“These charter schools are not going to work. We've got lots of charter schools in Detroit. Are they working? Some, but guess which ones are working? The ones who were educators before, who had schools beforehand and know how to make them work. We've got a whole bunch of them that are not working. We've got charter schools that are in one big room that used to be a gym with just little partitions. Is that what we want for our children? No. So I'm going to urge my colleagues not to support this legislation. It's not good legislation, it's not good for the city of Detroit, and it's not good for Michigan.”
-State Senator Irma Clark-Coleman on Charter Schools in 2003 during the debate on implementing 15 charter high schools in Detroit.
It is interesting that you have legislators that can make statements like this one above and have no solutions to the academic exodus that is taking place in Detroit. It almost should like something directly from the MEA’s playbook. Either Senator Clark-Coleman is out of step of what is going on with our children (I know she is not) or someone paid her to say this statement.
I would say the latter for her.
When I hear Black elected officials making these types of remarks I begin to wonder why do we elect these people into office? In Senator Clark-Coleman’s district they are getting ready to close Mackenzie High School. What will take the place of that high school to educate children? The teacher unions?
She also said this to her White colleagues in the Senate during that same debate:
“Well, listen to me, legislators, it ain't working. What you thought was good for us eliminated any parental involvement and any involvement from the community. And until you recognize that the community has to be involved in education, nothing that you impose upon my city will work. So you need to take a strong look at your own city, decide what's good for your city, and let us make a decision about what's good for our city. You've not done it in the past, you're not doing it now, and I don't expect you're going to do it in the future. But just know that when you impose something on someone else's city and you send a group through there that looks nothing like that city and say this is good for you, it's not going to work.”
That is some scary stuff coming out the mouth of a Black lawmaker. She did not even factor in how Black people live in suburban communities as well as the ones that want parental choice.
To tell you the truth we need to stop supporting lawmakers who do not support educational options for our children and parents. Many liberal Democrats in the Michigan Legislature do not have a clue on how to help our children because the MEA is telling them what to do.
I was listening to President Bush on TV last week when he was in New Orleans. He mentioned about how Charter Schools work because parents want choice. He also made mentioned about how New Orleans will come back to life based around educational innovation. This innovation are charters and scholarships to send children to school.
I am always confused on why those Black people we elect to office are always against educational choice? Black people are responsible for getting our children out of failing public schools and placing them in schools that work? I strongly believe in vouchers because we should be in the business of preparing our children for a 21st century job workforce that is going to take them places.
Detroit has fallen to liberal insurgents over the past three decades. Our schools have fallen into the sewer. When I hear the liberal grassroots community talking about we need Black Power I look around the city and see Black Power. We cried for it during the 60s and we have achieved Black Power.
The Detroit City Council is controlled by Black Power.
The Detroit School Board is controlled by Black Power.
The Detroit City Planning Commission is controlled by Black Power.
The Detroit Office of the Mayor is controlled by Black Power.
The Detroit Public Schools are controlled by Black Power.
The Detroit Planning and Development is Black Power.
BOTH Congressman John Conyers and Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick are Black Power.
The State Representatives that represents Detroit are dominated by Black Power.
All 5 State Senators from Detroit are Black Power.
7 out of 8 Wayne County Commissioners are Black Power.
Detroit Water and Sewerage Board are controlled by Black Power.
Detroit City Clerk’s Office is Black Power.
Wayne County Clerk’s office in general is dominated by Black Power.
The Detroit Police Department is controlled by Black Power.
The Detroit Fire Department is controlled by Black Power.
The Unions (DFT, MEA, AFT, ATU, SEIU, UAW, AFL-CIO, etc. ) are Black Power.
Black Radio Stations (Radio One, WGPR, WHPR) are Black Power.
The Black Churches in our community are Black Power.
The Detroit Public Library is dominated by Black Power.
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is controlled by Black Power.
The International Detroit Black Expo is Black Power.
The Avenue of Fashions on Livernois and 7 Mile Road is Black Power.
98% of the Neighborhood Block Clubs in Detroit are Black Power.
97% of the Neighborhood Associations are Black Power.
When you see sisters like Fanchon Stinger, Rhonda Walker, Ama Dietz, Paula Tutman, Glenda Lewis, Diana Lewis, and many others on TV reporting the news I see Black Power.
The NAACP is Black Power.
The Wolverine Bar Association is Black Power.
The Michigan Chronicle, Michigan Citizen, and Michigan Front Page is Black Power.
The Black owned fast food restaurants are Black Power.
The Black Owned Gas Stations in Detroit is Black Power.
Public Access 68 and 71 on Comcast in Detroit is Black Power.
Government Access 10 and 22 on Comcast is Black Power.
Black Power controls our very essence in Detroit. It affects all of our lives from the spiritual, mental to the physical. What opporession are these people talking about. Black people are NOT oppressed in this city. We run everything. We control everything. What kills me is that people who write on this blog will say I am supporting the oppressor. They must be talking about Black people then because they are the ones oppressing me. Other races have helped me greatly and I thank them for their continued support.
So if Black people in this city have obtained Black power then why are we losing the war on drugs, sex, immorality, divorce, health, and education? Because pushing drugs in our community is Black Power. Children out of wedlock is Black Power. Why? Because Black Power stations like BET stimulates OUR children to go out and have sex.
Poverty is present in our community not because of White people but because of Black power. We are responsible for helping the POOR not White People or Public Policy. So who is allowing this to happen in our community. We are.
High number of divorces due to infidelity and no spiritual foundation is Black Power. Black Churches that talk politics for political gain from the pulpit instead of dealing with family relationships are using Black Power to keep Black people oppressed.
Keeping our Black children in Black failing schools by Black school board members and Black union people and Black politicians who do not support educational choice is Black power.
Who is keeping Black people from living a health lifestyle? Black Power. You cannot blame white people for this because it is the Black fast food restaurants that are killing us with high fat contents in their foods within the community. The Middle-Eastern people are eating more healthier than the Black people.
Why are Black men who preaches Black power afraid to go to the Black doctor to get a check up to see if their prostrate, heart and sugar levels are normal? All three kill Black men daily. HIV/AIDS is killing Black women in our community like a runaway freght train.
Black Power control the urban blight in our city so how come the Black Office of Planning and Development have not done anything to tear down homes in the hood?
We have a Detroit Delegation in Lansing yet the city has gone to hell. And it will STILL be in hell when most of them are done with their final terms in office. Can we all say regionalize or merge Detroit with Wayne County?
We do not need a separation of the races, as inclined by the Senator, to help Detroit. We do not need Black Power. Black Power has doomed us and we have lost a generation from this tragedy. As an educator I see this every single day about how these children cannot count, read, spell, fill out an application, yet, they are making babies. They can get all A’s on baby making but receive Fs on language arts and science. This is what Black Power has done for not just Detroit but urban communites all across the State of Michigan.
What we need is regional cooperation from all races. This is how we build Detroit back.
Perhaps we need to diversify all those seats on the School Board.
Perhaps we need Arab-Americans representing a State Senate district for Dearborn and Detroit.
Perhaps we need diversity in our city instead of trying to keep everything pro-Black that has gotten us no where but downhill. We need cooperation of everyone working together. All races of people.
As far as those statements from Senator Clark-Coleman we need to remind people that educational choice is an alternative for parents. If you want to fix a failing school district then do not come in with a strategy that will fail and do not have failing school board members, failing superintendents and failing community activists run the show.
The solution to the Black Power and educational crisis? Urban conservatives who have purpose, faith and dedication on their side. These are the people we need to support, train and run for office, business, and educational leadership in our community.