WTF 12/16… The elephant in the room

 

politics

The title of this column is “The elephant in the room”… and… no… it’s not about just the republicans… or the elehants as I like to label them… it’s about racism… bigotry… stupidity. Thats the elephant in the room that we need to talk about and be rid of. We need to tell the elephant to get the fuck out of our lives. That is if we have the balls… or the cherrries… to do it.

Let’s hope some day soon…

What racism is…

joe1When a high profile Congressional approved jurist… one of the Supreme’s… says this…

“There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well. One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.”

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that recently… Scalia historically has also been an opponent affirmative action issues.scalia cartoon 2

Strange… I wonder why he would think that way.

That brief he was referencing?

That’s an opinion from a book titled, “Mismatch,” by UCLA law professor Richard Sander and legal journalist Stuart Taylor Jr.

Essentially, the opinion states that when certain folks… black people… get admitted to certain schools and when their criteria is not equal to other folk’s… white people…but… they get in because a certain rule… affirmative action… says those schools need to admit a quantity of underprivileged/minority folks, that those black folks don’t do as well as, and, tend not to graduate as much as the white folks.

And, it’s worth mentioning that peeps on both sides of the fence…conservatives and liberals… elephants donkeys…. have voiced this opinion. However, it is also worth mentioning that as many that say this opinion is a valid argument about affirmative action’s efficacy, there are just as many folks out there that dispute it.

What all brought this about? Caused the justice to utter his controversial words? It’s this… Fisher v. University of Texas.

The gist of the case is an argument over whether the University of Texas-Austin’s use of race in a small part of its admissions decisions is constitutional.  About 75 percent of the students at the school are admitted through what’s known as the Top Ten Percent program, which states that a student who graduates in the top 10% of his or her class is guaranteed admission, regardless of race. The other 25% are admitted via a “holistic” process that takes race, and other factors, into account. It’s that “holistic” program that Abigail Fisher…who was denied admission for the university in 2008… is challenging.

The school says if it did not consider race as a criteria when considering that other 25% then those being admitted would almost be all white peeps. So as one of the legal beagles for the school were making this point to the supreme court folks good ole boy Scalia pipe up and said “I’m just not impressed by the fact the University of Texas may have fewer (black folks). Maybe it ought to have fewer. I don’t think it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible.”

Look it is a fact that black enrollments at universities and colleges are higher than ever. It’s also a fact that nationwide that black graduation rates tend to be low.

And sometimes the reason for that failure to graduate might even be because of the mismatch theory… that is some black students who get into a college just are not prepared for the college level courses and/or the personal discipline needed to make sure they keep up with their school work and attendance at classes.  Poor grades can lead to frustration that leads them to say fuck it and leave school or the school might say sorry your grades suck and there is no longer any reason for you to be here taking up space.

Another reason is that the racial climate at some schools ain’t exactly conducive to making blacks feel real damn welcome and if they feel discriminated against or even harassed on any level whatsoever they just might up and say fuck this shit and leave that school.

And yadda, yadda, yadda… blah, blah, blah… I could come up with reason after reason for blacks having  low graduation rates…

But, truthfully the main reason is economics.

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (JBHE) research has shown that two thirds… that’s 67%, almost 7 out of 10… of all blacks who drop out of college do so because they lack the access to the necessary moolah to make it through school.

Tuition is just the tip of the iceberg… there are added fees for this and that, the price of textbooks and then there are those damn living expenses. So, unless they can get a full ride… not just a scholarship that pays the tuition alone… that pays for books, room and board…the whole nine yards…it just can become a nightmare for many black students… hell for any low level socio-economic kid… to make it through college before he or she says fuck this shit.

Think about it… try doing it all… yeah, I know some of ya’ll can say I did it… but… how many can truly understand coming from a totally underprivileged financially troubled family where the student can’t get help from the family… obviously they can’t give what they ain’t got… and can’t get that extra economic assistance without going into full blown debt which will cause worse financial hardship.

So, they go get a job… find some local school to attend… try juggling classes… studying… working… finally after maybe even getting through a year or two… barely struggling the whole time just to get a C average… a 2.00.. and pay everything they gotta pay for… rent… tuition…other school stuff… travel back and forth … the everyday bills of life…  just find that it’s all too much and say fuck this shit and just quit school and try and find a job that might be better than what they got… if they can. Or, maybe they go do the street thing…who knows… but they ain’t in school no more and they probably don’t have a real good feeling about things in general either.

Studies show low-income students who scored between 1200 and 1600 on their SATs were half as likely to finish college as the same type of student who exist in the top 25% of the socio-economical strata.

Fact… economic hardships hurt a young person’s ability to graduate because sooner or later their reality becomes they need to work just to live and get by and school becomes less and less important and sooner or later full time student become part time student… then part time student becomes time to take off a semester to save some bucks and get above the sinking red line of being behind and in forever debt… then… Fergeddaboudit… they drop out forever.

Simply put… if you’re poor, your poorness doesn’t fade away just because you’re going to college.

In January, the White House released a report on increasing college success for low-income students that said that efforts  should be extended to aid poor… ahem, low income… students to better preparation academically and in fining a school that could offer the proper aid and help in becoming a successful college student.  The same report also said, “Low-income students face barriers to college success at every stage of the education pipeline, from elementary school through post-secondary education, sometimes in spite of their academic achievements.”scalia elite water fountain

One more time… being poor doesn’t end because some school says a person can go to their institution for their college education.

And that brings us to facing the fact of the real problem… low incomes that tend to wallow around minority groups… in this situation… black families. Why in the hell don’t black folks, for the most part, in poorer paying jobs, or, in the situation of being poorer than most white peeps in similar situations… yeah, quote me this study and that study and all your stories and fantasies and statistics and so-called facts and figures… but the truth is that black folks still don’t  fare as well in American society as do white folks and the real truth of the matter is real damn simple… racism…. so why in the hell don’t they?

I ain’t gonna get into any big drawn out thing about why it is because frankly if ya’ll don’t know the real truth then, fuck it, go off on your merry way and think how ya’ll wanna think but you really do know… if ya’ll ain’t a damn racist to begin with and still even then… the truth is that historically black folks have had to struggle because of what white folks have been doing to them in one way or another ever since Abraham proclaimed that black folks no longer should be owned as property and had a right to be free and equal to white people. Yet… for the longest time that opportunity to be free and equal was a long time coming, and, for some, they still are waiting to be free from discrimination in the work place as well as in life in general.

Racism in the U. S. of A. is institutionalized and effects many so-called minority people… not just black folks… but it is still instrumental for my purposes in explaining why there are so many black people, in comparison to the so-called white race, that fail or drop out of colleges. Institutionalized racism is a tool in how black families are still discriminated against in the housing they can get, the jobs, the health, and, yes, the education that they can receive… all of these factors help to keep a segment of black society poorer than the poor white segments of our society that are defined as white middle or working class.

And that folks is the main and the really real reason that a lot of black folks don’t make it through and get a diploma within 6 years of entering many universities in these yew nited states of amerika.

And, not some rants from a biased and bigoted judge, who happens to be a member of our highest court, who goes saying stuff that really just perpetuates the continuation of institutionalized racism in this country.

One more time… with emphasis…

But here is also another factor that enters into play here… a factor that one dude by the name of P. L. Thomas talks about in his blog  “A PLACE FOR A PEDAGOGY OF KINDNESS (PUBLIC AND SCHOLARLY WRITING BY P. L. THOMAS, FURMAN UNIVERSITY).

Thomas starts out by saying “It is a nearly imperceptibly short stroll from Donald Trump to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The arrogance of power is disturbing for its privilege and bigotry, but exponentially so for the cavalier brashness and absence of self-awareness.

Regardless of the position of power, Scalia’s racist pronouncements about the proper place of black students in higher education (again, a short stroll from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s rejecting affirmative action, which he himself used during his journey to the highest bench) are inexcusable.scalia cartoon

However, there is another story Scalia is inadvertently exposing: the negligence of higher education to teach the students who walk the halls and sit in the classrooms after being admitted.

He then challenges the concept of remediation… and he essentially states that many children…. from pre-K all the way through undergrads… are tagged with being remedial students… which says that these children shouldn’t be in the level of the class that is taking a specific course of learning.

He says… that it is hogwash… and that “All students are remedial, and no students are remedial.” He states simply that it is “… the essential role of a teacher and formal education is to identify what knowledge and skills students have as well as what knowledge and skills students lack (or need developing), and then to teach those students in that context.” (All emphasis are Thomas.)

He then gets to the nitty gritty of what is wrong and how racist Scalia is… and starts off saying that in the U.S. going to college is not a basic right and is usually a big-ass burden on the kids who go to college as well as their families. He continues and says that a number of young black people are admitted to colleges or universities for the specific benefit of the schools and that these groups of students are in that “remedial” classification… (they really shouldn’t be there but because of something called affirmative action they are)… and these students are “the exact type of student Scalia has now further marginalized with the damning blanket of racism.”

He then relates his experiences in teaching both poor… impoverished… rural southern folks as well as a selective liberal university and says that the two very distinct and different situations has  “… shown me that I often taught diligently at the high school setting with little concrete evidence I was successful (many students still scored low in standardized testing), but that I could (if I chose to do so) do very little with my college students (extremely bright and motivated) and there would still be ample evidence of success.”

He then defines an issue that he says nobody is discussing, “…beneath the embarrassment of Justice Scalia’s comments: vulnerable populations of students admitted to colleges and universities (often black, brown, poor, and English language learners)… those who need higher education the most… are being neglected by the very institutions who admit them, often after actively recruiting them…”

He adds that “The greatest difference between my successful and struggling students is their experiences and relative privilege before attending my university. Successful students have “done school” in ways suitable for college expectations before while struggling students rarely have. Too often, echoing Scalia, many in higher education shake their collective heads and mutter these students shouldn’t be ‘at our college.’”

And he ends with a scathing damning of the educational system that he is a part of…

“Too often, higher education is a place that simply has no interest in teaching… opting instead for gate-keeping (masking privilege with the bigoted allure of measurable qualifications), housing students for a few years, and then taking credit for the outcomes. Scalia’s bigotry, like Trump’s, is repulsive, but let’s not fool ourselves that it is somehow unique to a few privileged apples (who Ta-Nehisi Coates calls “oafish racist[s]”).

That bigotry is institutionalized (my emphasis) all across the U.S., and our places of higher education too often are those institutions.”

Nuff said… okay? Got it? It’s the racism… that is institutionalized… throughout this damn country of ours that is the real problem.

End that and we can deal with the other important stuff that we need to be dealing with… being free and equal and working together to try and get a better life for us all

Amerika… love it or leave it…

Recently, a judge got sworn in to serve on the bench. So, big freaking deal ya’ll say?

Right, I hear ya’ll… I mean… judges get sworn in a lot. So big whoop.

But… funny thing about Carolyn Walker-Diallo, who got elected last month in Brooklyn’s 7th District, when she took her oath last Thursday she did so while placing her hand on a Koran… Qur’an… a Muslim holy book instead of the usual Bible that is used. She happens to be a Muslim.

Made sense to me… she being Muslim and all…

I mean to me a holy book is a holy book and it made more sense for her to be sworn in on a book of her beliefs rather than a book that she kind, sorta agreed with but not totally. Right?

Yeah… well a lot of peeps didn’t quite feel that way.

Read on MacDuffs…

Carolyn Walker-Diallo
Carolyn Walker-Diallo

“I believe it is foolish for Muslims to be in positions of authority. It’s just asking for trouble, but, there is no point in swearing them in on Bibles, since Bibles means nothing to them. Unfortunately, their holy book tells them it is OK to say and do whatever furthers the cause of Islam.”

That’s from a Facebook poster and actually one of the less virulent statements made… though still loaded with poison.

From my perspective I really don’t get it… what’s all the hullabaloo about what book is used to swear someone in on anyway? Ain’t there something written down somewhere that says our political and justice system is supposed be separated from all the religious systems? All the religious sytems.

So, who cares what book is used.

And ya’ll wanna know something?

Ever since we became a nation folks been swearing oaths of office of one form or another. And, per the U.S. Constitution, what all needs to be done is that a person who is elected or appointed to an office must swear or affirm an oath to the so-called sanctity of their office.

There is no requirement that an officeholder swear on a specific religious text, or any text at all.

Just that they swear the oath to uphold the rules they got elected or appointed to uphold.

It’s fucking all symbolic… being sworn in to uphold the so-called sanctity of the office… in this case being a judge who is to pass judgments along fairly and justly. So, the person is asked to swear and uphold the principles of their office, and, if, they so chose to, to do it while they hold or touch something that is supposedly solemn and sacred to the person’s ethical and moral systems.

Besides Ms. Walker-Diallo is not the first Muslim judge to serve in the state. In 2013, Sheila Abdus-Salaam was actually the numero uno black woman and the first Muslim to be sworn in as a judge… actually, the Court of Appeals, the NY’s highest judicial body.

Also, back in 2006, In Minnesota, donkey Keith Ellison was elected as the first Muslim to serve in Congress. And guess what he placed his hand upon as he swore his oath? Yeah… that book… Shudder.

The capitol building is still standing back there in the Land of the 10,000 Lakes the last time I heard. No earth quakes… no other catastrophic happenings.  

Walker-Diallo, who was elected last month, was not available to talk about the senseless wrath she received after she raised her right hand and solemnly affirmed her support of the Constitution of the United States. But, does it matter… what could she… or… would she say? That wouldn’t be obvious…

And, ya’ll know something else? Why do peeps get all crazy about this stuff?

I don’t get it. I really don’t. Besides, anyone read the bible lately? All about how God wants his people to go around smiting these folks and them folks and turning to ash this city or that town.

No? Go ahead read you some Old T and check it all out… there be other shit in there too that might curl your hair…

Like ever check out stuff about this dude named Lot? How one time he gave up his virgin daughter to get raped?

Check it out… from the Douay-Rheims version of the Bible in Judges… it says… I have a maiden daughter, and this man hath a concubine, I will bring them out to you, and you may humble them, and satisfy your lust: only, I beseech you, commit not this crime against nature on the man.

There’s other stuff, too.mark twain bible

So, when peeps go around bragging on how great their holy book is versus some other person’s holy book is, maybe they ought to sit and read the whole damn thing and not just selected spots. Maybe they should read what’s in their book that makes it so damn better than the other book before they go casting stones, eh?

But, that’s not all some brainiacs at their computers had to say…

“Allah is not God. How does Islamic law apply in a sovereign U.S. court, Judge Walker. You know it can’t and you don’t believe in God’s law.”

Hmmm… wonder which of God’s laws might be getting referenced here? And, is it a Christian God or Jewish God?

And , who among us has ever met God and knows from real firsthand experience that they know God and what he… or she… thinks and wants?

If, anyone says they do know… I got a padded room for them.

Other words of wisdom…

“Is this America or the Middle East.”

“Another piece of shit Muslim, trying to take over this country.”

Ahhh… how great we Americans can be… swearing our allegiance to God and country… as long as its the right god and the right version of the country being sworn to.

Only in America… love it or leave it…

The lie…

Wanna know why I refer to Trump and Hitler in the same sentence sometimes…Nazi trump

Recently, Trump was holding a rally in Vegas at the Westgate Resort & Casino and less than10 minutes into the affair a person shouted out “We need gun control.”  And, some security peeps came over to usher his ass out of the place… I don’t have a big problem with that unless the dude was getting roughed up for no reason… and from all indications of the account I read about, the security peeps were not doing that to him…

BUTTT… as a closed circuit tape shows…  the dude sat  down on the floor and began shouting something about free speech and first amendment rights… one woman says, “Let him get up, let him get up!” while another person yells “Light the motherfucker on fire!” Another dude yells out “Seig heil!” and gives the Nazi salute.

On Tuesday morning, Trump said his rally was a rousing success and never said a word about the storm troopers who shouted out their inanities during his rally.

By his silence he speaks volumes…Hitler

Another man once said… “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it and eventually they will believe it.”

That’s exactly what Trump is doing, and counting on, as he runs his racist and chauvinistic campaign based on hate and bigotry.

Who said those words? … Adolf Hitler.

And his henchman, Goebbels said…

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Ya just never know…

Wanna know who else thinks Trump is an ass?

Former U.S. Senator and elephant prez candidate Bob Dole, that’s who.

In an interview on MSNBC, Dole was crying the blues about the present day elephant party that he called  “an extreme group on the right.” He also said that Trump was “over the top” and that he “couldn’t understand” how people supported him.BobDole1

Dole also criticized another elephant front runner… Ted Cruz… when he told MSNBC that “Cruz is so extreme, he’s not a traditional conservative” and then said Cruz’ so-called “achievements” of shutting down the government twice and calling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a liar on the Senate floor was a bunch of stupidity.

Dole also said that he seriously doubted that Ronald Reagan could win the elephant nomination, if, he ran in today’s climate of the extremist elephants.

And horrors upon horrors… Dole even said that the Bamster was a “very good man.”

He did add that he probably wouldn’t ever see a circumstance where he would support Hillary but that he also would never vote for either Trump or Cruz.

Shit… maybe Dole should run for Prez… naw…. then they might win the damn election.

Now the damn Muppets are not cool?

How in hell can the Muppets not be cool? They’re the damn Muppets!

A Marshfield, Wisconsin school board member wants to prevent kindergartners from reading a book by Muppet legend Kermit because it’s too graphic about poverty and is part of a curriculum that does not sufficiently highlight American “exceptionalism.”

The book being slammed is “For Every Child a Better World,” which was written by Muppet creator Jim Henson and was published with the United Nations. Whats “wrong” with book is it has drawings of suffering children, which includes one of a kid living in a box in the rain.book

The woman who will take her battle against he Muppets or rather Jim Henson to the school board says that “I just have concerns that it’s too graphic, even though these are Muppets characters. Unfortunately in this world there is a lot of war and strife and poverty; I understand that. I just don’t know how appropriate that is to be teaching that to 5-year-olds.”

The plan that the school board proposed was to have teachers read the book to the youngsters aloud with the intent to be to teach them that they should try to be concerned citizens who should try to do good in this world.

According to Amazon.com… the book has the most well known Muppet… Kermit… conducting a narration wherein he helps to teach “young readers about the plight of (other) young children who lack the basic human necessities and the efforts of the United Nations to provide such essentials as housing, water, food, and medical aid.”

In fact, of the 14 customer reviews on Amazon… they are mostly positive with many decrying the fact the book…written in 1993… is now out of print.

Done with proper care and consideration I see no reason why children… even kindergarten children… can’t be exposed to the fact that other children in this world don’t have it so damn good and that as they get older they should do what they can to alleviate poverty as much as they can.

Is that so damn terrible? For some… I guess it is…

Fucking brilliancy…

Guess what… people like me are damn fucking articulate. What say you?swearing

A new study says that people who curse a lot are also more articulate.

Psychologists Kristin Jay and Timothy Jay write in the Language Sciences Journal that “It is a common assumption that people who swear frequently are lazy (or) do not have an adequate vocabulary. (But) “Speakers who use taboo words understand their general expressive content as well as nuanced distinctions. The ability to make nuanced distinctions indicates the presence of more linguistic knowledge.”

So, the next time I fucking say something listen up because it damn well is probably being said clearly, distinctly and adroitly. Damn skippy…

 

This week’s gratuitous pictures…

 

hailey-outland

hailey-outland.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hailey McLaine Outland (rumored to be 19) new Miami model…

hailey-outland.5hailey-outland.7

Another thousand words…

dance

 

Tiny URL for this post:
 

Comments

comments

2 Comments

  1. Joe, I don’t know how you keep doing it. Another rouser of a blog!

    There are colleges that practice what they preach. I am now retired but for forty-five years I was on the faculty of a university which started working with prospective students who were in ninth grade (or earlier). The objective was to introduce the students to what would be expected of them in college — teaching them the academics was left to their school’s teachers. These high school students were brought on campus for visits and sat in on classes during the years through which they became high school seniors. The university went out of its way to obtain funds from governments, corporations, and private donors to support these students (along with other students in attendance).

    Some professors redesigned their classes to be more culturally relevant. Some professors didn’t. Students in these classes had to accommodate to a more classic learning environment. Entry requirements to the university were not lowered for economically or educationally disadvantaged students. Graduation rates went up. They were also higher than for the same groups at other colleges. It was far from perfect, but was the best that a small private catholic university could do. Improvements have continued to be made.

    The program (originally called Project One Hundred) began before I joined. It continues to this day (now called the Challenge Program). While a rare type of program in the mid-twentieth century, there are now many other colleges and universities with different plans than this one, but with similar objectives.

    I know how some of the megaversities work. I have two degrees from one and another degree from another. They are what punched my ticket to work for making the opportunities available to all who could benefit from them. They want to comply with the social ideal of being available to all, but don’t seem to have a clue about how to do it.

    But my highest career experience is the opportunity to stand in graduation robes with students who are the first ever in their families to complete a college degree. We are happy together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*