Monday, August 23, 2004

Spike gets Cos 

It appears Spike Lee is also questioning the effects of ghetto culture on education, and saying some tough things.
"We cannot have a generation of young black kids growing up not being able to read or write. More importantly not wanting to know how to read and write. Because, somehow, in the twisted mentality we have today � which is really pumped out by gangsta rap � these kids equate getting an education with trying to be white. (Long pause.) Which is genocide.

"Intelligent kids dumb down because they don't want to be ostracized. They don't want to be called a white boy or a white girl. Or a sell-out. Or an Oreo. Somehow, they equate ignorance with being black and being real and being street. Being ghetto has become a badge of honor. And that's more than insane. That's bananas."
David Beito, whose post led me to Lee's statement, wonders when words will lead to action. Here's one possible answer: Suppose you ran a school in a predominantly minority neighborhood, and you actually tracked kids by ability level. Suppose, moreover, that you let everyone -- including parents -- know you were doing it. Because intelligent kids have been ostracized in America regardless of their skin color or ethnicity, one answer could be to put them together, let them excel in one room where ostracism would not be within the classroom. Between classes? Perhaps, but how much worse could that be than now?

But of course, that would run afoul of those who think self-esteem means mindless egalitarianism in the classroom.