Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tomthemick@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

King Turning Over In His Grave


If you’re a public school teacher and you’re white, you’re probably a tool of institutional racism and you need to be re-educated. Don’t fret though. The Obama Administration is issuing guidelines that will help you become more conscious of your “whiteness.”

Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder cautioned school districts about their “overly zealous disciplinary policies” that, according to an AP story: “lead to a school to prison pipeline that discriminates against minority students.” The guidelines “[tell] schools that they must adhere to the principle of fairness and equity in student discipline or face strong action if they don’t.”
Actually though, they’re telling schools they must do just the opposite of [adhering] to the principle of fairness and equity. They’re telling schools to judge students by the color of their skin and not the content of their character. Martin Luther King would be appalled.

Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have been intimidating schools, I mean “gathering data” for a while now and they claim that: “Although black students made up 15 percent of students in the data collection, they made up more than a third of students suspended once, 44 percent of those suspended more than once and more than a third of students expelled.” Neither Holder nor Duncan offer any data evidencing that racial discrimination is what causes the disparity. They assume no one will ask, I guess. To them, the numbers are enough. If blacks are disciplined more, it must be because of racism, not because of their behavior.

Around the country, the school districts being intimidated, I mean, “studied,” have tried kissing up to Holder and Duncan by spending millions re-training teachers to root out their unconscious “institutional racism” and make them conscious of their “white privilege.” According to Williamette Week “Portland Public Schools has [sic] spent millions to help stop racial profiling of students in discipline cases. [but] The problem is getting worse.” Principal Verenice Gutierrez of Harvey Scott K-8 School in Portland said the very mention of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches could be racist, because minority students may not eat them.

I’m not making this up.
Nathan Harnden, writing in “The College Fix,” describes the extensive trainings, staff meetings, classroom observations and other workshops teachers must deal with to change their teaching methods when dealing with minority students. He quotes the “Portland Tribune”: “[T]he first day of the school year for staff, for example, the first item of business for teachers at Scott School was to have a Courageous Conversation - to examine a news article and discuss the ‘white privilege’ it conveys.”
All this comes from a company called “Pacific Education Group,” or “PEG” owned and operated by Glenn Singleton who has become rich by charging school districts huge fees. Like President Obama, Singleton is a disciple of Derrick Bell’s “Critical Race Theory” which purports that something called “systemic racism” permeates white culture. Virtually all us white people are consciously or unconsciously racist, so Singleton, Obama, Holder, and Bell are determined to cure us of it. PEG sends its trainers coast to coast on the taxpayer dime to do so.
Bell: "I live to harass white folks."

first wrote about “white privilege” seven years ago. My wife received indoctrination while working at Tri-County Mental Health in Bridgton in the 1990s. At least one, and probably several of the student teachers assigned to my classroom was assigned Peggy Macintosh’s 1988 essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by the University of Southern Maine as are thousands, perhaps millions of other college students around the country. The 15th Annual White Privilege Conference will be March 26-29 in Madison, Wisconsin. Many, if not most, will attend at taxpayer expense.
In his first major speech after being confirmed as US Attorney General in 2009, Eric Holder said America was a “nation of cowards” when it comes to talking about race. This writer would suggest that Mr. Holder is obsessed with it. He threatens “strong action” against schools that suspend black students or turn them over to law enforcement more often then students of any other color. He wants schools to treat disruptive young black males as victims of racism at the hands of teachers insufficiently conscious of their “whiteness.” Black students need “restorative justice” delivered through “courageous conversations” (whatever the heck those are) rather than discipline.
Our race-obsessed Attorney General wants more power over public schools. He wants to reinforce the idea that all black people are victims and ramp up white guilt because that’s what put the Obama Administration, and him, in power. It got Obama reelected and insulates Obama from criticism for destroying our economy, our health-care system, our foreign policy, for spying on the press, and for using the IRS to harass his political enemies. 

Looks like I retired none too soon from my long career in the public schools. There’s no way I would sit through a training session on “white privilege” quietly.

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12 Comments:

Anonymous Texas Transplant said...

By George, I think you've got it!

1/14/14, 1:56 PM  
Blogger Robert A. Cobb said...

This is the now debunked gender bias under a new guise. The same problem is in each of these "problems," no one has proven that a problem exists. Some screams wolf and people line up to suck money out of education to kill the wolf...before we see if it really exists. What a bunch of sheep.

1/14/14, 2:36 PM  
Blogger George Fogg said...

How do these idiots justify the high black on black crime when no whites are involved? The problem is not an unfairness of discipline, rather a disparity in who causes the problems.

These people will not be satisfied until they have ruined a once great nation! It won't be long now.

1/14/14, 3:22 PM  
Blogger Robin Gudrian-Dilks said...

Tom,
Nice article as always. I tend to agree with you that the Obama administration is very good and inflaming (racial discrimination) as an issue. I find that at this point in history most average people don't see it as racial but rather a parental or discipline issue that stems from the home..

Although currently we all must endure while Obama and his crew continue to strip our government of the structure that was put into place by the founders of our country.
It is our own doing that he is in power. To make an issue black or white at this date is just ignorance on their part. It is a shame that they would try to create an issue that doesn't exist. I agree Dr. King would be appalled if he were alive today. This was not his dream.

I will be very glad when this current administration is no longer in power. It is very scary when you think about it, that those at the seat of power promote racial discrimination. What is even more appalling is that Obama's own mother and grandmother are white so you would think that he would understand the truth of the matter a little better and be responsible. Racism exists solely because of the ignorance of the few who refuse to be responsible for their own actions.

1/15/14, 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a nice right-wing slant that you've placed on this story, but I'm pretty sure Holder's intent is simply to make sure schools use the same punishment guidelines for every student, regardless of race. Based on the numbers, it's pretty clear that is happening in our country (albeit not necessarily at every individual school). I just don't buy your argument that disproportionately more blacks are poorly behaved than their white counterparts. And if they are, in your opinion, then by all means, feel free to present your beliefs on why that is or how to correct it? It seems people on both sides of the political aisle are quick to point out the shortcomings of their opponents, but much slower in offering alternative solutions. Based on your article, it sounds like you think the best solution to the disproportionate number of minorities being disciplined is simply to leave everything as is. Sorry, but that's simply not good enough.

1/16/14, 9:06 AM  
OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 said...

"...withOUT regard to..."
It's the law.
Wait...WHAT?

CaptDMO

1/17/14, 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Greg said...

Poor Tom. So eager to hop on any right wing bandwagon that he constantly makes himself look ignorant by parroting back all the nonsense he gobbles up.

He would like to believe that blacks are treated the way they are simply because their behavior warrants it.

True?

“In fact, racial disparities in suspension rates have raised increasing concern nationally because the data shows just the opposite – that black students are more likely to be suspended for more subjective and less serious reasons.”

The report (had he bothered to read it) said that suspensions in are often given for minor misconduct such as talking loudly and disrupting class and that black students are 67 percent more likely than white students to be suspended for similar offenses involving disruption or disrespect.

The history of racists being too cowardly to even admit their own feelings goes back to the KKK being too cowardly to show their faces.

Blacks are being suspended at a much greater rate for the same offenses as whites. That is what studies show. Get your head out of your Faux news Tea Party haze and join reality Tom.

1/21/14, 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet Tom would blame all the lynchings of blacks in the past on the "fact" that because of their behavior they deserved it more than whites.

1/21/14, 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

A study of 2008-2009 suspension rates for North Carolina schools found black students suspended at rates much higher than white students for the same infractions: eight times as much for cell phone use, six times as much for dress code violation, twice as much for disruptive behavior, and 10 times as much for displays of affection.

So there goes the simpleton theory of Blacks are Just Worse Behaved.

1/22/14, 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MLK would roll over in his grave knowing this disparity is still going on. He would love it that people are still fighting to rectify this crap.

1/22/14, 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if Tom ever tires of having all the air leaked out of every arguement he tries to make. He is like a real-life SNL skit - the character who is always on the wrong side of every arguement.....funny stuff!

1/24/14, 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Curtis said...

Wow a lot of haters here. I thought the article was brilliant, informative and loaded with facts. Not opinions like the haters!!!

2/8/14, 12:00 AM  

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