Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
Reverse Discrimination?


      Before I get into the meat of this edition's column, I just want to note a milestone here at The Capital City Hues. By the time you read this column, The Capital City Hues' website will have recorded its 10,000 visit by a separate IP address. In other words,   computers from at least 10,000 locations will have visited our site. Right now, the counter stands at 9,984 and has been crawling to 10,000. I guess the old saying is right about a watched pot never boils.
      Typically, The Capital City Hues website, www.capitalcityhues.com is visited 50-125 times per day. The 10,000 figure shows us that the paper is gaining more popularity on the Internet. We are proud of this small achievement in such a small period of time. If you have missed an issue or a story, please visit our website. We keep an archive of our past issues at our website. And visit our classified ads while you are at it. I know our advertisers would sure appreciate it.
                                                                                                           ***
      On page 2 of this edition of the paper, you      will find a story about an investigation into Tenia Jenkins Volunteer      Mentor African American Male class that she taught at West High School last year. It came under the scrutiny of MMSD Art Rainwater who had it investigated by Percy Julian, one of Madison's prominent civil rights attorneys to determine whether of not the class had violated the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the amendment passed right after the Civil War came to a close that guaranteed due process and equal protection to all U.S. citizens. under the law. The 14th Amendment was used by the NAACP in many arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court to abolish racial segregation in the U.S.
      Now VMAAM is designed to help young African American men to develop perspectives on their lives so that they avoid the   pitfalls that many African American young men get in trouble with and they improve their lives by getting an education. At issue, apparently, was the way in which the program targeted African American young men to enroll in the class.
      This is a very thorny issue because one never wants to create rules and laws that may meet your needs in the present and then be turned against you in the future. While I may construe a law or ruling one way, there is nothing preventing an ingenious lawyer from using it for purposes at odds with the reasons the laws were enacted in the first place.
       So I can appreciate Attorney Julian's concerns that the recruitment strategy of VMAAM may have, in essence, used the power of the state to create de facto segregation in a Madison Public School. I wouldn't want any kind of legal precedence to be created that would allow someone with evil in their hearts to create segregated classrooms or segregation in any other kind of public facility in order to deny African Americans and other people of color their equal rights under the law. That is why legal segregation  based on race was ruled unconstitutional in the first place.
      On the other hand, any person who reads the papers knows that we have a crisis on our hands as it relates to African American young men in this community. We have one of the highest incarceration rates for young African American men in the country. While approximately 50 percent of African American students drop out of high school before they graduate, I would suspect that the drop-out rate is the highest for young African American men. As someone said, it seems at times that our education system is preparing African American men for a life in the prison system.
      While VMAAM did indeed target young African American men, it was doing so to help them take advantage of Madison's educational system and not to deny them the benefits of the school system. We have to find a solution to this crisis and I think the  state has an overriding interest in seeing that this crisis concerning African American men be solved. And that solution must begin in the schools.
October 3, 2007
Stories & Columns

*
The Literary Divide: A little bit of this and a little bit of that,
by Dr. Paul Barrows

*
Dick Gregory speaks at March on Milwaukee,
by Jonathan Gramling

*
Academia de Danza Mexico: Continuing the traditions,
by Jonathan Gramling

*
Marcial Marquez: From the fields to business (2),
by Jonathan Gramling

*
African American Centered Pedagogy Curriculum Project: A question of race,
by Jonathan Gramling

*
Simple Things: The Hexagon,
by Lang Kenneth Haynes

*
Willie & Vivian Larkin: Professional transition (2),
by Jonathan Gramling

*
Asian Wisconzine: India Day 2007,
by Heidi M. Pascual
www.asianwisconzine.com

*
Politicas de hoy: En el Carnaval de la Huila-hula los lideres tambien bailan y rien,
por Alfonso Zepeda Capistran

*
Voices: Banned books, banned freedoms,
by Dr. Jean Daniels

* Wisconsin Book Festival:
--
Promoting local expression
--
Roscoe "Gordon" Orman,
by Jonathan Gramling

*
Centerspread: A Sikh Wedding,
by Jonathan Gramling

*
China Dispatch: On the streets of Hu Po,
by Andrew Gramling

* Steinway picks Madison,
by Rose-Johnson Brown

*
Jena 6 rally on the Library Mall,
by Jonathan Gramling

* The U.N.: The most multicultural place on Earth,
by Vincent Kovaloski

*
Bien por la reforma electoral,
por Prof. Praxedis Sanchez


ARCHIVES
HOMEPAGE
  VOL II No. 20              October 3, 2007
Cover story:
Race, Culture & Competency
Gladis Benavides reflects on her heritage and civil rights