Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Don't See Anyting Soft

"The soft bigotry of low expectations..."

 The first  time I heard that quote, I scoffed at the idea. I'm not scoffing anymore.

See, when I first heard about "soft bigotry" I thought it just meant your do-gooder liberals who think that black people deserve pity and handouts instead of assistance and acceptance. And while it means that, it means much more. It also means that while you preach about equality and a meritocracy, you quietly eliminate opportunities for certain folks to ever advance beyond their current station, and you claim you're doing it for their own good.

Apparently, some of that is happening in the Pacific Northwest.

It boggles my mind that only seven schools have African American children enrolled in calculus and none of those schools have more than five kids in the class. Seven schools out of 52 schools in the district? That's utterly ridiculous.

This is one of the reasons I support HBCUs and majority-black schools with a history of academic excellence. I attended an almost all-black high school where not only did we have multiple Calculus classes, we had multiple Physics classes and several Advanced Placement offerings in other courses. Black kids weren't expected to fail, we were expected to succeed and succeed spectacularly!

We never had to worry that we were innately inferior, we only had to worry about failing to meet our immense potential. But, when you stick black kids in majority white environments those expectations often change. Sure, there are always a few "good darkies" selected as high achievers, but the rest are left to allow their gifts to atrophy until they are ill-prepared for even the most menial jobs upon graduation. And that simple strategy allows the current power dynamic to continue largely unimpeded, and makes black folks more susceptible to losing ground in economic recessions.

There is nothing soft about soft bigotry. It's a rock solid means to maintain the status quo. Rock solid.



Sheldon Ross said...

The flaw in the causal connexion leaves out the fundamental fact that American Blacks do not value education. Black parents may pay lip service to the notion of education, but the collective culture does not. Compare the Hebrew schools and test-prep classes Asians and Jewish children/teens attend in addition to the hours wasted in their regular public school dumps.
Few Black parents know how to help their children for academic success, the exceptions tend to be foreign born or legacies of well-educated parents themselves e.g. Dr. Jonathan Farley as example of former, and Professor Condoleezza Rice as example of latter.
The greatest burden is the craps-in-a-barrel academic blocking that Black peers placed upon each other. Caucasians need not restrict or discourage Blacks from pursuing academics, Blacks do sufficient job all themselves.

Big Man said...

I think black folks value education.
I think that they rely too heavily on public schools to provide quality education.
Given the state of the schools most black students attend, parents cannot depend on those schools alone to do an adequate job of educating their children. And I think black people were the last ones to get that memo.

Shady_Grady said...

I think "soft" here is only "soft" in juxtaposition to the "harder" or more open bigotry that is usually considered bad form.

Raving Black Lunatic