Monday, January 16, 2006

On Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday, Think About How Far Back We've Slid

I don't mean to interrupt all the cheery talk about racial progress(As one of my favorite people once said in a discussion about whites' beliefs about their own racial attitudes, every few years, a study comes out that says, "whites: getting better all the time.") since the years of the Civil Rights Movement, but I have just been reading Jonathan Kozol's new book, "Shame of the Nation." The world Kozol describes in his book fits my experience pretty well. So-called "diverse" schools are often 90%+ African-American and hispanic. And surprise, surprise, the separate schools are unequal. Testing has twisted the meaning of education and the last twenty-five years of economic policies have hurt America's cities, making people's lives chaotic.
So, sorry I'm in a crabby mood, but it looks like that Alito is going to slide right onto the Supreme Court, and this terrible illegal waris still going on. And as a reflection of the larger policy problems, there are those widespread racist attitudes that people still exhibit. For example, we learned this year that it's still "hip" and "edgy" in some "alternative" social scenes to be a racist asshole.
However, I do go teach every day in a "diverse" school (ie, 85% "minority" according to one website) and it does feel like the post-civil rights era when I'm with them.... sort of.

yeah, yeah, yeah, let's all get to work.


bartelby said...

OK, you've convinced me to update my article about C.R.A.C.K. the group that gives drug addicts I think now $500 to get sterilized. Looks like they are doing a multi-city bus tour. granted it will draw on my old article but I will see what I can doG

Anonymous said...

From MissLaura at DKos -

Students Being Paid by Rightwing Group to Report on UCLA Faculty

"UCLA Students:
Do you have a professor who just can't stop talking about President Bush, about the war in Iraq, about the Republican Party, or any other ideological issue that has nothing to do with the class subject matter? It doesn't matter whether this is a past class, or your class for this coming winter quarter.

If you help expose the professor, we'll pay you for your work."

That's right. Students are being paid to report on their teachers' political views....

The payment schedule is "Full, detailed lecture notes, all professor-distributed materials, and full tape recordings of every class session, for one class: $100"; "Full, detailed lecture notes and all professor-distributed materials, for one class: $50"; "Advisory and all professor-distributed materials: $10"...

one of the major ways the right has attacked the academy and the left more generally is accusations of a PC Thought Police, roaming through your local university, stifling or downright censoring anyone who dares express an honest conservative thought. The poor, poor babies.

Meanwhile, well-funded conservative organizations are paying students to help attack their liberal professors; teachers who have been targeted by such groups have received hate mail and death threats.

So don't talk to me about "PC."...

reb said...

That freaks me out. Speaking of student/faculty advocacy groups, did any of you read those diaries about Alito's ties to CAP, such as his long-term friendship with the guy who ran it and his palling around w/Dinesh D'Souza?? How did that not make it into the hearings?