Walter E. Williams

Much of what's seen today is a result of harebrained ideas and a tolerance for barbaric behavior. Kathleen Parker cited such an example in her May 16 syndicated column. The case concerned teacher Elizabeth Kandrac, who was routinely verbally abused by black students at Brentwood Middle School in North Charleston, S.C. A sample of the abusive language: white b----, white m-----f-----, white c---, white ho. Despite frequent complaints, school officials did nothing to stop the abuse. They told her this racially charged profanity was simply part of the students' culture, and if Kandrac couldn't handle the students' cursing, she was in the wrong school. Kandrac brought suit alleging a racially hostile work environment, and the school district settled out of court for $200,000.

People with such a tolerant mindset are in effect saying that blacks are not to be held to civilized standards of conduct and academic expectations that might be enforced for others. That's a disgusting and debilitating notion. I guarantee you that years ago, such nonsense would not have been tolerated, and a person making excuses for barbaric behavior by black students would have been considered a lunatic.

What has been allowed in predominantly black schools is nothing less than a betrayal of the struggle paid with blood, sweat and tears by previous generations to make possible the educational opportunities so long denied blacks that are being routinely squandered today. Blacks who lived through that struggle and are no longer with us wouldn't have believed such a betrayal possible.

There's enough blame to go around for each to have his share: students who are alien and hostile to the education process, parents who don't give a damn, and the education establishment and politicians who accommodate and excuse this tragedy of black education.

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
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