Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day at ARHS

I guess I'm not the only one who viewed the past four months discombobulation in the Amherst School system as a bit of a three ring circus.

Principal Mark Jackson has declared next Thursday "Dialogue Day" where students and staff will take school time to "process the year".  I find it interesting he uses the term "allegations of" preceding the R-word. 

But I wonder how open and honest kids will be under the constraints of teachers or administrators standing guard.  Wouldn't it have been better to bring in outside, unbiased, professional help?  And to have scheduled it last week when seniors were still in school?

Well at least there's ice cream. 


Anonymous said...

Seems to me that many of the chatterers on this blog have questioned whether these were racist incidents, especially Ed. Thank you for ruling that it officially was.

Anonymous said...

I dont see where Larry ruled that it was. I see that he pointed out that Jackson hasnt.

Dr. Ed said...

There is a very big distinction between questioning the motives of a perp and approving of what the perp did. Just because what was apparently done to Carolyn Gardner likely wasn't "racism" doesn't justify it being done.

It's kinda like if the APD were to find someone downtown who was going into "Insulin Shock" (hypoglycemia) -- no, it isn't a mental illness (even though it looks like one) but it is a medical emergency that they kinda need to deal with -- preferably quickly.

Just because I do not believe they were racist incidents does not mean that I think they were acceptable -- it just is statistically unlikely that only one of the African-Americans on the staff would be targeted by a genuine racist -- the schmuck would be targeting ALL of them.

Hence this is like just one kid getting sick and claiming it was food poisoning from the school cafeteria. It *is* possible but if a couple hundred other kids who ate the same food *didn't* get sick, there would be a LOT of skepticism.

Actually, the fact that no one else got sick would be considered conclusive proof that it *wasn't* the cafeteria food. And so too here -- a vile racist who is able to distinguish between various individuals?!? No, that is like water that isn't wet or fire that isn't hot - not likely....

Something other than basic racism was going on there....

Dow Holden said...

this takes the place of "mini-courses"? granted, I'm going back 42 yrs, however, I'd find direct interaction w/ my classmates to be far better than listening to a few windbags....

Anonymous said...

"Just because what was apparently done to Carolyn Gardner likely wasn't "racism.."

Ed, what are you talking about? They were racial epithets. That makes it by definition racist.

Keithw said...

They won't get an honest dialogue with any of their students. Maybe they should create an ARHS Facebook page where students can safely and anonymously vent their frustrations and.........oops.

Dr. Ed said...

Ed, what are you talking about? They were racial epithets. That makes it by definition racist.

No it does not. MOTIVE MATTERS -- the hate crime laws are explicit on this and it is one of my biggest issues with the hate crime laws, it only is a hate crime if the perp did it because of in this case, hatred of persons of a certain race.

It's the whole issue of Dylan using the "Nigga" word -- it's only racist if he intended it to be racist. Words mean what people want them to mean -- and concurrently what other people think they mean -- and that's why this whole thing is a slippery slope.

Case in point -- you think the word "faggot" is a homophobic slur -- no, in England it is what we call a "cigarette." My jaw dropped the first time I heard someone say "I'm gonna go smoke a fag, particularly as the individual was heading toward the front of the UM Stonewall Center (a designated smoking area in a less fascist era at UMass).

And then there is the word "niggardly" -- it is a word which has such a unique meaning that it really is the only one to use in some circumstances, and again, my jaw dropped the first time I heard it used -- by a Black Law School Dean, describing state Bar Exams and such.

If he/she/it just didn't like Carolyn Gardner as a person, then it isn't a hate crime. Let's say it was a violent A&B -- say some perp seriously injured her -- it would only be a hate crime if the motive was hatred of her race.

She's every bit as injured if someone did it because he/she/it wanted to steal her money/jewelry/car or because she supported the wrong baseball team (it's happened) or because the perp was just some psycho. But those wouldn't be hate crimes.

Now you don't hit, injure and/or potentially kill someone whom you like -- there clearely is "hatred" in doing something like this to another human being -- but it ain't a hate crime.

Dr. Ed said...

Ed, what are you talking about? They were racial epithets. That makes it by definition racist.

A better example -- some of the vile attacks on me. I am a member of no fewer than three officially-recognized "protected categories" -- and it's no one's business what they are.

So is the vile vitriol "hate speech" because I am? Carolyn Gardner is a member of at least two protected categories (Black & Female) -- how is it different?

I do not think this is the case here but it's happened elsewhere -- what if she was having an affair with someone else's husband? There would be a woman who very much did not like her, who might try to drive her out of the school, but it wouldn't be racially motivated.

The perp herself could also be Black -- and I have personally seen something similar happen in the Gay/Lesbian/Etc community at UMass -- actually seen it happen twice.

On one occasion, which involved student politics instead of romance, some of my friends were being victimized and it means something to be a friend of mine. They were going to protest "Queerfest" and I said "you know that I'm going to be there with you if you do (I was worried about my friends' physical safety), and you know that your message is going to get lost if I'm involved...

It was the same thing with the penis montage that I did speak out about -- the Stonewall Center leadership along with just about every gay or lesbian I knew (all over the age of 25) agreed with me -- you don't put stuff like that up in a hallway were 5 year olds are playing.

I would have been just as upset (and done the exact same things) if someone had put up graphic displays of heterosexual sex. The Springfield TV stations had to blur the images when they covered the story -- that stuff shouldn't have been in a hallway where 5-year-olds play.

But some still call me "homophobic" for objecting to it being there...

And let me reiterate -- I am NOT saying that Carolyn Gardner is in the midst of a "love triangle" - although that *is* what ended the UM/Amherst Mark's Meadow Partnership...

Dr. Ed said...

Or how about the infamous 1999-2000 Campus Pond Rape Hysteria -- coverage of which extended to at least four states, and every one of which was a hoax!

Rape is a "violence against women" issue -- and a horrific, dispicable crime -- but were the women who were falsely claiming to have been raped "violent against women" or merely lying schmucks?

One of them was a disabled veteran with psych issues -- in a word "crazy." Was it "violence against women" when she sliced up her face? Or was it "mental illness" and "harm to self"?

I still have trouble believing that a racist could or would make distinctions between *different* Black women and only harass one. It doesn't make sense -- by definition, the racist doesn't make distinctions between Black Folk. (WEB Dubois used the term, hence I can..)