What it is like to teach blacks

Marty Nemko, who has been quoted before at VFR, on the “war against boys,” has posted at his website an article from the July 2009 issue of American Renaissance, “What is it Like to Teach Black Students?” by Christopher Jackson. I’ve read an excerpt from the article that a reader sent, and, exactly like Nemko, I feel that Jackson overstates his case against blacks and tried to make it appear that all blacks are uneducable savages. That is very wrong, and I dissociate myself from any such implication. At the same time, honest persons cannot ignore the fact that a significant portion of the black population are, indeed, either uneducable savages or uneducable non-savages, and this makes the posting of Jackson’s article legitimate, notwithstanding its overstated and prejudicial aspect. As Nemko points out, sometimes, to get a forbidden and important truth into people’s heads, the truth has to be overstated.

Below are excerpts from the last part of Christopher Jackson’s article. At Nemko’s website is his own introduction and Jackson’s entire article, minus a couple of paragraphs Nemko describes as offensive.

It may come as a surprise after what I have written, but my experiences have given me a deep appreciation for teaching as a career. It offers a stable, middle-class life but comes with the capacity to make real differences in the lives of children. In our modern, atomized world children often have very little communication with adults-especially, or even, with their parents-so there is potential for a real transaction between pupil and teacher, disciple and master.

A rewarding relationship can grow up between an exceptional, interested student and his teacher. I have stayed in my classroom with a group of students discussing ideas and playing chess until the janitor kicked us out. I was the old gentleman, imparting my history, culture, personal loves and triumphs, defeats and failures to young kinsman. Sometimes I fancied myself Tyrtaeus, the Spartan poet, who counseled the youth to honor and loyalty. I never had this kind intimacy with a black student, and I know of no other white teacher who did.

Teaching can be fun. For a certain kind of person it is exhilarating to map out battles on chalkboards, and teach heroism. It is rewarding to challenge liberal prejudices, to leave my mark on these children, but what I aimed for with my white students I could never achieve with the blacks.

There is a kind of child whose look can melt your heart: some working-class castaway, in and out of foster homes, often abused, who is nevertheless almost an angel. Your heart melts for these children, this refuse of the modern world.

Many white students possess a certain innocence; their cheeks still blush. Try as I might, I could not get the blacks to care one bit about Beethoven or Sherman’s march to the sea, or Tyrtaeus, or Oswald Spengler, or even liberals like John Rawls, or their own history. They cared about nothing I tried to teach them. When this goes on year after year it chokes the soul out of a teacher, destroys his pathos, and sends him guiltily searching for The Bell Curve on the Internet.

Blacks break down the intimacy that can be achieved in the classroom, and leave you convinced that that intimacy is really a form of kinship. Without intending to, they destroy what is most beautiful—whether it be your belief in human equality, your daughter’s innocence, or even the state of the hallway.


It is in the black man’s interest to have whites in Zimbabwe but he drives them out and starves. Most whites do not think black Americans could ever do anything so irrational. They see blacks on television smiling, fighting evil whites, embodying white values. But the real black is not on television, and you pull your purse closer when you see him, and you lock the car doors when he swaggers by with his pants hanging down almost to his knees.


I have been in parent-teacher conferences that broke my heart: the child pleading with his parents to take him out of school; the parents convinced their child’s fears are groundless. If you love your child, show her you care—not by giving her fancy vacations or a car, but making her innocent years safe and happy. Give her the gift of a not-heavily black school.

- end of initial entry -

A. Zarkov writes:

My daughter went to an elite college preparatory middle and high school. While the school was mostly white it did have some middle class black students, and for the most part they fit in perfectly. But my daughter was stunned at the different response the black students had to the announcement of O.J. Simpson verdict. They cheered. Not a single white student cheered. These students were the sons and daughters of fairly well-to-do black professionals living in nice houses in good neighborhoods. In other words, they lived and worked in the white world yet they still had the “us versus them” attitude found among ghetto blacks. I think most everyone is aware of this racial divide, but the subject is absolutely taboo. Virtually no one will discuss it. As such a kind of dual reality operates similar to, and actually worse than the dual reality people lived with in the old Soviet Union. In the Soviet Union there was an official reality that everyone professed, but no one believed, and the actual reality that everyone knew to be true. Why do I say worse? I say that because close friends and trusted family members in Russia would challenge the official reality in private. For example the government newspaper known as Izvestia (The News) was supposed to print actual news events, while Pravda (The Truth), which was the official organ of the Central Committee printed only political policy. Close friends would joke to one another: “There’s no news in ‘The Truth’ and no truth in “The News.” In contemporary America, among professions and the elite classes, any discussion of race favorable to whites is strictly déclassé. In other words, the official reality has become for many people their personal reality. This is why articles like the one by Jackson appear in somewhat obscure blog sites like VFR and Vdare.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 06, 2009 01:03 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):