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Thursday, October 27, 2016

What excuses will they make this time?

Meaning that cadre of letters-to-the-editor writers and conservative pundits who so reliably say such stupid things whenever the subject is race. Indeed, race is the third rail of American conscience; to touch it is to be zapped by rationalizations, justifications and lies that defy reason, but that some must embrace to preserve for themselves the fiction of liberty and justice for all. Otherwise, they’d have to face the fact that advantage and disadvantage, health and sickness, wealth and poverty, life and death, are still parceled out according to melanin content of skin.

So they become creative in their evasions.

They use made-up facts (Trayvon Martin was actually casing the neighborhood) and invented statistics (black men and boys commit 97.2 percent of all the crime in America), they murder messengers (“You’re a racist for pointing out racism!”) they discredit the source (Can you really trust a government study?).

One waits, then, with morbid fascination to see what excuse those folks will make as federal data released last week reveal that African-American children are significantly more likely to be suspended — from preschool. Repeating for emphasis: preschool, that phase of education where the curriculum encompasses colors, shapes, finger painting and counting to 10. Apparently, our capacity for bias extends even there. According to the Department of Education, while black kids make up about 18 percent of those attending preschool, they account for 42 percent of those who are suspended once — and nearly half of those suspended more than once.

Armed with that information, there are many questions we should be asking:

Are black kids being suspended for things that would earn another child a timeout or a talking-to?

If racial bias pervades even the way we treat our youngest citizens, how can anyone still say it has no impact upon the way we treat them when they are older?

What does being identified as “bad” at such an early age do to a child’s sense of himself, his worth and his capabilities?

Does being thus identified so young play out later in life in terms of higher dropout rates and lower test scores?

How can we fix this, build a society in which every one of our children is encouraged to stretch for the outermost limits of his or her potential?

Those are the kinds of smart, compassionate questions we should ask. But again, we’re talking about the third rail of American conscience. So one braces for dumb excuses instead.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    It would be much more telling to find out what states this appears in more. I would be more than willing to bet that the Northeast and Northwest rank lowest in suspending Black Children from pre-school.

  • sigrid28

    The other group that fails preschool is made up of children with disabilities who fail to bend to the rigid conformity that dominates most preschool environments. These days teachers and assistant teachers (it’s a pay thing) are hired under a corporate model, so each can easily be replaced by a new inexperienced hire as soon as a salary increase is in order.

    • Paul Bass

      Having raised a child with disabilities, I agree wholeheartedly!

      “No child left behind”, really meant “label them special needs and then ostracize, shunt aside, and don’t teach”. Compassionate Conservatism my a$$!

      • Daniel Jones

        Compassionate Conservatism has always meant the exact opposite, anyway.. once the bullshit’s out of the way, they conserve the compassion, being utterly heartless **pricks** to everything that isn’t “like them”!

  • jointerjohn

    Those on the right will claim that it is because they come from dysfunctional family environments. They thrive on an ignorant stereotype which includes all fatherless African-American homes run by jobless and inattentive crack-head mothers. Just ask Paul Ryan, he will tell you all about it.

    • Paul Bass

      Yep, that’s right (He-He), my household is fatherless, jobless, inattentive and crack addicted. Those republicans sure know their stereotypes. NOT!

    • wjca

      And yet, if I recall correctly, the study accounted for those characteristics of the children’s environment. And still found significant diffferences.

  • Sand_Cat

    But isn’t that really what the whole “conservative” movement has become? They are a fount of excuses for the inexcusable, defenses for the indefensible, and justifications for the unjustifiable.

  • Joseph

    Why would they talk them away? They don’t care.

  • tdm3624

    If a higher percentage of black pre-schoolers are getting expelled than others, then sure, it could be racism, but it also may have something to do with poverty and culture as well. I would like to see if the pre-school expulsion rates for black Americans were the same percentage in a rich district as they were in a poorer district, for example.

  • charles king

    I have been around for(4 and some generations) and one thing I have learned their is Nothing that a human Can Not Do. There are five perspectives in this country (Yellow, Brown, Red, White, and Black) and everyone has a story to tell. Keep your Democracy alive and their is Nothing that can’t be solve. One thing I know is that Love and Education Works, Obamacare Works, Social Security Works, Medic-care Works and if the People VOTE out the People Who? are opposing these things I Would? find out What? the hell is going on in America. Critical Thinking along with the VOTE and Democracy there is Nothing You Can Not Do. Thank You are the magic words with me. I Love Ya All. Mr. C. E. KING