African Americans

Dealing with Dysfunction: A Review of “What It Is Like to Teach in Failing Schools,” Part 2

Part 1 of “Dealing with Dysfunction”

Another of Mr. Teacher’s idiosyncrasies is his view on race. Although he does not explicitly identify his ethnicity, apparently he is a White man. And despite having plenty of real-world experience dealing with Blacks and Browns he does not address race as a biological concept. When discussing the Program in International Student Assessment (PISA) that compares student academic achievement across national borders the author notes that “American educators produce similar outcomes as Finland and Korea when looking only at White and Asian students” (99). Okay, that is to be expected. But then he goes on to state that the PISA “results help to show that biology is not the leading or most significant cause for assessment differences between subgroups (eduspeak for races) because largely non-white United States Hispanics significantly outscore biologically ‘White’ Uruguayans” (101).

The above is pretty slim evidence to base a conclusion regarding the role of race in educational achievement. A closer look shows that AT’s comparison is not apt. While Uruguay is 88 percent White, that is within a Latin American context. In addition, Uruguay has a far smaller per capita income than the US, and spends a significant smaller percent of its GDP on education.[1] As a result the South American country has a shorter school day, larger class sizes, and more basic educational facilities.

Strangely, later in the book the author gives evidence that race is a significant factor in educational outcomes.

Black Canadians are just 2.5 percent of the Canadian population. Black Canadian students in Toronto — the largest concentration of Blacks in any Canadian location — have a dropout rate of 40 percent — a much higher dropout rate than their Canadian peers. There is also a large scholastic achievement gap between Black Canadians and other Canadians (212).

In addition, AT notes that Black Canadian students have disproportionately high rates of absenteeism, suspension, and expulsion. So here you have two different countries with two different educational systems with the same racial disparities. This seem to be more convincing than the author’s Uruguay example. Mr. Teacher describes himself as an Orthodox Christian, and he affirms “God’s sovereign Will in human affairs” (213). He might not believe in biological evolution, which could explain his ambivalence on race. Read more

Dealing with Dysfunction: A Review of “What It Is Like to Teach in Failing Schools,” Part 1

What it is Like to Teach in Failing Schools: A Memoir, an Inquiry and a Critique (2016)
by A. Teacher

Even without the students present, a visitor familiar with middle-class White schools would notice that Atlanta’s “Fairfield Junior Academy” is different. Walking the halls he would observe that there were no lockers. “[W} e moved all the lockers into the classrooms because most of the fights and drug deals took place during transition time when students went to their lockers” (76). If the visitor was unfortunate enough to need the restroom, he might see “dried diarrhea on the walls and toilet in the bathroom stalls” (111). Venturing into a classroom he might encounter vandalized computers and locked file cabinets that had been broken into.

As the subtitle indicates, this book is part a memoir, part a scathing critique of the educational establishment that some call Big Ed. This reviewer has twenty years’ experience in secondary and tertiary education. Fortunately, I have not experienced many of the problems the author relates, at least not to the same degree. Thus some of the dysfunction A. Teacher (AT) describes is particular to his type of school — a failing junior high — while other problems are systemic and likely to be experienced by most public school teachers in America.

The reader might conclude from the opening paragraph that Fairfield in one of those neglected, underfunded minority schools one hears about. While it is a non-White school (70 percent Black, 27 percent Hispanic), it is not underfunded. “Our school was flushed with money” (12). There was plenty of technology — computers, iPads, smartboards, and printers in every room. There was also widespread theft and vandalism, plus poor maintenance of the facility.

American education is often top heavy with administrators. This is particularly true of urban schools. So, in addition to student misbehavior, a major complaint of Mr. Teacher was the reams of paper work and endless meetings his position required. These demands left little time for lesson planning, and made classroom management more difficult. Because every behavior issue needed to be thoroughly documented it was less likely a teacher would take action.

One way a bureaucracy insulates administrators from day to day problems is the put-it-in-writing strategy. A “Response to Intervention” form was required “to document every infraction a child commits, complete with where the incident took place, what preceded the incident, what the infraction entailed, and the consequences that followed” (89). Even with documentation teachers at Fairfield felt the administration did not support their efforts to maintain order. Read more

Rational Dialog with BLM Is Not Possible

If we are to judge from recent events, BLM protestors (and a seemingly overwhelming percentage of Blacks in general) don’t seem able to discern the difference between the impression created by a few seconds of a video clip, and the reality and attendant circumstances behind that video.  They know how they feel when they watch a Black apparently being mistreated by police, but any further deductive reasoning is from that point quite impossible.  The combination of ignorance and moral certainty is dangerous, as we see in the Dallas shooting of police and other violent protests last weekend.

In their mind, Black Lives Matter protesters have the “evidence” already, because they think that evidence simply means something unpleasant caught on camera.  From there they demand immediate retribution, without further deliberation in the legal process.  It is ironic that one of the BLM protesters’ trite chants is “No justice, no peace,” considering their complete disregard for the judicial process.  But they are good at disturbing the peace, we’ll have to give them that.

The chanting of slogans seems to be the tool of the cognitively incompetent, because it conveniently avoids discussing any facts.  The rallying cry, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” is based on a mendacious account of the Michael Brown incident, who did not have his hands up when confronted by Darren Wilson, and did not say “don’t shoot,” but rather went for the cop’s gun.  The “Black Lives Matter” chant is repeated in a zombie-like fashion by the protesters.  But note that every slogan is based on a faulty premise: that justice has been derailed, that innocent Blacks are being shot, and that the government has somehow devalued Black lives.  “We have nothing to lose but our chains,” they chant, enraptured in an orgy of victimization and delusion. Read more

Reality Shock in the American Classroom: A Guide for the Perplexed

 

WaltersA review of Facing Reality in American Education by Robert J. Walters

There are over 1200 schools of education in the United States awarding upwards of 175,000 Masters Degrees each year. Prospective students are increasingly selected on the basis of demonstrated commitment to egalitarian ideology; in any case, all of them are  intensively marinated in that way of thinking for a couple years or more before being let loose in America’s classrooms. There, of course, they observe White, Jewish and Asian students outperforming Blacks and Mexicans—over, and over, and over again.

Some teachers’ beliefs are unaffected by even a lifetime of observation contradicting what they have been taught; such close-minded ideologues are the successes of our ed school system. But for many of their colleagues, cognitive dissonance is painful, and their inability to “make a difference” in the lives of their young Black and Brown charges can be deeply discouraging.

The education establishment makes sure these well-meaning teachers have nowhere to turn. Some become cynics who go on mouthing the platitudes they have been taught while learning not to care about their students. More than a few drop out of the profession entirely, at a considerable sacrifice of time and money invested. Very few, we can be sure, ever stumble across American Renaissance or any other publication that might allow them to make sense of their experiences. Read more

On Dylann Roof’s “Manifesto”

Before Dylann Roof set out to commit the shooting at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church, he set up a very simple web-site called LastRhodesian.com and posted there a manifesto that referred to his intended actions. I think that it is worthwhile to examine Roof’s manifesto for some clues about how he ended up doing what he did.

Roof says that he grew up in the South, having “a small amount of racial awareness, simply because of the numbers of Negroes in this part of the country.” Southerners in general probably do have a better sense, compared to White people from other places, about how Blacks behave. This was not a clear White racial consciousness however; rather it was the kind of dissimulating defensiveness promoted by the likes of Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck, with its rhetoric of deflective counter-accusation characterized by Roof as “Blacks are the real racists.”

Roof was shocked out of this weak orientation based on fear of being called “racist” by the drumbeat of anti-White propaganda that began with the absurdly biased reporting on the case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin in 2012 and 2013:

The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?

Although Roof’s main theme was biased media-coverage of Black-on-White crime, this was not mentioned in an article on Roof’s manifesto by one of the leading culprits, the New York Times. 
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The Rachel Dolezal Phenomenon

The case of Rachel Dolezal, the “trans-Black” who is the head of an NAACP chapter and has apparently reported false “hate-crimes” is all over the Internet. It’s hard to know if this is just a case of rent-seeking by someone taking advantage of Black privilege or a case of someone who really does identify as a Black person. Or both.

Regarding the first possibility, in addition to her position as head of an NAACP chapter, Dolezal has parleyed her Black identity into a position as professor of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington State University and chair of the office of the police ombudsman commission in the city of Spokane (on the application she claimed to be “a mix of white, black, Native American and a number of others.” Reminds one of Elizabeth Warren’s claim of Cherokee ancestry which she made to three separate employers, the University of Texas Law School, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Harvard Law School. Or Vijay Chokal-Ingam. Or non-Jews in Hollywood who pretended to be Jews to get ahead (crypto-gentiles?) (see here, Note 40).

Her story also recalls Brenton Sanderson’s article on Andrew Bolt, the Australian who got in serious trouble when he called attention to the fact that there was a huge increase in the number of people claiming Aboriginal descent after Aborigines were granted loads of benefits. Lots of them look White to me.

The ideological nature of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act [which provides penalties for saying true things related to race and ethnicity] was starkly illustrated in the case brought against conservative commentator Andrew Bolt. In 2009 Bolt wrote two columns pointing out that individuals with very small amounts of Aboriginal ancestry (or in some cases none) were taking advantage of a raft of government scholarships and affirmative action job vacancies by choosing to identify exclusively as Aboriginal. Bolt claimed these people were choosing to identify as Black to leverage their career and social advancement.

Hipblack

 

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Excerpt from “My journey to race realism”: Reformers’ search to close “the gap”

The following is the second of two excerpts from an article, “My journey to race realism,” to appear in the Summer issue of The Occidental Quarterly. Prof. Ray Wolters is Thomas Muncy Keith Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Delaware.

First Excerpt: The Burden of Brown

Before 2010, I was aware of evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology.  As mentioned, during the 1990s I began to read American Renaissance, and about the same time one of my chums from grade school and high school, a bank examiner named Gene Stelzer, bent my ear with comments about Darwinism.  Gene was also the first person to call my attention to The Occidental Quarterly, a journal I later came to regard as an indispensable guide to understanding White racial consciousness.  At the University of Delaware, education professor Bob Hampel kept me informed about some of the best recent books in his field, and social scientist Linda Gottfredson told me about gene-culture co-evolution.  But from mainstream historians I heard and read nothing about Darwinism or the interaction of culture and genes, and my own written work was still based primarily on archival research.  It was not until 2010, when I was laid low by lung failure and could no longer rummage through archives that I began to read deeply and to think seriously about evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology.  As it happened, at this time I was also thinking about the modern school reform movement, which since about 1990 had become, above all else, an effort to close the achievement gaps that show American Blacks and Latinos lagging behind Whites and Asians on standardized achievement tests.

In some ways, the reformers’ concern with test scores is surprising.  In recent international comparisons, African Americans have done better on standardized tests than Blacks in Africa or the Caribbean.  Hispanic Americans have done better than Hispanics in Latin America.  White Americans are doing better than students in other predominantly-White nations (except Finland).  And Asian-American students have done as well as most students in Asia — and better than those in Korea or Japan.  These results were achieved, moreover, at a time when an increasing proportion of American students were being reared in single-parent families and a growing proportion of parents did not speak English. Read more