earlier generations had some of these tendencies is obviously true. That the larger culture argued that assimilation required more self-discipline and rewarded it with an appreciation of more complicated arts and letters as well as a middle class life was also true. A post like Kennedy’s is important because it does no one good to pretend that this isn’t harmful. Murray (and 250 years ago Franklin) argues that success comes with those old middle-class values. And happiness. Pretending it doesn’t, pretending that the world Dalrymple describes is either the product of poverty or is just another alternative does no one any good – least of all children.

      Intellectual food has never been so available – whether it is science or art, music or drama, books or lectures. These are for all practical purposes free. My daughter goes to the Salvation Army outlet because she likes old children’s books. For a pittance they have gotten so many my son-in-law is busy building walls of shelves. And one of our local charities wants donations to give every child a book – telling us that in some homes there are none. Well, maybe not. But that is surely more an apportioning than a lack of funds. Putting a book in a house isn’t the goal – having parents who sit and read to the child is.

    47. Ginny Says:

      Our junior college has few blacks. I am not sure why.

      One semester, though, the grouping was strikingly varied. One appeared quite middle class and didn’t hand in work (she was from Dallas, I believe); one girl had parents whose family was hit by illness & had gone on welfare; one was an older Haitian woman who worked at a retirement home, took classes to improve her mind, and tried to keep her family together as her daughter was finishing med school. She was upset when someone tried to set her daughter up with another doctor, but one from Africa and who didn’t, she felt, feel strongly enough about Christianity and monogamy. The class was hard for her – English was hard.

      The middle-class girl didn’t hand in papers and over Christmas she sent an e-mail asking if her F was a joke? The girl whose family had gone on welfare had been converted by some libertarians; she saw how easy it was to fall into dependency and wanted to know if she could use Sowell to argue for limited welfare terms.
      The final African-American girl that semester wanted to research the pros and cons of cohabitation before marriage; after some research and before her term paper was finished, she showed up with a wedding ring.

      The classes are filled with students who want to make the grade to get into the 4-year school. Many are serious and many aren’t, but the classes aren’t chaotic. It wasn’t my teaching, but talking to one another in class and coming into it with sturdy values, common sense, and a willingness to look at what worked that were leading them to choices more fulfilling, productive, and, well, happier.

      All of us accept a bit of “received wisdom.” The older Haitian looked to her church and the centrality of the family (she was upset her doctor was being set up with another doctor who didn’t share her ideas of religion, monogamy and family). One girl looked to libertarian economists. Another, despite the arguments of most social scientists, looked at the statistics and, again, her church. And one, well, she was clearly better off financially than the others, but every once in a while she would rouse herself from her texting in the back row and throw out a comment – like her strong belief that nurture was always more important than nature – a fact she said she learned in the social science class preceding ours.

      Of course, those epiphanies come more easily in a school ruled with the rigor of the nuns and priests; our minds are blurred with 5 people, we are distracted by hypersexuality, we want to part of the dominant (and bullies dominate) culture that disdains education.

      It is best to be honest that lack of money doesn’t lead to an anti-intellectual, impulse-driven, and hypersexual culture. Poverty may reinforce it, but clearly it reinforces poverty. To pretend otherwise does no one any favors. That the immigrants of earlier generations had some of these tendencies is obviously true. That the larger culture argued that assimilation required more self-discipline and rewarded it with an appreciation of more complicated arts and letters as well as a middle class life was also true. A post like Kennedy’s is important because it does no one good to pretend that this isn’t harmful. Murray (and 250 years ago Franklin) argues that success comes with those old middle-class values. And happiness. Pretending it doesn’t, pretending that the world Dalrymple describes is either the product of poverty or is just another alternative does no one any good – least of all children.

      Intellectual food has never been so available – whether it is science or art, music or drama, books or lectures. These are for all practical purposes free. My daughter goes to the Salvation Army outlet because she likes old children’s books. For a pittance they have gotten so many my son-in-law is busy building walls of shelves. And one of our local charities wants donations to give every child a book – telling us that in some homes there are none. Well, maybe not. But that is surely more an apportioning than a lack of funds. Putting a book in a house isn’t the goal – having parents who sit and read to the child is.

    48. just a thought Says:

      “It is best to be honest that lack of money doesn’t lead to an anti-intellectual, impulse-driven, and hypersexual culture. Poverty may reinforce it…”

      Exactly my thoughts.

      However, the theme of the original article is different. If somebody really believes that poverty can be addressed, then he will propose some type of solution to improve the education of poor students. The author offers nothing. Why is that? It is because the deeper theme of the article is that race leads to an anti-intellectual, impulsive-driven and hypersexual culture. Frankly, the author needs to resign and find another job. He is either a racist, or a person with perhaps noble originally intentions who failed as an educator and is burned out. Without hope and ideas, he is actually part of the problem, not the solution.

    49. Grurray Says:

      “I will suggest a different one: from 1950 to now the bridge between the under class and the upper class has grown. In 1950 they watched the same television, listened to the same music, often lived in same neighborhoods, and ate the same foods. This is no longer the case.”

      Murray’s book sounds interesting, but I can’t really comment on it since I haven’t read it (heh heh).

      According to your description, 1950 sounds pretty darn boring. Was life really all that much better because I drank the same coke as the president? I think this is probably how we’d like to remember things. It certainly was what the Coca-Cola company wanted everyone to believe.

      I certainly understand your argument. There’s seems to no end to the fragmented diversity that appears to be leading to endless separation. It can be very disorienting.

      However, somewhere along the line, probably when consumerism turned into a social contract, experiences became commodified and people became unwilling or unable to sort out their lives for themselves.
      Those “bridges” were probably not as sturdy as it seems now. People who actually progressed were probably more likely to avoid them and take an alternate route. I don’t really see that as changing much.

    50. Whitehall Says:

      “In 1950 they watched the same television…”

      Not to be too pedantic, but in 1950, a television set was available in only 9% of US households. By 1960 it was over 86%.

      So your overall point is correct if one says “the 1950s.”

      Picky, I know.

    51. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      just a thought Says:
      July 9th, 2013 at 11:04 am

      However, the theme of the original article is different. If somebody really believes that poverty can be addressed, then he will propose some type of solution to improve the education of poor students. The author offers nothing. … He is either a racist, or a person with perhaps noble originally intentions who failed as an educator and is burned out. Without hope and ideas, he is actually part of the problem, not the solution.

      While agreeing that race is very definitely a factor in what the author wrote, I see what he is pointing out as a culture that is centered on race, but is still a cultural phenomenon. Other than preferences for certain secondary sexual characteristics [Two obese black girls in front of my desk begin to dance, “You know dem boys lak juicy fruit, Mr. Jackson.”] nothing he mentions is genetic or denotes inborn differences.

      Consider that yes, the Black experience included roughly two centuries of being considered animals, followed by another century of being considered lesser humans than the mainstream culture. But what came after that? We have had over a half century [roughly 3-18 year political generations (birth to ability to vote)] wherein the governing political paradigm, the ruling establishment, the mass media, and yes the schools have pushed the concept that to be Black was to forever be different from mainstream American culture, that mainstream America [read White] was inferior to anything “authentically” Black for Blacks, and that mainstream America was by definition hostile to anything Black and seeks to re-enslave Blacks. And that any Black adoption of mainstream culture, knowledge, or mores is a step in that re-enslavement.

      When you deliberately create a culture that defines itself to a great extent as anti-White; you are not going to get the population of that culture being particularly skilled in functioning in a mainstream culture that is majority White and European in its derivation. They have been set up for separatism and failure.

      Being non-White and non-European in background does not mean that you cannot function in a White European society and culture. I offer my family as an example.

      My father came to this country from China, 12 years old, alone, with a 6th grade Chinese education, speaking only the Cantonese dialect and reading and writing only Chinese. He came just in time for the Great Depression.

      Note that legally from the 1840′s; Chinese were considered non-human under American law unless they were envoys of the Chinese government. Research the concept of Extraterritoriality, invented by an American diplomat, and the various Exclusion Acts. While not chattel slaves, that was only because the concept had been made illegal in the 1860′s. But no one who committed a crime against a Chinese in this country would be charged, because we did not legally exist as humans. Chinese could not appeal to the police or courts, because we did not legally exist. Blacks and Native Americans had more standing than Chinese.

      Under standard definitions of what causes poverty, the decks were totally stacked against my dad and his generation here. There were no direct connections between Chinese and European culture, and more than a little mutual contempt.

      He came here, starting at the bottom. When he got off the boat in NYC, the Tong [Tongs are fraternal, Clan, and geographic associations, not criminal gangs. The Triads are the criminal gangs and make the Mafia look like Romper Room. Americans don't know the difference] found him a place to live, a job at the bottom of the heap in a Chinese restaurant, and most importantly insisted that he learn English because being without a family to take care of him he would have to deal with the Americans. And while there was a ‘pidgen’ form of “Chinglish”, that was more a function of the difficulty adults have in learning a foreign language with limited exposure to the proper form; younger people who had the exposure learned standard English, limited by accent.

      Leaving out a lot of the story, in 1943 when the US was the very last country to give up Extraterritorial Rights in China, Chinese here became legally people. Then, at age 30, my dad promptly enlisted in the US Army. Kinda old to start out as a soldier. Once again, leaving a lot out, he earned his citizenship in combat with Patton’s Third Army. After the war, he owned several successful businesses, and did well enough that he was able to spend the last 5 years of his life retired and fishing.

      He succeeded, not because the government and culture encouraged him to retain his “authentic Chineseness” or celebrated his right to be Chinese in this country separate from the mainstream culture. They just got the [long and obscene Chinese expletive deleted] out of the way except for trying to bar our access to the law til 1943. And the normal human desire for success did the rest. I will grant that the Cantonese are China’s pioneers and entrepeneurs. But the country did not deliberately try to prevent the integration of Chinese into the country’s mores, adoption of the mainstream culture, or destroy the Chinese family structure replacing it with the State.

      I have written in other venues about what makes a people a single nation. I contend that it is a combination of a shared language, shared culture, shared concept of ethics from whatever base, shared history, and shared attachment and love for a specific plot of land.

      Given that definition, is the urban Black subculture we created fully part of our nation, or is it separating/separate? And along that same line, are the political Left of the same nation as most of the population? Are what Angelo Codavilla refers to as “The Ruling Class” or the “Country Club Class” of both parties really part of one nation? Or any of the dozens of cultural and economic schisms we have fractured into?

      Coming back around the barn, Just a Thought not unreasonably critiques the author for not proposing a solution. We live in a time where noticing the problem is to commit felony Thoughtcrime. We live in a time when political correctness mandates that each unique snowflake of a culture has to be defined as equivalent EXCEPT for the mainstream White/European culture which is irredeemably sinful and evil; regardless of objective success or failure. And we live in a time where only White Leftists are allowed to offer suggestions for non-mainstream White/European cultures.

      I think the piece was somewhat crude and uncouth because of the reality of its subject matter, truthful as far as it went, and admittedly you can see the us -v- them emotional separation coming about. That last, if continued, could well become racism. But it is a small piece of a much larger conversation that we need to have about what we are and what we are becoming; compared to what we were and what we wanted to become.

      Subotai Bahadur

    52. renminbi Says:

      “Racism” and “racist” have become scare words used to shut down debate. The words are also used much more sloppily than in the past. The terms used to mean the belief that some races were superior to others. Now they can mean anything. In the UK saying bad things about Islam can be “racist”;yes Islam is now a race to the British governing class. The reality,of course,is that some cultures are far more capable of coping with modernity than others. The best authority on this is Thomas Sowell,but most people are aware of this from their every day experience. Our betters tell us this isn’t so; we shouldn’t believe our lying eyes.
      The best thing we can do is see things for ourselves based on what we directly know. We should hold people accountable for their behavior and stop excusing the inexcusable. As for those making the excuses,perhaps they should be called racist since they think some races cannot behave properly. I recall some decades back someone calling Sowell an ingrate (in the NY Review of Books) for not supporting the affirmative action from which he had benefitted. Sowell than pointed out that he had gotten all his degrees before AA existed and then wondered why some people thought blacks needed special favors. I suppose many white liberals need blacks to condescend to.

    53. just a thought Says:

      “While agreeing that race is very definitely a factor in what the author wrote, I see what he is pointing out as a culture that is centered on race, but is still a cultural phenomenon. Other than preferences for certain secondary sexual characteristics [Two obese black girls in front of my desk begin to dance, “You know dem boys lak juicy fruit, Mr. Jackson.”] nothing he mentions is genetic or denotes inborn differences.”

      If culture is the problem, then why such a despair? Culture changes over time. Culture is even influenced by the interactions between the black community and the non-blacks. But instead of adopting a constructive attitude, this teacher’s attitude actually reinforces the gap between the blacks and whites.

      Take for example one of the questions he asked his students: ““Is it okay in the black community to be a little overweight?” I wonder where did this person get his teaching credential. One poster said earlier that this article may be a hoax, and he may be right. I find it hard to believe that a professional educator asked this type of question. Obesity is a touchy subject, especially when you talk to an obese person. I wonder if he would have addressed white obese students in the same way? I doubt because their parents would have raised hell. Sure, one can certainly talk about obesity, but he should not make it sound personal or use it to reinforce race division by asking if it is ok in the black community or any type of community. And then, there is the issue of how obesity came to the conversation during a history class? Was it because he took pleasure in putting down his black students?

    54. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      just a thought Says:
      July 9th, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      If culture is the problem, then why such a despair? Culture changes over time. Culture is even influenced by the interactions between the black community and the non-blacks.

      Culture changes over time, yes. But it is a generational speed change. We have not come close to bottoming out yet. The separation is increasing. The forbidden question is, how much longer do we have before the break is permanent? Especially since the “interactions between the black community and the non-blacks” are not a matter of holding them to consequences for their actions, but more along the line of enabling those actions that are counterproductive, be it racially based promotions from grade to grade [or the recently admitted practice at one university of routinely administratively raising grades of Black students] or covering up Black racially-based illegal actions as in the Sowell article cited by Trent Trelenko.

      YMMV, but I have a feeling of 1775 or 1860, and do not think we have a whole lot of time before, as my ethnic fellows say, “we live in interesting times.”.

      In reference to your criticism of raising the issue of obesity [or any other “sensitive” topic; how are we to change that dysfunctional culture if it is forbidden to raise topics that are uncomfortable in “ the interactions between the black community and the non-blacks“. And I do note that our Black First Lady has absolutely no qualms about being a health nazi on the subject of nutrition and obesity in the mainstream culture.

      If this thread continues, I will not be able to return for several hours as I have to go march in the parade for the Pikes Peak of Bust Rodeo, which is a couple of counties over. My absence is not acquiesence.

      Subotai Bahadur

    55. tyouth Says:

      Subotai Bahadur Says: “Pikes Peak Of Bust”
      Monsieur, Is that kinda like “Le Grande Tetons”?

      Stop me.

    56. just a thought Says:

      “In reference to your criticism of raising the issue of obesity [or any other “sensitive” topic; how are we to change that dysfunctional culture if it is forbidden to raise topics that are uncomfortable in “ the interactions between the black community and the non-blacks“.

      We do not change someone’s culture by having the attitude this teacher has. We can only encourage these kids to change their attitude by themselves. We do not come as white Messiahs bringing to the “savages” our superior culture, even if we really believe that is the case. It is common sense that this attitude will bring opposition. There are different ways to smooth out tensions between different belief systems.

      See our attitude in religious affairs. It is no secret that every believer thinks his religion is superior to all others, but we have learned the hard way that challenging others’ religious beliefs will actually raise tensions instead of bridging gaps. The object is to promote tolerance and respect of all races, just like we do with religion. If we really show this in practice, then perhaps we can convince more black kids that they can tolerate or respect the whites And then perhaps, they will adopt these “white practices” that reinforce learning and education. Nothing is certain since obviously there are many other factors involved that can influence the final outcome, including socioeconomic ones like poverty; However, I see progress. The USA today is a much better place than the USA of 50s with respect to racial tensions and a higher percentage of blacks have become part of the middle class. It is a slow progress, but it is progress nevertheless.

      Returning to the original article, I am not saying that it is forbidden to raise uncomfortable issues. It is “forbidden” to talk about obesity in personal or racial terms. We use common sense. It is not if what we say is true or not. It is a matter of how we say it. I can be brutally honest to my obese neighbor, but by creating hard feelings between us, I will most probably make things worse. A teacher should show his/her students in practice that it is possible to address issues without using the race-card.

      If the teacher himself brings race on a subject like obesity, then his/her students will feel justified to also use the race-card for everything else. Same with the issue of intellectual poverty. If the teacher thinks that intellectual poverty is a “race issue” or part of the “black culture,” he simply reinforces the argument of the black slacker who convinces his black peers that learning or doing homework is “acting white.” In other words, the teacher becomes part of the problem, part of an endless circle that reinforces expected behaviors based on race.

      Take your time with your response.

    57. Mike K Says:

      “We do not change someone’s culture by having the attitude this teacher has. We can only encourage these kids to change their attitude by themselves. We do not come as white Messiahs bringing to the “savages” our superior culture, even if we really believe that is the case.”

      This is the problem in a nutshell. If anyone talks about what they see, they are trying (unsuccessfully because only the left can be this) to be “White Messiahs.”

      “If we really show this in practice, then perhaps we can convince more black kids that they can tolerate or respect the whites And then perhaps, they will adopt these “white practices” that reinforce learning and education.”

      If we try hard enough to be “tolerant”, maybe the lion will let us kiss him.

      Some of us are concerned about solutions but yours is not in that category. It’s more like magical thinking. We’ve had 50 years of that and things got worse. Like socialism, maybe it just hasn’t been “done right.”

      “However, I see progress. The USA today is a much better place than the USA of 50s with respect to racial tensions”

      That is not my experience at all. Racial tensions are higher now because the reforms of the civil rights act have only fed appetite for “equal outcomes.” Willie Brown actually tried to pass a law when he was still Speaker that would require equal graduation rates from UC. Thomas Sowell has been accused of ingratitude for affirmative action in his own career. He pointed out that his academic career preceded affirmative action.

      Thus is real achievement degraded.

    58. VXXC Says:

      Just A Thought – you seem rather detached from the subject and approaching it from an almost clinical viewpoint.

      Lab animals don’t share that viewpoint.

      I actually look with sympathy on the subjects for instance as people who were suckered by con men at a vulnerable point of transition in the 1960s. Which is not the same as innocent.

      However the data may not support this conclusion. No matter how damning it is, this conclusion will not be supported.

      There are worse things than racism. Yes it’s true. There are worse crimes than racism. I don’t believe in it, but if the results of 1965 are the inevitable results, then bring on 1950. It would be best for everyone. A cultural shift if you think about it. Certainly Bloomberg and Rahm make policy that way, although they’d never admit it. However Bloomberg has recently indicated the data supports this conclusion.

      Now what is actually happening isn’t culture, it’s subsidized anti-culture of welfare, despair, crime, and mindless destruction of self and others for nearly 50 years. It began with arson – a celebration of Civil Rights – and brings us to modern day Detroit, Camden, Gary IN, and many other places. I’m a block from one now, and let’s just say NYPD gentrification friendly policing is in full effect.

      There will be no cultural shift over time from utter ruin into hope. Two generations and counting made ruinous choices and they’re ruined. That’s what happened. Oh it’s ending, but not by any change of heart. Well other than the change of heart by people like Bloomberg.

      Racist BTW is dog whistling for non-elite white. So it’s racist to use the term. Good evening.

    59. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Hmmm – this thread is already gone to +50 responses, indicative of a hot-button issue. A real one, not a fake one, ginned up by some astroturf expert. I have seen links to this essay posted all over, so – make of that what you might. Zeitgeist, if you will. There are things that one is tired of heroically not noticing, which can no longer swept under the rug. This is a real ripple in the internet pond.

      I don’t so much get a racist vibe off the original poster; I get more of a sense of someone who went into teaching with all the right attitudes and expectations, and for some reason (probably idealistic – even quixotic) wound up doing his best in an inner-city school, and now is coming to grips with the realization that pouring his heart into his classroom job didn’t do a bit of good. So he is venting – about everything to do with it. Just A Thought (gee, how passive-aggressive Concern Troll can you get with your nick?) is likely right in suggesting that he ought to get out of the classroom, but not for reasons of racism, as JaT has it. This teacher is burnt to toast and demoralized by a hopeless situation.

      I think perhaps that the essay touches on a feeling of exhaustion among otherwise well-intentioned people. People who are not racist in the traditional KKK-white-hoods-and-night-riders sense, or even the nasty WASP country-club set looking down their noses at the lesser orders. We’ve done our bit for racial equality, but there never seems an end to the demands to demonstrate it on the part of the black race-mongers, especially when it comes to consideration of the black underclass. After a time, one begins to conclude that most of their dreadful woes seem to be self-inflicted and with the encouragement of a political class who appeared to have their welfare at heart. Content of character? Oooh, that’s the most raaaaacist of all!

      But we have to talk about it, JaT … it’s real, it destroying that particular community, and anyone unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity.

      For grins and giggles of the CB community – a link to Sultan Knish on a topic not entirely related to the one at hand – http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2013/07/wrong-side-of-street.html

    60. Mike K Says:

      For a more useful comment on that essay, here is a better one at the same source as the original essay.

      Excerpt: My brief experience with black kids consists of a couple of overnights with some Outward Bound crews from Flatbush and my time spent in Achievement First schools.

      Note these are not public schools so there is a hint of a solution.

      I’ve walked into dozens of classrooms at Amistad Middle and High School and I’ve never run into any disorder. They do have disciplinary issues, but they are managed effectively. The “Whatever It Takes” professional culture also creates some extraordinary expressions. The middle school teachers were concerned about alienation among the black boys, so the male teachers decided to have an overnight in the gym, “men only”. Each boy was invited to bring an adult mentor, a father, older brother, grandfather, whatever, and the boys who didn’t have anyone to bring were matched with a teacher. They spent the night talking, telling stories, and exploring the topic “what does it mean to be a man?”, how do men treat women, how do they express themselves in society, what does it mean to take responsibility? This was very effective in forming deeper bonds in the school community, in particular, those crucial bonds between students and teachers. It wasn’t a cure-all, but it gave the kids positive ways to think about themselves that many of them reflected in their subsequent behavior.

      I recently visited the Achievement First elementary school in Bridgeport, CT. Again, the kids were orderly (in my opinion, a little too orderly, but I have a progressive education streak in me). I also noticed how beautifully coiffed the kindergarten and first grade girls were (they wear uniforms, which were all neat and clean). I asked the principal, tongue in cheek, if the Moms were engaged in some sort of competition to see who could do the most beautiful hairstyle. She said she didn’t know, but the school has worked hard to engage parents in formal and informal ways, so there’s a lot going on between the families.

      This is more in keeping with my own experience at St Leo Catholic High School. Tragically, these Catholic inner city schools are closing. Vouchers might save them. We don’t need any more Father Pflegers.

    61. VXXC Says:

      A vulnerable group rendered more vulnerable by transition in the 60s was taken advantage of by demogagic criminals and academic psychopaths to conduct a social experiment involving tens of millions, and it’s been a disaster. It’s not a culture or sub-culture, it’s the ruins of people and what were functioning working class communities.

      A lot of economic factors played into it as well but they again were social engineering. Our economy didn’t “change” from manufacturing – it was deliberately changed and deliberately looted and destroyed.
      The buggy whip metaphor doesn’t hold unless for instance cars were replaced..and they haven’t been. We are also still wearing clothes [textiles]. The economy was changed, but by policy not the market.

      Our elites are criminals who have no one’s best interests at heart except their own short term interests of fast money and a comfortable bubble.

      Outside the Bubble Blacks are condemned with pity and their dysfunctions fed to monstorous proportions with subsidies, non-elite whites have their economy damaged and are condemned as “racist”. [Racist is a prog dog whistle for non-elite white]. Condemned. As both groups tire of their insane masters, they are slated to be replaced by what is deemed to be an utterly alien group that is deemed to be a more managable underclass.

      It’s time for our ruinous Masters, worst ruling class EVER to depart the stage, and their academic priesthood with them..

    62. VXXC Says:

      Oh and here’s the real Chicago, 80 shot over the July 4th weekend.

      Cuz it’s fun…YEP…

      http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/07/keep-stiff-upper-lip.html

    63. just a thought Says:

      “However, I see progress. The USA today is a much better place than the USA of 50s with respect to racial tensions”

      That is not my experience at all. Racial tensions are higher now because the reforms of the civil rights act have only fed appetite for “equal outcomes.” Willie Brown actually tried to pass a law when he was still Speaker that would require equal graduation rates from UC.”

      First of all, I do not know how can anybody come to conclusions about racial tensions based on “personal experience”. Most were not even born in the 50s, not to mention that limiting interaction with other races because of segregation distorts “experiences” even for those who were old enough at that time to form a meaningful perception of the world then. It is better to rely on more independent variables, like the fact that we have a black President today or more blacks as a percentage of their population in the middle class.

      Second, I am not for AA, at least in its current form, bases on racial terms. I have read somewhere (but have not verified_ that 70-80% of blacks in universities come actually from the middle and upper class. I would rather prefer an AA based on socioeconomic criteria regardless of race. This however has nothing to do with the reasons I took an issue with the original article. Regardless of one’s beliefs about AA, it is simply wrong to approach any student of any race the way that person did.

      “If we try hard enough to be “tolerant”, maybe the lion will let us kiss him.”

      If somebody sees his students as lions, he should quit and go and clean the lion cages at a zoo instead. A teacher who really cares about his students can and should show tolerance and establish discipline. These two are not the same.

      “Some of us are concerned about solutions but yours is not in that category. It’s more like magical thinking. We’ve had 50 years of that and things got worse. Like socialism, maybe it just hasn’t been “done right.””

      First of all, you should put the author in the category of those who are certainly not concerned about any solution, since he did not bother to provide any in his long rant. Perhaps because there is no solution to fix a race. As to my solution, you did not even read my solution. You only read what I believe is the principle that any solution should be based upon. And this is respect your students. If you think that calling them fat will solve the problem, the same author of the article can give you the answer. Just read the whole article you posted!

    64. Mike K Says:

      “I do not know how can anybody come to conclusions about racial tensions based on “personal experience”.”

      Spoken like the man with no personal experience.

    65. renminbi Says:

      I see here an honest attempt to discuss our race/class problem. I suppose though, to Eric Holder, we are still a “nation of cowards” because we are not getting the answer that he, and his master, want to hear.

    66. just a thought Says:

      ““I do not know how can anybody come to conclusions about racial tensions based on “personal experience”.”

      Spoken like the man with no personal experience.

      Spoken like the man who does not make broad statements about our society based on personal experiences. it is basic logic.

    67. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      First, in reference to Pikes Peak of(sic)Bust; mea culpa. It was a good parade, by the way. I marched with 7 County Sheriffs and a number of County government officials. Our entry was in support of our Sheriffs as they have stood against our Leftist state government which is trying to void the 2nd Amendment. And the Support Our Sheriffs entry marched under arms. Free citizens legally marching openly carrying weapons, as is our right. Note, that we marched to constant cheers over the 1-2 mile long parade route.

      And as for Tyouth …. why stop you? That was well played.

      As for a response, I cannot top those of Mike K, VXXC, and SGT. Mom.

      This is reality, this is not theory. This is a dysfunctional culture that is enabled at every turn by the government, the educational establishment, and media. And they insist that any solution not change any of the enabling nor challenge the dysfunction.

      There is no longer a design margin in our society to allow complacency and a continuation of what does not work. And I note that societies, cultures, and polities have failed catastrophically throughout history. There is no guarantee that either religious faith in a higher power by most Americans, or the belief in the Material Dialectic of the Left will prevent that. Whichever Deity that is turning the crank this week may expect us to help ourselves before he/she/it lends a hand.

      And if we sit on our hands for fear of offending the Gods of PC, the Gods of the Copybook Headings will step up for their innings.

      Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin

      Oh, VXXC, as an addendum to the events in the Leftist PC paradise of Chicago this weekend:

      Yeah, 80 were shot and killed in Chicago this last weekend. In the nation of Egypt which is in the beginning stages of a full blown civil war between the military and the Islamists …. only 51 were killed.

      Subotai Bahadur

    68. Gringo Says:

      Just a Thought
      First of all, I do not know how can anybody come to conclusions about racial tensions based on “personal experience”. Most were not even born in the 50s.

      FYI, commenter Mike K is in his 70s, so he does have “personal experience” to add. Follow the link.

    69. Gringo Says:

      Just a Thought
      If somebody sees his students as lions, he should quit and go and clean the lion cages at a zoo instead. A teacher who really cares about his students can and should show tolerance and establish discipline. These two are not the same.
      Yes, this particular teacher is a burn-out case at the end of his tether, and yes, the teacher should strongly consider getting out of teaching. However, you are ignoring something important: the teacher is teaching at what is probably already a dysfunctional school, which will in all likelihood continue to be just as dysfunctional after this particular teacher leaves.Contrary to what those who have never tried to teach may believe, it is virtually impossible for ONE TEACHER to establish discipline in ONE CLASSROOM in a dysfunctional school. The whole school environment needs to change- which is more the responsibility of the principal and the school district than it is the responsibility of just ONE TEACHER.

      For a succinct description of a dysfunctional school, consider a comment from Mike K’s link @ July 9th, 2013 at 8:12 pm [Maggie's Farm]. The commenter discussed two schools in the same school district where he had once worked as a substitute teacher.

      I especially noticed the difference in the two middle schools in one district. One was calm and the kids were learning. The other was a madhouse and not much learning was going on. After a while I saw what was causing the difference.

      One school had a principal who had about a dozen rules, aimed at letting learning happen, and they were rigorously and quickly enforced. The teachers were supported. I had a lesson plan for the day [or more] waiting at the desk with all that I’d need.

      The principal was omni-present. He met the buses arriving and leaving and seem to know all 300 or so students by name. I never went more than a few minutes in the hallways without seeing him.

      The other school principal had what seemed to be a million rules that were haphazardly enforced if at all. Teachers, especially subs, were left to hang on their own. I never saw the principal. Heck, I don’t know whether it was male or female.

      So. One place dedicated to learning with the expectations set for clearly. On place dedicated it would seem to being a place to be for a few hours and no one seemed to know why.

      I taught at a school which, while not as dysfunctional as the one depicted, was definitely dysfunctional, albeit a dysfunctional school seeking to right itself. See my previous comment. The principal was, to put it mildly, not competent. Suffice it to say that several years after I left, the principal’s multi-year contract was not renewed.

      What were some policies of this particular principal which contributed to the school’s being dysfunctional? I will give three examples. First, I had previously mentioned the principal’s wanting as few F’s as possible handed out. This is dysfunctional when failing grades are deserved. See my previous comment. Secondly, while the principal claimed there was a mentoring program for beginning teachers,the mentoring program existed only on paper. After I left, I was amused to find out that there was finally a formal mentoring program, and that in spite of the mentoring program, a beginning math teacher- I had taught math- quit in the middle of the year.Had I that support, I would have probably remained there. Thirdly, the principal had harassed a multi-award-winning teacher all year, over trivial issues. The principal had the gall to say at a district board meeting that handed out an award to the teacher, how valued the teacher was at our school. The teacher easily saw through her two-faced principal and had no problem finding another position. The school district eventually wised up, and did not renew the principal’s contract.

      It ain’t that easy.

    70. Mike K Says:

      Thanks for a good discussion, except for a concern troll or two. The parallel discussion at Maggie’s Farm is also useful. I have pointed out a couple of possible solutions. Ending union contracts at public schools is probably politically impossible. The yearning of black parents for vouchers and the possibility of moving their kids to good schools is obvious. That is opposed by fools because it would leave the worst kids behind with “no hope.”

      No hope is what they have now and there are kids, as several of you pointed out, who may be sitting quietly in that classroom ignored. Give them a chance.

      When I ran a trauma center we used the concept of “triage.” Most of the time in civilian practice triage is not needed. Only in war or disaster conditions is it necessary to ignore the hopeless to save those who can survive with care. I submit inner city schools are in this condition.

    71. just a thought Says:

      “July 10th, 2013 at 4:05 am
      Just a Thought
      If somebody sees his students as lions, he should quit and go and clean the lion cages at a zoo instead. A teacher who really cares about his students can and should show tolerance and establish discipline. These two are not the same.
      Yes, this particular teacher is a burn-out case at the end of his tether, and yes, the teacher should strongly consider getting out of teaching. However, you are ignoring something important: the teacher is teaching at what is probably already a dysfunctional school, which will in all likelihood continue to be just as dysfunctional after this particular teacher leaves. Contrary to what those who have never tried to teach may believe, it is virtually impossible for ONE TEACHER to establish discipline in ONE CLASSROOM in a dysfunctional school. The whole school environment needs to change- which is more the responsibility of the principal and the school district than it is the responsibility of just ONE TEACHER.

      For a succinct description of a dysfunctional school, consider a comment from Mike K’s link @ July 9th, 2013 at 8:12 pm [Maggie's Farm]. The commenter discussed two schools in the same school district where he had once worked as a substitute teacher.”

      Oh, I agree with you. I actually said that there are many factors involved which will influence the outcome. But having ALL teachers treat their students with respect is one of those factor. And when ANY ONE teacher does not show this respect he should go. As for the comment from Mike K on a dysfunctional school, I am not really interested in reading it because I suspect we won’t have a meaningful discussion. Having the latter requires tolerance of different opinions and willingness to see yours challenged by others without making it personal. When Mr. Mike K thinks I am a troll because I challenged his opinions among those of others, he clearly shows his lack of understanding of tolerance in general.

    72. Mike K Says:

      I didn’t call you a troll but you do seem sensitive about it.

      For an other suggestion about solutions see this essay from City Journal. Since Rahm is closing Chicago schools, there should be plenty of room for charters.

    73. Gringo Says:

      Just a Thought
      As for the comment from Mike K on a dysfunctional school, I am not really interested in reading it because I suspect we won’t have a meaningful discussion.

      It is difficult to have a “meaningful discussion” with someone who is such a careless reader. Mike K provided a LINK. I provided a COMMENT FROM THAT LINK. Mike K did not make that particular comment. He simply provided the link.

      This whole thread began from a link at Maggie’s Farm. The link to Maggie’s Farm I recently provided- which Mike K originally provided- was a follow up thread to the original article. As such, the link Mike K provided was entirely appropriate to this discussion. And you gave an entirely inappropriate response.

      You have a decided lack of sympathy for that beleaguered teacher. I have more sympathy for him because I too was faced with confrontational, disrepectful students and didn’t know how to cope with them. Nor did I get much assistance from the dysfunctional administration. Walk a mile in someone’s shoes,and all that.

      You sit comfortably on the sidelines, Monday-morning quarterbacking that teacher, with no idea at all what he went through. As I suggested to PenGun, I would suggest to you that you either teach or substitute at a majority black school and then get back to us on your opinion about it. I also noticed that PenGun gave no response to that suggestion. I would be very surprised if, after having been exposed to the teaching experience at a majority black school,you did not have more sympathy for that beleaguered teacher than you now have.

      I actually said that there are many factors involved which will influence the outcome. But having ALL teachers treat their students with respect is one of those factor. And when ANY ONE teacher does not show this respect he should go.

      I am reminded of a teacher at the school where I once taught. He has now been at that school for two decades. By all accounts, he is a first-rate teacher, using student standardized test scores, evaluations, what have you. He is also somewhat confrontational with his students. I heard him refer to his students many, many times as “knuckleheads,” not a particularly respectful term. I don’t remember if he used the term “knucklehead” in his classes- though I suspect he did at least occasionally- but he repeatedly used that term in the presence of fellow teachers. You might consider this a lack of respect on his part. Perhaps it is, but he has gotten very good results teaching.

      Teachers are told they should not use sarcasm. That indicates a lack of respect, teachers are told. I am reminded of a little gray-haired 60ish white lady from a much whiter area of the country who began teaching 9th grade at a local minority high school. Everyone expected that the students would eat her alive, but she survived quite well. One reason she did well with a difficult population was that she did not hesitate to zing students with sarcasm. If it works, use it, even if some higher ups consider doing so to indicate a lack of respect.

      A further issue with “respect” is that the poverty level culture in the US results in many students having hostility to successful school performance, which will lead to them being dysfunctional students. Call it gangbanger culture, if you will. Yet teachers are told they are supposed to “respect” the culture that students bring to school. Respect dysfunctional gangbanger culture? Not easy to do. Easier to square the circle. But school success will come about only when students reject [shall we say] gangbanger culture. You cannot be a committed gangbanger, or a wannabe gangbanger, [shall we say] and be a successful student. How to get students to reject gangbanger [call it what you will] culture and commit to being good students, is a very problematic row to hoe. [pun not intended] If you think that turning wannabe gangbangers into good students can be done without in some manner teachers expressing some sort of disrespect for gangbanger culture, I have a Bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

      From my time in the trenches, I view your talk about “respect” as being rather simplistic. Shall we say, VERY, VERY simplistic.

    74. just a thought Says:

      “From my time in the trenches, I view your talk about “respect” as being rather simplistic. Shall we say, VERY, VERY simplistic.”

      Although I copied only the last sentence, I will actually address the whole post:

      At least, you agree that this teacher is a burn-out case and should consider to go. So, you find his article somewhat disturbing. As for the cases where lack of respect worked, this is the exception that verifies the rule. The same author talked about the exceptions of black students with decent academic performance, but still, I think it is clear that we do not come to conclusions about black students in general nor we form policies based on exceptions. So, I am not going to agree that we should establish new policies permitting teachers to call occasionally their students “knuckleheads.”

      It is true that I have lack of sympathy for that person. It is not because I can not understand the challenges one can face in a class of black students. It is because that person’s article did not show any sympathy towards these black students. I have lack of sympathy for those who show lack of sympathy for others. As to challenging culture, we do not really disagree about the final objective of changing certain cultural trends. We disagree about the way to do it. Bringing obesity (in a history class) and combine it with the race-card is not the way to do it. Citing problems like one’s music preferences because of vulgar language or hyper-sexuality, is meaningless. As a history teacher, the author should have known better what happened when previous generations were scorned for their music or hyper-sexuality. If you think you can convince your students to change their music preferences, I have also a Bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

      What I find very simplistic is this belief that a white history teacher can come as an agent of change to convince his black students to change everything from diet to the music they listen to . It is certainly more complicated than that, and one needs to pick up his fights carefully. Let the teachers in the fitness class deal with obesity. Do not spend your capital as a teacher trying to challenge everything. But this requires a minimum of respect or (if you do not like this word) at least tolerance of others’ certain cultural characteristics. It requires a level of humility to understand the limitations of the authority you have as a teacher.

      The feeling I got from that article was that the author simply did not understand these limitation. That’s why I compared him to a white “Messiah.” He entered the class feeling superior to his students and did not hesitate to express it. The problem is that by being condescending or paternalistic you alienate your audience. You like it or not, culture is part of one’s identity, and it is not easy to go after one’s culture without creating resentment. People want to feel they are respected. If they can sense that, then a teacher can even get away with calling them “knuckleheads” occasionally. But yes, earning their respect is not easy, especially since a teacher needs also to establish a position of authority. That’s why I see teaching as a form of art that few “conservative” or “progressive” teachers really master . Few are naturally talented in establishing both authority and rapport. I wish effective teaching was a simple matter of attacking cultural trends in order to improve students’ education. The old-school “insensitive” disciplinarians would have solved the education problem a long time ago.

      As a last point, have a look, if you want, at the following link:

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:zJ3K42NNGXIJ:pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/FryerLevittUnderstandingTheBlack2004.pdf+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

      Quoted from the conclusion of the study:

      “Compared to previous studies, our results provide reason

      for optimism. Research on earlier cohorts of children found

      much greater black-white test score gaps, both in the raw

      scores and controlling for observables. When we attempt to

      mimic the nonrandom sample frames in earlier research (for

      example only looking at low-birth-weight babies, as in

      IHDP), we continue to find much smaller gaps in our

      sample. One plausible explanation for the differences be-

      tween the current sample and cohorts attending kindergarten

      10–30 years ago is that the current cohort of blacks has

      made real gains relative to whites. Recent cohorts show

      smaller black-white gaps in the raw data, across multiple

      data sets, which gives reason for optimism.”

      I know, it is statistics…

      However, my point is that there is reason for hope despite what many say. There are other more recent studies that show a similar trend in white-black test score gaps.

    75. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      “Putting a book in a house isn’t the goal – having parents who sit and read to the child is.”

      Amen to that.

    76. Mike K Says:

      I just ordered two books, that were my favorites as a child, for my grandchildren. One has been sitting here needing a new binding. I found a copy in good condition and bought it for them. These books are priceless because they do not have the dumbed down prose of recent children’s books. One was described as “suitable for 4 to 10 years.” I doubt most children of that age today could read them. I’m not referring to “inner city” children now.

    77. Mike Doughty Says:

      Respect is something you EARN; it’s not something that is, or should be, freely given. “Tolerance” and freely given “respect” are two of the things that have gotten this country into the sorry mess that it is currently in. Some cultures and beliefs simply are better than others.

      Personally, I agree completely with Subotai Bahadur in everything he’s written here.