While traveling through Georgia this month I picked up a copy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and came across editorials by two conservative thinkers that could not get published in Chicago in either the xenophobic Sun-Times or the schizophrenic Tribune. Thomas Friedman, of the New York Times, and George Will of the Washington Post penned separate articles titled, respectively, FIXING SCHOOLS WHEN THERE’S NO SUPERMAN and DISPARITY, POVERTY: 2-PARENT HOME A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. What follows is an opinionated digest of what these renown writers had to add to the national dialogue on public education.
Friedman: Tom begins his piece by introducing a documentary film, WAITING FOR SUPERMAN (WFS), directed by the same pinhead that gave us Al Gore’s scary movie, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, David Guggenheim. WFS follows five children and their parents who enter a lottery to get into a charter school because their local schools are miserable failures. Guggenheim, consistent with his mushy liberal core admits that his original egalitarian intention to send his own children to public school never materialized; he said, ‘My feelings about public education didn’t matter as much as my fear of sending them to a failing school. And so every morning, betraying the ideals I thought I live by, I drive my kids to a private school.’ The urban translation of David’s courageous confession is: I didn’t want my precious brats to get their butts kicked by the children of illegal immigrants or a posse of wannabe Hip-Hop artists. By the way, courage in modern America has been reduced and redefined to include anyone who cites talking points, victims of terminal disease, and community organizing.
I applaud Guggenheim for a rare moment of integrity from a card-carrying leftist who acknowledges that, in practice, liberals often dictate standards and create rules of social justice for people other than themselves. Both the Oval Office Obamas and the White House Clintons chose to eschew public schools and send their progeny to private institutions. Gugenheim later added, ‘But I’m lucky. I have a choice. Other families pin their hopes on a bouncing ball, a hand pulling a card from a box or a computer.’
Whereas Friedman, using Guggenheim’s lightweight revelation as a guiding light, merely opens the door to a sensitive subject, cantankerous George Will dives deeper into the problem set and provides us with usable data.
Will, like Friedman, uses an intermediary to tote his message: Nathan Glazer, sociology professor emeritus from the mothership of most of America’s stupid thinking, Harvard. Glazer believes we are living within a rhetorical paradox where there is almost a total absence of of discussion on the ‘black condition‘ and public policy.
The deafening silence from poverty pimps and Negro apologists are eerily timed to coincide with the disintegrating presidency of the novice Commander-in-Chief, Barack Obama. Nevertheless, there are some inconvenient truths that have enveloped the nation’s black population and doomed them (us) to a shrouded future that African-Americans can no longer blame on a racist nation. The dark quiet does not conceal them.
Sadly, only thirty-five percent of black children live with both parents, a damning statement all on its own. Additionally, whereas 24% of white youngsters watch 4 or more hours of television a day, 59% of black kids sit idly in front of the boob tube. I do not think these kids are watching the Discovery and History channels. By age four, the average child in a professional family hears thirty-five million more words than a welfare child with a single mother. This likely accounts for the mindlessly repetitive lyrics in Hip Hop music.
Will reports that educational researcher, Paul Barton, estimates that 90 percent of the differences in students’ academic performance are based on five factors: (1) days absent from school (2) hours students watch television (3) pages read as homework (4) the quantity and quality of reading material in the home and (5) the presence of two parents in the home.
The digestible but unpalatable conclusion: Professional class parents go out of their way to provide an amenable learning environment for their children while the seventy percent black illegitimate birth rate sabotages any chance a regular Negro kid has of competing with his white peers for a niche in our highly competitive economy. For every 100 college degrees conferred on black men, twice that many are earned by black women, which consequently, is another indicator that portends the extended prevalence of the dreaded single mom phenomenon. Furthermore, those factors that determine academic success cannot be ameliorated by public policy like charter schools, voucher programs, or midnight basketball.
The family is both the primary source and root cause of a child’s shot at prosperity in America. Most Negro youth are struggling to compete in a technology heavy culture while they have one parent tied behind their back. Madness.