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Dress 'African-American,' Read the Poem 'Blacker' and More Race Fails in American Schools

By carolyncastiglia |

race fails in school, racism in schools, racist math problems, racial incidents in schools, black in america

Yes, this stuff still happens... all the time.

Lord. That is the one word expression I have taken to using when I am exasperated at the state of things. Lord. Because sometimes it feels like only the Lord can help us curb the extreme levels of stupid and crazy all around us these days. Case in point: the bevy of stories that have cropped up in the last few years involving both glaringly obvious and more subtle forms of racism in American schools. I find it simply ridiculous (and I mean that in the sense of both unbelievable and absurd) that incidents like these are still occurring in schools all across the country.

Some of the incidents chronicled below were perpetrated by students and will make you laugh at the stupidity involved, others were incited by teachers or administrations and will get your blood boiling. One thing is certain: they will all illuminate to you that the dream of a truly “post-racial America” is further away than many of us would like to admit. (Especially in the South. Ahem.)

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Dress 'African-American,' Read the Poem 'Blacker' and More Race Fails in American Schools

'African-American' Attire

This letter, sent home to parents with children at Western Union Elementary School in Waxhaw, North Carolina, surfaced last week on The Frisky. So much wrong. Hey kids - if you don't have saggy pants and a gun, wear animal print!

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About carolyncastiglia

carolyncastiglia

carolyncastiglia

Carolyn Castiglia is a New York-based comedian/writer wowing audiences with her stand-up and freestyle rap. She’s appeared in TONY, The NY Post, The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes and Life & Style. You can find Carolyn’s writing elsewhere online at MarieClaire.com and The Huffington Post. Read bio and latest posts → Read Carolyn's latest posts →

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15 thoughts on “Dress 'African-American,' Read the Poem 'Blacker' and More Race Fails in American Schools

  1. goddess says:

    You forgot to mention in the mother from Akron , Ohio Case- she falisified records to do this. She signed Federal Housing papers to get free or reduced rent from Section housing unit- saying it was her and her 2 children living there-so she could get the most possible amount of rent paid, then MORE THAN ONCE falsifiable records to the school systems stating that the children did NOT live in Akron with her at the Section 8 housing, but rather a town over with her father.
    Who absorbs tax fraud? As our property taxes pay for schools in Ohio, most people will not support school systems that do not prosecute fraudulent enrollments.

  2. Manjari says:

    Goddess, what does that have to do with this post or racism?

  3. Manjari says:

    Oops, I hadn’t gotten to that part of the slide show yet.

  4. Manjari says:

    I think the real problem is that there is such a difference between schools. No kid should have to go to an unsafe school.

  5. Whatevs says:

    Actually, I think Carolyn makes an excellent point including the mother’s story, because had she been a white, conservative male named Rick Santorum, getting Pittsburgh to pay tens of thousands of dollars for offspring who were living an entire state away in Virginia most of the time, she wouldn’t even have had to pay a fine – her state board of ed would have paid it for her. http://www.the-savvy-sista.com/2012/03/hypocrisy-more-details-emerge-in.html
    .
    It has something to do with wealth and power, but it also has a lot to do with gender and, especially, race. When you’re white, rich, and male, you can get away with a hell of a lot. When you’re black, poor, and female, cities and states like to make an example of you. Just like we use the term “welfare queens” but we don’t call the rich guys using loopholes to get out of paying their fair share of taxes “entitled freeloading assholes.” We call them “Private Equity Managers” instead.

  6. goddess says:

    We moved to do so when our oldest turned 3. WE were not entitled to jump him over o the neighboring district with better schools. and our schools are funded for the most part by the taxes levied in the school district on real estate- so yes, people keep a very close eye on it.
    I may have had more sympathy had she not clearly been playing the system to get more things for free that SHE, as a parent should provide her kids instead of expecting taxpayers to shelter them, feed them and then hop them over to a district for which they are not entitled to go.

  7. Manjari says:

    I agree, Whatevs.

  8. Whatevs says:

    Also, people do this sort of thing all. the. time. Where I live, there are a good number of (White! Upwardly mobile!) people totally playing the system so that their kids can attend the “even better” school in my neighborhood without paying the rent or mortgage to live here (note – there are PERFECTLY EXCELLENT schools all over the place here, but this has the best reputation and is of course overcrowded). I have heard of parents getting caught – their kid or kids get asked to leave the school, and they have to go to the (gasp!) slightly less excellent school 10 blocks away. Never once have I heard of any of these parents going to jail.

  9. goddess says:

    Ah, but whateves- how do you explain the poorer white people that have been prosecuted in Ohio? The problem is not yet rampant- as enrollment is closely watched and checked- but every so often someone gets caught. Around this area, it’s usually whites, not blacks.
    BTW- she had a chance to recant and signed papers the second time, then she had the chance to pay back the money (this is where most people that I know pony up the money to avoid prosecution). Surely she should have had some socked away with the lowered rent?

  10. Whatevs says:

    Goddess, could you give me more details on those people? Because it surprised me, quite frankly, so I tried a bunch of different searches on school registration fraud prosecution, and all I got was her case. When I tried a more general search, I go this OLR research report from last May, the author called it “rare but non unprecedented” and cited the few criminal penalty cases that the he had found. All of them were black women. http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/rpt/2011-R-0214.htm

  11. Whatevs says:

    Also,if there are cases of poor white people getting prosecuted for school registration fraud, doesn’t it seem kind of weird that there isn’t the same national coverage/national conversation/national judgment for them as there was for Kelly Williams-Bolar?

  12. goddess says:

    They don’t usually reach prosecution (hence this part of my post: “(this is where most people that I know pony up the money to avoid prosecution).”) since the people pony up the money at that same stage where they are caught and billed for the money or asked to sign more papers swearing that they are residents- the ones where she she falsified the records for the 2nd time. In any case, I won’t give you peoples’ names and invade their privacy. Some are people my friends told me about and others are people I wouldn’t want looking around for me ,LOL!

  13. Whatevs says:

    Goddess, I definitely wasn’t asking for personal info, I was actually asking for public accounts because I couldn’t find any (and now I know why). I don’t know if Williams-Bolar had the money to pay back the school district; if she was in need of lowered rent, perhaps she didn’t. Rick Santorum certainly has the money and was never asked at all. No jail time for him, either. Instead, the state Board of Ed paid Pittsburgh. That seems pretty blatant to me. There was a homeless woman from Bridgeport who was arrested for sending her son to a Norwalk school, because even though she is homeless,she was officially a Bridgeport resident. How come she couldn’t be homeless in Norwalk? LOL. (except not really.)

  14. Who Cares says:

    People always seem to find something to throw out there that is racist. Who cares? It will never end in ANY race!!!! Get the hell over it. Get a better mind and move on with your lives!!!!

  15. Amie Perez says:

    I was looking for this thanks for the share.

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