Monday, September 27, 2021

Letter from New York City: The War on White Teachers

By Nicholas Stix

Note that “community control” and “Afrocentrism” were earlier euphemisms and code phrases for genocidal, black supremacism.

Note that the Rev. Charles Norris was a front man for black supremacist murderer, kidnapper, and extortionist, Robert “Sonny” Carson (1935-2002). His title of “reverend” and his organization, Queens Clergy for Political Awareness, were as phony as a three-dollar bill. Norris didn’t worship Jesus, he worshiped black supremacism.

When black West Indian newsday “reporter” Merle English interviewed Norris, she asked him no probing questions and never mentioned his relationship with Carson, because English was herself a black supremacist, fake news reporter.

Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture
March, 1997

“It’s a new day, and a new way!” exulted Adelaide Sanford on television in 1987. A black supremacist and member of the New York City Board of Education, Sanford was the candidate for schools chancellor of the Reverend Al Sharpton and “activist attorneys” Alton Maddox and C. Vernon Mason (both of whom have since been forced to leave the law), the same three men who later that year brought us the Tawana Brawley hoax.

Rita Altman has learned just what Adelaide Sanford meant. A white teacher at P.S. 80 in Jamaica, Queens, Altman was accused in December, 1995 of having called one student “a fat nigger” and others “a bunch of niggers.” Denying the charge, Altman survived a District 28 school board vote last March 4 and a threat by Chancellor Rudy Crew to fire her and remove the board, after Crew’s investigator (contradicting the board’s findings) supported the charge.

The Reverend Charles Norris, the head of Queens Clergy for Political Awareness, has confessed that it doesn’t matter to him if Altman really said the N-word. As he told Newsday reporter Merle English, “We’re not going to sit still and have this teacher just get away with what allegedly has been said. Whether it’s true or not, her effectiveness as a teacher has been damaged. How is she going to teach effectively in any school where students will be whispering, ‘That’s the teacher that used the N-word’?”

Reverend Norris has vowed that his group will hunt Altman down at any school to which she is transferred, and prevent her from teaching.

We may never know what really happened in Rita Altman’s classroom on November 30, 1995, but we do know that the comically improbable charges came a full week after the incident supposedly occurred. At P.S. 80, white faces are few and unwelcome. White, New York public school teachers do not use racial slurs, and are paranoid about the perception of having said anything, however innocuous—even in private conversations—that could remotely be construed as being “racially insensitive.”

Had Altman used the epithet, she would have needed a police escort out of the building that day. Yet, it took activists—including black teachers suspected of having framed Altman—seven days to “revive” the children’s memories. This case cries out for a civil rights investigation.

Last June, United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Spokesman Ron Davis told me that charges of white teachers using racial epithets (as opposed to “showing racial insensitivity”) are exceedingly rare, and cause for automatic dismissal; union policy is to support members who deny such charges.

The March 4 school board meeting was attended by the Reverend Al Sharpton, and about 70 “activists” whom Robert “Sonny” Carson had brought from Brooklyn. Convicted kidnapper Carson has led violent “boycotts” terrorizing Korean greengrocers, and in 1991 helped incite the Crown Heights pogrom.

Conservative Democratic Club Chairman Jeff Wiesenfeld and another witness said that despite having been deserted by the UFT and all local elected officials, Altman bravely argued that she had been denied due process. Wiesenfeld said that Carson’s supporters “called those teachers who came in defense of their colleague ‘white Jew bitches,’ and said ‘They should blow up more of your [Israeli] buses.’ To me, this was very similar to the Tawana Brawley hoax. Our issue was that at any given time, just by rabble-rousing, you can be falsely accused. There have been problems all along with people who have deeply resented that white teachers teach black children. That there are people like myself who had black teachers seems to be of little consequence to them.”

The Rita Altman case continues a tradition that began with the Ford Foundation-financed experiment in “community control” in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn.

On May 7, 1968, District Administrator Rhody McCoy summarily fired, without leveling any specific charges, 12 experienced white teachers, one black teacher, and six white administrators. The firing provoked New York’s longest teachers’ strike. (McCoy later rescinded the dismissal of the black teacher.) As Jim Sleeper noted in his book The Closest of Strangers, the community control separatists became known as “people who wouldn’t take yes for an answer.”

Before the strike, McCoy ally Sonny Carson had used his street soldiers to terrorize white teachers. In her book The Great School Wars, Diane Ravitch quoted the Reverend C. Herbert Oliver, the school board chairman working with McCoy, that “we were talking about hundreds of [white] teachers in Ocean Hill-Brownsville alone.” [Postscript, 2021: Oliver wrote this in a letter to the editor at the New York Times!]

The firing of the 12 was a mere opening act. The white teachers’ jobs were to be given to uneducated “community people” and parents, and Southern black and Puerto Rican teachers who lacked New York State Certification. Ravitch recalled McCoy’s announcement “to the press that unspecified vigilante action would prevent the ousted teachers from working elsewhere in the city: ‘Not one of these teachers will be allowed to teach anywhere in this city. The black community will see to that.’”

Meanwhile, McCoy introduced the sort of Afrocentric, “self-esteem” curriculum that today is holy writ in many (often corrupt) failing districts. Celebrating illiteracy and innumeracy as expressions of a “black learning style,” Afrocentrism teaches that all black children are the property of the “African” community (“it takes a village”); as a racially inferior foreigner, no “European” adult has the right to correct or discipline a black child.

During the strike, McCoy kept the schools open, as inexperienced black (and a few well-to-do, young white Marxist) ideological shock troops continued to teach. McCoy insisted that due to enhanced self-esteem, pupils’ performances had risen dramatically. However, following the strike, tests showed that their performance had actually deteriorated.

Soon thereafter, the practice of social promotion and race-based hiring took hold in the city’s schools. As school performance plummeted, ever more dollops of racial self-esteem were demanded. Illiterates graduated from high school, and continued on to the City University of New York’s City College campus, which in 1970 switched from a selective to an “open” admissions policy, soon thereafter introducing social promotion to higher education.

According to the UFT, over 80 percent of the city’s teachers are CUNY graduates. What had been the nation's finest system of urban public education had come to resemble that of a Third World nation.

During the late 1980’s and early 90’s, I was a case worker for abused and neglected black children. In 1989, while returning one of my kids to her foster home in Brooklyn's battle-scarred East New York section, Latoya saw her third-grade teacher in the same subway car. A beautiful, clever eight-year-old, Latoya sought in vain to introduce us. The teacher scowled silently at me. A few months later, I found an old spelling bee in Latoya’s school bag. The (same) teacher had given her an “A,” marking only one word out of 20 wrong. In fact, Latoya had misspelled seven words, earning only a “D.”

In 1995, I recounted the story to a Puerto Rican CUNY professor who had spent 20 years in the Board of Education's testing and evaluation branch. Had the teacher let students grade their neighbors’ papers, without checking them? Had she inflated their grades to bolster their self-esteem? Was the teacher herself illiterate? The professor responded, “Anything’s possible.”

One legacy of Ocean Hill-Brownsville is that today pupils are routinely awarded “certificates of merit” for no reason. A secretary from Brooklyn named Theresa tells of the time her daughter Tina brought home a certificate: “I’d ask her what the award was for and she couldn’t tell me, so I’d just rip it up. I said, ‘Don’t be bringing these things home, if you can’t tell me what they’re for.’ One day she came home from school and said, ‘Mommy, they gave me an award in school today, but I tore it up, because I didn’t know what it was for.’” Theresa had sent Tina to a non-Afrocentric, black private school for the first grade, but with cash running short switched to public school the following year. She made additional sacrifices to re-enroll the child in private school for the third grade, where she thrived anew.

During the early 1990s, the citv planned an Afrocentric Ujamaa Institute restricted to black (and Hispanic, i.e., honorary black) boys, and hiring exclusivelv black men. The threat of a court challenge caused the Board to allow for black and Hispanic females, as well. Officially, the school does not exist at present.

If Chancellor Rudy Crew has his way, Brawleyesque hoaxes and Ujamaa Institutes will no longer be necessary to rid New York of the plague of white teachers. For Jeff Howard has come to town.

Howard is a racial re-educator who made over one million dollars in Tacoma, Washington, and Sacramento, California, off contracts let by Rudy Crew, then in charge of the local school systems. Like Bill and Hillary, Crew and Howard are a “two-for-one, blue-plate special.” Jeff Howard’s Lexington, Massachusetts-based Efficacy Institute seminars instruct white teachers that they are racists. In The World According to Howard, there are only two kinds of whites: confessed racists and closet cases. Howard and Crew are convinced that without ever using racial epithets, white teachers make black children fail, bv projecting attitudes of failure onto them.

Since no evidence backs up such vague claims, there is no defense against them. “Confessing” that one is a racist could be cause for one’s immediate termination. Yet a teacher who is taught to doubt her own motives, and whose students are encouraged to suspect her of racism and disrespect her, cannot function. Howard’s seminars violate whites’ constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of opinion, due process, and equal treatment under the law. Were he honest enough to draw the conclusions that necessarily follow from his premises, he would come out and say that only blacks mav teach black students.

Besides being illegal and racist, the same reasoning would preclude black teachers from teaching non-black children.

While they are abusing white teachers, Efficacy’s facilitators seek to increase black children’s self-esteem, which will presumably improve their performance.

Jeff Howard’s program recalls the 1989 and 1991 pedagogy plans by black supremacists Leonard Jeffries and Ali Mazrui, of City College and the State University at Binghamton, respectively. Sponsored by then-New York State Commissioner of Education Thomas Sobol, the plans sought to raise the self-esteem of black children through teaching fiction as history and abusing white children. In all such plans lurks the spirit of Frances Cress Welsing.

As Diane Ravitch recently reported in culturefront magazine, rather than improving academic skills, self-esteem pedagogy results in black students who are poor at science thinking they are good at it. Teachers have complained vociferously in school districts where Howard’s methods were tried. UFT spokesman Ron Davis told me last June, “We know that a lot of our members are concerned about the usefulness of [Efficacy]. The chancellor has assured us that it is not going to be brought in wholesale, and as such we do not feel obliged to make an assessment of it at this point.”

Board of Education Spokesman Frank Sobrino and Chiara Colletti ignored repeated requests for comment on Jeff Howard (as well as the Rita Altman case). Efficacy is quietly being brought in, one district at a time, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest on Chancellor Crew’s part—or of a brainwashing campaign.

In The Great School Wars, Ravitch noted that for over 100 years, New York’s public schools have seen one group after another of impoverished immigrants or migrants entrust their children to teachers who looked down on them, even when both were members of the same race or religion (Protestants teaching the Irish; German Jews teaching Russian Jews; American blacks teaching black West Indians), yet when the teachers were competent and the children motivated, the kids thrived.

Since the 1960s, the Board of Education has named open racists to prominent positions. Jim Sleeper has noted that former Deputy Chancellor Basil Mchawi (godfather of the Ujamaa Institute) called for a “racial revolution,” while former Board member Adelaide Sanford sponsored pamphlets affirming black moral supremacy. Both are members of the Frances Cress Welsing school of black supremacy and racial genocide.

One of the dirty little secrets of New York’s public schools is that thousands of teachers are functionally illiterate. Meanwhile, according to figures released in June 1996, student literacy declined by 12 percent over the previous year. And things are always much worse than reported, as tens of thousands of students in special education and bilingual classes are routinely kept out of the sample. In many of the most self-esteem oriented districts, 70 percent of students included in the sample read below grade level. Requiring all present and prospective city teachers to pass comprehensive literacy tests would constitute radical educational reform.

Thousands of black parents have “voted” on self-esteem pedagogy by removing their kids from the public schools, including Protestants who have enrolled their children in Catholic schools. Meanwhile, poor black public school children who excel at English and math are accused of acting “white,” and are even beaten by other black kids. But white racism is the cause of all black woes. Got it, Ms. Altman?

Nicholas Stix is a writer living in New York.


Anonymous said...

jerry pdx
I wonder if it 's legal for a teacher to have an audio recorder going 24/7 in their classrooms. Even in 1995 the technology would have been there to do it fairly easily and surreptitiously, nowadays it's even easier. If Rita Altman could have produced audio proving she never used those slurs, I wonder how quickly those kids would have changed their story. We certainly would hear who does use those slurs, and others besides. Not that we don't already but evidence would sure help.

Anonymous said...

"His title of 'reverend' and his organization, Queens Clergy for Political Awareness, were as phony as a three-dollar bill"

Like my uncle the old time Chicago cop would say: "They are all reverend, pastor, minister, deacon, doctor, professor". Etc.

They like titles and want REE-SPECT.