Dear Ms Reese,
My young people here at Pine Creative Arts Academy
know that disruptive behavior only gets in the way of others; it is not
acceptable in any culture. My teens know that rude, vulgar language
and racial epithets will keep them from the jobs that more polite-sounding
workers can get, "cultural backgrounds" and "ethnic norms" notwithstanding.
That is not to say I don't have kids swearing at me, calling each other
"niggas", "honks" and "beaners" in both love and disrespect running around
the room interrupting class occasionally. But they learn to either act
in a way that allows themselves to get smarter by learning or they learn
that we bounce them out until they learn to respect their own futures and
the rights of others.
All that good liberal stuff about cultural differences
and marginalization by Euro-centered dominance pretty much fades away when
I watch my young men and women making choices between success in school
and failure on the streets. The 21st century is a pretty bleak place for
people who can't get respect or jobs because they sound or look like losers.
Hence I teach the cold, cruel reality of international competition: People
far, far away who can't even speak English will take your job and laugh
at you, no matter how "marginalized" you are down in the 'hood.
Pine Creative Arts Academy
Grand Rapids, MI
Where success is success and anything else just ain't.