Friday, January 28, 2011
Overheard on CNN.com: Wounds of racial tension remain

 

COMMENT OF THE DAY: "The driving force of the African American's perception of identity is an innate sense of loss and separation from our original ethnic and cultural identities caused by the forced exodus of our people during the slave migration. Segregation of any sort only reminds our people of this forced loss, and more importantly, highlights our inability to ever regain the stability from knowing, 'I am who I am, because I emphatically know my history.' Segregation in any way is wrong and has no place within any society." --hourxiii

 

Pennsylvania school experiments with 'segregation'

 

The junior class at McCaskey East High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is voluntarily segregated by the students, who organize themselves "by gender, race and/or language," school spokeswoman Kelly Burkholder said. Readers were mostly opposed to the idea, but there were a lot of readers who thought a project of this sort could help students if done right.

 

riley352 said, "Here is my white boy point of view. I'm comfortable around black people. I live in an upper-class neighborhood that is actually very diverse and my next door neighbors are black (as well as about 10 other homes in a one block radius). ... We need our children and their teachers to interact with each others regardless of race so that we can all learn to live together and MOVE ON. ... How this doesn't have everyone, regardless of race, calling for this principal's resignation is beyond me."

 

wierdeddie said, "We need to ease up on the political correctness, and find some solutions. If this program raises the test scores (more than what would be predicted by Hawthorne effect, etc.) then do it."

 

rakelts203 said, "Here's what will work: Segregate the students who are unteachable from the ones who want to learn something. The greatest pressures pushing public education into the dumper are disruptive students and uninvolved parents." SheepDetectr said in response, "THIS I agree with. When you have rotten kids or slow kids, they should be taken aside and helped accordingly. Teachers waste far too much time on disciplining rotten kids with stupid parents than actually teaching those that WANT to learn. But seperating by the made-up construct of race is rediculous!"

 

What protesters in Arab nations do -- and don't -- have in common

 

This article on recent demonstrations got people talking about the weighty issue of people's relationship with their government. Emile Hokayem, with the International Institute for Strategic Studies in the Middle East, said, "They're all protesting about growing inequalities, they're all protesting against growing nepotism. The top of the pyramid was getting richer and richer."

 

Many commenters said the feeling is mutual all over the globe, and suggested that people in the U.S. are feeling similar angst. nwJpublic wrote, "People worldwide are tired of not being heard. Government leaders would be wise to step off their thrones and listen to the people. The unrest will only spread unless they wake up and realize the power of the common men and women."

 

Bloggulator said, "The Arabs are protesting about EXACTLY what is happening in America. They want freedom, an end to corruption, plutocracy and nepotism, and they are in the streets, angry as a swarm of bees. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., we are taking it up the proverbial backside, and doing nothing. What a bunch of wimps the U.S. public are, except they are probably so ignorant, because of broad corporate media brainwashing, that they think they are free."

 

Ragsntags said, "They're complaining about the same conditions we experience here in the good old USA." Gosolar96 said in reply, "Americans have more 'stuff' than almost everyone else in the world, and people still complain that its not enough. And you wonder why everyone hates us." callmetibbs wrote, "Coming soon to America..." heatsketch said this probably won't happen in America, but, "It'll happen across Europe by the end of the decade, though."

 

Firedog51 wrote, "OK, let me see if I have this straight, Middle class is a blocked elite, Growing inequalities, petrolium and food prices sky rocketing, disparity between rich and poor, labor movements left behind and not sharing in economic growth and manipulating media outlets, Sounds like this country after 8 years of the Bush administration and everything that the Boehner, McConnell, Cantor and Republicans stand for."

 

Gosolar96 responded, "You're right Firedog. The poor in this county are forced to watch TV on a 40-inch flatscreen while the rich watch TV on a 60-inch flatscreen. ... I am ashamed to live in a country that alows such inequality."

 

Remembering the Challenger disaster, 25 years later

 

There are those moments in history that, time and again, make people want to dig into their memory banks and recall where they were when something happened. The Challenger disaster is one of the best examples of this. Readers reacted with true sadness, and many said they couldn't bear to look at footage of the smoking shuttle again.

 

banasy recalled, "I was at work and we were all in our offices watching, and we literally all started wailing and crying. Yes, even the men. We closed the office. We were all just that upset. Even though 25 years have passed, I'll bet anyone who witnessed that will always remember that day, and the courage of our astronauts, (living and passed) for stepping into the unknown, good and bad. RIP. Their families should know that, in my opinion, they are heroes and epitomize why little boys and girls STILL want to grow up to be astronauts."

 

Grant said, "I was working at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, on that day. The entire 5,000 employee staff and contractors were watching the shuttle launch on NASA-Select TV, in nearly every building on the base. Then the explosion. The entire community gasped. It was absolutely surreal. Everywhere on the base, people were stunned and in shock for the rest of the day. Very few people said much on that day. I cannot believe 25 years have since gone by. RIP."

 

Christa McAuliffe, a New Hampshire social studies teacher, had been selected to be the first teacher in space. Many of the most vivid memories of the launch were shared by people who were watching at school, and our CNN iReport blog post focuses on those stories from the classroom. Commenters in turn responded with even more stories of their own childhood memories.

 

SissyReads was on a field trip to watch the launch in fourth grade. "I remember that I forgot my camera on the school bus, because we were running late and we'd had to run from the parking lot to get a good spot to see it. Someone had a radio and as we watched it explode, we could not believe what we were seeing.  The adults around us were crying, but we didn't really get it.  We were supposed to go in and tour the Space Center, but after the explosion they could not push people out of there fast enough. ... I have these old, small photographs that I took once we got back on the bus and I found my camera.  The smoke and mist hung in the air for a long time, staying in that same shape until the wind blew it away. The memory will stay with me forever."

 

YOUR TURN: Now that you've read what other people are saying, do you find that your views align with theirs? Think of this as a wishing well in need of your 2 cents. Post a comment below or sound off on video.

 

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

14 Comments
January 28, 2011
Click to view OcelotSpot's profile

I have to agree with what SheepDetectr said: "THIS I agree with. When you have rotten kids or slow kids, they should be taken aside and helped accordingly. Teachers waste far too much time on disciplining rotten kids with stupid parents than actually teaching those that WANT to learn. But seperating by the made-up construct of race is rediculous!"

 

That was definitely my experience when I went to an inner city public school.  Not only was time spent disciplining the the disruptive kids, but then those disruptive kids started putting peer pressure on other kids to rebel, and then the discipline problem kids as a group picked on the other kids who wanted to learn or excel in academics. Anyone who's name appeared on the honor roll list was ostracized.  Also, sadly, you could see pretty easily who had parents who cared about their school work and wanted them to excel, and those children who's parents were probably part of the 'disruptive' category in their school days.

 

The school was around 65% black, 10% hispanic, and 25% white, and I can tell you that kids off all races fit in both of these categories. 

January 28, 2011
Click to view DRTSAT's profile

I find this to be an utterly ridiculous experiment. I teach my kids (hispanic and white) that they can have friends of all races. racial discrimination is a terrible thing and this experiment perpetuates the myth that the black man is a victim. The people who were slaves were victims. The people who fought for civil rights for blacks were victimized but they fought for their rights, they refused to be victims. Many were victims because they were beaten, raped and killed. This experiment is a slap in the face of those who fought for civil rights. Yes, remember the past and learn from it. But don't repeat it in some misguided social experiment. 

January 28, 2011
Click to view rcaferilla's profile

Every single school in america is segregated by race, gender, and language.

 

That's the norm.   I see no need to encourage it, or to discourage it, in the end, let people congregate as they choose.

January 29, 2011
Click to view RVenger's profile

People are going to be happiest...and therefore more able to to fulfill their potential...if allowed to associate with those they feel most comfortable with. Forcing people together is no better than forcibly separating them. Freedom of association will nearly always yield the best results for those motivated to succeed.

January 29, 2011
Click to view vanhenry71's profile

After Reading some of these comments, I have to say one stands out that I totally agree with!

 

When in collage, we had some pretty disruptive 'supposed to be adult' students, and I had to repeat these classes TWICE. The teachers would not remove them and told us to tolerate them. We had this issue in High school, as an adult paying for my education, I do not have to tolerate or should be made to tolerate this behaviour! Now in High school, us students don't have a say. There is a LOT of students in the poor districts that want help and ask, but teachers are few, class sizes are large and these kids fall through the cracks. They also hear that the white or the wealthy don't want them to go forward. This is a disgrace and why we as a society tolerate THIS is beyond me!

 

We have kids falling through the cracks who want to better themselves but we have people saying stuff to them that tells them, they don't matter, they learn not to speak up! After spending time with some of these young adults in Oakland and San Francisco, I know there is got to be help out there!

 

On the Segregation issue: One thing I learned as a Anthropology student;

 

Go to a School lunch room, watch the people, they segregate themselves, no one has to help them! People seem to flock to groups of their own race, and for all the desegregating, People still do it on their own! From what I see, it is what makes one feel safer(stay with who and what you know) or is a learned pattern. All Races do it!

January 29, 2011
Click to view silverfaery3's profile

My problem with all of this...I'm pretty stupid in anything involving advance math...I flip numbers around. Can do it verbally, but not on paper....my brother and sister do the same thing with words...now none of us are stupid but in our areas we struggled.  I have a very advance level of vocabulary and reading and know 2 different languages (thanks to living in Germany from Kindergarted through 3rd almost 4th grade)...it actually and still does screw with my spelling of words...lol.  Now I have been hated for being American, having lived outside of the US.  We are proud, stubborn and basically will do whatever we want, when we want.  I am an proud citizen of the US, I have served in the US miliatary, as have my father and the father of my children. I will fight for my rights in this country.  I am white, female, and a US citizen and because of that I will say what I want, have the job I want and stand for what I personally believe in.  They do NOT hate the US because we are lazy, for those of us that have been outside the US at any point can say this, they hate us because we are PROUD to be a US citizen, and are not ones to push around.  I have no probs of learning other languages or culters (have most of my life) but that does not nor will it ever change who I am personally. May God Bless the US of A!!!

January 29, 2011
Click to view rtard2210's profile

Look, here's the deal. Africans were THE LEAST affected slaves in history. Do your homework. If you don't believe me, then ask any African American you can find if he or she would like to go back to Africa to live.  If the African slave trade had never happened, the Africans would still be living in the bush WITHOUT the opportunities now provided. Segregation may be a good thing if it keeps distance between unwanted neighbors and stops fighting. I personally wish we could all get along, but nonetheless, it's time for African Americans to stop complaining about inequality, and time for Europeans to accept the fact that they coexist here, since no one alive now had anything to do with their arrival. Life is not fair, but how many of you, BLACK OR WHITE, got to choose how your life would turn out?

January 29, 2011
Click to view MrMacman's profile

Okay...I really don't want to sound racist, but this is ridiculous.  I read a little further than just CNN's article on this, and found that this was a voluntary act by the junior class, and that there are several all black homerooms, and from the picture provided above, it honestly looks like a black kid somewhere said, "Hey, let's segregate...does everyone agree?"  Well here's some news from a southern white boy...there is no such thing as voluntary segregation, at some point somewhere it becomes involuntary.  For example, let's say there is some white kid in this school that is best friends with a group of black kids, and he wants to hang out with them during this time because he doesn't relate to the other kids of his own race.  Even though his friends may be okay with this, I would imagine much of the rest of the class may not be...the 1st time that white kid is turned away, or that boy, girl, black kid, chinese kid, or even the smelly kid is turned away, at that point the segregation is involuntary for someone.

Here's my first thought on all this though...it looks like this was probably some black kids' idea, and down here if a group of white kids tried that, they would be called racists, but if black kids, or any other race does it, a double standard is automatically created and its okay.  This whole idea at this school seems pretty stupid to me and I'll be looking to see it backfire on everyone involved in it's support of this "voluntary" segregation.  But what do I know, I'm just some stupid white guy in the south who witnesses racism by the local black community go unnoticed while I get looked at funny for not saying African American.  My ancestors were from France, but nobody calls me European American.

Sorry for my rant CNN but I had to let this all out.

January 29, 2011
Click to view MrMacman's profile

One more thing and I'll stop...in regards to the picture of the pink flyer stating that one of the purposes of this experiment is to develop esteem and confidence by segregating...you develop self-esteem and confidence by putting yourself in uncomfortable situations and succeeding...not by hanging out with people you're already comfortable with.  Example-send your kid to a college away from home and all his friends and family...they will be forced to make new friends and meet new people and develop confidence in situations where they don't feel comfortable.

January 29, 2011
Click to view Sassafrass73's profile

When we as people are left with our greatest freedom to choose, we choose to be around people that are like ourselves.  At college in the student union, the students who came primarily from one city sat together, the students from china primarily sat together, the students from russia together - so on and so forth. They even had preferred tables and sections that they gathered in.  No one forced this.  It happened by human nature.  At work, the engineers sit together in the lunch room and at company meetings.  The manufacturing crew sit together.  We have a high percentage of Russian immagrants - guess what - they sit together as a group as well.

 

We feel connected with people we share things in common with.  There's nothing wrong with that.  No one in either anecdote - at college or at work is pointing fingers at another group and disparaging them.  No one is ostracized.  The segregation is not forced, it's natural.  It's healthy.

 

Forced segregation is wrong.  Forced integration is just as wrong.

January 29, 2011
Click to view DEMOCRATZ's profile

We do not need to go back in human development segregation whether voluntary or forced appears wrong.

 

www.democratz.org

January 29, 2011
Click to view Sassafrass73's profile

If voluntary segregation is wrong, let the police come in and force people in a public gathering place to disperse from common groups and be homogeneously seated because that is 'right.'  If not, why not?

 

If voluntary segregation is 'moving human development backward' then we should disband national governments, we should get rid of cultural holidays, erase national boundaries and eradicate privileges of citizenship... because all of these things tie people together who share unique common bonds.  If not, why not?

 

 

January 29, 2011
Click to view Sassafrass73's profile

If voluntary segregation is wrong, then you have to disown lines of distiction - not only race, but political boundaries as well, family boundaries, intellectual boundaries, class boundaries, etc. 

 

How many Tea Partiers have you invited over for dinner recently?  If you woudn't think of doing that, does that make you a polical bigot?  Would you swap spouses with your neighbor, or trade children with a stranger?  If not, does that make you a familial bigot?  Did you study liberal arts?  Why didn't you take advanced calculus and quantum phyics?  If you didn't does that make you an intellectual bigot?  Open your mind.

February 10, 2011
Click to view hilroy's profile

Look, we all know that we are headed for deadly racial confrontation in 2012 and no one wants to admit it. Sad but true. White people are born inherently racist and that too is a fact.

 

One good thing is that not all whites are racist but good and I know a lot of them like me. 

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