Op/Ed by Howard Eagle –
Truly, one of the most alarming articles that I’ve seen in the local, daily newspaper in a very long time and nothing short of a thinly-veiled, white-collar crime; It is absolutely baffling that we haven’t picked up our pitchforks and headed to 131 West Broad Street, and to Albany.
The article discusses how a $1.2 million dollar grant received by the Rochester City School District (RCSD) from the New York State Education Department to attract suburban student to city schools yielded a whopping 10 preschoolers from Irondequoit to the School 50 pre-K program.
As it relates to the mind-boggling, thoroughly illogical rationalizations reported by Bryant—aimed at so-called “socioeconomic integration,” which is actually coded-language for racial integration—somebody ought to go to jail. This is nothing short of Robin-Hood-in-reverse-embezzlement—the wealthy literally stealing from the poor, and enriching other wealthy and upper, and middle class folks, most of whom are definitely white suburbanites, period.
I could literally write a book on the madness contained in the article. Since these pages won’t accommodate that — let’s just examine some of the most blatant examples of how this situation clearly represents pure, raw, racism.
We can begin by stating upfront and unequivocally — anyone who would attempt to convince us that overall, this does NOT represent a criminal-waste of valuable, and supposedly scarce, taxpayer-dollars, is doing nothing less than straight-up insulting our intelligence. Thus, we can categorically and summarily dismiss the state’s completely unsubstantiated claim that “it learned valuable lessons that it can implement going forward.”—How ludicrous; how insulting. This is nothing more or less than acute rationalization as to why they should waste more money on this madness, i.e., why they should give their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, sons and daughters more money to continue chasing white, nationalistic, nepotistic, phony, pipedreams.
Relative to so-called “lessons learned”, the state claims it learned to use “3 phases” to help bring about ever elusive integration, and that the “Rochester City School District is currently in Phase 1 and studying issues related to segregation.
“The Professional Learning Community Curriculum is designed to give participants a comprehensive understanding of the root causes of racial, socioeconomic and other forms of segregation,” says the NYSED website. The latter assertion is nothing short of amazing. I mean, we can teach that in 5 words—Individual, Institutional, and Structural RACISM, end of study!
It seems that we ought to be sicker-and-more tired of being-sicker-and-more tired than mother Fannie Lou Hamer was of these people squandering our hard-earned tax dollars; and we ought to also be demanding to know when and where (specifically) is this so-called “studying issues related to segregation” taking place, and who is leading and benefiting from it?
We need to go see and hear with our own ears and eyes, especially since, after all is said and done, relative to their wildly-ludicrous, phony, failed integrationist schemes, our children end up, not only as guinea pigs, but also clearly on the losing end of the stick (while others are surely laughing all the way to the bank). How criminal!
With regard to reported beliefs on the part of white, bleeding-heart, super-liberals (such as some suburban parents who participated in the integration pilot program, declaring that “socioeconomic integration remains a goal worth pursuing”— we can put a stop to that noise by simply asking, if the pilot program had been housed at school number 4, or 9, or 45 (for example), as opposed to school number 50, the latter of which is located almost at the border between Rochester and Irondequoit, would they still have participated? Also, do we have to wonder whether or not school 50 had a new crop of predominantly white volunteers during the nonsensical, blatantly-wasteful, thoroughly offensive, and thoroughly ineffective integration-“pilot”-process?
As for bleeding-heart, pipe-dream-chasers such as Ms. Lynette Sparks, who is quoted in the article as having said “It is as structurally segregated as you can get,” we need to have a conversation about how it got that way, and how it has remained that way since the very beginning of public education. We need to examine where people like she, her parents, grandparents, etc. sent their children to school, and look at their roles in striving to ensure that “it is [and always will be] as structurally segregated as you can get.”
It’s way past time to dispense with hypocritical nonsense. If white folks really believe in and want racial integration, which IS the issue (no matter how much they attempt to shroud it in coded language), then it is their lily-white-dwelling-suburbanite friends, family and neighbors who must be convinced. After all, old, historical, deep-seated structural, racial segregation did NOT create, nor perpetuate itself (for centuries), and is NOT maintaining itself until this very moment—people are—period.
I am literally thankful to God that most black folks, and hopefully people of color in general, have long gotten past all inclinations relative to continuing to place any confidence at all in ‘dogs-that-won’t-hunt’ — by chasing elusive, unrealistic, phony, integrationist, pipe-dreams:
Other well-known super-liberals who talk-the-talk, but do not really walk-the-anti-racist-walk include abstract-talking U of R Professor Stephen Uebbing, who declared “It would take a change in public paradigm that education is a social responsibility as opposed to an individual responsibility… So we as a society would create a system focused on improving outcomes for all kids.” What??? What in the hell is that supposed to mean? Does that sound like something that we can get done anytime soon?—before we lose thousands upon thousands more Black and brown students to the streets, and to the job-producing, white- dominated and controlled jails? Where’s Uebbing’s sense of urgency?
Long-time, soon to be retired West Irondequoit Superintendent Jeff Crane also weighed in. According to his super-liberal rhetoric, “It was a wonderful experience for all the kids involved…” Now, how in the world would he possibly know that?
There is so much more to write regarding this travesty of justice (it literally could compose a book), but if nothing else (as the saying goes), let’s follow the money. In so doing, if we don’t understand (by looking at the figures at the end of the article) that mainly lily-white suburbanites are building their bank accounts on the backs of our children, and PRODUCING NOTHING SIGNIFICANT OR SUBSTANTIVE IN RETURN, then we really are ostrich-like—having our collective-heads buried deep in the sand, and/or so demoralized and uninvolved that we literally allow people to pimp our children with impunity.
Brothers and Sisters, this is wild. If we’re not ready, willing and/or able to pick up our pitchforks, please, let us at least demand (collectively) to know when and where (specifically) is the so-called “studying issues related to segregation” taking place, and who is leading and benefiting from it? Let’s at least put ourselves in the money-mix!!! Damn.
Howard Eagle is a longtime educator and local anti-racism advocate, known for his campaigns for the Rochester school board and prolific political and social commentary. Eagle taught social studies in the RCSD for 23 years, before retiring in 2010, and is now an adjunct professor in the Department of African American Studies at SUNY Brockport.
(The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)