Saturday, March 28, 2009

New York City Middle School Students Interview 3

March 27, 2009
Bronx, New York City

I interviewed my nephew and his classmate, Matthew and Michael, at my sister's house in the Bronx. They are first year middle school students at Albert Einstein I.S. 131. It's the same middle school I went to in the 1980s. I am not a teacher in the NYC school system. So I have no experience inside it as a teacher. I used to teach English in Korea in various institutes and several schools.

Generally, I have a pessimistic view of the schools here. American education is abysmal in it's efforts to prepare it's citizens to fully participate in society. This seems to be especially true of African American males (of which I am one).

I could expound on and on infinitely about what's wrong with the schools here. I will just say that historically it's been an amazing struggle. African Americans had to fight for everything we have in this country. Younger generations take for granted things that were unthinkable in the past.

But still things aren't good now and seem to be devolving in some respects. Even with an African American president in the White House. The United States is supposedly the mightiest country on earth. Yet looking at countries like Norway, France, England, even little Cuba (as Michael Moore did recently in his docudrama SICKO)--we see that we are quite backwards in comparison. Americans are simply put to shame when we look at some of the basic pillars of a society like housing, employment, health care, education and the judicial system.

Those other countries have miraculously discovered that a well-treated, healthy, educated citizenry is the basis of a strong society.

The City University of New York was free to all until the 1970s when African Americans began to enroll en mass. Racism is our disease. And we are still very very sick with this cancer of the mind.

The very essence of the United States of America has been one of racial, cultural and economic domination through war, repression, incarceration, disinformation and exploitation of all kinds. It's education system is a microcosm of this: As the country invests more prisons over investing in it's schools.

Fitzcarl Antony Johnson Reid
인터넷영어튜터 070-7847-5245

relevant links:

Tim Wise-institutional racism, labor, prison education

Tim Wise: discussing his new book Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama

Tim Wise on White Privilege - Racism, White Denial & the Costs of Inequality

Not-So-Little White Lies: Education and the Myth of Black Anti-Intellectualism

Why Slavery?

Incarceration vs. Education: Reproducing Racism and Poverty in America

Racism and Public Schools, 2 Articles

Racism in America's Schools. ERIC Digest Series, Number EA 49.

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