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Please Watch the GOP Convention

Diane Ravitch's blog

I encourage readers to watch as much of the GOP convention as you can stomach.

I watched last night and was appalled by Chris Christie’s speech, in which he “prosecuted” Hillary for her “crimes” and invited the audience to shout “Guilty or Not Guilty.” Of course, they happily shouted “Guilty!” every time. Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Christie seemed to be auditioning for the job of Attorney General in the Trump administration.

The vitriol directed towards the Democratic candidate for president was truly disgusting. There were repeated chants of “Lock her up! Lock her up!”

I had the sick feeling in my stomach that if Hillary were to walk into the Quicken Loan Convention Center, the mob would burn her at the stake.

The Hillary Hatred was over the top.

When the election is over, one of the two major party candidates will be president. How can they govern when so much…

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Black Flint Rising: After the fix, will injustice remain?

march 7 2016

“My fear is in two years, pipes will be fixed but all the injustices that brought this about will remain,” declared Dawn Demps at a Friday night forum titled #BlackFlintRising, A Conversation about Flint’s History of Racial Injustice and the City’s Current Crisis.

The forum was organized by the Advancement Project, a multi-racial civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. Demps was responding to the question “What is the fight beyond fixing pipes to move Flint forward?” posed by Advancement Project moderator Chelsea Fuller.

“We don’t have resources, jobs or money; our lives are disvalued,” said panelist Tim Abdul-Matin, outreach director of the M.A.D.E. (Money, Attitude, Direction, Education) Institute, adding that the city’s poverty rate is 45 percent.

Demps, executive director of UPASS (Urban Center for Post-Secondary Access), said Flint is a “typical urban depressed, decayed area.” She said lead poisoning hit hardest at those living in predominantly African American north Flint.

It’s an area with no major grocery chains, no neighborhood schools, vacant homes, and toxic brownfields where many factories once stood. She noted the infant mortality rate is three times that of white neighborhoods.

These conditions are created by and amplify racism, Demps said. She noted that black and brown boys and girls are suspended from school three to four times more frequently than whites and punished more “intensely” for the same offenses.

High school student Lalani Clay said it was “scary” just learning that lead had been running through the pipes for two years. “We can’t use the fountains at school,” she said.

Outside her school conditions aren’t any better: “The streets are all potholes,” she said. “There’s no streets, no schools, no jobs, why am I still here? Politicians making these decisions act as if we don’t live here at all.” She’s proud to be a “Flintstone,” as Flint residents call themselves, and would like to continue to live here, but worries if it’s worth it. “Like a scary movie, when does it end?” she asked.

Jia Ireland, a student at the University of Michigan, Flint, talked of transportation issues. “Even in the land of GM (General Motors), people couldn’t pick up water because they didn’t have cars,” Ireland said.

Mott Community College student Ellen Porter worried about the “school to prison pipeline.” “It starts around the third grade. It needs to be stopped,” she said.

Asked about the importance of participating in elections Clay said, “Your voice matters, your vote matters. Let your voice be heard and vote.”

Demps had many ideas for moving Flint ahead, starting with education investment all the way through college, not justi Head Start, along with investing in infrastructure. “We need environmental justice,” she said. “Flint has some of the largest ‘brownfields’ n the country. Buick and GM shut down and left a mess.” She also called for getting power back from the city’s un-elected emergency manager, who was appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

Rep. Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint) said the state’s emergency manager law spoke to what many see as a huge contributing factor to Flint’s current crisis, the rule by Gov. Snyder’s appointed emergency manager, replacing elected officials of the city. Calling it an anti-American law, he continued, “We send soldiers abroad and we don’t have democracy here. We need to push back. We need to ask Snyder and the whole team to go.”

Bakari Sellers, former South Carolina state representative, representing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and Nina Turner, former Ohio state representative, representing Bernie Sanders, addressed the crowd and vowed their respective candidate’s support for solving the city’s problems. Speaking of the two Democratic candidates Sellers noted the positive, that we now have “two 70-year-old white people calling out the criminal justice system.”

John Rummel contributed to this article.

The Inequalities Are Still Savage

This is a wonderful analysis! I appreciate Dr. Katz beginning the work of connecting the dots and providing context for what we are witnessing today.

Daniel Katz, Ph.D.

Twenty-five years ago, author and activist Jonathan Kozol published what remains one of the most important examinations of educational inequity ever printed, Savage InequalitiesThe book is a direct and searing look at how districts serving urban minority children suffered from segregation, inequitable funding, and crumbling facilities while serving student populations suffering the worst deprivations of poverty.  It is a story of malign neglect where school funding based upon the value of a community’s property compounds the economic and environmental violence inflicted upon helpless children.  Kozol criss-crossed the country from East St. Louis, Illinois to New York City, to Camden, New Jersey, to Washington, DC, examining schools and speaking with the students in them.  What he reported should have shaken America to its core.  Consider the following from East St. Louis:

East St. Louis – which the local press refers to as an “inner city without an outer city”…

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Let’s Stop Acting Like Bill Cosby Was a Threat, When He Really Was a Tool

All Day! Via Natasha Thomas-Jackson and that black girl magic.

Natasha Thomas-Jackson

A couple days ago, a post made by a woman going by the name of “Emauni Too’Famous”  started making the rounds on Facebook. The post was a response to Bill Cosby’s recent arrest for aggravated indecent assault. Given the fact that I had spent considerable time, energy, and emotional currency discussing this topic in both face-to-face conversations and in digital forums, I decided to give my mind and spirit a rest and ignore this one.

However, a few hours later, one of my former students, a young woman who had, in our previous conversations, supported Cosby, asked what I thought about Emauni’s post. I was immediately reminded of how much I liked and loved this student. How brilliant I knew her to be and how proud I was of all of her achievements and the growth she had experienced since going off to college. As much as I wanted…

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