Race to Disgrace

A society is defined by what is tolerated and for whom—and by whom.

In a country with a moral center, or at least a moral free press, this story would be a scathing exposé, spurring public denunciation.

But in the U.S., it is a story about “polarizing methods and superior results”—a gutless mess of misinformation and “fair and balanced” journalism that includes this dispassionate reporting:

At one point, her leadership resident — what the network calls assistant principals — criticized her for not responding strongly enough when a student made a mistake. The leadership resident told her that she should have taken the student’s paper and ripped it up in front of her. Students were not supposed to go to the restroom during practice tests, she said, and she heard a leader from another school praise the dedication of a child who had wet his pants rather than take a break.

What is the common characteristic of students in punitive, test-prep “no excuses” charter schools, like the one above, all across the U.S.?

What is the common characteristic of the teachers found guilty in the Atlanta cheating scandal?

What is the common characteristic of the professional educators fired (and replaced by TFA recruits) after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans?

The answer is the same as, What is the characteristic of who is disproportionately in U.S. prisons? Disproportionately arrested, charged, and convicted of crimes? Disproportionately disciplined in U.S. public and charter schools, expelled as early as pre-K?

The answer: The race to disgrace is black in the U.S.—a country without a moral center, without a moral free press.

3 comments

  1. leyland7659

    Great approach! Just ask the question and readers will answer for themselves, but this is what troubles me. It is not that what is happening in the areas you mentioned is no abberation, no outliers and unwritten policy.
    I am very worried about the social future of the USA.

  2. Lloyd Lofthouse

    Freedom of the press is not a guarantee of honest and balanced reporting, and it never has been.

    That freedom that comes from the Bill of Rights only means the government can’t legally control what the media reports.

    Instead, the control of the media comes from whoever owns it in the private sector. Before the golden age of journalism near the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, many of the country’s newspapers were politically biased and often had titles that included Republican or Democrat in the masthead, and the people who subscribed to those papers wanted to read a bias that matched their own—similar to talk radio shows today. For instance, Rush Limbaugh’s audience would have been the same audience that subscribed to private sector newspapers that were owned by people who thought just like Limbaugh’s audience does today—back then, that probably would have been papers with Democrat in masthead as part of the name of the paper. The Republican Party of Lincoln is not the Republican Party of today, and the Democratic Party that once dominated the racist southern states until the Civil Rights era is not the Democratic Party of today. In fact, the Democratic Party of today isn’t even the Democratic Party that existed before Clinton became President.

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