Saturday, April 6, 2019

What Really Degrades Us

This post is my response to the person who took aim at my writing last week with the following:

I can never take you seriously because 95% of the stuff you talk degrades a white man even if it has nothing to do with race.  It's like you live a breath it.  After awhile people just dont pay attention to what you say anymore.

Imagine how freeing it is to know that no one pays attention to what I say anymore. I could say anything!

Recommended reading: (H/T Dan Reed, Just Up the Pike)

Bethesda Magazine, Caitlyn Peetz

Racial Equity Concerns Surface at Public Forum on School Redistricting 

The Daily, a podcast from Michael Barbaro

Why did New York’s most selective public high school admit only 7 black students?

As we contemplate (yet again) the prospect of redistricting in Howard County, it’s crucial to put our purpose front and center. Does the redistricting process have a mission statement? It should. And it should be trotted out before each meeting and during each meeting and after each meeting if necessary. And the gist of it should be that our goal is to foster/create/sustain the best schools for everyone’s children.

No qualifiers. No “yes, but as long as it doesn’t change my neighborhood.” Or “As long as my child gets the good stuff.” And, absolutely, positively NO “As long as it doesn’t change my property values.” As far as I am concerned, if anyone tries to use these qualifiers perhaps someone on the committee can jot them down, put them in a ceremonial urn, and at the end of each meeting they can burn them.

The goal of the Howard County Schools and its citizens is to foster/create/sustain the best schools for everyone’s children.

If your response to this is that your child might lose something, then you are essentially saying that your child is benefiting from systemic inequities and you are invested in keeping it that way. It’s that childish, plaintive voice of Peanuts character Sally Brown as she dictates an enormously selfish letter to Santa:

All I want is what’s coming to me. All I want is my fair share.

If maintaining your “fair share” means that other people’s children get consistently inferior and limited learning experiences, then that is a picture-perfect definition of structural/systemic inequity.

From the Bethesda Magazine article, we see demands for de facto segregation:

"White families are being punished"
“They won’t be able to keep up and they won’t study."
"It’s not our fault those children don’t have opportunities. You can’t put that burden on us."

Sound familiar? And Montgomery County claims to be a progressive, diverse community.

Kind of like...Howard County.

Degrade: to lower the character or quality of.

If we aren’t working for everyone’s children, it absolutely is our fault that “those children don’t have opportunities.”  No one is degrading us here, we degrade ourselves.

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