“Government Study: School is Racist.”
That was the headline over at The Root, a site that finds racism in pretty much every interaction in America. So it wasn’t surprising to find that author Michael Harriot found it lurking in public school discipline policies, which have been a source of controversy on the left for several years. Under the Obama administration, several steps were taken to pressure school districts into revising disciplinary policies with racial disparities in mind. And even today, cities like Chicago and New York have policies in place that force school administrators to seek superintendent approval before suspending or expelling a student of color.
The fundamental logic behind this approach (and the one confirmed by the government study that Harriot wrote about) is that students of color are disciplined more frequently and more harshly than their white counterparts. To the left, this is all they need to hear to conclude that educators are singling minorities out for greater punishment simply because of the color of their skin. And to make sure they get to keep that narrative going, they will ignore or explain away every shred of evidence that says, well, there may be a very easy explanation for those disparities that don’t bring racism into the equation.
“The Government Accountability Office found that black students are overrepresented in the disciplinary data, which is a very nice way of saying that black children are punished more often and receive harsher punishments than white kids,” Harriot writes. “’These disparities were widespread and persisted regardless of the type of disciplinary action, level of school poverty or type of public school attended,’ the report explains.
“For example, at every level of discipline, the GAO found that white kids were underrepresented and black kids were overrepresented,” he continues. “In fact, black students were most overrepresented in the areas that allowed school officials to arrest, kick out or suspend the black kids (out-of-school suspension, corporal punishment and school-related arrest).”
Later in his article, he sarcastically gives lip service to the thought on all of your minds. “Maybe white kids are better behaved,” he ponders. “I almost bought into this theory until I remembered how white kids act in the cereal aisles of supermarkets. Plus, they call their parents by their first names and start cussing when they’re only in the third grade.”
Well, now that we have this expert’s word on the “fact” that white kids act a fool when they see a box of Froot Loops, we guess that theory is out the window. Surely there’s no difference between a brat and a kid who is causing constant, sometimes-violent disruptions in school. No difference at all.
But this is the kind of low-level thinking that passes for analysis on the racial left. They cannot and will not accept that, perhaps, the disparity between white kids and minorities in school starts a step back from the punishments they receive. Because to acknowledge that would be to “victim-blame” the black community; i.e. to put responsibility in the SELF. And that’s a concept the left simply doesn’t believe in.