Lyndon Baines Johnson was an old school, bare knuckles politician, hard-edged and bluntly obscene. He was very much reflective of his Democrat party, a party dedicated to segregation and the superiority of the white race. He is widely reported, in speaking about his “Great Society” plan, to have said:
I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.
Some claim Johnson never said such a thing, but it is certainly in line with his everyday speech and demeanor, and he certainly expressed similar sentiments. Johnson died in 1973, and thus far, he has been successful. Hook a people on government handouts, reward them for anti-social behaviors, convince them that hard work, honesty, reliability and obeying the law are for suckers, and they’ll support those that feed those beliefs–and their pocketbooks–with few exceptions. Black Americans, circa 2016, vote at rates of 90%, sometimes more, for Democrat candidates making those kinds of promises.
But how does a political party ensure that kind of support? By destroying generation after generation, and the destruction falls most grimly on young, black boys, the majority of whom grow up without fathers, and the young men they become–if they live long enough. That process of destruction begins in school, where black children are convinced they are untouchable. They don’t have to behave, learn, or accomplish anything. There are many examples, but a brief, preliminary lesson in human nature is necessary:
The “broken windows” effect is nowhere more operative than in schools. The term refers to not only a correct understanding of human nature, but its application in a broad social context. Classically, it refers to the reality that if the windows of a building, say a warehouse in an industrial area, are unbroken, if the building appears to be occupied and maintained, it will tend to stay that way. However, let one window remain broken for even a brief time, and soon, every window will be broken, the building will be entered, and its contents stolen or destroyed. Obviously, honest citizens won’t break the windows, steal or destroy, but some portion of any population inevitably will.
This understanding has an obvious application in policing. When New York City, under Mayor Rudy Guliani, adopted broken windows policing, that meant that the NYC Police aggressively pursued less serious, quality of life violators. They arrested people for urinating and defecating in doorways, they employed stop and frisk (Terry stops) to let criminals know they were being watched and were likely to be caught, and the quality of life in NYC dramatically improved. The concept is simplicity itself: when criminals know they’ll be caught for smaller crimes, they tend not to commit larger crimes. Now, under Progressive Mayor Bill DiBlasio, broken windows policing has been abandoned, and crime is once again running rampant. The decline in the overall quality of life in the City has been rapid and dramatic.
The human nature lesson is obvious and striking: let criminal personalities get away with smaller offenses, and they’ll inevitably escalate to serious offenses. Its application to the school setting should be obvious, and urgent. Unfortunately, all too often, it’s not.
Imagine, gentle readers, a group of human beings with little impulse control, people who tend to be selfish, unable to defer gratification, aggressive, enormously immature, even cruel. Put those people in an institutional setting surrounded by potential victims, and make it plain to them—and to their victims–their behavior, no matter how outrageous or criminal, will have few or no consequences. What could possibly go wrong?
The St. Paul school district supplies the predictable answer. Katherine Kersten, at the Weekly Standard, writes:
The most dangerous places in St. Paul, Minnesota, these days may not be the city’s tough East Side or Frogtown neighborhoods, but its public schools.
At Como Park and Humboldt high schools, police have been called to quell riots involving dozens of students. At Central High School, a teacher was body-slammed by a student and hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury. ‘Classroom invasions’ by students settling private scores have become a fact of life.
At elementary schools, meanwhile, out-of-control kids overturn chairs and attack their classmates, as teachers stand by helplessly. A teacher caught in a fistfight between two fifth-grade girls was knocked to the ground with a concussion.
Public schools should be among our communities’ safest places. Why do St. Paul’s schools increasingly resemble Lord of the Flies?
The transformation dates from 2011, when superintendent Valeria Silva launched her ‘Strong Schools, Strong Communities’ initiative. The plan sought to engineer a dramatic reduction in the suspension rate for black students, who here, as nationally, are far more likely to be suspended than white students.
That Progressives routinely label their supposedly transformational programs opposite of their reality is a terrible irony. The “Affordable Care Act,” provides neither care, nor is it affordable. Even progressives have exposed every promise about it made by Mr. Obama as a lie. Silva’s “Strong Schools, Strong Communities” initiative is no different.
Silva’s ‘Strong Schools’ initiative was at the forefront of the crusade for racial ‘equity’—a top priority of the Barack Obama administration’s Department of Education. Equity in this context does not mean fairness, but racial statistical parity in school discipline rates, regardless of students’ actual conduct.
Equity proponents claim that teachers’ racial biases are the primary cause of the discipline gap. Silva maintains that ‘defiance, disrespect and disruption’ are ‘subjective’ student behaviors, which teachers perceive and punish in discriminatory ways.
Silva is not alone in perpetrating such destructive nonsense. The Obama Administration has been relentless in its attempts to impose the same kind of racist destruction on schools and children.
[In 2014,] Education Secretary Arne Duncan made clear that his department considered racial differences in discipline rates ‘simply unacceptable’ and a violation of ‘the principle of equity.’ ‘It is adult behavior that needs to change.
Powered by that kind of defective, racist reasoning, the pattern developing across the nation is easily recognizable:
Silva’s campaign to eliminate racial disparities had two components. First, she retained a ‘diversity’ consultant called the Pacific Educational Group [PEG]—at a cost of at least $2 million to date—to compel teachers to confront their ‘white privilege’ and develop ‘a true appreciation’ of their students’ cultural ‘differences.
Ah! And would this be an ancient, unique and valuable culture characterized by wearing baseball caps sideways or backwards, the crotch of one’s pants around one’s ankles, heavy drug use, unrestrained violence against members of the same culture (and others), and absolute defiance of authority and the law?
I wrote about the Pacific Educational Group in 2015 in Of White Privilege and Peanut Butter and Jelly:
There is no doubt that socioeconomic status can have an effect on academic achievement, but claiming whites are somehow ‘privileged’ and that privilege somehow magically prevents others—particularly blacks—from having successful lives, is not only insulting, even inherently racist, but idiotic. It assumes that black people are genetically intellectually inferior, or that white people can somehow repress black intellectual performance against their will. It also claims that only by allowing black children to adopt the worst and most thuggish aspects of urban black “culture” can they find academic achievement.
Only people that cannot understand why that is the height of idiocy and educational malpractice would knowingly hire PEG for such indoctrination.
In every respect, my mid-sized high school proves it to be nonsense. Black students—indeed, all students—must follow a dress code. They can’t wear gang colors, allow their pants to hang around their ankles, wear hats backward–they can’t wear them at all indoors or carry them around—and must maintain other grooming and behavior standards. Teachers are in charge and any student challenging that reality immediately discovers their mistake. Anything resembling gang behavior is ruthlessly and immediately extinguished. There are no excuses, no valid claims that one’s culture makes it impossible to be polite, punctual, hard working and sincere. It is not surprising that when kids have no real choice but to behave and learn, they behave and learn, and color makes no difference. Children are amazingly adaptable, and if adults maintain unbending boundaries, kids will, for the most part, live up to them. Allow them to excuse stupid, rude and criminal behavior and a complete lack of performance regarding culture or anything else, and some will take advantage of that negative and destructive opportunity.
It is important not to equate bad, self-destructive behavior with some kind of holy culture beyond reproach. It is particularly important not to excuse, in any way, that kind of behavior.
The only culture allowable in school requires deference to authority, politeness, the ability to concentrate and complete tasks, reverence for learning and accomplishment, and the ability to be respectful of the rights and needs of others. Anything that makes difficult, or impossible, that culture, cannot be allowed.
Racially abusing white educators was only the first step for Silva:
Second, she dropped meaningful penalties for student misconduct. That signaled to kids they could wreak havoc with impunity. For example, ‘continual willful disobedience’ was removed as an offense punishable by suspension in 2012. The new plan provided that disruptive students generally just chat with a behavior ‘specialist’ before returning to class, or be moved to another classroom or school, where they would likely act up again. [skip]
At elementary schools, kids spew obscenities, beat up classmates, and upend trash cans. One parent told City Pages that on a visit to her second-grader’s classroom, she saw anarchy so extreme that it took the teacher an hour and a half to read two pages to the class.
Forget revenge attacks, classroom invasions, and the more colorful crimes now common in the St. Paul schools. If children can’t be required to be quiet, or to remain in their desks, education grinds to an immediate halt. If children can openly defy teachers, no learning will take place. Kids that want to learn, can’t. If kids can get away with threatening and assaulting teachers, from that moment forward, no one–student and teacher alike–is safe.
Behold the backward consequences of the Strong Schools initiative:
The greatest victims of ‘equity’ rules are the disproportionately poor and minority students who must struggle to learn in increasingly chaotic classrooms. Minnesota’s racial achievement gap—already one of the nation’s widest—will likely [likely? Certainly!] continue to grow until policies change.
In the justification for any such insane policy, to whatever degree progressives bother with justification, one data set will always, without exception, be missing: actual, documented cases of students being wrongfully punished because of their race, or punished in excess of the seriousness of their behavior. Usually, not a single case will be cited, because there are none. For those pushing such policies, that kind of reality is beside the point, unworthy of notice.
School discipline policies, by law and professional practice, are progressive. Not politically, but in escalating consequences for bad behavior. It is certainly possible for a student to be expelled for a single offense if it is sufficiently serious or dangerous. Students caught attacking others, bringing weapons to school, using drugs, etc. can find themselves immediately suspended regardless of their past record. However, for most students, being expelled for “continual willful disobedience,” requires many offenses over time. Students up for expulsion are afforded full due process.
It is, of course, necessary to ignore professional practice and actual research and experience to obtain the kind of progressive policies Silva has instituted:
Equity proponents blame teacher bias for the racial discipline gap and claim that discriminatory treatment contributes to a ‘school-to-prison pipeline.’ But a 2014 study in the Journal of Criminal Justice—which utilized a large national data set and was one of the first to assess student misbehavior longitudinally—found that ‘the racial gap in suspensions was completely accounted for by a measure of the prior problem behavior of the student.’ That problem behavior manifests itself in many ways. Nationally, for example, black males between 14 and 17—high-school-aged—commit homicide at 10 times the rate of their white and Hispanic peers combined.
The most significant problem behind the racial discipline gap is taboo to mention. Nationally, 71 percent of black children are born out of wedlock. For white children, the figure is 29 percent. While the city of St. Paul will not release out-of-wedlock data, Intellectual Take-out—a Minnesota-based public policy institution—determined through a FOIA request that a jaw-dropping 87 percent of births to black, U.S.-born mothers in St. Paul are out-of-wedlock, compared with 30 percent of white births.
Research makes clear that young people in fatherless homes are far more likely to engage in antisocial behavior than their peers. Tragically, the problem we face is best characterized not as a ‘school-to-prison pipeline,’ but as a ‘home-to-prison pipeline.
Thus do “equity” true believers destroy the very populations about which they profess to care so much. It is tempting to believe that the horrific effects of not only allowing, but encouraging, children to behave like feral barbarians are an unintended consequence of noble intentions: righting the wrong of white teachers subjectively abusing black children for merely being black.
The true believers know exactly what they are doing, and they don’t care. Their dogma is of absolute importance. The broken lives of little people lining the road to progressive utopia matter not at all. Though they claim to care very much for favored and currently useful victim groups, statists care nothing for individuals. Government has no conscience, only insatiable appetites for money, votes and power.
As I wrote in Willful Stupidity For Which We Will All Suffer:
A primary goal of K-12 education is socialization, teaching children how to behave in adult society so that when they join it, they will be able not only to survive, but to thrive. The goal is that they become producers and consumers, not destroyers and parasites, that they be able to participate in a republican democracy.
Any school that does not have serious, fair, systematic and certain disciplinary procedures is not a school. It’s merely a training ground for criminals, and a dangerous, violent daycare for everyone else. Any school where the adults are not unquestionably in control in every way is a disaster.
Allowing children to be rude, stupid, violent and destructive is the worst kind of negligence, and more, it’s arguably child abuse. It is the wellspring of civilizational destruction.
Indoctrinating and manipulating the young has always been the modus operandi of Progressives. Make them unable to survive without the state, keep them in a constant state of outrage and chaos, and occasionally deliver trinkets like Obamaphones, and they’ll live down to Lyndon Johnson’s prophecy. Racism isn’t dead; it’s alive and well in the St. Paul school district, and in the Democrat Party.
Young black men will be most, but not the only, victims.