Friday, February 19, 2016

The Case for Reparations Undermines the Ed Deform Argument That Schools and Teachers Matter Most

I've been listening to Brian Lehrer on NPR on the reparations for black people issue and lots of interesting ideas have been put on the table. One of the dominant points about historic and institutional racism is the long-term effects. Schools and education are symptoms, not causes. One fact I just heard this morning: black college graduates are worth $10,000 less than white high school grads. Pretty astounding when you hear Obama and the rest of the ed deform pack shift billions of dollars into a focus on everyone being a college grad as the solution.

Ed deformers focus on teachers and schools as a way to hide their real agenda - to undermine teacher unions and local community controls. By weakening these institutional forces they create the wedge to privatize schools and allow billions of  dollars to flow from public to private hands.

The reparations movement, whether you agree with it or not (note that holocaust victims got and still get reparations from Germnay), has opened up the door to a full debate. When anti-ed deformers brought many of these same ideas up (like the effects of poverty) they were charged with status quoism.

Tie the reparations discussions into the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton debates over this issue and race and there is a lot to chew on. I heard Bernie trying to skirt the issue by talking about poverty and class as an alternative to racial identity politics.

A certain segment of the left find the race/ class discussion often very divisive. Over my 45 years in organizations that tried to grapple with this issue, there has been no issue that has caused people to line up on different sides of the fence, even in the same organization. MORE has grappled with this almost from the beginning and at some point after the elections I hope there will be a fuller airing of views on the race/class analysis.

Here are 2 views on the issue:
Class vs. Race how the liberal elite just don’t get it

Bernie seems to be coming from this direction:
We should be talking about class in America as much as race issues


  1. Race and class are inextricably linked in American history. Focusing on social class alone is a diversion from a true analysis of poverty in our society.

    Abigail Shure

  2. When Rep. John Lewis parses his words to indicate Sanders was absent during the fight for civil rights while also implying Clinton was front and center and when Al Sharpton sells his soul to Joel Klein, it makes it difficult to listen to anything else they have to say with respect to equity for people of color. The 1% don't care what color of people they are stealing from. To put a divide between working class people based on their color is exactly what the 1% want and results in Black vs White or White vs Latino etc... rather than the 1% and their bought and paid for politicians and media vs THE REST OF US. Bernie Sanders being grilled on his alleged lack of support for Obama and Clinton's pandering death-grip-hold on Obama are a bit nauseating because it is evidence of a political system that seeks to breed ill will amongst working class people based on color and plays right into the hands of the 1% who are laughing their asses off, while lining their pocket with our money, as we fight with each other over race. The same problem exists on the republican side. Marco Rubio tries to make hay out of Ted Cruz not speaking Spanish—implying he’s not Hispanic enough to get the Hispanic vote. The Bush family clutches onto to Jeb’s Hispanic wife. Trump blaming Mexico for all of our ills. It’s all pandering bullshit and dumb Americans --black, white, Hispanic are lapping it up. The same can be said about gender issues. Albright and Steinem turning on women voters because they aren’t supporting Hilary was equally nauseating. We can't have a grown-up conversation about race or gender or anything else until Americans of all colors, sexes and creeds boot the self-interest driven politicians out of office. And we can’t do that until Americans grow-up and recognize that just because the candidate is the same race, religion or sex as you doesn’t mean they actually give a shit about you. Sorry, Albright and Steinem (and screw you, Randi) but this middle aged woman voter sees Hilary Clinton as the corporate whore she truly is. Sorry, Lewis and Sharpton et al but Obama failed to live up to his promise. Sorry Jeb, Rubio and Cruz-- I don't care about your Hispanic ties or how much Spanish you speak. You are all still corporate whores. Sorry Trump but the fact that America is in such a sad state of affairs that many have made you (1 out of the 536 American billionaires) a beacon of hope just makes me sad. I may not be 100% confident that Sanders will be a great president but he’s the only one in the running who isn’t taking money from the 1% or isn’t actually in the 1% and that’s a good enough start for me---Roseanne McCosh

  3. Thank you. The rich are always glad to have the rest of us fighting each other.


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