To the Editor: Re: ‘Get past anger—help schoolchildren’

Editor’s note: The following writer is replying to an editorial that appeared in the Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010, issue of the Rockford Register Star.

While I certainly hope and pray that such a simple approach, cajolery, would work against a stubbornly entrenched community racist situation, we never have seen it work anywhere else in the country.

In some (maybe all) situations of abuse and enmity in a community, the root cause of it all, the abuse itself, must be removed.

For example, cajolery alone would never have worked to remove all the suffering we had with King George’s abuse. And it seems that it can never work to remove community turmoil over Northern Ireland’s discriminating bigotry. For success in all such cases, the abuse itself must be removed.

Here in District 205, we’re back to square one again; after all the suffering by black students from “separate and unequal” education, followed by big civil rights gains, strongly supported by President Eisenhower’s action at Little Rock; in defiance of Kerner On Racism; in defiance of recommendations from our 10-year discrimination lawsuit; oblivious of all the solid research on the subject, like that of Jonathan Kozol, who, since the ’60s has been going all around the land and publishing book after book on his findings—the latest titled Shame of America—Return of Schools to Apartheid; after hiring a Confederate superintendent to do just that while calling it by a different name, “zoning.” But people with a smidgen of perspicacity can see through that; people like the little boy who recognized the emperor’s new suit. Remember the bard of Avon’s comment: “A rose by any other name would smell the same”? But so would a pile of road apples under another name. Lies, lies, lies. How many lies will make one truth? As many road apples as it takes to make a rose.

But, enough of that—because it behooves us to get on with community damage control, now that the damage has been most deviously done, our schools having been returned to apartheid, partly through a farcical charade of “democratic” consensus by community bigwigs, an action more descriptive of bully behavior—with the majority contingent (Caucasian) of our population voting against the minority.

There are some actions that can be taken to mitigate community suffering from the abusive racist machinery already in place. For starters, what could be the harm in lining up a few positive actions to bolster our black students’ confidence in “separate and unequal” education? Like: 1) Effective action, with written assurance, to supply black- zoned schools with the highest-quality teachers and principals (fearless of “racial contamination”). How? Maybe incentive pay!! 2) Educational materials (books, computers, whatever…) equal to supplies in any east-side school zones!!! 3) End ALL disproportionate disciplinary actions (especially after recent news of that kind of abuse here); 4) Charter schools; 5) Other inspirations for honest fairness.

Roy Mayer


One thought on “To the Editor: Re: ‘Get past anger—help schoolchildren’

  • January 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    This article is nothing but silly.

    People are making their own childrens conduct and education in Rockford a racial issue, and blaming the schools. This community, and yes, seemingly the “Black Community” is putting the blame and burden everywhere in this issue, except where it belongs.

    These things, education and conduct, begin in the home. Parents, how are you raising your children? What are YOU teaching them. Are you making sure that they understand their schoolwork? And, if you can’t help them, because of your own (or lack of) education, are you making a phone call and checking into the FREE tutoring programs?

    The decisions that our children grow up to make are based in what they see, hear, and learn at home.

    I grew up destitute, and my parents couldn’t help me with my homework. But, I got the help that I needed, graduated high school, and joined the military. I took college correspondence courses while in the military, and then went to community college when I got out (while I worked to support myself)and earned my Associate’s Degree. I then applied to a 4-year school, and, while working to support myself, received my Bachelor’s Degree. I am now working toward my Masters Degree (while working and raising my family).

    I didn’t sit and expect society to do everything for me. I did what every man or woman, regardless of color, should do. I worked hard to do the best that I can. Not just for me, but for my family.

    It isn’t society’s responsibility to work hard so that you can have all that you want handed to you. An education can be gotten anywhere in any school. You just have to work hard to get it, instead of sitting around and complaining that it isn’t just being handed to you, and life’s too hard because of the color of your skin.

    Be a bigger man or woman than that, and apply yourself an work hard. Quit complaining that life isn’t easy. Successful people are successful for a reason, and it isn’t because they sit around waiting for handouts.

    And, if it weren’t for those people, the people who do sit around and whine/cry because life’s too hard, and they think that society owes them because of that wouldn’t be getting all of the handouts that they already do.

    Segregation is over. The school district is drowning in debt. Let’s quit taking the easiest shortcut, and trying to find an easy target to blame for our own laziness, and do the right thing. Otherwise, we’ll never get anywhere.

    There’s no substitution for hard work and laziness.

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