Obama Administration Targets School ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policies – Mostly Because They’re Racist, Not Because They’re Stupid and Terrible

And then they were all suspended for hugging.Credit: Rodor54 in Iceland / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SAYesterday the Departments of Justice and Education released what they are referring to as a “school discipline guidance package” that the media is describing as an effort to clamp down on overzealous school “zero tolerance” punishment policies. While it’s true this “package” discusses how zero tolerance policies are bad policy, a lot this guidance is all about making sure school discipline isn’t being disproportionately applied based on race. From the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter:

Although African-American students represent 15% of students in the CRDC, they make up 35% of students suspended once, 44% of those suspended more than once, and 36% of students expelled. Further, over 50% of students who were involved in school-related arrests or referred to law enforcement are Hispanic or African-American.

The Departments recognize that disparities in student discipline rates in a school or district may be caused by a range of factors. However, research suggests that the substantial racial disparities of the kind reflected in the CRDC data are not explained by more frequent or more serious misbehavior by students of color. … Indeed, the Department’s investigations …have revealed racial discrimination in the administration of student discipline. For example, in our investigations we have found cases where African-American students were disciplined more harshly and more frequently because of their race than similarly situated white students.

So a significant amount of this documentation is about making sure school discipline decisions are not discriminatory. There are even flow charts for those educational professionals who need a more visual guide to understanding that giving a minority student harsher discipline than a white student for the same infraction is racist. You can read the letter here (pdf).

Part of the reason for the focus on race (besides the statistical evidence) is because it’s an area where the federal government does have the authority to intervene in public school operations. These guides are essentially a diplomatic way of saying, “Do this, or face federal sanctions.”

The Department of Education does also delve into the issue of overdiscipline as well, noting, “One study found that 95 percent of out-of-school suspensions were for nonviolent, minor disruptions such as tardiness or disrespect.” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan goes on to note that students tossed out of school “may be unsupervised during daytime hours and cannot benefit from great teaching, positive peer interactions, and adult mentorship offered in class and in school.” Well, he seems to be making a lot of assumptions about the kind of good teaching and mentorship a student may get from adults in a school that’s quick to suspend kids for minor infractions.

The Department of Education’s “guiding principles” for school discipline may be read here (pdf). Sorry to be negative, but perhaps put any hopes to rest that much will come from the Department’s recommendations. This document could have been written by anybody with half a brain, other than the parts that are written entirely in educational bureaucratic jargon, possibly by a computer program (“Engage in deliberate efforts to create positive school climates” and “Promote social and emotional learning to complement academic skills and encourage positive behavior”). There probably is very little in this guide that school officials won’t already claim that they’re doing. It is good that they’re discouraging schools from referring non-criminal disciplinary issues to law enforcement, something Los Angeles schools are now starting to turn away from. But ultimately, this looks like a bunch of guidelines that will lead to the formation of school committees (funded with federal grants, perhaps?) that put more rules into place that will be pointed to the next time an official does something stupid like suspend a kid for chewing his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. Can anybody provide an example of American jurisprudence where the institution of additional rules resulted in less callously managed punishment? Why should we expect any different from schools?

What really needs to happen for significant change is that school districts need to be worried about the consequences to them for poorly managed school discipline. That’s why the Department of Justice’s emphasis on racial discrimination and the possibility of sanctions or lawsuits is so prominent – the DOJ has a stick to beat school districts with should they not comply. As for the “zero tolerance” nonsense, giving parents more choice and power on where their children attend school can serve as a useful pressure point to encourage school administrators to put an end to their petty tyrannies.

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  • creech||

    I thought "zero tolerance" policies were instituted in order to remove subjective, possibly prejudiced, decisions? If the discipliner has to now take in the color of one's skin, then I guess it is another slap in the face of MLK, Jr.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    For example, in our investigations we have found cases where African-American students were disciplined more harshly and more frequently because of their race than similarly situated white students.

    Wait, I thought one of the "benefits" of zero-tolerance policies was that everyone would get screwed equally.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Since the government's attempt to desegregate schools, they've grown more segregated, and the black kids got stuck with the administrators who saw the 'zero tolerence' rules as a way to abdicate personal responsibility, and thus enforced them more zealously.

  • John||

    Note they never explain what those cases are and what the circumstances were. You just have to take their word for it that the black students and white students were similarly situated, whatever that means.

    Beyond that, since when does ones situation have to do with zero tolerance? The point of zero tolerance is to make what you did wrong the only relevant factor. It is not only a vague weasel word, it is an irrelevant one at that. In short, it is almost certainly a bold faced lie.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Note they never explain what those cases are and what the circumstances were. You just have to take their word for it that the black students and white students were similarly situated, whatever that means.

    Circumstances? This is something which will be applied statistically, not on an individual basis. It isn't a question of if a white student gets less punishment than a minority gets for the same infraction it will be counting the number of punishments and comparing it to the percentage of minorities.

    It won't matter who actually breaks which rules but the racial breakdown of punishments.

  • John||

    Exactly. And that is why this will result in schools unfairly punishing white students to make sure their numbers match.

  • GILMORE||

    WHICH IS HOW RACIAL JUSTICE WORKS!/Tony

  • Azathoth!!||

    No. It results in schools avoiding punishing black students.

    This serves to make things worse.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Secretary of Education Arne Duncan goes on to note that students tossed out of school “may be unsupervised during daytime hours and cannot benefit from great teaching, positive peer interactions, and adult mentorship offered in class and in school.”

    And those left in school cannot benefit from great teching, positive peer interactions, and adult mentorship offered in class and in school.

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    Yeah, so many times it's just a couple kids causing trouble, but they disrupt the entire class. I don't know if suspension is the right move, but you can't leave them in there, as least not with our 19th century group education model.

    I don't want to coddle kids, but the education system could do a much better job of catering to them. I think a lot of the "bad" kids are just disengaged and may learn better independently.

    There are some kids who won't behavior no matter what, and I don't know what can be done about them. While I don't like the "military" part of military schools, I love the idea of an institution that provides stern discipline and structure to kids who have never had it.

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    Eh, sorry, on second read I think you were making a joke.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Or relaying my sad experiences as a graduate of a public 'school'.

  • John||

    Scott,

    No one objects to zero tolerance more than I do. But to call them "racist" is weapons grade stupid and per say illogical, given that the policies are created so that everyone is treated the same no matter how insane or unjust the results.

    The Obama Administration objects to them because they claim they are racist not because they are stupid and terrible is I think or at least hope what you meant.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Racist tinted glasses

  • Tony||

    This very article explains how the outcomes of the policy appear racist.

    It's not my understanding that zero tolerance is adopted to combat bias, but as a blunt means of attempting to eliminate the proscribed behaviors.

    It should not be a surprise if this form of punishment is applied more against blacks even after controlling for differences in rates of infraction. The same thing happens with every other form of punishment in this country.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Zero tolerance is designed to take choice and judgement away from school administrators so that the educational bureaucrats do not have to bear the responsibility for any actual decisions.

  • Tony||

    Perhaps, but I think it is more a relic of the Reagan-era hysteria about drugs.

  • John||

    It started in the 1990s. Spefically 1994 when the then Democratic controlled Congress and Bill Clinton passed and signed a law requiring students carrying firearms on school grounds be expelled.

    So it was done under Clinton in response to gun hysteria. But don't let that stop you from blaming it on Reagan. Don't worry Tony, we know you are a Prog and are congenitally stupid and uninformed. So we do grade on the curve and take that into consideration.

  • Tony||

    Everything is Reagan's fault, but a zero-tolerance approach to firearms in schools actually sounds reasonable to me.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I will not tolerate a single student going in unarmed. Those who arrive without a weapon will be sent home to get one.

  • wareagle||

    right Tony; because the school bureaucracy is chock-a-block with Reaganites.

    Zero tolerance sounds good on paper, gives the impression of no nonsense. But it eradicates common sense and treats nail clippers like Uzis and Mydol like crack. It is an excuse for administrators to hide behind policy than to think.

  • Pulseguy||

    I'm so glad you managed to blame this on a Republican president. Tough to do on this one I know, because schools are run entirely by LEFTISTS and have been for about 30 years. But, you're putting in the effort and that is all we can ask for.

  • John||

    Since the public schools are run entirely by unionized teachers and administrators, perhaps we should be investigating the NEA for civil rights violations. Their members are clearly racists or this wouldn't be a problem right?

    Beyond that of course, the article says nothing of the sort. It never explains how this can happen or why we think that it is. It just gives some weasel words and references to "research" that "suggests" this or that. Since you are like most liberals functionally illiterate, it is unsurprising you would have missed how weak the article actually is.

  • Tony||

    Seems to me you have even less cause to dismiss the referenced findings than I do accepting it. As I said, every other form of punishment in this country has a clear racial bias, so why not this one?

  • John||

    If the findings proved anything they would say "show" or "prove" not "suggests". Suggests is about as meaningless a word as one could use. It is only used because the research can't even show significant correlation much less causation. A statistically insignificant correlation suggests something might be true. But so what?

  • Tony||

    Whatever. Anything to sustain your cherished belief that black people are more prone to antisocial behavior. If it's that important to you, carry on.

  • John||

    Sure Tony whatever. Since you are as I pointed out above, functionally illiterate, it is really too much to expect you to understand that suggests and prove are not the same word and do not mean the same thing.

    And of course even if you could read, nothing you read would ever debase you of the belief that everything that happens to any black person in America is the result of racism.

  • Tony||

    I'm not saying anything is proved. You're the one insisting that the "suggestion" is wrong, with no justification other than your own racism.

  • PapayaSF||

    Tony, there is vastly more evidence for the statement "black people are more prone to antisocial behavior" than there is for the statement "every form of punishment in this country has a clear racial bias."

    The DoJ is deluded. Blacks get punished more in school not because of "bias," but because statistics show they are more likely to cause trouble. It's absurd to think that it's all the fault of racist teachers and administrators who run the schools with lots of black students.

  • Tony||

    I'm desperately curious about how you explain this disparity.

  • PapayaSF||

    It's really very simple. Kids raised by single mothers are more likely to get into trouble. Kids raised in cultures that don't value self-control and education are more likely to get into trouble. Blacks in America are more likely to be raised by single mothers, and in a culture that doesn't value self-control and education, so they are more likely to get into trouble in school.

  • Tony||

    cultures that don't value self-control and education

    This is racism. You either don't realize that or don't care.

  • PapayaSF||

    No, it's not racism. I am not saying "black people are all like that because of their race." I am saying "some American blacks are like that because of their culture."

  • Zeb||

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I suspect that the disparity comes down mostly to socio-economic factors, which because of various historical reasons largely coincide with race. I think that most things that are often looked at in terms of race would be much more informative if looked at in terms of socio-economic status. Are poor whites living in economically depressed areasany less likely to cause trouble than poor blacks in similar situations? That's what we really need to know before we can say whether race really has anything to do with it.

  • PapayaSF||

    Yes, the single parenthood link to poverty and crime is not restricted to any race.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Poor whites living in economically depressed areas are less likely to cause trouble than blacks(not just the poor) in similar situations.

    We already know this. There have been numerous rabidly denounced studies done.

  • Zeb||

    Well, I'm going to put about as much faith in those studies as in the ones that are telling us that blacks are unfairly disproportionately affected by zero tolerance policies.

  • Enough About Palin||

  • CatoTheElder||

    Since politicians and bureaucrats are incapable of recognizing the stupidity and terribleness of their works, but they see racism everywhere.

    It would be a good thing if government were capable of distinguishing between prosecutable crime and juvenile misbehavior. But this Obama Administration edict is just going to create additional administrative burdens for schools and make it more difficult for teachers to maintain an orderly classroom.

    I suppose that anything that makes public schools even less popular is a good thing, though.

  • John||

    All this will do is cause schools to over look black student misbehavior and strictly punish or in some cases just invent white student misbehavior so that their numbers match.

    Remember though, Holder is a race monger of the worst sort. I am sure he fully realizes this policy will result in whites being unfairly punished and blacks being allowed to skate and looks at that as a good thing.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's justice for four hundred years of oppression.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Find me the four hundred year old person who benefits and we can talk.

  • pan fried wylie||

    Wouldn't they be more like 530-something, since it was the 400 years before the abolition of slavery that figure refers to?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I bet you're fun at parties

  • pan fried wylie||

    or if the beneficiary didn't have to live through the entire American Slavery Era, then they'd only have to be 130-ish or more, right?

  • KDN||

    Blacks were being enslaved in America in 1465? Those dastardly Aztecs.

  • PapayaSF||

    Oppression continued under Jim Crow, and continues today in the form of racist microaggression, which is just as bad. And everywhere. There is no end to oppression. If it ended, the racism-hunters would have to find productive work.

  • Pulseguy||

    Racist microaggression means there is no racism. Tough to accept I know, because it blows the whole narrative. But, there is almost no racism anymore, and hasn't been for twenty years. No one cares anymore about race.

    Racism now is snarky comments made by people. This will never end. Ever heard what chubby women say about skinny ones? Catholics about Protestants? And so on. Anybody wants to get ahead, have a nice life, get a good job, etc can do this. Nothing holds them back.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    If they take that tactic, the end result will be more and more whites seeking to escape the public school system.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Unintended consequences.

  • wareagle||

    govt bureaucrats - searching under every desk, mattress, and vehicle in search of discrimination, even when allegedly committed by other bureaucrats and even when the search might ignore the larger problem.

    Are kids being disciplined more harshly because of race or because of the offense/number of offenses? Given that schools are creatures of govt and it's more easy to see them as bastions of PC rather than cauldrons of racism, this seems an odd time to play that card.

  • PapayaSF||

    Anything to distract from Obamacare.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Off-topic but far more important than this post: Florida pizzeria serves python on its pizza.

  • John||

    There is a high end butcher shop near me that sales some exotic game, one of which is python. I am not a snake fan. But I hope other people are. Lets hunt them into extinction.

  • sarcasmic||

    What did a snake ever do to you?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, one peeked out of the overflow in my sink when I was brushing my teeth once. Then again, it's Florida.

  • UnCivilServant||

    About as much as the cows and pigs I eat on a routine basis.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I grew up on a dairy farm. Ever bite of beef is revenge.

  • John||

    Tried to bite me as a child. But beyond that, Pythons are invasive species and need to go. So I mean extinction in North America.

  • Pro Libertate||

    A python once bit my sister. . . .

  • Enough About Palin||

    My Aunts python hasn't worked in months and yet it was able to make $5,674 on the Internet in just over three hours!

  • sarcasmic||

    Some argue that humans of European descent are an invasive species in North America.

    Seriously though, the python invasion is vastly overstated. Every organized hunt comes up with a tiny fraction of the expected haul. Why? Because there aren't as many snakes as the government experts claim. All it will take is a few more cold winters like this, and most of them will be dead anyway. The reason is that they, unlike native snake species, never evolved an instinct to go underground when it gets cold because where they come from it very rarely gets cold. So cold snaps not only kill them off, but limit their range to the southernmost part of Florida.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Or they've mutated into a more cunning snake, one that can open doors and terrorize South Florida. Personally, I think that's a good thing, so long as Central Florida remains north of their effective range.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It wasn't a mutation. It was planned genetic engineering.

  • Pro Libertate||

    GMO python!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    More like pykhan.

  • Pro Libertate||

    His is the superior. . .snake meat.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    His pattern indicates two dimensional slithering.

  • seguin||

    PYTHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNN!

    /shatner

  • John||

    Even if the numbers are overstated, they don't belong there and should be hunted out. They are no different than a nutria.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think South Florida should start selling python gift baskets. Shipping live pythons à la Lobstergram. Pythongram.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I would have bought a gift basket when I was in Maimi last month.

    Get this going so it's in place by the time I (maybe) visit Tampa next fall.

  • UnCivilServant||

    If it's not cane toad level infestation, I don't think I'm going to worry too much about a few pythons in the swamps no human should inhabit in the first place.

  • PapayaSF||

    I was just in the Everglades, and while I didn't see any pythons, I am willing to go with the official estimates. For one thing, the small mammal population there has dropped by (IIRC) 90%. The reason the hunts don't find many is that the Everglades is huge and pythons are hard to see.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Have you looked in your backseat since driving back?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Oh noes, my cane toads poisoned the python!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Two great tastes that taste great together?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Python is rich in Vitamin M, too!

  • NoVAHockey||

    what's the name of the shop?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Evan's Neighborhood Pizza.

  • Brett L||

    Always a day late and a dollar short on our super ideas.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ha! They just steal from us, that's all. Just the Urkobold alone has been ripped off more times than I can count, from selling rack space on women for advertising to predicting Sarah Palin as the next VP candidate for the GOP before it happened.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    The moon still looks pretty unirradiated.

    Now that I think about it, the Urkobold seems to have lost a lot of presence around here.

  • Pro Libertate||

    He's on medical leave. He had an erection that lasted more than four years.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Should have tried an older woman. Or a younger one. Or a redhead.

  • Pro Libertate||

    An? You know little of his ways.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Or all three.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I'd be happy with just a younger redhead.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That is the exact reason I'm hungover and tired today.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    It looks like they were baking this pizza two years ago.

    Anyway, I went to their website and menu...Yuengling is a premium beer in Florida?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Don't judge Florida beer by some nasty, python-serving pizzeria in Ft. Myers, thank you.

    Have you tried Python Ale?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I went to 5-6 bars in Miami. It was mostly pretty shitty beer, but one that I got pointed to by someone here had some decent house beers (it was Abbey something).

  • UnCivilServant||

    it was Abbey something.

    Abbey Normal?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Are you saying that I put an abnormal beer into a seven and a half foot long, fifty-four inch wide WARTY?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Nope, looks like Abbey Brewing Company.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Missed opportunity, because Abby Normal Beer would be awesome to market.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I could serving Monty Python:

    Customer: Parmesan,

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Mozarella,

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Paper Cramer,

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Danish Bimbo,

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Czech sheep's milk,

    Owner: No.

    Customer: Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?

    Owner: Not *today*, sir, no.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Obama: Let's talk about everything but Obamacare!

  • sarcasmic||

    At the risk of sounding racist, I might as well ask it.

    Is it not possible that the reason black kids are disciplined more than white kids is that they commit more discipline worthy behavior than white kids?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Well, the arrest rates match up closer to the adult arrest rates, so without more data we can't rule it out.

    However, having seen administrators in both inner-city schools and suburban schools, I also think it's the type of reaction and the amount of parental pushback they can expect that influences their behaviour 'zero tolerence' or no.

  • Jordan||

    Is it not possible that the reason black kids are disciplined more than white kids is that they commit more discipline worthy behavior than white kids?

    That was certainly my experience in high school.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    To answer that question I suggest you visit some inner city and some suburban schools and observe the behavior present.

  • AustinRoth||

    AHA! You fell into the trap.

    Statistics that reflect negatively against Blacks ALWAYS racist.

    So, either a) you are correct, but the statistics are reflective of institutional racism or b) you are incorrect and the statistics are indicative of individual racism.

    But in any case, yes, asking that question by default means you are racist, you racist you.

    Now go give all your money to the NAACP and commit your self to a Diversity and Discrimination Re-education program.

  • Homple||

    You don't need all those words. "Shut up, cracka", means the same thing.

  • ||

    However, research suggests that the substantial racial disparities of the kind reflected in the CRDC data are not explained by more frequent or more serious misbehavior by students of color.

    Not according to the article...

  • John||

    What exactly does "research suggests" even mean? Does it prove that or not? How the fuck does research "suggest" anything?

    It would seem to me that the use of the verb "suggests" as opposed to "show" or "proves" says the research says no such thing and the writer is grasping at straws to support his own biases.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I'm guessing a correlation would be a suggestion.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I'm rethinking that. In sociology, "research suggests" probably means some asshat has a theory.

  • John||

    If there were a correlation, they would be claiming rock solid causality. That they only say suggests says they don't even have much of a correlation.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Unfortunately, it is. Is it the kids' fault? Partially. Most of them are being raised by dumbasses who never wanted them and never should have had them to begin with. They are fed a steady stream of shit by momma, grandmomma, and whoever the motherfucker momma is running with this month. The public education system does them no favors either. It teaches them more skills necessary to make it through incarceration than it does to generate legitimate wealth.

    Black people in America have been the guinea pigs in a vicious social experiment for the last 50 odd years. Let's see what happens when we demolish the "bourgeosie" family unit, remove the father's influence from the household, and have generations of people whose sole income comes from wealth transfer schemes.

    You know, socialism.

  • Tony||

    After all black people had it so good prior to the past 50 years.

  • sarcasmic||

    Your stupidity and inability to get the point never ceases to amaze.

  • John||

    Well they have been the victims of 50 years of failed liberal policies that created dependence and destroyed their communities. So there is that.

  • Tony||

    Well you are the expert on black people, so I won't bother with the argument that this is an inherently racist bit of rightwing mythology, or suggest that you simply go ask a black person if he'd rather live 50 years ago.

  • wareagle||

    tony, your ability to move the goalposts is, while amusing, also tedious. Overall life conditions have improved for everyone, not just blacks. However, there is this war on poverty thing that your party inflicted and the result is far worse statistics in numerous areas AFTER passage than before. Those areas need listing?

  • John||

    I know Tony, paying single mothers to have kids and sending out social workers to tell people that working is for suckers and raising the minimum wage so there are few jobs even if someone wanted them, would never have any ill effects on a community.

    The death of the black family belongs to the Progs. They longed for it, worked for it and finally have almost achieved it. You should be proud and own it just like you should own the horrible schools that Progs created for most blacks.

  • Tony||

    Yes, that's the rightwing bullshit I was referring to.

    I'm gonna ask this question again because it always stumps you idiots:

    If Democrats are so bad for black people, why do black people vote for Democrats nearly unanimously?

  • sarcasmic||

    If Democrats are so bad for black people, why do black people vote for Democrats nearly unanimously?

    Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

  • Tony||

    Oh, so there are federal programs out there that give handouts only to black people?

  • Zeb||

    Oh, so there are federal programs out there that give handouts only to black people?

    No. There are plenty of poor white people in the same crappy situation.

    As most people of all races do, blacks largely vote based on who they think has the right intentions. And Democrats are better at marketing themselves as the anit-racists trying to fix the wrongs of the past, as well as portraying Republicans as racist.

  • Tony||

    Republicans are racist and have been for a very long time, and why are you defending them?

    Why is it so flipping easy for me to bait you guys into defending Republicans?

  • Zeb||

    Republicans are racist

    All of them? Some are, of course. As are some Democrats. Yes, the republicans have used some shameful race based strategies in elections. But at this point I think that the Democrats are the worst offenders on that front, trying to gin up racial resentment by framing every issue in terms of race.

    If you make unfair and ridiculous claims about anyone, I will defend them to some extent.

  • Homple||

    Ah, suh, stayund proudlah by mah Rupublican heeroes, Bull Connah, Lestuh Maddox, and Jawge Wallace.

  • wareagle||

    If Democrats are so bad for black people, why do black people vote for Democrats nearly unanimously?

    Five decades of "repubs are racists" has a lot to do with that. But give yourself a pat on the back: rates of single-parent birth, incarceration, dropping out, etc., all worse AFTER 1965 than before.

  • Tony||

    So explain why blacks are universally so easily duped by Democratic propaganda (because Republicans haven't really been BLATANTLY RACIST at all in their electoral schemes).

  • Anonymous Coward||

    If Democrats are so bad for black people, why do black people vote for Democrats nearly unanimously?

    The same reason every freedman didn't flee the South for Canada or the West at the end of the war: when the farm is all you know, you're afraid to leave it for conditions unknown.

    Then you have these well-heeled Quimbos/Sambos who will gladly whip you and tell you that you're "acting white" if you try to better yourself, or that you "hate yourself" if you try to wander off the farm.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    suggest that you simply go ask a black person if he'd rather live 50 years ago.

    Tony, from a family and community standpoint, most would rather live 50 years ago. There was a bond within families and within communities that does not exist any more. When you reward people for having kids and punish them if the father lives with them, you set up a terrible set of incentives that destroys families. We are living with that now.

  • Tony||

    You know, lots of people have made the claim that black people were better off before the civil rights movement. (Some of them currently have TV shows.) Of course, people also used to argue that black people were better off when they were chattel.

    There is an alternative version of the story out there, one that is perhaps somewhat less BLATANTLY ABSURD AND RACIST, specifically, that black people have always been an economic underclass in this country, and since the middle-class-destroying policies of the last 40 years have made life harder for everyone but the very rich, they've made it all the worse for black people, exacerbating all the social ills that come with poverty, including unstable families, antisocial behavior, and a lack of upward mobility.

    But that's just silly. Clearly black people had it better before they had any rights.

  • trshmnstr||

    and since the middle-class-destroying policies of the last 40 years have made life harder for everyone but the very rich

    Let's give those people who make and maintain those policies MOAR POWER!!! They'll get it right one of these days!

  • Tony||

    My sole purpose in life is to see to it that Republicans don't get power again.

  • Hopfiend||

    Not that it matters to me, but you will not succeed. Matters will change, and the people with crappy ideas with R's beside their name will take over for the people with crappy ideas with D's beside their names. They will continue to sell the fiction that the central planners have innovative solutions. They don't. Nothing will change. But I will have the satisfaction of seeing you fail in your mission.

  • wareagle||

    You know, lots of people have made the claim that black people were better off before the civil rights movement.

    are you full of shit or just stupid? Maybe both. The "claim" as you term it looks at statistical factors which, in fact, show the black family unit as a more cohesive, functioning unit before the Great Society than after.

    Your side's actions created the phrase 'generational welfare' and gave rise to the baby mama. Sure, white trash exists, too, but you folks built a system that incentivizes behavior sane people would consider not good.

    The ills of poverty that you allude to have all been made worse by proggie thinking, be the example as broad as the collapse of Detroit and the racial makeup of those most screwed, the collapse of public education and those most screwed, or the introduction of welfare and those most screwed.

  • sarcasmic||

    are you full of shit or just stupid? Maybe both.

    Yep.

  • Tony||

    What do progressives have to do with the collapse of Detroit? Progressives made an industry fail? I thought failure was an inherent feature of capitalism.

    You can't get through a single fucking sentence without invoking some racist rightwing bullshit, can you?

  • sarcasmic||

    What do progressives have to do with the collapse of Detroit?

    Holy shit you are stupid.

    Progressives made an industry fail?

    Holy shit you are stupid.

    You can't get through a single fucking sentence without invoking some racist rightwing bullshit, can you?

    Holy shit you are stupid.

  • Malkavian||

    What industry failed? There are more cars being built in the world now than 50 years ago. A lot of those cars are built in the US. But not in Detroit. Curious why that is.

  • Hopfiend||

    You keep using that word. I don't think that it means what you think it means.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    You know, lots of people have made the claim that black people were better off before the civil rights movement.

    Who?

    Here's a fun idea, and one of the typically understood rules of argumentation: Argue with the people talking to you, not with unnamed TV people who weren't mentioned until you brought them up, nor racists not in attendance who say "black people were better off slaves."

    I don't argue for other people and I don't defend other people's arguments for them.

  • Azathoth!!||

    You know, lots of people have made the claim that black people were better off before the civil rights movement.

    Not before the civil rights movement--before the 'war on poverty' movement, before the 'affirmative action' movement.

    Before the movement to stop the government from discriminating against black people was replaced with the movement to make black people(and all poor people, to an extent) dependant on government.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Come on, Tony w/o spaces. Extol the virtues of a family with no father. Tell me about how wonderful and empowering it is to watch momma go down to state office so she can beg white massa, I mean, the government for her rations, I mean, stamps for the month. And explain how it is beneficial to the children (because we're all about the children here) to see momma beg the white man for some stamps and watch the man of the month lay up on her couch and not work either because he's a lazy, dusty piece of shit, or can't get a job because he was state property.

    Tony, don't talk about shit you haven't lived, or at least studied up on.

  • Tony||

    So what is it about black people that makes them prone to being dependent and not having fathers around?

  • sarcasmic||

    So what is it about black people that makes them prone to being dependent and not having fathers around?

    Do you still beat your wife?

  • sarcasmic||

    When you've got a drug war that targets primarily young black men, coupled with a welfare system that encourages the mothers these imprisoned men leave behind to stay single and jobless, then you're going to have a lot of depended black people without fathers around.

    No one but you said it is their fault.

  • sarcasmic||

    *dependant*

  • Anonymous Coward||

    So what is it about black people that makes them prone to being dependent and not having fathers around?

    Tony, why do you believe black people are prone to dependancy?

    I'll bet you think they are all simple and child-like and eager to please, too.

  • sarcasmic||

  • ||

    “I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” —Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One -

    “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”—LBJ

  • wareagle||

    prior to the past 50 years, black people didn't have a cadre of white apologists like you condescending to them, patronizing them, infantilizing them, making excuses for them, and basically demonstrating the behavior you love to project onto others.

  • Tony||

    But they did have people like you insisting they were inherently inferior.

    That must be what you're saying--white people don't vote nearly 100% for the party that condescends to, patronizes, and infantilizes them. Only about 60% vote for Republicans.

  • sarcasmic||

    Wow. Weapons-grade stupid.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    What are you talking about sarc? I've seen Republicans suggest over and over again that whites are too dumb to handle going to the DMB to get an ID for free.

  • wareagle||

    I never said they were inferior and, unlike you, I was in class with them from first grade. In the South.

    Stop projecting. Proggies policies put in action what you accuse others of thinking or believing.

  • Tony||

    No, but your argument necessarily suggests it.

  • wareagle||

    tony,
    I didn't support the policies that emasculated the black male, treated the black female as a brood mare, and ignores the results. That would be the Dems. Congratulations.

  • Tony||

    Yet black people vote nearly unanimously for Democrats.

    Let me see if I have this straight. Even though social welfare programs are based on income and not race, black people for some reason are more prone to fall victim to the negative consequences of those programs.

    In addition, black people are nearly universally prone to voting for the political party that has kept them down for so long. (Instead of, you know, the party of the Southern Strategy.)

    Sounds like a pretty fucking racist line of reasoning to me.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yet black people vote nearly unanimously for Democrats.

    Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

  • Tony||

    You actually think in cliches don't you?

  • sarcasmic||

    I do think. Unlike you who is only capable of emoting.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    (Instead of, you know, the party of the Southern Strategy.)

    Which worked so well that TEAM Red didn't regain control of Congress until 1994, you know, 30 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 22 years after Nixon was re-elected.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    black people for some reason are more prone to fall victim to the negative consequences of those programs.

    OMG! Did Tony w/o spaces just admit that welfare schemes are not an unqualified good?

  • sarcasmic||

    OMG! Did Tony w/o spaces just admit that welfare schemes are not an unqualified good?

    I'm sure he'll just move the goalposts like when I got him to admit that minimum wage causes unemployment, and he then defended it as an anti-poverty program. As if people are better able to lift themselves out of poverty when they are unemployed.

    He's functionally retarded.

  • Tony||

    Alleged negative consequences.

  • Zeb||

    black people are nearly universally prone to voting for the political party that has kept them down for so long

    It is odd, isn't it, that they would vote for the party of Jim Crow so universally. How do you explain it, Tony?

  • Tony||

    Maybe partially because modern-day Republicans (having absorbed all the Dixicrats to whom you're referring) have been operating from an overt and obvious racist playbook for decades?

  • Homple||

    Was Daniel Patrick Moynihan a racist Republican who insisted that Black people were inferior?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Tony w/o spaces, who the fuck said it was good, you non-reading imbecile?

    But of course, you don't pay attention to what is said because you would, like the rest of the progtards, would rather not discuss your happy role in the mental, cultural, and economic decimation of the black community.

  • trshmnstr||

    After all black people had it so good prior to the past 50 years.

    You'd make a great Dixiecrat.

    Civil Rights Advocate: "Jim Crow laws have been doing a disservice to blacks since reconstruction"
    Tony: "After all, black people had it so good prior to reconstruction, hur dee hur *roll eyes*"

  • Tony||

    What policy are you advancing that would improve the lives of black people, exactly? I'm missing something.

  • GILMORE||

    Ending their exploitation by progressives

  • Tony||

    Nobody's forcing them to vote for Democrats.

  • GILMORE||

    "Tony|1.9.14 @ 1:09PM|#

    Nobody's forcing them to vote for Democrats"

    Except for the municipal unions that do. Whoops!

  • trshmnstr||

    *Reduction in corporate welfare: It would allow entrepreneurial blacks (and all other races) more of a fighting chance when they try to start small businesses.
    *Reduction in payroll taxes: Puts more money in the hands of the impoverished (which includes a disproportionate amount of blacks) without earmarking it as government sees best (and without them skimming off the top).
    *Elimination of the Department of Education: Lets community leaders on the ground make changes and adjustments that fit the community rather than forcing them to enforces top-down, rigid policy directives handed to them from D.C.
    *Elimination of the minimum wage: This would allow many blacks (and other low-skill workers) to be employed in temporary jobs rather than watch the gap on their resume widen.
    *Elimination of drug prohibition: Maybe if we don't condemn blacks (and other lower class folks) for using drugs (which is ubiquitous in poor areas), they'll have a fighting chance at holding down a job.
    *Removal of subsidies and entitlements: If you tilt the balance on the difficult choice between supporting yourself and going on the dole, you'll inspire more blacks (and poor of all races) to become self sufficient citizens.

    (and on and on)

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    trshmnstr,

    why do you want to roll back the R's programs like that? Do you want black babies to die?!?

  • trshmnstr||

    You caught me! I'm a Grand Wizard, and want to throw Aunt Jemima off a cliff.

  • Jordan||

    Elimination of the Fed which devalues their paycheck as soon as they receive it.

  • PapayaSF||

    Prior to the War on Poverty, the black illegitimacy rate wasn't much worse than the white rate.

    If Democrats are so bad for black people, why do black people vote for Democrats nearly unanimously?

    If heroin is so bad for people, why do heroin addicts keep buying it?

  • Tony||

    Illegitimacy is a pretty useless figure, and not only because you aren't describing how it relates to other social problems. More to the point, the reason the black illegitimacy rate has been going up since the 1950s is because a) the birth rate among all black women has been dropping and b) the birth rate among married black women has been dropping faster than that of unmarried black women. This is what has been happening since the 1950s.

    This tired bullshit is the way conservatives blame blacks for social ills while claiming not to be racist.

  • PapayaSF||

    I think Daniel Moynihan knew more about this than you do.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think Daniel Moynihan knew more about this than you do.

    The shit I dropped into the toilet knows more about most things than Tony.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm sure that the drug war targeting and imprisoning black men coupled with a welfare system that encourages mothers to stay single and jobless has absolutely nothing to do with increased illegitimacy rates among blacks. Nothing at all.

  • Tony||

    Yeah the drug war is a horrifyingly racist enterprise. You guys seem to get that.

    All I'm doing is agreeing with this pointless article's apparent position in agreement with the Obama administration that perhaps zero-tolerance in schools is a little racist too.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Secretary of Education Arne Duncan goes on to note that students tossed out of school “may be unsupervised during daytime hours and cannot benefit from great teaching, positive peer interactions, and adult mentorship offered in class and in school.”

    *outright prolonged laughter*

  • GILMORE||

    ".. great teaching, positive peer interactions, and adult mentorship..."

    Oldthinkers Unbellyfeel ProgSoc!

  • Rich||

    I understand some schools are using video cameras in classrooms to document "incidents". If so, it would seem that is the ticket to dealing with this "problem". Just publicly air the videos in front of Holder, then ask him whether the poor victims should in fact be disciplined.

    SLD.

  • GILMORE||

    NEEDZ MOAR PROGNIPOTENT CONTROL

    basically:

    "we have discovered that our first stupid rule has had some unexpected, impolitic side-effects" (and we only noticed after a decade of ridiculous abuses)

    "we are now amending the stupid rule to produce results more in line with what we like: Still apply the stupid rule to everyone... except not as much to the people it is applied to the most. See? Makes sense. Now get back to your one-size-fits-all, mandated, federally-approved system of 'education'."

  • prolefeed||

    Part of the reason for the focus on race (besides the statistical evidence) is because it’s an area where the federal government does have the authority to intervene in public school operations.

    Missed that part of article I, section 8 of the constitution where the feds got to interfere with how schools are run. Link?

  • UnCivilServant||

    It's the filthy federal dollars, not a direct power. We need to take away the taxing power.

  • Almanian!||

    See, this is what happens when you integrate the public schools....

    /'murcan

  • UnCivilServant||

    Actually, I believe the public schools are more segregated now than they used to be - mostly though demographic motion.

  • GILMORE||

    WHICH IS JUST A CLEAR CUT ARGUMENT FOR REMOVING PEOPLES ABILITY TO TRAVEL FREELY.

  • UnCivilServant||

    No shouting.

  • GILMORE||

    The perhaps incidentally-beneficial thing about schools is that they provide us with a micro-cosmic view of 'how would the world work if Progressives were in charge'?

    They reveal to us how many layers of 'managers' their systems need; how their social engineering ideas implode upon themselves and produce ridiculous disproportionate abuses on exactly the populations they think they're trying to 'help'; how they remove all discretion and decision making power from individuals, and subject everyone to trial-by-committee over even the most minor deviations from the mandated script; how in their boneheaded attempts to free the world of Race and Class differences they end up imposing a cookie-cutter version of reality that fits no one; and how their systems for producing artificial 'Fairness' in the world often end up being used as tools to apply arbitrary, disproportionate, unfair punishments to "some" people in the name of EQUALITY.

  • trshmnstr||

    but, but school isn't like the real world. In the real world, the government works tons better and embraces everybody!!!!1!
    /prog

  • Tony||

    A thread full of tired racist bullshit and nobody can understand that racism could possibly exist in schools. You people are too precious for words.

  • trshmnstr||

  • PapayaSF||

    Most blacks attend schools in city schools, and that's were most of the punishments happen. Those schools are run by Democrats and unions. So you are saying that Democrats and unions are racist?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Yes.

    At the very least, those who ran the city schools i've been exposed to were VERY much so.

  • Mainer2||

    Why do people who are clearly intelligent, well read and insightful rise to the bait every time ?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Entertainment!

  • Zeb||

    Because I'd rather get into it with some internet moron than my real life friends who think that way.

  • trshmnstr||

    Yes, it's much easier to call an internet troll out on what they are than to ruin an otherwise good friendship.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    They're clearly not intelligent. Sorry, but that's just the reality.

  • Mainer2||

    John clearly IS intelligent.

  • Flemur||

    have revealed racial discrimination in the administration of student discipline.

    The black racists with DOJ sinecures claim that schools racially and sexually discriminate against everyone except Asian girls.

    Shocked!

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