05 Jul 2013

Trying to Teach the Black Underclass

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Bob Parks (who is black) posted an unusually frank essay describing all the kinds of things nobody talks about, originally posted by a teacher in the rants and raves section of the Mobile, Alabama craigslist.

The truth is usually a tough thing to accept, so I understand if this is flagged. It would be a cowardly thing to do, but I understand it. Some people just ignore unpleasant truths. However, if you think ignoring the problem, or trying to censor the truth, will help our black children improve, you’re dreaming. This is important, so I’m happy to repost – indefinitely if necessary. I find it interesting that NO ONE has had the intellect to refute anything in the essay. They can only attempt to censor it, as if doing so somehow makes it invalid. Weak minds, weak minds.

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. …

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.”

“Many black people make over $50,000 dollars a year and you would also be taking away from your own people,” I said.

She had an answer to that: “Dey half breed.” The class agreed. I let the subject drop. …

Surprising attitudes can come out in class discussion. We were talking about the crimes committed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and I brought up the rape of a young girl in the bathroom of the Superdome. A majority of my students believed this was a horrible crime but a few took it lightly. One black boy spoke up without raising his hand: “Dat no big deal. They thought they is gonna die so they figured they have some fun. Dey jus’ wanna have a fun time; you know what I’m sayin’?” A few black heads nodded in agreement. …

How did my experiences make me feel about blacks? Ultimately, I lost sympathy for them. In so many ways they seem to make their own beds. There they were in an integrationist’s fantasy–in the same classroom with white students, eating the same lunch, using the same bathrooms, listening to the same teachers–and yet the blacks fail while the whites pass.

One tragic outcome among whites who have been teaching for too long is that it can engender something close to hatred. One teacher I knew gave up fast food–not for health reasons but because where he lived most fast-food workers were black. He had enough of blacks on the job. This was an extreme example but years of frustration can take their toll. Many of my white colleagues with any experience were well on their way to that state of mind.

Read the whole thing.

From Vanderleun via the News Junkie.

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6 Feedbacks on "Trying to Teach the Black Underclass"

boligat

I couldn’t agree more. The culture shock is real. I taught in an inner city middle school in Kansas City, about 90% black, the rest Hispanic and white. To give one example, during the passing periods the boys’ bathrooms had no water, no paper towels, no toilet paper, no soap and no glass mirrors. During class the custodians came in and turned on the water, flushed all the toilets, cleaned the sinks, toilets, urinals and floors, and polished the stainless steel mirrors. When I asked why I was told, “The kids broke all the glass mirrors, ripped all the paper towel and toilet paper dispensers off the walls, stuffed rolls of toilet paper down the toilets, used the toilets and then flushed them, put paper towels in the sinks and turned the water on and left them to overflow.” The kids knew that they had to supply their own toilet paper, but often it was thrown on the floor. There was no need for paper towels because there wasn’t any water anyway.

I lasted one semester and then took a $14,000 pay cut to come to the school where I am now. My brother retired from the same KC system and I don’t know how he managed to last. He’s way tougher than I am.

Oh the stories I could tell.



SDD

“What would happen if all the white people in America disappeared tomorrow?”

“We screwed.”

When you grow listening to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton tell you to take more of what the white man produces rather than produce more yourself, it’s no wonder “why bother” is the predominate attitude.



Cindy

I remember the first day of teaching in an all black high school. I could feel the hatred towards me. I worked in special education and I found the only thing they understood was money, and how they could get it from the government. I lasted about three years. I got tired of the cheating and fraud. I remember taking one of my students for her food stamps. I was standing in line with women who had expensive handbags, fake nails and cell phones!



Mark30339

The testimony of teachers in these situations is alarming and found no where in the policy discussions on education. I wonder if public schools should be 2 track systems. One being 12 grades of education with admission based on respectful performance, and the the other being a shorter, military style basic skills and trade school. We are wasting billions on asylums run by inmates, just to mollify white guilt/white privilege.



boligat

I’m all for a multi-track system. The first split would be at 7th grade and another at 10th grade. If you want to switch tracks you can start over or pay for it out of your own pocket. You are correct we are wasting billions trying to get everyone into college. While it’s true that statistically speaking college seems to correlate with more income, with everyone going to college the bachelor’s degree has been watered down so much that it’s the new high school diploma. It takes a master’s to get anywhere, but that won’t last long either. It will go the way of the bachelor’s. Grade inflation/degree inflation.



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