25.8.03

LOSING THE RACE. The Madison, Wisconsin school district cancels classes for a day in order to hold a come-to-Jesus meeting for their faculty, in order to combat "institutional racism." Betsy's Page is unimpressed. The press coverage is interesting. Get this: "Travis Knight, 18, who is biracial and a 2003 graduate of Madison La Follette High School, said he too has seen that kind of stereotyping, which he likens to racial profiling. 'If you have cornrows or wear baggy jeans and big chains, the first assumption is that you don't want to be at school or you can't learn.'

"He never felt victimized - he dresses more mainstream - but he saw friends struggle with stereotyping. 'I never once got stopped in the hallways to see if I had a pass. But the - quote-unquote - ghetto-looking people were stopped all the time.
'"

What is missing is voices in the community to make clear that a productive member of society does not look like a common street thug. And the schools have completely dropped the ball on communicating this lesson. (Sometimes the universities pick up the slack: there are non-credit courses on topics such as interview etiquette and business golf, so that graduates know which spoon to use first and when to begin talking about the deal.)

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