Why Is Tim Wise Stamping the Anti-Racist Ghetto Passes at Teach For America

Full disclosure: I applied for Teach For America in October 2012. I went through the entire process and received my rejection email in just after the new year. Additionally, I recognize that many college graduates–Black and White–have gone through the TFA program and have become effective teachers who continued to teach beyond the two year minimum that the program requires.

Further, I’m familiar with Tim Wise’s name, but not his works. I found this article by Bruce Dixon for Black Agenda Report questioning Tim Wise’s endorsement of TFA to be damning and the accusations against TFA to have some merit based on my observations and research before, during and after the application process.

Teach For America is part of an elite bipartisan scam to privatize public education, starting, and perhaps ending with the inner city. TFA replaces qualified, experienced mostly black teachers who live in the communities they serve with mostly white temps, graduated from a 5 week course who will move on to Wall Street and other lucrative careers after only a couple seasons in the classroom.

Closing public schools and replacing experienced teachers with Ivy League missionary temps isn’t something that’s being done to wealthy white suburban public schools. It’s only the prescribed remedy for school districts full of black and brown youth, and black and brown teachers.

Read Bruce Dixon’s entire piece at Black Agenda Report.

“You Don’t Have to Be Black to Riot” by Stacy Swimp

Op-ed submission by Project 21

On July 4, a tea party activist and aspiring humorist named “Wild Bill” posted a video on YouTube entitled “White Guy Riot.” In it, he suggests, “rumors are flying in Florida that if George Zimmerman is acquitted, blacks will riot all across the country.”

“And it has been suggested,” Wild Bill adds, “that if George Zimmerman is convicted, that whites should riot.” He continued: “When I heard that, my first thought was that someone would have to teach us how.”

Trying to be funny, Wild Bill, who is white, goes on to suggest only a few whites would actually show up, would forget to bring a lighter to start fires and “as soon as they broke a few things, they would feel bad, go to the hardware store, buy stuff and go back and fix what they broke” before apologizing for their rioting.

Whether he…

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Reflecting on Independence Day and Not Celebrating It

Writing for the Huffington Post, Pastor William H. Lamar IV contends that African-Americans shouldn’t celebrate the false sense of freedom the 4th of July emanates but rather reflect on America as what it historically was and what it currently is — a place where he is surrounded by “economic bondage, educational bondage, political bondage, health care bondage and religious bondage…”

There will be fireworks and Sousa. But I am sticking with Flav and Frederick. Why? I find little to celebrate. Douglass calls the Fourth “your holiday.” He does not own it. What happened to white Americans in 1776 was hardly felt by many black Americans in 1976. He calls the founders “your fathers.” He does not own them. And I cannot own them. They never intended for my ancestors to be anything but human cogs in the wheel of their economic prosperity. That is a fact. To forget that is to trample upon the bones of my forbears. I must reflect upon my ancestors’ elusive dream of freedom.

The government and the corporate media celebrate as patriots those who are uncritically supportive of America’s imperial exploits. That is not my heritage. I am Richard Allen’s son, the first black man to write a political pamphlet challenging America’s white supremacy. And we must keep writing. I am Ida B. Wells Barnett’s son, the powerful black woman who refused to let America lynch black bodies without sounding the alarm of outrage. And we must continue to speak up for those crushed by American violence masquerading as law and order. I am Bayard Rustin’s son, the black man who strategically organized people and resources to challenge the status quo and to demand justice from America. I am William H. Lamar III and Eartha A. Lamar’s son. I am only one generation removed from the ugliness of legal oppression in America. How can I celebrate liberty with bondage — economic bondage, educational bondage, political bondage, health care bondage, and religious bondage — all around me? On July 4, 2013, I will reflect on America as it was and as it is. And I will affirm my allegiance to my ancestors whose fight lives on in me.

Read William H. Lamar IV’s entire piece at the Huffington Post.

The Fourth of July Isn’t for Black People

Something for African people living in the United States to think about. Allow me to also direct you to a piece by William H. Lamar IV “I Will Reflect, Not Celebrate.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/William-H-Lamar-IV/i-will-reflect-not-celebr_b_3516008.html

The Manuscript

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a speech in which he asked, “What to the American slave, is the Fourth of July?” His answer was “a day that reveals to him [the slave], more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelly to which he is the constant victim.” And prior to this question and answer, Douglass tells his predominately White audience “I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary.”

In 2012, this message still holds true. Whether enslaved physically by mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex, or enslaved mentally by the psychological chains of Black-on-Black carnage, the myth of Black inferiority, dysfunctional families, overall disunity and economic disempowerment, the Fourth of July still isn’t ours. African Americans who have a false sense of freedom and believe that they’ve “made it,” aren’t exempt either.

But, keep in mind that regardless of…

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