The piece touches on one aspect of both Chancellor Rhee and Mayor Fenty's tenure that I find, frankly, pretty disturbing:
A double-Ivy League graduate, Rhee has no prior experience running a school system. Also, as a Korean-American, her appointment is criticized by some who question her ability to lead a majority-black public school system. Supporters point to Rhee's past work with Teach for America, a program that places young teachers in under-resourced urban and rural public schools. [emphasis added]I've read about similar complaints being made of the makeup of Mayor Fenty's administration, i.e. that its not "black enough."
Let us, for the sake of argument, imagine that the city of Des Moines, Iowa, a city whose public school system is majority white, hired a non-white superintendent. This superintendent comes with credentials out the wazoo, an impressive CV and a long list of recommendations.
Now, imagine kind of outrage that would ensue if anyone questioned this person's ability to lead a public school district based solely on the fact that they weren't white? Do you think the likes of NPR or the New York Times would dignify that sort of blatant bigotry by treating it as some sort of legitimate point of contention? Hell no. They'd call it what it is: racism. So, when the roles are reversed, why do the likes of NPR or the Washington Post or NYT dignify the arguments that Rhee's race makes her somehow less qualified to run DCPS or that Fenty's administration is "not black enough" as legitimate? Its racist crap, pure and simple.