I'm gonna raise a subject that I know is going to set off the Washington Post. We have a clash of cultures. We have a clash of cultures. Everybody that comes here talks about Michelle Rhee not including people, not being collaborative, not listening....Marion Barry... champion of low expectations, and apparently a bigot to boot. If you didn't know Barry was black you could be forgiven for mistaking some of this coming from klan literature.
The reality is that this school system is 90, 92 percent African American, Latino American, and a small number of white students. Everyone knows that this country is a melting pot, but there are distinct cultures in this country. The African-American culture, because of our history and a lot of other reasons, has a distinct culture difference with non-white America. Latinos are the same thing. Does not mean that non-African-American, non-Latino cannot teach, cannot administer, but when the cultures are so great, Ms. Rhee comes from a culture...that's autocratic, a culture that's dictatorial, a culture of hierarchical in their discussions.
We see it every day in Iraq---the American government trying to change a culture that has been totalitarian, that has been nonexclusive, that has been a police state. And we're having a hard time now, after 10 or 12 years in Iraq, getting that culture shifted to democracy. We see it in Afghanistan, and so until we face that, we're still going to have those problems.
I read the chancellor's educational plan...It looks at though it was designed for Montgomery County, or Long Island, N.Y., or some other affluent county. It was not designed for Washington, D.C., for an urban area. Not designed for a city, a ward where 82 percent of the parents are single family in my ward, where 54 percent are in poverty....
You can't teach a child to read when you can't read yourself. You can't teach a child values of respect if you don't respect yourself. And there's a lot of that going on around....We have to recognize this culture clash. Be ready---the Washington Post is going to be going crazy....I'm raising reality on where we are.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Marion Barry is a buffoon
Sorry, but that's how I'm going to call it. The City Paper documents Barry's latest ramblings at a D.C. Public Schools oversight hearing and they're a doozy.