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May 22, 2007

Who says it's "black trash" culture?

Beneath an entry called "My McDonald's Experience" are an awful lot of responses which attempt to take me to task for using that label. I think that everyone - and I mean everyone - who has done so was disingenuous: they know that the term is warranted, just as as the term "white trash" is warranted in other situations. In fact, it's more so, because the culture of the "black trash" variety actually gets supported and defended in universities and courtrooms as a separate and equally valid culture to that of the ordinary American variety.

Until now.

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- In a new twist in American race relations, a federal court has ruled that a white teacher in a predominantly African-American school was subjected to a racially hostile workplace.

The case concerned Elizabeth Kandrac, who was routinely verbally abused by black students at Brentwood Middle School in North Charleston....

...despite frequent complaints, school officials did nothing to intervene on Kandrac's behalf, arguing that the racially charged profanity was simply part of the students' culture. If Kandrac couldn't handle cursing, school officials told her, she was in the wrong school.

Kandrac finally filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and subsequently brought a lawsuit against the Charleston County School District, the school's principal and an associate superintendent. Last fall, jurors found that the school was a racially hostile environment to teach in and that the school district retaliated against Kandrac for complaining about it.

The defendants sought a new trial, but U.S. District Judge David C. Norton recently affirmed the verdict....

...[the] compelling issue for students, parents and society is the idea that a particular group of people can be allowed to behave in a grossly uncivil and threatening way by virtue of their racial "culture."

The key legal question was whether a school could be held responsible for students' behavior. In this case, the black children of Brentwood had been given a pass for their behavior because vulgar language was considered normal for their culture.

Defense attorney Alice Paylor told jurors that the kids heard this same language at home and there was "no magic pill" to make them behave. Paylor is probably right about that, though a magic paddle might have worked wonders.


Let's be clear: What these children called this teacher is beyond reprehensible and could be only be construed as hostile and threatening. Here's a sample: white b----, white m----- f-----, white c---, white a------, white ho.

Other white teachers and students corroborated Kandrac's account, including a male war veteran who testified he would rather return to Vietnam than to Brentwood.

Kandrac's attorney, Larry Kobrovsky, argued that the repeated use of "white" made these slurs racists in nature. But school officials insisted that because black students were equally abusive to other blacks, the language wasn't inherently racist.

Here's what we know without question: If majority white students had used similar language toward black students and teachers, the case would have been plastered on the front page of The New York Times until heads rolled.

A black Kandrac would have a million-dollar book deal, a movie contract and hundreds of interviews to juggle. Her oppressors and those who passively facilitated her abuse would have been pilloried by the media -- their faces all over the evening news -- while the reverends Al and Jesse organized protests.

But a white Kandrac -- who faced a daily barrage of insults, who had books and desks thrown at her and her bicycle tires punctured -- was treated like an incompetent wimp....

May the rest of America now be emboldened to act decisively in the interest of students who want to learn.

Anyone now who asks the question, tacitly or explicitly, "Who says it's 'black trash' culture?", now has their response - they do, through their defense attorneys, through their atmosphere of permissibility, through the examples that they show their children in their homes. And who are they? They are the people who both: a) engage in the behavior, and b) consider "it's our culture" to be a legitimate defense of the behavior. If there is a racial component to that class of people, I'll let the readers of this post decide for themselves what that racial component is.

But who says it's "trash"? Answer: I do. And, thankfully, so did that that court.

And no, there is absolutely no racism on my part anywhere in this discussion. In order for racism to exist, a judgment of a racial nature would have to be present. But the idea that any one of us can be judged by our race is absolutely absurd, and it's only the weak mind that engages in such folly. (An excellent article on racism.) Saying that all black-skinned people are part of "black trash" culture would certainly be racist; such a statement would be saying something about the members of a race. However, calling it "black trash" culture because those who participate in that culture are (nearly all) black-skinned is NOT racist. Not in the least. It says nothing about a race, any race; instead, it says something about that particular sub-culture. (Sort of like the difference between the statements, "all animals with fur are dogs" vs "all dogs have fur"; the first says something inaccurate about all animals which have fur, and the second says something accurate about dogs.)

Incidentally, near the end of the article was echoed a sentiment that I relayed within my McDonald's Experience post:

Though Kandrac lost her job, the real losers are the children deprived of an education by the actions of a tyrannical few. And the worst racists are those teachers and administrators who denied these empowered brats the expectation of civilized behavior.


Posted by Jeff at 05:52 PM | Comments (3)

May 16, 2007

The Walking Talking Definition of Courage: Ayaan Hirsi

A warning for America:

With Glenn Beck.

With Bill Mahar.

On Islam - part II

Posted by Jeff at 10:58 PM | Comments (1)

May 07, 2007

Congratulations France!!!

Nicholas Sarkozy is new French Prez

I love Sarkozy

Right-wing candidate Nicholas Sarkozy on Sunday became the new French President with an emphatic victory.

Poll projections said Sarkozy had around 53 per cent of the vote against Royal's 47 per cent. Turnout was predicted at about 85 per cent.


People saw the uncompromising Sarkozy as a more competent leader with a more convincing economic programme....

In Paris ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) members burst into chants of "Nicolas - President" and hugged each other in joy.

On the other hand at the Socialist headquarters in the capital city, there was gloom and sorrow after the party crashed to its third consecutive presidential election defeat.

Sarkozy's face flashed up on television screens after polling stations closed at 8 pm (2330 hrs IST), signaling his victory and setting off jubilant scenes among supporters gathered in central Paris.

While exuberant Sarkozy supporters partied in central Paris, police were deployed thousands in number in and around capital to head off the risk of unrest by youths from high immigrants areas, many of whom regard Sarkozy as a hate-figure since 2005 riots.

Sarkozy, 52...is a charismatic but divisive figure known for uncompromising, even brutal language.

These are beautiful, beautiful words: ...the [Socialist] party crashed to its third consecutive presidential election defeat.

Posted by Jeff at 12:08 AM | Comments (1)

May 02, 2007

Caption: "Mexican flag over U.S. dishonored flag"

Mexican flag over U.S. dishonored flag

May 1, 2007, Chicago, Illinois


Posted by Jeff at 03:17 AM | Comments (45)

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