Thursday, November 20, 2014

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Amherst Pelham Regional School Committee

So to NO great surprise tonight's rescheduled Regional School Committee meeting promises to be a barn burner.

Let's hope that's in a metaphoric rather than literal sense as Amherst police, thankfully, will NOT be on scene for the meeting unless a need arises of course.

 I think everybody (including my Anons) needs to take a deep breath and relax.

(Where's that medicinal pot when you need it?)


Anonymous said...

This sentence bothers me: "Because in actuality it is been hell for us, us, who you see as other. It will get more uncomfortable, be prepared."

Nick just told her that he voted for her. She received nice words and fair treatment from the press and community and every opportunity to campaign for her candidacy. MANY of my white peers signed onto her campaign and supported her. She received many votes for both Town Meeting and School Committee. The community accepted her willingness to volunteer with Youth Action Coalition and other parent/school groups with open arms.

Now she accuses US of seeing HER as "other"?

If some see you as "other" now, Vira, it's because you've decided to burn all of your bridges and create discord.

"It will get more uncomfortable, be prepared." Is that some kind of a threat?

Larry Kelley said...

Yes that line jumped out to me as well.

Especially since it was the close.

Anonymous said...

"I breathe and live Carolyn Garner. I am Carolyn Gardner"

Sheesh. Vira is nothing but a drama queen. She just needs to go away, now.

Go away!

Anonymous said...

The last line was actually silent and it was the opening of Beethoven's 9th.

Dum dum dum DUMMMMM.

Anonymous said...

Gotta wonder how Ms Gardner feels about all this? Now Vira is claiming to BE Ms. Gardner and essentially claiming herself as the spokesperson for her (bc she IS her). Sometime soon Vira is going to be overwhelmed by her own silliness and be embarrassed (once the fever abates).

Anonymous said...

Does Vira (being 1/2 of Gardner, apparently) get $250k?

DaveMB said...

Anon 10:21 -- I think you are confusing the 9th with the 5th.

Anonymous said...

Nick Grabbe has captured where a lot of us are. I thought Carol Sharrick's column in the Gazette was very brave. On the other hand, I thought very hard about voting for Ms. Cage in the last election because I had reservations about her opponent.

I think that our schools' administration has a long-term accountability problem. As John Pucci's letter in the Gazette Saturday indicates, they have in the past circled the wagons and resisted scrutiny. I doubt, however, whether Ms. Geryk and Mr. Jackson did anything wrong in dealing with Ms. Gardner. They seem to have bent over backwards to accommodate her.

I am wary of claims that people are "behaving badly" when they are, in their particular way, merely raising questions publicly about the racial climate in the schools, or about how effectively the schools are educating every single child of every possible background. But, the teachers I've met are tremendous people, whom I am eager to see teaching other children in my neighborhood.

The point is I suspect that there are many like me who are not "all in" with either side in this shouting match. And we vote.

Ms. Cage is not "other" to me. She is my neighbor, with as much right to expect a school system to serve her children and her friends' children as I have. I am weary of Ms. Cage, or anybody else, presuming what is going on between my ears in thinking about race. You don't know what I've read, you don't know what I've cared about, you don't know what I've experienced, you don't know what I've listened carefully to, you don't know what I want to see happen, as an admittedly very, very white person.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's the Anons who need to take a breath. It's CG and her supporters who do.
We have had it with them tearing the town apart. And that last sentence of Vira's reply to Nick sounds like a threat of some kind. I am worried for this community.

Michael H said...

OUR CHILDREN are the wealth of our nation! This white man honors Vira's honesty, integrity and willingness to stand up and fight, non-violently, to achieve OUR AMERICAN DREAM. Please, I urge my friends on this blog to listen with open hearts to to this kind and gentle woman share her truth, "it has been hell for us." Are we going to give OUR CHILDREN hope or make them fearful? I am Carolyn G! I am Vira D!

Dr. Ed said...

OK, how about "Justice for Dr. Ed"?

I was treated a hell of a lot worse than Carolyn Gardner even alleges to have been treated.

I was a good housing inspector, I had an unheard of 100% SEMAP score back when the standards were so rigorous that HUD was forced to weaken them, I got defective apartments repaired, and I will never forget the afternoon I wound up dealing with someone whom even the Amherst Police didn't want to deal with, and resolved the matter.

There are people who know that. And who know that the injustice done to me (on the basis of my gender) is far more egregious than anything that possibly could have been done to Carolyn Gardner (on the basis of her race -- but it's the same thing and equally wrong).

Where Gardner is complaining about not being given enough additional money I wasn't paid three month's worth of wages for work I had actually done!

And while I undoubtedly will be subjected to yet another barrage of abuse -- unfounded attacks on my character -- you will notice that no one dares do the same thing to Gardner. Why is that?

May I suggest treating both Carolyn Gardner and Vera Douangmany Cage as if they were White Males? That *is* what Dr. King wanted, and the whole issue of "discrimination" was that people weren't being treated the way White Males were treated -- that they were treated differently on an arbitrary basis because of race and gender -- and people felt (correctly) that was wrong.

Q.E.D. Vera Douangmany Cage is "dangerous" -- Q.E.D. she is a "cognitive aggressor" and needs to be locked up for the safety of the public.

It's not just that she made a threat here, but because she made a threat, she inevitably "will become the next 'Virginia Tech Shooter'."


Hence Carolyn Gardner and Vera Douangmany Cage should be compelled to prove what (unspecified) things they won't do in the future, which is a very effective way to silence someone.

It is impossible to disprove the negative -- it is impossible to prove that you won't do something that you haven't done yet.

Larry, it's like forcing one of your daughters to prove that she won't abuse her child -- a child that doesn't even exist yet and may never exist -- if she does have a child, it will be years into the future before she even meets the father. Clearly she can't prove that she wouldn't be a bad mother -- she can't prove what she wouldn't do even if she wouldn't do it. That's why all of this "cognitive aggressor" stuff is BullBleep, but I digress.

The 1691-2 Salem/Danvers "Witch" hysteria ended when they accused the Governor's Wife of being a witch. I suspect that arbitrarily defining both Carolyn Gardner and Vera Douangmany Cage as "crazy & dangerous" would end the current incarnation of this, and it does need to be ended.

But notwithstanding that, why is it wrong not to treat those Black Women as if they were White Men????

Anonymous said...

Ya got to love ED, he always finds a way to make anything about him.
Thanks Ed for my daily humor.

Dr. Ed said...

My point: While I would never want any part of a "Justice for Dr. Ed" that even had a scintilla of resemblance to either "Justice for Jason" or "Justice for Carolyn", why shouldn't I be able to engage in similar tactics to address far greater injustices done to me?

Even though I never did the types of things they are doing, even though Vassell had sliced 'n' diced two kids whie I had never, ever, even hit anyone first, I had to deal with so much "stuff" that I'll freely state that I am no longer proud to be an American anymore. (I no longer consider the Constitution worth the paper it is printed on -- and *that* is really what my book is about.)

Crimes were committed against me, crimes that people were worried about going to jail for. That's far worse than anything that maybe happened to Carolyn Gardner, not that what she alleges would have been acceptable if it had happened.

And it is racist to treat someone differently because he/she is Black, is it not?

So why not treat her the way I was?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Morse makes some excellent points, & I agree with most of his perspective on this.

Anonymous said...

Reveling in victimhood is what Miss (Mrs.?) Cage seems to do best. How dare she presume that what happened to CG could never happen to [you.] She has no idea of what has or could happen to anyone.

Anonymous said...

Sry. That was the Beethoven 5th. Half credit.

Anonymous said...

Yes. The 9th contained the famous Ode to Joy. Maybe we could hold hands and sing it together tonight. Or will it be more Belafonte? Now there's a guy who really loves America. But we digress...

Anonymous said...

Oh for the love of Mike cut the crap. As long as we see ourselves as hyphenated Americans, we can never come together. Remember "without regard to race, color, creed, or national origin". Words to live by. Unless you think that someone should indeed be judged by these things. Oh, and another thing, "...ask what you can do for your country." (They ain't makin' Dems like Jack no more.)

Anonymous said...

Ironic that that tonight's meeting is happening so close to the unveiling of the long-awaited grand jury decision in Fergason, MO and on the same day as President Obama's immigration plans.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon November 20, 2014 at 12:49 PM:
I agree with you: "As long as we see ourselves as hyphenated Americans, we can never come together."
But, I wonder why you are choosing to see us as "hypenated Americans". Is it because you don't want us to come together, and this benefits you somehow?

Anonymous said...

Michael H, you can't steal lines from Ross now and claim them for Vira.

Too late, we tried listening with open hearts, we gave her our support, and now she is blowing it all up.

What she had:

"I'm more than up for giving an outsider a chance" Larry Kelly

State Rep. Ellen Story said she likes Vira and would vote for her in the future

Now, telling us we all see her as "other", threatening that her small band will make all of us who gave her our support, or at least every opportunity to be engaged, with constant and extreme discomfort? Are we really the people and the community that deserves that? Are those the words of a "kind and gentle woman"?

Open your eyes, Hootstein.

Anonymous said...

I am Carolyn Gardner as well. I had a phone stolen once, I've had a tire on my car with low air, once a chair broke when I sat on it, and when I went to school students called me awful names and wrote graffiti in the bathroom about me.

I am Carolyn Gardner.

Anonymous said...

I hope Amherst Live does a play by play of tonight. And I bet video on ACTV will get tons of interest.

Anonymous said...

Its odd that neither Vira's or the J4C Facebook pages have many likes or comments on the postings. I know shes made accusations that teachers are afraid to speak out, but what about everyone else?

Anonymous said...

I'm an American. Not an Italian-American or a European-American. Nor am I African-American or Asian American. Just American.

Anonymous said...

Does smoking pot lead to greater humility?

If so, can we get several pounds delivered to tonight's meeting?

Maybe the police would give us a waiver just for tonight?

Anonymous said...

I am Carolyn Gardner. The other day when I left work I had a flat tire. I had to call AAA and I missed an important meeting waiting for them to come. I was very upset. I wonder if I should sue the town cuz I was parked in the parking garage when this happened. I'm sure the whole episode must be worth at least $100,000.
I am Carolyn Gardner.

Anonymous said...

"...but what about everyone else?"

Yeah, i like how the latest post explains that "your community isn't your geographic boundaries but the people who support you."

So even if no one in Amherst supports Vira's antics, she has support within "the community" (which includes people from Hartford, Holyoke, Springfield, Ottowa.)

Anonymous said...

"OK, how about "Justice for Dr. Ed"?"

Because, believe it or not, this is not about you.

Anonymous said...

What kind of helmet makes the best statement for tonight?

Anonymous said...

Go, Ed, go! Jump that shark!

Anonymous said...

Ha! Thank you Anon 4:36! So true...I have not laughed that hard in a long time :)

Anonymous said...

Would it be wrong to show up with a bucket of popcorn?

Anonymous said...

Part one

Looking back at these drama...

I am wondering why the reported incidents are all around Ms. Gardner? There are many other "colored" teachers and students in high school. Why none of them are the target? and incidents stopped when Ms. Gardner no longer shows up in school?

If it is classic racial hatred, no other "colored" teachers or students will spare their share as being a target. But it doesn't happen. And after Ms. Gardner left, another "colored" teacher or student should be the next target. But it doesn't happen.

Ms. Gardner is new to the high school. How could her deeply upset someone to start such a long battle in such short period of time?

I don't know Ms. Gardner, and I was not in her class, and don't know whether or how Ms. Gardner and the perpetrator cross each other. Could that be that the person was already very upset at something, and Ms. Gardner was just the wrong person at the wrong place? what did Ms. Gardner say or does that ticked off this person? Otherwise, why Ms. Gardner became the target?

After the first incident, this person knew the school is on high alert to get it. But It continue to do this cat and mouse game, with increase of the risk of being caught.

Once caught, life wouldn't be pretty for this person. Why this person continue to act out? Even after bodyguard was hired, hall monitors are hired, and everybody is on high alert, and this person still act out?

In one of the latter incident, Mark Jackson's name was mentioned, in a way like a challenge to Jackson and the school. Sounds like, a person still in defiant, "catch me if you can".

What was in the mind of this person? Does it hold personal grudge toward Ms. Gardner? If yes, then to what extend?

Does it want to harm Ms. Gardner physically? If so, It has plenty of other ways and opportunities, especially outside school, and Ms. Gardner lives in Amherst. But it doesn't happen. We have heard no report any attempted harm is delivered at Ms. Gardner in her home or life outside school.

If this person try to harm Ms. Gardner physically, it doesn't have to wait so long, and will not stop to pursue it after Ms. Gardner left school.

It all happens in school. Why? I don't have an answer. But I have a speculation.

Anonymous said...

Part 2

This person is sending a message to school administrator, and community at large. What is that message?

Remember in a large family, when parents favor a particular child while ignoring or scolding other children, what will the rest of the children feel? They feel unfair treatment and being wronged, and what will they do? They will mess things up on that favorite child.

Until this person gets caught, or come forward to tell us the story, we will never be so sure.

It is time to put a closure to this so the community can move forward. What can we learn from this drama? A drama that lasts too long, and cause too much disruption to our children's learning and community focus, and potential very expensive for the district.

We can easily brush aside the whole thing and make believe that it is an accident and will never happen again. Are we so sure?

What is the bigger cause of this drama? How can we, as a community, can come together to prevent this from happening again?

this is the time for our school and community to put thoughts into it and reflect school policy over the recent years.

How much weight does racial preference has been put into the decision making from policy to practice, to daily school life?

Should racial preference ever be part of school life? Should school district continue to yiled to the political correctness, and yield to the special interests activist group, just because they are louder?

Should the school still label student into different racial group and favor some group just because it sounds political correct and nobody dare to say a thing without being delivered a verdict of being a racist, or white supremacist?

Isn't time for the district to adopt a color-blind policy? Not just some documents or artifacts that are prepared for school committee, but a true commitment to the learning and welfare of each child?

Do we dare to admit that each child is different in their learning ability and style, without the fear of blacklash from political correct activists? Have we long ignored that difference? Are our policy just try to accomodate a fraction of the group who has loud voice of political correctness activist backing, while ignoring the rest of the kids?

Are our children hungry for knowledge and learning at school? Does our school feed each child with enough food that they can digest and grow? Or we just feed them same amount of food, regardless their body weight?

Do we care more of political correctness, or the true learning and welfare of each of our children?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

In all seriousness, I wish you all the best of luck at the meeting tonight. I'll be in Washington at the vigil for the poor people who will be hurt by the executive action.

Anonymous said...

The Reverend from Springfield who attended the Amherst SC meeting tonight to speak for Justice For Carolyn asked, "What would YOU do if you got a phone call from YOUR wife or daughter telling you their car tires were slashed?"

Well, why would I want to consider that? That didn't happen to Carolyn.

He also asked, "What Would Jesus Do" for sister Carolyn?

The answer is obvious: Jesus would fork over the $500,000.00 and justice would be done.

It also became very clear to me that Vira is not crazy at all. Not one bit. She's real mellow. She didn't bring her spear. Super rational and cool as a cucumber. She's not trying to run for School Committee. We were wrong. She doesn't want to make us uncomfortable at all. Don't you see how relaxed and pleasant she is? DON'T YOU SEE NOW? DON'T YOU??

Dr. Ed said...

""OK, how about "Justice for Dr. Ed"?"
Because, believe it or not, this is not about you."

And where did I say it was?

I am pointing out a logical inconsistency, a specific example of disparate treatment, a specific example of inequality.

If Carolyn Gardner had been a White Male -- assuming she was even hired in the first place -- she'd not have made it through October and SHE WOULD NEITHER HAVE BEEN OFFERED AN ALTERNATIVE POSITION NOR A *PENNY* OF SEVERANCE PAY!!!

Much as the Brown v. Board decision wasn't about Oliver Brown's daughter, this isn't about me. Instead, much as Linda was evidence that "separate" was not equal, Ed is evidence that not everyone in Amherst is treated equally and that's called "racism."

As one who actually believes in the values underlying so-called "social justice" and believes in the equality of all human beings, I want Carolyn Gardner to be treated equally -- to be treated the way I was.

My issue is the inequality of how Carolyn Gardner is being treated.

Anonymous said...

Makes sense to Me...

Dr. Ed said...

"He also asked, "What Would Jesus Do" for sister Carolyn?
The answer is obvious: Jesus would fork over the $500,000.00 and justice would be done."

I much prefer the example of John Adams who successfully defended the soldiers in the Boston Massacre. He did it because he thought the soldiers were in the right and to show the principles that he was fighting for.

So too here -- were they truly seeking equality and fairness, the Black Activists would be defending Maria G because Gardner is damn lucky she wasn't just fired (for cause) mid-year.

And as to Jesus, I seem to remember him saying something along the lines of "...render unto Caesar..."

And one more thing about the Boston Massacre -- Crispus Attacks was my size (6'03") and was in the process of swinging a 4-foot log ("a piece of cordwood") at the head of a policeman in the midst of a riot. Someone had already pulled the fire alarm (ringing the churchbell), and the soldiers had no place to retreat to -- the door was locked behind them.

I would have no problem with a police officer today shooting someone trying to smash in the officer's head with a baseball bat -- it's called "self defense." Crispus Atticks was a thug who was in the wrong -- and not a hero. But I digress....

Anonymous said...

I am Carol Sharick

Anonymous said...

I think Dr. Ed may have a point -- maybe his story should be viewed as equivalent to Ms. Gardner's. Just as we've heard nothing about other teachers of color being targeted in the schools, we've heard no one except Dr. Ed speak up (at least not on this blog) about his or her mistreatment at UMass.

Clearly the two of them have something in common: a victim mentality. From what I've heard from several kids in her class, Ms. Gardner was a substandard teacher, and this whole drama has certainly helped deflect attention away from her shortcomings.

What about the drama that Dr. Ed has been trying to whip up around himself for so many years? What's he trying to keep us from noticing?

Anonymous said...

No mention of last nights meeting in todays Gazette? Masslive said it was an hour of public comment. Was the committee able to get any real work done?

Anonymous said...

Too much pseudo-intellectual analyzing here. The teacher pissed off some kids. They retaliated in the usual insensitive, stupid-kid way. Teacher is offended but instead of standing up and fighting back like the adult she is, she cowers in a corner, spouts ptsd crap, refuses any sort of compensation & then turns around and hires attorneys. This is Amherst. Regionalization you say? God, I hope not.

Anonymous said...

The 3 Hill towns should stay as far away from the Amherst district as possible. Why would these towns want to link their elementary schools to ours.

Anonymous said...

There is a huge perception gap between those who think the unpleasantness in their lives is a product of white racial discrimination, and those who can't make that claim because their skin color is white. Vira says whites would never experience what Carolyn had to endure. While there is a grain of truth in that remark, it is so overwhelmingly wrong on a personal level that I have difficulty understanding Carolyn's reactions and those of her supporters to the incidents in question. I've never had a cell phone stolen but I have had a car, a truck, a motor scooter, 4 bicycles and a TV stolen. I've never had a tire slashed (hers actually wasn't) but the windshield of my pickup was shattered by some white teens with a baseball bat. I've never received what i thought was a threatening note, but I was told face to face by one drunk that he would kill me (he was a native american), had a knife pulled on me by another drunk (he was black), was told by yet another drunk (he was white) to hand over my wallet, and was chased down a Utah highway at 100 mph at 2am by a carload of drunk white rednecks threatening to beat the shit out of me (I was a long-haired hippie). I haven't been called a n****r but have been called an asshole, an SOB, ugly, stupid, worthless, faggot, pretty much everything else. These things happen. They are an unfortunate part of life that no one should have to go through, but they do. The world has an abundance of very damaged people who hurt other people.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, that's why I took up karate.

Anonymous said...

Is calling a white kid a cracker the same thing as calling a black kid the n-word?

Anonymous said...

We have become a nation of victims. I'm a victim and maybe I can get the government to give me money. Clearly this woman does not want to work any more, but feels the town, if not the world, owes her a living.

Anonymous said...

I am Carol Sharick.

Anonymous said...

Blacks use the word too. What?? Are we in third grade with this referring to the "N-word. I was raised not to say it. As far as "craker" or "honky" goes, I guess it's all in the tone of voice. Remember the old west saying "Smile when you say that?" Threatening is in the eye of the beholder.

Anonymous said...

"Can't We All Just Get Along?" Let's face it--the answer is 'no.'