"Racism is dead." "Too many black people are playing the race card." "Affirmative Action is unconstitutional and represents racism against white people." "All Lives Matter." "Political correctness is ruining America."
These and similar sentiments are common, perhaps prevalent, in these times. "Enough already -- slavery ended more than 150 years ago." "I'm not racist and am not responsible for what someone else did in the 19th century."
If that is indeed the case, please use the comment box to explain the following things to me:
Flint, MI is 60% black with 41% of its citizens living beneath the poverty line. Flint's children have been exposed to lead in the drinking water because of a decision to save money. The toxicity of the water was covered up for many months. Grosse Pointe Shores, MI is .6% black. 2.7% live below the poverty line. Please indicate what you think the response would have been if wealthy white children in Grosse Pointe Shores were exposed to lead in the water supply?
A group of heavily armed white men, labeled "activists" by the media, trespassed and occupied federal buildings in rural Oregon. The official response was to allow them to air their grievances, order supplies and allow the situation to defuse over time. Please comment on the likely police response if a group of heavily armed black men took over federal property.
Jim Cooley, a white man, carried a loaded assault weapon into the Atlanta airport. Cooley simply went about his business, supposedly keeping his daughter safe. John Crawford, a black man, picked up an air rifle from a shelf in an Ohio Walmart and was shot to death by police. Please explain what you think might have happened if John Crawford carried a loaded assault weapon into the Atlanta airport or if Jim Cooley shopped for an air gun at Walmart.
A prominent hedge fund manager in Manhattan is a leading advocate for "no excuses" charter schools, such as KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program), Success Academies and Democracy Prep. Well-documented reports reveal that children at KIPP have been punished by being labeled "Miscreants," students at Success Academies have wet their pants due to stress and the refusal to allow them to go to the bathroom, and children at Democracy Prep have been shunned, branded by wearing yellow shirts and literally forced into silence, with other children and adults forbidden to speak to them. This "reformer" is on the record saying that these means of discipline are necessary because these children, nearly all of color, "need it." His own daughters attend Nightingale-Bamford, a highly selective, expensive, majority white, girls school on Manhattan's Upper Eastside. Please indicate the way you believe he might respond if any of his daughters reported such experiences during their school days.
A quick web search yields hundreds of photos of smiling white men in public places, including stores and schools, openly carrying rifles or holstered handguns. Please comment on the likely response if a young black man, wearing saggin' pants with a large brimmed cap askew, entered a school or store with an assault weapon or loaded handgun.
Nearly every student of color in my school has been followed in a store or stopped and frisked by New York City police. I am not aware of any white student, during my 18 years as head of school, being subjected to similar treatment. Please describe the characteristics of these students that might account for the apparently different treatment.
A University of Chicago study examined the "call back" rates for job applicants with black sounding names as opposed to those with white sounding names. Their resumes were otherwise identical. Those with black sounding names received 50% fewer interview invitations than those with white sounding names. Please comment on the resume information that seems most likely to explain the lower number of interview opportunities for "black-sounding" candidates.
I will read your comments with great curiosity.