Please read this brilliant piece in The New Yorker:
Another brilliant work of real journalism in the New Yorker magazine. One must ask these earnest and highly educated elites–who are also unbelievably, childishly, naive–trying to “reform” urban public education two simple questions they apparently ignore at their own peril: Do you even recognize how ungovernable the urban poor have become? How can you reform anything without truly understanding those who you wish to reform?
Just because you have a trunk full of PhDs and impressive credentials–and boatloads of high-minded ideals–doesn’t mean you understand even in the slightest the abject peril of violence, neglect, and unbelievable stupidity at the core of our urban poor nowadays. Kids are failing in urban schools because the world around them long ago crashed and burned for many generations now. You cannot fix education without first fixing the failed culture in which these children live. If any of you think you have the solutions, I’d love to hear them, because they are so complex, and require the kind of moral and ethical leadership this country hasn’t had in 50 years, that even understanding the true problem is virtually lost in the complexities of modern urban poverty and the fucked-up politics of modern American urbanity where large populations of poor blacks are concentrated.
The writer is an elite who recognizes that the elites trying to reform education are largely blinded by their own elite sensibilities. “Let’s fix the dirty negroes.” But has anyone asked the dirty negroes if it’s OK? Or tried very hard to include them in this fascist takeover of their democratic system? This occupation regime lording the ignorant poor in the ungovernable ghettos–is this the right way to govern? That’s New Jersey, folks. The local systems fail so the state takes it over and lines the pockets of its army of “reformers.” The kids be damned. Society be damned. Fuck democracy.
The public corruption, widespread stupidity of the masses, and largely apathetic citizenry cannot be fixed in a couple of years. This has gone on for generations. It will take generations–if anyone has the guts–to unravel, fix, and reform the teeming manure piles that are our worst urban ghettos. Where will we first find the courage to act? Secondly, who will pay for it? Thirdly, and most importantly, how do we engage the very people we are trying to help? How do we heal them and make them part of the process?
There are no quick, easy fixes.
Let’s first state the obvious:
1. Booker and Christie never gave a fuck about education reform. Both just want to be President. Their “concern” was a short-term political stance. That led to more tragedy than success. They are not leaders, they’re ambitious political climbers and actors who fake being “strong” and “in charge.” As the article states, Booker spent more time on profit-gaining speaking tours while supposedly working as Mayor of Newark, to the tune of nearly $2,000,000 earned on some 90 speaking engagements. And the opposition leader in Newark to the reform is some vile creep who is drawing $200,000 in salary from two public positions as a public school administrator and public official. Rats on BOTH sides. Plus all the high-minded white elites milking HUGE “consulting” fees from the tit of the whale.
2. The urban poor are largely ungovernable. No one wants to admit this. As a resident of one of the largest cities with the highest percentage of urban poor, I see it every day how ungovernable the uneducated, chaotic, nihilistic, and violently stupid poor have become. All these high-minded, educated elites are clueless about the core mentality that is possessed by the urban poor. Governing these mostly retarded and violent societal untouchables is impossible because it’s impossible to understand what makes these fucking idiots tick. All the poverty, neglect, and stupid anger has crossed so many generations and is so deeply ingrained in their mentality that it’s virtually impossible to understand by the rest of us not raised in that cesspool. And those who escape to succeed cannot, or have not, articulated this well. It’s like the first step to reform is to send undercover agents to live among the seedy lowlifes and figure out how they think. Then maybe we can help them. All these top-down solutions, while noble-minded, never work and in fact agitate the dissent. You CANNOT expect lowlifes to understand the need to uplift themselves if this isn’t a core value in their belief system. Education reform cannot work without parallel social reforms and some sort of social healing of the mental pathologies that cripple the poor. This is where the failure has been so abject. The reform can only come when these lowlifes take charge and uplift themselves AND the process. How do you find leadership in leaderless pools of mostly ignorant dregs?
3. In my opinion, the only way to “win” here is through some sort of totalitarian takeover of urban areas. To remove the drugs, guns, and illegitimacy. But this violates every aspect of our constitution. Ergo we will never break this cycle. Ergo we’re fucking doomed.
That’s the USA in 2014. Ungovernable except in the polite suburbs. And doomed.