Blacks and civilization, cont.

Below are copied the first two paragraphs of a January 2003 entry, “Nightmare in D.C. public schools”:

A stunning first-person narrative published in City Journal tells of a young, idealistic Yale grad named Joshua Kaplowitz who went to teach in a Washington, D.C. public school and ended up in a nightmare of student misbehavior, administrative barbarism, and parental anti-white racism. While most of his fifth grade and second grade pupils wanted to learn, a significant minority were wildly disruptive, even violent; worse, the black principal sided with the disruptive children against Kaplowitz (for example, refusing to allow him to remove the worst children from his class, and accusing him of using physical force on pupils when he merely separated children who were hitting each other), and thus made any classroom discipline and learning impossible. The saga culminated when Kaplowitz was falsely charged with assaulting a student. He was subsequently thrown in jail, subjected to a six day trial, and sued by the boy’s parents for $20 million.

Kaplowitz’s nightmarish story provides ample supporting evidence for what I said in my recent article on race differences—that even though most blacks do not themselves engage in bad behavior, the black community as a whole do not seem to possess the moral will and energy to control the bad apples among them and thus to maintain a civilized order. An outside influence is needed, namely whites, who do possess the moral will and the organizing intelligence to create a decent functioning structure for the blacks. However, we need to recognize that such salutary reforms will remain impossible so long as we continue to embrace the liberal myth of substantive racial equality—a myth that inexorably leads us to blame whites for the actual existing inequalities and thus excuse blacks for their own misbehaviors and failures.

In the comments following the original post, I replied to several commenters who questioned my thesis. The discussion is well worth reading.

- end of initial entry -

Alexis Zarkov writes:

I read the Kaplowitz article in City Journal about his problems with black discipline in the D.C. school system, and I have three separate comments on it.

1. From the Daily Caller: “Obama backs race-based school discipline policies.” Obama wants schools to have different behavior standards for their black and white students (how about the half-black students?), so that they will get penalized at the same rate. The call for such a policy is a natural consequence of the disparate impact theory used by the federal government to outlaw IQ tests (the military is exempt), and to sue employers for alleged discrimination based on statistics alone. To comply with such a policy, schools would need to enforce stricter standards on white behavior, or reduce the standards for black behavior. Imagine how white parents would react to their children being penalized for misbehavior that would be tolerated for black students in the same class. That would amount to a penalty for being white—lawsuits would fly. Lower standards for blacks would probably lead to an increase in their misbehavior, and to keep the punishment rates equal, schools would need to lower the black standards even more. In any case, this policy would make our schools even more chaotic, and in the end, we would end up with perfect segregation. It would seem that Obama has not thought through the ultimate consequences of his policy mandate, or he simply doesn’t care.

2. While Kaplowitz suffered a major collision with reality, his ideology remains stubbornly liberal. He tells us about a few of his best students. In particular, “Joseph,” whom he describes as “a brilliant writer who struggled mightily in math.” This caught my attention, because I recently posted a series of comments (at another blog site) regarding attacks on requiring algebra to graduate high school. They appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post, here and here. Both authors think algebra is useless for most everyone, and requiring it to graduate unnecessarily punishes otherwise gifted students. In other words, they assume that verbal and mathematical aptitude are completely mutually independent—having high ability in one can coexist with low ability in the other. Except, of course, that SAT scores paint a contrary picture. Verbal and mathematical scores on the SAT are correlated, and that correlation is high—70 percent. About a million students take the SAT each year. Fifty thousand students will score in the upper five percent of the verbal part of the test. How many of those 50,000 will score in the bottom 20 percent of the math part? The answer is 50, about one-tenth of one percent. Overall that’s 50 out of a million, essentially zero. Remarkably all we need to know is that 70 percent figure to do this calculation—the power of math! Having a “brilliant writer,” who nevertheless “struggles” with math is so rare as to be virtually non-existent. Perhaps verbal and mathematical aptitude are not correlated in blacks, but I doubt it.

3. Finally Kaplowitz’s essay reminded me of my first day in the First Grade at a public school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan many decades ago. In those days, New York City’s schools were essentially segregated, but here and there a few blacks would appear in a white classroom. We had one black. He immediately proceeded to punch every student in the classroom in serial fashion. This little savage was immediately removed, and we never encountered him again. In today’s schools, the white children simply have to put up with such violence. In general, white kids around the age of six are a delight. Ask any parent. They are peaceful, anxious to please, and just plain sweet. This does not seem to apply to many (but not all) black six-year-olds, who already manifest violent tendencies.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 04, 2012 10:49 AM | Send

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