Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Notorious TigerHawk comment troll and erstwhile TigerHawk roommate, Christopher Chambers, was interviewed about segregation, de jure and otherwise. My sister responds and expands on her blog. Apart from Chris' apparent denunciation of "course behavior" -- seriously? -- it was solid work by both of them, I'd say.
Good points all around but I would heartily disagree with the last point: "We can start to retrain our brains though, by spending less time in the echo chamber of the internet, and more time making an effort to interact face-to-face, and with an open mind, with people who are not like us." I think the internet provides many opportunities to interact with people who are not like us whereas in our own "little neighborhoods" it may not be the case.
The gentleman (erstwhile Tigerhawk roomie... no doubt from some sort of penal institution) points to a lack of funding due to property value taxation issues as one cause of poor schools.
Are our schools really underfunded? Or would a missallocation of available funds be a more accurate assertion.
I dont buy that point.
Only by the measure of "desired income for teachers" would anyone describe schools as underfunded. Any objective comparison to all the countries of the earth would show that our schools are richly funded.
I agree that funding is not the issue for our schools. All the data show that we spend plenty of money on them. We just do it in stupid ways. Part of that is our desire to combine diversity, democracy, and standards all in one institution: (1) Local democratic control of the schools, (2) demographic and socioeconomic diversity, (3) high academic standards. I submit that you can have any two, but not all three.
"points to a lack of funding due to property value taxation issue"
Not in California.
We changed all funding decades ago to a model of efficiency by having all the money doled out from Sacramento on a non-discriminatory per pupil basis.
It didn't work.
The families that value education still do well, and the ones that don't, don't.
While we are on the subject of Christopher Chambers, is he really as racist as he sounds? I can never tell if his "white guys" and "cracker" routine is a friendly personal jab at Tigerhawk as in Gran Torino, or if the the man is the hate filled sociopath his online persona exudes. I can't imagine you would give continued exposure to the latter. Personally, I don't like anyone I don't know writing about my skin color the way he does.
So it may appear to you knowing him. But it is done with such consistency, frequency and irrational vehemence that it does not appear so to me. His presence is a thread-ender for me.
If anyone comes back years from now and reads the man's words, I suspect they will be seen as abject racism.
The Corner discusses today noises our Education Czar, Arne Duncan, has begun to make on the subject of education equity. Specifically he is talking about disproportionate underrepresentation in AP classes of kids from African American and Latin backgrounds.
Education is supposed to be a meritocracy. Arguing that the most difficult classes should include people who have proven themselves less academically able fatally undermines that basic principle.
I'd love to understand Duncan's thinking on this issue, assuming he's thought it past simply trying to find a way to find a way to justify Federal intrusion into local school board decision making (which is what I suspect he is really trying to do). If Duncan has his way, no liberal will send their child to public schools!
i suspected as much. I can deal with that.
However, he really should put out some kind of disclaimer.
Tigerhawk was my room mate at Princeton and I can call cracker if I want to. I have nothing but respect for all of you other white people out there.
I didn't think the points were particularly strong. I think they were a good expression of a common wisdom that has has the slight disadvantage of being untrue. Tyree's point is key: "It didn't work." Until that is acknowledged, no further progress can be made.
Tangent: there are exceptions to that generalisation, and the common wisdom is not entirely wrong, but until the basic truth of the simple statement is allowed into their discussion, they will provide nothing of value to others.
As to the wished-for disclaimer. Dream on. The effect is calculated. He does it because he can, and if he had to interact in groups that did not tolerate it he would easily stop it. It is a milder version of the scene with the frogs in Perelandra. Not pretty at all.
Much of our true personality comes out in our humor. I don't humorously call my black friends "spades" or "niggers" because I personally find the terms offensive and degrading.
I have generally stopped responding to his comments on this blog, for many reasons. First, he never really has anything useful to say. Second, he never responds. Lastly, I think he's a bigot...and I don't care to encourage them.
As to the topic: The wholesale destruction of urban education is merely a corollary of the contemporary destruction of the black family unit. Anybody who voted for Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society can step up and take your prize now.
So...flash forward. We have a black president. We are allegedly living in a "post-racial" society.
Except, for many blacks, it's important that they keep SOME kind of discrimination alive. So the cooice is either to resurrect racism..or call it "classism".
Choose whatever "ism" you want. It still implies that somebody owes a complete stranger something for nothing.
...and THAT seems to be the basis for Mr. Chambers politics.