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Friday, July 5. 2013
Trying to teach in an underclass culture
(h/t American Digest)
What happened to large numbers of American blacks between the beginning of WW2 and 1970? Before WW2, blacks, mainly in the South at the time, led aspiring, family-oriented, church-going, bourgeois lives (despite social segregation). How and why did this subcultural transformation happen?
I blame government policy and the Law of Unintended Consequences. Charles Murray gets it. So does Justice Clarence Thomas.
The high school teacher begins:
h/t American Digest
Posted by The News Junkie in Education, Our Essays at 11:48 | Comments (42) | Trackbacks (2)
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Welcome to Progress....
If one was so obtuse, one would think this was by design, and not happenstance.
New Math isn't, New English wasn't, and the erosion of "old, stagnant ways" in need of "bold, new, and fresh strategies" are the foundation of this crumbling house.
What makes you think the consequences were unintentional?
Perhaps they were only subliminal? It is the Progs who created this disaster using their love of government violence.
Well, it's not like the problem is getting better or the causes are being removed.
So having not learned from history, we are doomed to repeat it.
It's the breakdown of the family.
All sorts of debris ensues - promiscuity, drug abuse, lawlessness, violence, abuse, neglect, gang family replacement, bad attitudes in general -
but these children are largely growing up with no dad. And it cycles down and down. Of course it shows up in their ability to learn. We are not machines. Abandonment affects us terribly.
These kids were never abandoned. They never had Dads around in the first place.
The "no dad" meme is BS. They might be a correlation but I call BS on causation. Based on personal experience. If so, I should be doing life without parole.
Might be poor parenting by those left? Might be urban living. I can't speak to those. I was raised by an unschooled (5th grade) widowed grandmother in what I learned was poverty. We didn't really know that until I was much older as we were doing quite well compared to the near starvation of my grandmother's childhood deep in rural Appalachia.
Remember, childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to get over.
I've seen childhood trauma come as some have weakened as they approached death, including in my grandmother. But until you are near deaths door, you fight or you suffer to pity. The choice of how you live is yours.
"Might be poor parenting by those left? Might be urban living. I can't speak to those. I was raised by an unschooled (5th grade) widowed grandmother in what I learned was poverty."
Read Clarence Thomas' book about his grandfather. That dignity and restraint has been lost and it may be very hard to recover.
I examine recruits to the military. A few weeks ago I had a black young man of 25 who told me he had 17 half siblings and he didn't care if he ever saw any of them again. He was drug free and joining the army. His language was a little rough but nothing like that in the essay. I wished him well. He had mostly been raised in foster care.
Unfortunately, those cases are rare and will get rarer.
This is all about cultural degeneration. Even Haitian black immigrants I come into contact with in the US speak grammatical English, and have high aspirations for themselves.
Its why several of the (true) Africans we have befriended turn their noses on our blacks - they call them lazy, shiftless, and unable to do for themselves and demand from others.
Funny, actually, since it would be called racism if whites said it.
One family owns a dry-cleaner shop, and another does some fine HVAC work. Every one of their kids has been on Honor Roll, and are fine citizens.
And, its the case - more recent additions have embraced the American experience, but established ones take it for granted... shameful how far we have fallen...
Interesting you should say that - I've seen this myself. And the interesting part is that I've also seen African Americans who don't want anything to do with immigrants from Senegal or Nigeria who are actually African by birth and heritage! They work harder, are willing to learn and broaden their experiences and in as a whole, speak better English than Americans. And this was true even when I was substituting at UCONN's School of Engineering - African Americans, when they actually tried to work within the confines of a rigid technical environment, eventually gave up because something was actually expected from them - performance. They much preferred softer subjects like communications or social work or "African studies" - some subject where they can complain about social injustice.
My experience of engineering school was that class + studying took over 60 hours a week. Semester with Senior Lab- over 70. And I wasn't stupid. That is the amount of work that the engineering profs hand out. Other students were working just as hard as I was, with some exceptions. There was the student who could do the homework problems in class - homework which took us hours. Which is why she went to grad school at the #1 school.
The amount of work it takes to succeed in engineering school was a shock even for me, so I can see how it would be even more of a shock for someone who didn't have my HS grades, board scores, and parents and other relatives with graduate degrees. The amount of work required doesn't mean you are stupid or that you can't do the work- it is the amount of work that hard-ass profs require. That takes a while to work through. [As it took me 9 years to get my degree, I have sympathy with those who see a roadblock. But what to do when you hit the roadblock- that is another matter.]
Part of the problem is that many blacks do not realize how hard many whites work to succeed, and correspondingly do not realize how hard they will have to work to succeed. Giving out easy grades does not help. It harms.
I am also reminded of the study from Duke about college choice versus choice of major, which suggests that it would be better for blacks to enroll in a college where the average SATs more closely align with their own SATs, if you want more STEM majors who are black. As opposed to communication majors.
I believe this is what they call a "core constituency" of the Democrat Party.
They are still Americans but it should not be a surprise that black high school students as depicted in the article seem to act like many (but not all) black elected officials.
Segregation was too harsh a means of accommodation and, based on results in Detroit, Birmingham and other black-majority cities in the US, a too open franchise doesn't look in black or white interest either.
Perhaps re-imposition of literacy tests or even property qualifications would limit the political damage to our republic.
One exchange that hit home:
"One day I asked the bored, black faces staring back at me. “What would happen if all the white people in America disappeared tomorrow?”
“We screwed,” a young, pitch-black boy screamed back. The rest of the blacks laughed."
One suspects that to be true.
Four years ago,Marty Nemko, who has a blog about careers, posted this article, which resulted in many comments. He apparently later removed the article from his blog, but posted many of the comments from the article in "A Nation of Cowards About Race?" A Full-Dimensioned Discussion of the Racial Achievement Gap.
I had an unsuccessful year teaching at a poverty level minority school. IIRC, the school was split about half and half between blacks and hispanics. While student behavior at the school left much to be desired- as my attempts to control student behavior left much to be desired- it was not as bad as presented in the article. A telling comment about student behavior was that on a field trip to a local manufacturing plant, student behavior was impeccable. On the return trip, the bus got rowdier as we got closer to the school. The students knew how to behave. It was a matter of pressing the right buttons. If you can't make us behave, we won't. Easier said than done.
I taught math. Both before, during, and after my year of teaching there, the school had made considerable improvements in scores on the state-mandated math tests. The improvements were NOT made by incessant practice tests. That is a total waste of time. Improvements were made by focusing on a given math skill that the state tested on- say adding fractions- and then focusing lessons on improving that skill. It can be done, but it takes a LOT of time and a lot of cooperation among teachers. No one person can do it alone- which means you get help from other teachers and help other teachers.
One thing this does is kill the model of teacher as playwright, who writes all that is done in the class. Rather, the teacher is the actor who delivers the script.
While state mandated tests are not easy for teachers, one reply to them is: do you want to make sure that you graduate students into colleges and universities who know basic math skills such as adding fractions? Without the pressure from state mandated tests, there will be such students who will enroll in college freshman classes without knowing such basic things as fractions. [Evidence: I knew a high school senior who told me that the only thing holding him up from being admitted to a given college was his passing the math part of the state mandated test. He eventually passed.]
A further point about teaching in minority/poverty schools is that successful teachers at such schools very quickly discard such liberal shibboleths such as "inclusion" or "multicultural." The ways to student success do not go via multiculturalism- they go by discipline and hard work.
I read the complete letter. It is fascinating. I wonder what it would be like if a lot of high schools were rigged with IP enabled cameras that one could watch from anywhere in the world. Nanny cams for the rest of us.
Here's two links which one could use to help lay the groundwork for one of the two forks in the road looming, more of the same, vs no more of the same; the left fork vs the right fork.
In both pieces the sections most pertinent to the thread are in the second halves. Both stories are of the same theme; the first is an old Georgia farmer writing in 1865, and the second is a scholarly piece of interest most acutely here in the quotes of an exchange of letters not long after the end of the Civil War, between Lord Acton and Robert E. Lee.
The excerpted thinking falls as directly as Newton's Apple into that hellish classroom of compound aggravated error.
And if looking at the past is pointless, then what's the point of looking at the future, as it will be the past again soon enough, just as it always has been.
PS, that theme of course being that reckless, aggressive central government policy syndrome, where Uncle Sam is still shouting "Damn the Torpedos, Full Speed Ahead!" even as he becomes Captain Ahab lashed to the main mast submerging with a gurgle and sinking still more, onward and downward and deeper ever deeper, unto their proud command issues forth as fine tiny bubbles popping out of the silt on the darkling bottom of the sea, there much indistinguishable of the desultory fartings of plankton.
--oops, forgot the point --that classroom would be a wholly different thing had the wilsonians not passed that 17th Amendment. Without the 17th, senators would burn down the federal's government before they would allow the schools of their states to become as such.
“'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."
I guess those black kids have Obama pegged right: he half-breed...in other words, an Oreo.
Oh well, the John Frum cult thrives in America...
Like DrTorch, I have seen excerpts of this post before.
I see no chance of these problems being addressed by our political masters in a positive way so it leads me to wonder; what happens to these people if the wealth transfer payments dwindle and then disappear?
"What happened to large numbers of American blacks between the beginning of WW2 and 1970?"
The "Great Society".
--the howlingly racist "Great Society". The soft bigotry of low expectations, fuzed with the hard narcissism of the 'holier than thou', and lit by the meteoric rise of the DC 'poverty pimp' public/private service industry, force-multiplied by the entertainment industry, and protected by the teacher unions' weaponized children.
Against all that, what was Ozzie and Harriet, and George and Weezie Jefferson supposed to do?
Especially being that they were TV characters who co-opted the identity of the parent couples with no names and no faces?
It's not what's going on that's the problem, it's WHY it's being allowed to continue, that's the problem.
Those who have never had contact with black people, particularly males, lack any insight into what that experience is like. As a 14 year old boy I worked in a Los Angeles liquor store and got an education on black behavior. A grown man made it a point to pick on me and challenge me to "go outside" if I thought I was so tough. I was a quiet boy and always courteous to customers. I still wonder at how a grown man can be so hostile to an adolescent non-black boy. Zimmerman found out.
Was the only white kid on my bus for 3 years in Pontiac schools right after court ordered desegregation, '71-75'.
The classrooms where EXACTLY as written in that essay. A chaotic mess of out of control kids caring about nothing except...Converse All Stars or 'Chucks' as they called them. A f'd up mess all around.
It's important to realize that while I have no doubt about the veracity of his story, it seems to be presented as a description of black society generally. Regrettably, it portrays a substantial chunk--I have no idea what the percentages might be--but by no means all the story.
There are any number of black Americans who learn something in school, have an idea how to behave in society, and on a personal and professional level can engage with the society around them.
In some ways this is saddening, because it's proof (if proof were needed) that the conditions described in the article, which do prevail widely, is not necessary or inevitable. There's nothing about blacks as people that compels this situation.
But in large swaths of the black community there is the severe cultural pathology described above. Anyone who tries to discuss this in general society is immediately branded as racist, of course, and his ideas dismissed from consideration.
I don't know whether the problem can be solved, but it won't be until we at least understand what the problem is. And there are severe pressures against that happening.
"Once I asked my students, “What do you think of the Constitution?” “It white,” one slouching black rang out."
Bravo! I have been fighting to put this message out for decades. It has been apparent since the 70's this was the case. This is a horribly painful subject, made all the moreso because the evidence was so abundant and so plain, and yet rejected by the willfully blind nomenklatura, apparatchiks and chattering classes.
As a baby lawyer years ago I was stunned when all of my young, female black clients were all mothers of multiple illegitimate children. I asked several why, since it put their children at such a disadvantage. They cared nothing for that; but instead said that the government would give them "baby money" for up to 5 illegitimate children, with the only requirement being that the fathers did not live with them. The mothers all knew this, and it became their career plan. Soon after came "dummy money", as they themselves called the government payments they received as soon as they could persuade school officials to classify their children as being developmentally disabled or intellectually limited. It is enough to make you weep.
Our Big Brother government incentivized the utter destruction of a stable, working culture in America. And in the process turned almost an entire race in America into the eternal vote slaves of the Democrat Party. Who says it was a mistake?
"What about black boys and white girls? No one is supposed to notice this or talk about it but it is glaringly obvious: Black boys are obsessed with white girls."
Based on 20+ years of personal observation, I've noticed the frequency of black male-white female couples far exceeds that of white male-black female couples. I'm not sure why that is. Back in the day, I suspected it was because more black men than black women attended college, but that's hardly true today. I've read that black women aren't too pleased by this apparent lack of "loyalty" on the part of black men. Frankly, when I consider the many beautiful African-American women I see in TV ads these days, I think they should look for happiness in life with the right guy, whatever his skin color. As I've written here on MF before, the most beautiful woman I've ever seen was a black Melanesian lady from Papua New Guinea, and if I hadn't been married, I would sure have been interested in getting to know her a lot better. Just sayin'....
Now that the plantation dwellers are aborting themselves into a less valuable voting bloc, it's time to import new and more satisfactory voters. Unions leaders and Democrat politicians - unconcerned about black workers jobs. After all, if they have jobs, they will not be so dependent on the Party and might just start thinking for themselves.
I went to public school where the majority of the student body was black. The Craigslist essay is just about the opposite of my experience. Too bad you're trafficking in this sort of trash.
Me too. Predominately black. One might even venture say a "ghetto school". And my experience was not thus. In fact, no slacking was allowed, English was spoken clearly (and I had one 5th grade teacher who use "schedule" in the British vernacular) and there were expectations. Black, white, whatever, homework was handed in! Disruption was not tolerated and for those who transgressed, the principal and the ruler across the palm awaited.
But then again, this was 1968...
I've noticed the frequency of black male-white female couples far exceeds that of white male-black female couples. I'm not sure why that is.
Steve Sailer wrote an article about this - google "Is Love Colorblind?". Long story short, men like feminine women while women like masculine men. Look at the average appearance of members of the various races and the question answers itself.
Interesting article. Thanks for the link.
Quote from Sailer: "On average, black men tend to appear slightly more and Asian men slightly less masculine than white men, while Asian women are typically seen as slightly more and black women as slightly less feminine than white women."
In short, black women and Asian men draw the short (biological) straw as black men seek out white women as mates (and vice versa) while white men seek out Asian women (and vice versa).
This is our future. It will continue downhill, more murders, more crime, more anti-European hate. This country will be torn apart perhaps even erupt into a civil war. Contrary to the left's beliefs and even to common knowledge this isn't the result of previous wrongs on the black community. It is nothing more then a couple of generations of the black mafia using race and the convenient black youth to extract/extort money and power from the system. While Jessie Jackson and his ilk have become millionaires pimping race and race baiting anyone who would try to speak up on what he is doing the black Youth have been used and abused by the so-called black leadership for their own purposes. No doubt the black youths really do believe what they have been force fed and that is the biggest crime from this racist mess. There are two ways to resolve human conflicts and the temptations and success of rabble rousing for fun and profit have pretty much excluded the peaceful method. Now we must all wait for the pot to boil to see exactly what neo-racism has wrought.
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The essay, I'll call it "Dreams From My Teacher", may well contain exaggerations, composites and fabrications in order to quickly and clearly present the pathology that surely exists in some locales. The majority of Americans (of all races) will never be confronted with these pathologies as long as they live in their own middle class neighborhoods, work their mainstream jobs and send their kids to suburban or private schools. The victims and perpetrators of these pathologies rarely leave their environment and others rarely visit it. Our system of welfare support and transfer payments are the price America is willing to pay to remain insulated. Rare, but increasing instances of flash mobs and public violence outside the 'hood will be met with harsh law enforcement response and further geographic isolation. I don't see this multigenerational disease ever being properly cured or becoming more widespread.
well, that's about a piece of work, feebs. Boxes the compass.
JKB @ 4.2, that was one helluva compressed landscape of a very moving comment.
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