A reader’s journey beyond mainstream conservatism, and his experience teaching at an all-black school

Peter F. writes (July 12):

I am a recent reader of VFR, having learned of your website only within the last few months.

I am a traditional conservative, and had actually adopted those exact words—“traditional conservative” or simply traditionalist—to describe myself, before ever reading them on your blog. I went through a period of reading and believing in the mainstays of the cultural right such as Fox News, Hannity, Prager, Medved. But a few years back, I woke up to the fact that most of them were not and are not conservative in any meaningful way, especially not in the way our forefathers would have recognized. Likewise, I went through a similar process concerning the Republican Party, which is just as hostile to real conservatives in its way as the left and the Democrats are in theirs. I still listen to and read a few of the mainstream conservatives, but have had the blinders removed from my eyes and ears. I no longer regard most of them as conservatives. Most are neocons, or, as you call them, right liberals.

In other words, I am a man without a political and ideological home. I also agree with you that for people with our views, there isn’t a whole lot left to conserve. We must now move to be cultural counter-revolutionaries who seek to overturn what the left has done to the America, to the extent possible. My wife and I practice what we preach by separating ourselves from leftism within our culture, using the means at our disposal, such as not going to movies that offend our values, by refusing to patronize sports and other events that have given in to political correctness (we boycott the NFL and NBA for this reason, and watch hockey instead), by avoiding concerts by leftist performers, bookstores that have a leftward bias, etc. Given the degree of penetration of leftism into our culture, this task is not always an easy one, but we do our best. We live in a very leftist state at present, but are planning to move to a more conservative state in the near future, if economic conditions permit.

Your on-going series highlighting the phenomenon of black-on-white crime has been an eye-opener, but alas I already know much of barbarity that passes for culture in black America today. As a young and considerably more idealistic man in my twenties, I taught chemistry in a black high school near Atlanta. That single year ripped the blinders from my eyes. I was lucky to make it out of there in one piece. I was threatened with violence on a couple of occasions. Every social pathology you can name could be found in that school and the surrounding community, from drug abuse and dealing, to out of wedlock childbirth, single parent households, children as young as four left home alone, sexual promiscuity, murder, rape, gangsta rap “culture”—you name it, I saw it. The administrators of the school, who were mostly white, did nothing to protect their teachers, and indeed took the side of black parents against me when I tried to discipline their children or gave them the poor grades they had earned. I taught mostly 10th and 11th graders, and many of them could not read, write, or calculate at the 6th grade level, yet most were promoted into the next higher grade anyway, which is how I got them. I refused to dilute my standards, and there were a lot of D and F grades handed out. You can imagine how well that went over.

There were a few motivated, squared-away students who wanted to get someplace with their lives, but these were few—perhaps 10 percent of the total number of students in my four classes. The rest were either indifferent or hated me and tried to make my life as difficult as possible. In many respects, I was not a teacher, but something more akin to a jailer, sans badge or weapon of any kind save my wits. Luckily, then as now, I was a fit, strong-looking man known for his temper and apparently that was enough to prevent most troublemakers from fooling with me.

I did that for one year, and then left public education for medical research in the private sector, never to return.

In closing, no solution to the crisis in public education in this country is possible without first retaking control of our classrooms. If we had any sense, we’d set a bunch of drill instructors from the Marines loose in our schools, and give them the authority to do the job. But of course we aren’t that sensible anymore. For my part, I recommend to people who ask, that they home-school their children or send them to a private/parochial school.

- end of initial entry -

Doug H. writes:

I applaud Peter F’s attempt to avoid support for left-liberals and even right-liberals. We do not shop at places such as Target or J.C Penny’s. It’s the least we can do. Sadly, the evangelical church we attend has numerous members who do not follow this same rule. If more did, I feel we could have some impact.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 29, 2012 02:10 PM | Send

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