An eighth grader in upstate New York has ruffled some feathers with an essay that casts the public school system as modern slavery.
I wish I hadn’t clicked on the hyperlink, because – at face value – she seemed so right. Public schools discriminate based on geography under threat of imprisonment and their machine politics tightly contract the choices and opportunities for millions of students.
13 year-old Jada Williams,writing an essay on Frederick Douglass for a contest, made the very astute analysis that packing 30-40 students into a crowded classroom, and having mostly white teachers give them packets and pamphlets to complete that they don’t fully comprehend, impedes the learning process; and that this produces results similar to those hoped for by a slave master that forbids his slaves from learning how to read at all.
Jada’s point is that nothing has really changed since the days of Frederick Douglass; “the same old discrimination still resides in the hearts of the white man.”
It’s an ill-made comparison, and terribly offensive, but at least she’s questioning the system. Maybe she’ll get it right next time.
Update: Apparently Ms. Williams was more astute than the article leads to believe. (Thank you to the readership here at LI!)