Consider the plight of Scott Phelps, a teacher at Muir High School in Pasadena, Calif., for 12 years. Phelps posted an e-mail in a school district chat room -- later distributing it to his fellow teachers -- discussing recent scores of the school's students on the Academic Performance Index. He committed the politically incorrect sin of wondering why low socio-economic African-American students, as a group, have historically scored lower on standardized tests, and why many seemed to lack academic focus. "If you look at their scores and track them over the years, you will see that they're horrible," said Phelps. "I'm not singling out a group. I'm not saying that low test scores are caused by low socio-economic students, I'm saying that low scores and low socio-economic students are directly related."
Further, Phelps had the audacity to suggest that of the students who engage in disruptive behavior, black students are disproportionately involved. "Overwhelmingly," Phelps wrote, "the students whose behavior makes the hallways deafening, who yell out for the teacher and demand immediate attention in class, who cannot seem to stop chatting and are fascinated by each other and relationships but not with academics, in short, whose behavior saps the strength and energy of us that are at the front lines, are African American. . . . Eventually, someone in power will have the courage to say this publicly. . . . Class is something they do between passing periods, lunch or nutrition break, when they chase each other in the hallways, into classrooms, yelling at the top of their lungs."
The resulting uproar got Phelps suspended. The school board reinstated him only after town hall meetings in which parents and even some black students and teachers demanded that the popular and widely respected teacher return.
I have a friend who lives in mid-town Los Angeles. Years ago, he invited me to visit a small library at the corner of Olympic and Vermont, an area between the high-rises of downtown and Koreatown. It is about 70 percent Hispanic and 20 percent Asian. At around four-o'clock in the afternoon, outside the library, several Hispanic kids performed incredible tricks on their skateboards. They were jumping, spinning, twirling and showing off their considerable skills. My friend then said, "C'mon, Larry, let's go inside." Inside the library -- standing room only -- were Korean-American kids and their mothers. Not one Latino kid inside the library. Not one.
The diversity/inclusion/multicultural crowd wants not only equal rights. They want equal results. But results require hard work, sacrifice and discipline. Either that, or a really good government program.
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