Truth or dare
Please allow me to comment on your cover story in the Aug. 28 issue by Jeff Woods, "Separate. Equal?"
As one who went through the Nashville public school system, as well as participated in the initial busing movement back in 1972, I think I can cover some areas where Mr. Woods failed to address.
Mr. Woods writes, "Poor children learn more in middle-class settings, the research shows." Dare I ask what the middle-class "learn" from their bused counterparts? Aside, of course, from filthy language, street sex-ed, drug nicknames and how to act out in class?
Why did Mr. Woods omit the not uncommon issue of black children who attempt to learn in school, speak proper English and exhibit proper behavior, but their fellow black peers accuse them (hatefully) of trying to act white?
Mr. Woods writes, "Blacks...gain entrée to white social networks and jobs later in life." Dare I ask where this emphasis is when a black man/woman attends TSU, Fisk or any other majority black college? What about the so-called Black Studies degrees in these colleges? Where is the white networking at action in those cases? Why is an all-black school considered a bad thing in Metro, yet TSU, Meharry and Fisk are praised? Dare I suggest a slight bit or irony there or perhaps even hypocrisy?
Mr. Jerry Maynard is described as "outspoken." Perhaps Mr. Maynard's energies would be better devoted to supporting tutoring programs in math and reading when blacks are "double the percentage" in performing below their grade levels. Perhaps Mr. Maynard would scream at the top of his lungs about why this is so, despite busing being involved in Metro for over 35 years. If something hasn't worked in over 35 years, Mr. Maynard, many of us would take a wild guess that it's not working.
A teacher is quoted as saying schools need "to be diverse, both economically and culturally." Yet reports show the majority of Metro school teachers send their own children to private schools. Dare I suggest that the majority of Metro teachers may know something about the state of Metro schools and so-called diversity not being a huge academic success?
I could go on and on about the failures of busing in Metro and the enormous waste of diesel, travel time and bus wear, but I fear that too would be fruitless under the emotional assault by those who refuse to allow the facts to get in their way. For those folks, might I suggest that this is no longer the 1950s/1960s, where blacks ride the back of the bus and get 20-year-old textbooks.
How about the so-called black leaders help their own folks by cleaning up their own neighborhoods—of crime, drugs, alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy run amok, etc.—instead of simply wailing about things that were shown long ago not to be working? It certainly would be energy better well spent.Bob Cole
Indictment easy, conviction hard
It warrants keeping in mind that any competent prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich for the murder of the pig ("Family vs. Family," Sept. 4). Any time an indictment is not returned it is because the district attorney's office, for whatever reason, wants to drop the charge—i.e., smoke does not equate to fire.
I knew all those books were a waste of time ("The Grass Ceiling," Sept. 4). I should've been working on my digs and fades...Ryan
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