NAACP to investigate Renton School District

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by tazo, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    #1
    Linkage: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2001812385_huckfinn11m.html

    What bothers me in this situation is not that this teen girl does not want to read the book -- that I have no qualms with. But what I do have a problem is, is the NAACP's immediate involvement, and claim of racism in the Renton School District. As far as I can tell, this story which has been posted on several news sites, and local news affiliates, is not complete. It would seem that the girl is being disciplined for outbursts at school in direct correlation to the book, which under any circumstance is unacceptable.

    I am also inclined to suspect any situation in which the NAACP claims racism, as it is often unfounded -- not to say that they are always wrong.

    Your people's views?
     
  2. Juventuz macrumors 6502a

    Juventuz

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    #2
    I think the easy way out is to claim racism, an all too common occurence these days.

    The school district was nice enough to allow her to skip the book, she should have read it like the rest of the students. If she didn't feel like reading it then she should receive a failing grade.
     
  3. tazo thread starter macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    #3
    I completely agree. And like I said I have no problem with the not reading of an "offensive" book, which is standard practice in almost every school I have heard of. I think the girl was fine to not read the book, but to protest the book and disrupt her peers' right to an education she was not.

    And you're 100% correct. Racism, is, the easy way out...
     
  4. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    #4
    here's the issue right there. to assume racism cannot exist between the same racial group is utterly wrong. this proves that the definition of "racism" used here is not correct.

    a little off topic, but i personally find it stupid to refuse to read a book based on its use of racial slurs, claiming racism. i'm japanese but will not find any problems having made to read about WWII ('jap') or japanese-american detention. those are part of history and to deny its existence and the reality of the past does nothing to improve the current situation.

    i personally believe it's problematic to use today's societal standards to judge the past.
     
  5. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

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    #5
    i see your point... i wonder how long until this thread degenerates and arn has to close it again though... ;)
     
  6. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    #6
    hopefully not. i really have no desire to defend by point of view or convince others otherwise...

    i just find that this news is pretty much in line with other 'racial' events around the U.S.

    however, not knowing the entire story, i cannot make judgements. i just felt that the attitude singular racial group (how to define that anyway?) is immune from racism is not right.
     
  7. Dros macrumors 6502

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    #7
    The NAACP is investigating, they say, because they think the student is being punished for her stance on the book, whereas the school district says she is being punished for insubordination. The school says it is not racism. I didn't read anything in the article where the NAACP says it is racism. I can see how the involvement of the NAACP may automatically invoke the claim that racism is involved, but it is within their charter to just be investigating if the student is being punished for not wanting to read Huckleberry Finn.

    On the other hand, if the kid was mouthing off, punish her and don't be getting the lawyers involved. But I don't want to see people getting words put in their mouths and then being attacked for it.
     
  8. pooky macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Hmm, have these people actually read Huck Finn? Twain's entire purpose was questioning the institution of slavery and pointing out the absolute illogic of persecuting a group of people based on skin colour. The "racial slur" that people are so worried about is a 20th century invention, in the 19th century it wasn't considered insensitive, it was simply what black people were called. Twain could not have been expected to see the future and realize the word would become offensive, nor should we try to rewrite history simply to avoid hurting anyone's feelings. History is nothing more than a long series of hurt feelings, it's how we grow as a society.
     
  9. G4scott macrumors 68020

    G4scott

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    Austin, TX
    #9
    I couldn't agree with you more. We can't just ignore the past, and hope for things to get better. We have to understand the past, and learn from it, so we can make the best of what we have today.

    I also disagree with the NAACP, and almost every other controversial minority group out there, because they are like leeches. They suck money out of programs and people who they don't like, by basically blackmailing them. It's just another form of welfare, and I thought that's what they were against in the first place. I mean, if you are for the Advancement of Colored People, I think the first thing you'd want to do is get your people off of welfare by educating them, not blackmailing corporations to hire more colored people.

    I could go on and on. Being a minority, I'm proud to say I didn't get where I am today because I was 'handed' something. I earned my way here, and so should everyone else. Just because you are of a different ethnic background doesn't mean that you can't still succeed.
     
  10. Edot macrumors 6502

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    NJ
    #10
    Offensive

    I am almost positive that she hears more offensive things on her way to class than are in the book. She should be protesting school to her parents and go to a private school. She would actually learn something reading the book, but instead her "logic" tells her to skip school and forfeit education.
     
  11. tazo thread starter macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    #11
    I would like to know how many times she feels it is ok to hear at her school, the usage of the word ni**er amongst black individuals. Hmm, makes you think...

    Anyone think she doesnt care?
     
  12. Dros macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Makes me think it is always easy to attack someone when you get to say how they must be thinking, even when you don't know them.
     
  13. tazo thread starter macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    #13
    I am just pointing out a major hypocrisy in the US school system. It is commonplace in the majority of schools, for black people to be allowed to use the N word, while people that are not black are forbidden to use it. Que interesante...

    That was all I was pointing out dros, I was wondering how she would feel about black people using this term, which is so greatly offensive to her.

    Kinda makes you think.
     
  14. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #14
    Huck Finn is one of the great books of American literature. Anyone who doesn't read it is only depriving themselves of an incredible experience. Having said that, the NAACP should investigate if this young woman was disciplined for her stand on the book or for other reasons. The fact that the principal is african american doesn't mean the young women wasn't disciplined for her stand.

    The NAACP is a organization with a very proud and distinguished history with a commitment to the struggle to end prejudice and discrimination that few other organizations or individuals can come close to matching. Can it be wrong? Of course, but the assumption that they are "leeches" is just offensive and shows an ignorance of US history.
     
  15. Dros macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I got your point... and agree with parts of it. But it bothered me that so far in this thread you have assumed the NAACP is crying racism when the article just quoted the principal saying it wasn't, and then attack the student for hypocrisy about offensive language when you have no idea how she feels. So you've gotten upset about things that may not even be true, is all. Seems like there must be more blatant episodes out there to get worked up about where you don't have to make up assumptions.
     
  16. Juventuz macrumors 6502a

    Juventuz

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    #16
    As soon as the NAACP starts looking into this girls suspension and the disciplinary actions involving other black students one can easily make the race connection.

    Why is the NAACP getting involved if it's not about race, wouldn't it be a job for the ACLU? The NAACP specifically stated that they would look into the suspension of black students.
     
  17. Dros macrumors 6502

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    #17
    And I'm sure the ACLU is ready to swoop in as well. The NAACP is involved because it is a black student, and a book that may cause offense to that student (and look, I think it is not an offensive book, but recognize that some may think it is). I think there is a difference between that and saying the NAACP is crying "racism".

    And you know, they very well may be doing just that. But if I'm going to start attacking something, I don't like to fill in the parts I know nothing about with worst case assumptions. If you're going around crying "hypocrite" and "lame" and "reverse racism", my personal philosophy is that those are the times that you better examine extremely rigorously what lead you to that conclusion. And right now, I don't see that sort of evidence for this. Sharpton looked like a fool because he was happy to believe Tawana Brawley's story, since it fit in with his ulterior motives. Don't fall for the same trap of being quick to believe anything that matches your personal ideology.
     
  18. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #18
    tazo, there is nothing complicated about this. It is as simple as you saying "I'm being an idiot" and someone else saying it for you. Should one call themselves names of whatever type - I don't think so, but I'm not in that persons shoes, am I? When calling an other individual rude names, I just exhibit bad manners. When I use offensive terms to speak of someone else's ethnicity then I'm being racist. Should such ideas not be frowned upon?

    To me the more interesting part of this is the anger of young 'white' kids who want to be able to use these racist terms with impunity. Given the assumption that these kids are not really arguing that people of other ethnicities are inferior (an assumption that is wrong in all too many cases), then what we are talking about is the equivalent of a temper tantrum. "It not fair that I can't say it if he can!" Why? Do young white kids want to be as "cool" as they perceive there black counterparts to be? Maybe its my age, tazo, but when I grew up only the most disgusting bigots used such words among the community I was raised in. Why would I want to associate myself with such folks by using the "N word"?

    The truly sad part of this story is that Mark Twain's use of the word is part of a story of how a young white man who has been schooled in the belief of black inferiority (if schooled in little else) and comes to realize how wrong that is and the terrible consequences of those beliefs for the one true friend he has in the world. That is a lesson that would be useful for all Americans to go over again.

    Kinda makes you think, indeed.
     
  19. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #19
    i cant help but laugh, i have a few black friends and they call each other the N word all the time, but have it in a book or let another race use it and the crap hits the fan if you know what i mean. Political correctness has run amok! on the news last night it showed some children singing christmas songs but the teacher took the word christmas out of the song > what the? the fact is niger was used to describe someone from nigeria was it not? but now 100 years later its meaning has changed. ( depending on who is using it)
     
  20. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #20
    Since when is it some type of crazy "PC" to find the use of racist language offensive? There are obscure origins for all our words but what does that have to do with anything? Because the "F-word" comes from the Angle Saxon word for planting seeds doesn't mean I would use it in front of my mother! How about a little common sense.
     
  21. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #21
    My wife had a kid in her 7th grade Lit class last year whose parents refused to let her read ANY work of fiction. They were ultra religious and thought fiction would corrupt her or something so she missed out on every piece of literature my wife taught. Sucks that some people get so agitated about things that are beneficial to their education.

    On a related note, she is now teaching in a predominately hispanic high school, and is teaching "Zoot Suit" right now, which is fairly racy and has some bad language in it, but her kids, particularly the hispanic ones, are loving every minute of it.
     
  22. tazo thread starter macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    #22
    I think what the individual was commenting on, is how black people are allowed to use an offensive term, while others that are not black are disciplined for its usage.
     
  23. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #23
    tazo, this really is simple, with no hypocrisy involved. I can call myself a "honky" or a "mick" all I want because those are terms directed towards my own ethnicity. If some one else calls me that they had better watch out. It is the same with the "N word." Is it smart of me to take on the hurtful words others have directed at my ancestors? I don't think so, but it is very different when others do it. Do you really think it is ok for you to use the word?

    Don't Hurt Me, PC gone amok is when folks want to change the names of "male" and "female" connections -- it is not when we reject racist words used toward each other. That is progress.
     
  24. tazo thread starter macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    #24
    I just think it is hypocritical for a school to allow "Some" races to use offensive terms. What if I as a caucasian am offended by its usage? Its connotation of white people being slave owners?
     
  25. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #25
    tazo, I don't know what school you go to, but not under any condition (the reading of Huck Finn being an exception) would any kid be allowed to use racist language in the schools in SF. That goes for if the word is used directed at one's own ethnic group or someone else's. Do kids use them outside the classroom? Sure, but teachers step in when they hear it. I don't think the standards for Seattle can be that different.

    I'm not sure how you get that connotation (calling white kids "slave owners" somehow?) from the use of the "N-word" by black kids. You're going to have to explain that one a little more.
     

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