Steen Miles has a point: Greed knows no color

Steen Miles [a big supporter of Gene Walker] gives us her insight in one of her recent opinion posts at The Champion:

Tea, Anyone?

Steen-Miles-Dekalb-school-watch“Power plays and control of the nearly billion-dollar budget are the priorities, not the education of our children as it should be. Public school systems around the nation have been abandoned to poor Whites, Blacks, Browns and others. Middle and upper income families have their children in private schools. Tired of paying private school tuition, the strategy for years has been to allow public school tax dollars for charter schools under the guise of school choice in communities of interest. Bottom line, what is occurring is the re-segregation of our schools with control of the resources in the hands of the same powerful few. School boards set policy and control the dollars. Is the problem that we don’€™t want that power and control in the hands of people from different communities of interest€?

“The current DeKalb school board was elected by people in their districts. The board should be un-elected by people in their district. Unincorporated DeKalb is predominately African-American. Could a White person be elected from a predominately African-American district in DeKalb? The answer is yes, but one would have to live in that district, and the history of DeKalb demonstrates that most Whites do not want to live in a predominately African-American area and neither do many middle class African Americans for that matter. Most Whites run and many African Americans high tail it right behind them.

“Race and greed are at the heart of the problem with our schools in DeKalb, not to mention the moral decay of many of our institutions. It is a national problem that left uncorrected threatens to implode our communities. We are dwelling on the symptoms rather than the causes with this one and that one opining as to what to do about the symptoms. What we are seeing in DeKalb today is the culmination of years of cancerous board practices and not one mere decade, but several. The real foxes are gone leaving behind an empty chicken house. Better let that tea bag steep a little longer. Where is the Tea Party when you need them? This government intrusion in the voting rights of citizens would seem a classic case for their involvement. Alas, perhaps it’s the wrong brand of tea.”

To read Steen Miles’ complete article go to Tea anyone? in The Champion.

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6 Responses to Steen Miles has a point: Greed knows no color

  1. This quote from Booker T. Washington sums up the DeKalb County Schools situation:

    “There is a class
    of colored people
    who make a business
    of keeping the troubles,
    the wrongs and the
    hardships of the Negro race
    before the public.

    “Some of these people
    do not want the Negro
    to lose his grievances
    because they do not want
    to lose their jobs.

    “There is a certain class
    of race-problem solvers
    who don’t want the patient
    to get well.”

    Booker T. Washington
    http://www.btwsociety.org/library/misc/quotes.php‎

  2. Hazel says:

    Ok. To describe the problems in DeKalb County Schools as a “negro” problem kind of explains how it is unlikely to be fixed any time soon. The problems in the system were here long before any of the “negros” got in positions of power. They may not have been as obvious to some, and the system might have served some well, but the problems were there. If only we had more Booker T. folk and fewer W.E.B.folk, things would be fine. But, no.

    “At the time, the Washington/Du Bois dispute polarized African American leaders into two wings–the ‘conservative’ supporters of Washington and his ‘radical’ critics. The Du Bois philosophy of agitation and protest for civil rights flowed directly into the Civil Rights movement which began to develop in the 1950’s and exploded in the 1960’s. Booker T. today is associated, perhaps unfairly, with the self-help/colorblind/Republican/Clarence Thomas/Thomas Sowell wing of the black community and its leaders.”

  3. Dr Walker made no bones about it. He sees color. The majority of the board agreed and voted to spend extra money on extra lawyers so that they could ensure they had a black-owned law firm. So far, this board has continued the practice – even though they boast of having cut the legal fee budget. (They ‘reduced’ the legal fees in the latest budget, but it remains to be seen how the legal spending will actually play out.)

    This AJC report highlights the point. “DeKalb school board members admit they voted last year to spend almost $1 million more on attorneys to ensure they had a black female attorney working with them … The two other firms – which also have African-American, Indian and Hispanic attorneys on staff – offered to do the human resources work for about $500,000 less … During the heated debate, board member Walker argued that to him diversity is only black and white. ‘I am a very, very race-conscious person,’ Walker said in October 2009. “I will never ever try to lead you to believe that I am race-neutral. I see color. I appreciate color. I celebrate color and I love color.’ …”

    This has all been handled using public money that was earmarked for educating (mostly) black and (mostly) poor children. Can anyone explain how this is a good use of this money and how it is not harming the outcomes of the education of the children?

  4. Mildred says:

    Steen is just eating from a bowl of sour grapes.

  5. howdy1942 says:

    @DSW – Thanks for that quote from Booker T. Washington – I would suggest that Ms. Miles read it again and again. I would also ask Ms. Miles to explain why whites and middle and upper black folks are fleeing the public school system in Dekalb County? Why would they go to the expense and trouble to send their kids to private schools and charter schools? I’ve seen other comments by others on this blog that they, too, would leave if they could sell their houses. So it appears that there is yet another wave of people that want to leave.

    Read the Booker T. Washington again – my perspective is that It is very true that there is a group of blacks that want control and don’t want to see their power base erode as would surely happen if that base becomes better educated and escapes the grip of those who want to use them. I think that you will agree that the very negative press that has been given to the predominately black-run schools in Clayton County, Dekalb County, and the Atlanta Public School System has not exactly encouraged people to want to send their kids there. And that is why there is so much interest in charter schools and private schools as alternatives and these people want some financial relief from the burden they are facing. And to some degree, that is reasonable.

  6. Cedar says:

    Hogwash. If you run a good public school system and community, nobody runs away. Furthermore, many a White person lives in predominantly “African-American” areas of DeKalb County. Could a White person be elected from a predominately “African-American” district in DeKalb? The answer is no. So, if the system is full of corruption and fraud and there is nothing one can do about it, then running away would seem to be the only choice.

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