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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Op:Ed: Denial Race and Class Lines Existence in Michigan's Public Schools, Leads To The Full Privatization Model

Photo Credit-Facebook - The Real Afrikan Truth Group
"Humans prefer to stand together in groups, than stand alone." 

We'll explain this sentence, its' context and how this has led to the exploration of all Michigan's Public Schools by For-Profit Public Traded Educational Companies.

As an undergraduate, one course subject of fascination was studying Sociology. What is sociology?

"The traditional focuses of sociology has included social stratification, social class, culture, social mobility, religion, secularization, law, and deviance. As all spheres of human activity are affected by the interplay between social structure and individual agency, sociology has gradually expanded its focus to further subjects, such as health, medical, military and penal institutions, the Internet, and the role of social activity in the development of scientific knowledge."
We'll pull six words out of this paragraph definition: Social Mobility, Social Class and Social Structure.

As humans, we typically define ourselves by Social Class terms - i.e. - "The Rich, The Middle Class, The Poor".  
How many times you have heard the term "Tax the Rich" or "The Poor are that way because of dependence on welfare or entitlement programs, instead of making their own way?" 

Next, there's middle class America or what we prefer to call the Social Mobility Culture.
Specifically, Middle Class Americans are self defined by they've achieved or acquired. Individuals in America's Social Mobility Middle Class Culture determine self-worth using education, localization, affiliations or religious worship terminology.

"I'm a member of (some social group) organization."

"We live in (insert suburban) area versus in (insert undesirable urban area)."

"My family faith is (insert religious faith) and we attend (insert church name)."

"We moved to (insert city, village, township) because the quality of education was better than in (insert another city, village, township)."
 
"Our salaries affords us the fortune of purchasing our first/second home in (insert location) as opposed to (insert undesired location)." 
"I graduated from the University of (insert high or medium ranking college) as opposed to attending (insert community or low ranking four year college)." 
Middle Class participate in a social mobility segmentation model based on economic  race and class line status, while falsely boasting they don't. Let's test these beliefs, shall we?

"Much of the social analysis that focuses on the injustices and inequalities in U.S. society has been influenced by the ideas of Karl Marx and the Marxist tradition. Central to Marxism is the understanding that capitalism is an economic system with two major classes. The capitalist class owns and controls the means of production, capital, and continually tries to increase its profits. The working class, which is the large majority of the population, sell their labor power, their capacity to work, in return for a wage. Profits come largely from paying employees less than the value they add to production. Marx called this exploitation. 
Doing careful econometric analysis, Michael Reich shows that the data on racial inequality is consistent with and provides support for this theory. Using data primarily from the 1970 census, he compares urban areas. He demonstrates that greater racial inequality causes lower average earnings of white workers and higher profit rates. He uses the ratio of black to white earnings as a measure of racial inequality and racism. 
In cities in the U.S. South, where the gaps between the wages of blacks and whites are greatest, wages of whites are lowest, and profit highest. Reich demonstrates empirically that not only do black workers lose from racism but so do all workers as their incomes are reduced. If the wages of blacks equaled whites, not only would the wages of blacks be higher but so would the wages of whites. 
When synthesized with the historical analysis of racism, these models provide insight into the reasons for the reproduction of black-white earnings inequality. They demonstrate that capitalists divide the working class, and that the correct strategy for the increase of racial and overall equality (between employees and employers) is an alliance of black and other workers of color with white workers against their common exploiter, capital. 
There are a number of problems however. This model downplays the role and importance of black people and black organizations in challenging racial inequality and exploitation. 
Also missing is a convincing explanation of why white workers often accept or support racial inequality and a racist ideology. Since in this framework, the incomes of white as well as black workers are lowered, claiming white workers have ‘false-consciousness’ is not a sufficient explanation of their racism. 
Although this class-based approach to racism provides insight into the reproduction of racial and overall inequality, it leads to class reduction-ism and excessive economic determinism. Class reduction-ism considers central only movements and issues directly related to class struggle between the working and capitalist class. Economic determinism means the economy determines the politics, culture, consciousness and struggles of a society; it minimizes the autonomous role of culture and race."
Conclusion: Culture and class lines, mixed with racial preferences in groups, leads to disastrous outcomes for all.
                                             ------------------------------------

For decades in Michigan invisible boundary lines was a sole determining factor on what quality of K-12 Education children receive. Students living in let's say Grosse Pointe Park have for years received a superior education, over their close neighbors to the West side of Alter Road in Detroit, where Detroit Public Schools are located.

Which zip code one has, what side of a street stop light where a person/family lives and whether the community has a high minority population or specifically the "right" mix of: Social Mobility, Social Class and Social Structure for many decades are key primary indicators of K-12 education quality in Michigan.

If we as Michiganders take off our blinders to step out of a denial state of false co-existence, the only conclusion that can be reached is Social Mobility, Social Class and Social Structure segmentation factors are coordinated with a persons' outward skin color and economic status. Continuing to repute this reality is futile. Also, it harms Michigan's Children rights for receive a quality, free public education in any city, village, township or country in our state, if they so choose.

Our previous Op/Ed: "The Sky Has Fallen on Free Public Educational System in Michigan for Decades, yet nearly no one cared" addressed how children in the urban area of Detroit Public Schools have been used as pawns or "test models" for the Education Privatization effort since 1999.

Other urban school districts: Benton Harbor, Muskegon, Pontiac, Highland Park and Inkster just to name a few, have experienced multiple "action plans" out of Lansing, Michigan with State Politicians boldly claiming this latest effort was focus "improving" education. Yet, the data have proven otherwise.

The truth is plain and simple. A full scale Privatization of K-12 education in Michigan is a build on total failure. Michigan's Children and residents will suffer detrimental consequences of a full scale Capitalistic For-Profit/Cut Costs/Tailored Services model in our state's educational system.

A possibly exist, even with our Republican Pro Big-Business State House, Senate and Governor, Rick Snyder, to halt Privatization for all of Michigan's Public Schools from occurring. Though to do so, we must fully stand , support and believe that ALL CHILDREN deserve a high-quality education, regardless to their race, class, sex, location or economic status, and not just "OUR" children.



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