"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, November 12, 2012

Obama Pushes Apartheid Charter Movement in Georgia Over the Top

My first year of teaching was in Georgia in 1971, one year after the end of segregation in Washington County, where I would teach Title I English at TJ Elder Jr. High School.  The personnel director (before people became human resources) wore a white suit and white patent leather loafers, and he grinned widely as he told me that he was glad to welcome another young white family to Sandersville.

The head of the little English department at Elder was a little blue-haired woman who leaned against the door frame as I dug around the book room looking for something, I didn't know what, that would be good for my students, who were almost all black, since the year before private Baptist academies had sprung up all over Georgia to keep the white children away the black ones.  The department chair told me I shouldn't be worrying too much about choosing books that would work, for as she said, smiling sweetly, "after all, Mr. Horn, a nigra is a nigra and there's nothing you are going to do about that."

Now forty years later the white folks have another resegregation strategy that involves academies, too, but this time around they are paid for with public dollars, run mainly by corporations, are all white OR all black, and supported by America's first African-American president.  What would Vonnegut say if were alive today?

The big referendum in Georgia sailed right through last week, due primarily to some bombardment of ads on Black Radio paid for by the oligarchs and featuring a mash-up of supportive remarks for charter schools by Barack Obama.

The story is here, the ad below:

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