Racism is defined by the messenger, not the message. And any time a Republican says something he’s guilty until proven innocent. That goes for black Republicans, too, because they don’t exist—once a black person becomes a conservative he becomes an enemy of the black people.
So, now that we’ve got that straightened out, let’s look at this:
Data to be released Friday by the Education Department’s civil rights arm finds that black children represent about 18 percent of children enrolled in preschool programs in schools, but almost half of the students suspended more than once. Six percent of the nation’s districts with preschools reported suspending at least one preschool child.
Advocates have long said that get-tough suspension and arrest policies in schools have contributed to a “school-to-prison” pipeline that snags minority students, but much of the emphasis has been on middle school and high school policies. This data shows the disparities starting in the youngest of children.
Earlier this year, the Obama administration issued guidance encouraging schools to abandon what it described as overly zealous discipline policies that send students to court instead of the principal’s office.
If the results of a policy show a disparity, it must be a result of racism and the standards adjusted until we have equality of outcome rather than equality of standards. It’s even defined as racist to suggest that black students may be suspended at higher rates because a higher percentage of them exhibit behavior that is actually unacceptable in the classroom, so we can’t even look more deeply at that question (at least so far):
The data doesn’t explain why the disparities exist or why the students were suspended. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder were to appear at J.O. Wilson Elementary School Friday in Washington to discuss the data.
The article goes on to discuss whether suspension is in fact an appropriate remedy for pre-schoolers. Perhaps it’s not; perhaps there are way too many suspensions at that level. But if so, that evaluation should have nothing to do with race or racial disparity.
This statement by Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of a think tank specializing in social issues affecting minority communities, seems out-of-touch to me:
I think most people would be shocked that those numbers would be true in preschool, because we think of 4- and 5-years-olds as being innocent.
I haven’t thought of 4-5-year-olds as innocent in a long, long while. I recall visiting a friend who worked in a summer camp serving inner-city youngsters when I was a teenager (which I can assure you was a long time ago), and I was stunned at the highly sexualized and aggressive acting out there by the very youngest. What’s more, about thirty-five years ago when I had moved to a lovely New England town, the first spring I lived there I opened my windows when the weather got nice and was shocked to hear the language and sentiments of the little five-year-olds walking home from school. Let’s just say they were not innocent, nor were they black; they were as white as white could be.