Off the Cuff: January 2011

Is Arlene Ackerman race-baiting?


As the Inquirer pointed out, state rules about no-bid contracts may have been broken, and even worse, the priority in installing these cameras wasn’t to protect students, but to control district public relations and give work to minorities. The Inquirer also noted that not all of those security cameras have been installed. Some emergency.

This story gets even more disturbing, however: At a School Reform Commission meeting last month, local NAACP head Jerry Mondesire called the Inquirer’s coverage of the camera controversy “contemptible.” He railed that the NAACP would defend inclusion in “the boardroom, the courtroom, the living room — wherever there is a need.” Terrence Griffith, vice president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia, said the Inquirer coverage was part of a widespread agenda “to ensure that this superintendent fails.”

So why are Jerry Mondesire and other black leaders spending their time race-baiting and pointing fingers at the Inquirer — which quite appropriately pointed out how Ackerman is playing fast and loose with state rules?

Because it’s easier to keep playing the same old blame game instead of facing difficult truths. As black intellectual Shelby Steele, author of White Guilt, wrote: “A 70 percent illegitimacy rate among all blacks (90 percent in certain inner cities) pretty much makes the point that there is a responsibility problem. To know this, as all blacks do, and to have to pretend it is not strictly true or that certain ‘systemic’ forces are more responsible than blacks themselves is knowingly to lie to oneself.”