OTish: Torri Stuckey publishes extensive open letter on systemic racism

Discussion in 'Wildcat Rant Board' started by NUCat320, Jun 29, 2020 at 7:56 AM.

  1. NUCat320

    NUCat320 Well-Known Member
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  2. CoralSpringsCat

    CoralSpringsCat Well-Known Member
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  3. nu greek

    nu greek Well-Known Member
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    This is a must read by Torri. What a poignant story. It needs to be shared. This is right to the core of systemic racism.
     
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  4. kaTNap

    kaTNap Well-Known Member
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    So there was less systemic racism from 1959 to 1969 than from 1969 to 1993? Those years basically cover my lifetime (I was born in 1960) and I can guarantee that that was not the case, both from personal experience and from my knowledge of American history during that time period.

    There's a better explanation, but people don't want to hear it.
     
  5. Deeringfish

    Deeringfish Well-Known Member
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    Though I didn't understand what I was witnessing, as a White kid growing up on the South Side 1955-76, I witnessed from the outside many of physical things that Torri described. The descriptions of the projects, visiting Robbins, IL, the barrier caused by the 14 lane Dan Ryan Expressway all ring very true.

    While I can point to things that have been progress to ease my White conscience, things like Torri's job at bp and Obama's presidency, for every success story, there is a community of people basically incarcerated in underserved, isolated neighborhoods where life is survival and prospects are bleak.
     
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  6. Hungry Jack

    Hungry Jack Well-Known Member
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    There was an outstanding letter. It transforms an argument that can be abstract and distant for people shielded from the reality of segregation and oppression into something much more concrete, specific, and personal. Really a thoughtful piece of writing.
     
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  7. d'son d

    d'son d Well-Known Member
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    Worth a read by everyone. It's easy to see the spiral he describes as getting deeper and deeper with no way out, thereby making escape nearly impossible. Anger and frustration abound and make their way to the outside in forms that we see as "crime" or "bad", but it is merely the culmination of all the factors explained in his letter. Well written, Torri.
     
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  8. Eurocat

    Eurocat Well-Known Member
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    I am sick and tired of the cries of racism. "Whitey" keeps " black folk" down.

    Here is a take from an inner city school teacher.

    (FULL DISCLOSURE - One of my best friends growing up (pre college, pre Northwestern for me and a close relative teach in the inner city. Both were super left liberals (one Mondale 1984 delegate!) and both now, knowing now what they did not know then, would agree with the below. I do not know the poster below.

    Cut and paste - (Lightly edited to remove some cuss words not allowed by rivals and to make the text flow.)

    [​IMG]
    I’ve been a high school science teacher for a little under 10 years. I’ve primarily worked at poor urban schools with high Hispanic immigrant populations and I’ve loved most of my career. Yeah, some low points and difficult times but that’s everyone, right?

    The year I taught at a black inner city school almost made me leave the profession entirely.

    I was entering my 5th year teaching and I decided to take on a new challenge. Local inner city schools had been advertising turn around initiatives, and I decided to give it a go as the school I was at had successfully completed a turn around initiative started when I had first arrived. The two schools were very similar with one major difference. The proportion of students who were listed as “economically disadvantaged” (poverty) was the same at both schools but I was leaving primarily Hispanic to go to primarily African-American.

    The entire year was a complete disaster from beginning to end. I could probably write an entire book about what I saw there, but I’m just going to give you the highlights, starting from least to most serious.

    Class was basically optional. Kids would walk in or out constantly, if they showed up at all. Any attempts to enforce any kind of rules about tardiness and truancy was usually met with “f- you nigga”. And even if they did show up, they were rowdy and off task constantly. Very little education took place in that room. Or any of them rooms really. For example, one girl pulled out her phone, turned on some music, jumped on her desk and started dancing on top of the desk. I tried to get her down but she kept telling me “fuuuuuuuu-- you” over and over. This was at least weekly for her.

    This same little angel also gave a speech to the school board about the institutional forces that keep black people down.

    Before you accuse me of having bad classroom management, I tried talking to my AP and my principal about what to do because I had never experienced anything like this. And they told me something I was going to hear repeatedly throughout the year.

    “It’s just their culture. You have to respect that.”

    It’s important to note that I was LITERALLY the only white male in the building. Almost every other adult was black with a few Hispanic men and another white woman. The black female principal with a PhD in education told me it’s just their culture and I have to respect that. Wow. I wish it ended there but it doesn’t.

    I had a handful of good kids, and coincidentally I’m sure, they were almost all recent African immigrants. One boy from Rwanda was accepted to STANFORD! Holy moly I was so proud of him and so happy for him. Know who wasn’t? The college counselor trying to pressure him to change his mind and go to Grambling instead. Said he was turning his back on his community by going to Stanford.

    Trying to manage them was bad enough, but each class had about 40 kids in it. You might think this is a problem with funding but we got more money per kid than every other high school in the area (and this is a MAJOR city). It didn’t go to hiring teachers, it went to just maintaining what the kids just destroyed for fun. We issued each student a laptop, and it was a pretty small school, about 850 kids. Throughout the year we had to issue about 1000 replacements.

    The kids kept pawning them.

    Several times I caught groups of them just throwing the laptops against the wall or down the stairs, cackling and howling while taking turns filming it for Vine (this was before TikTok took off). Every single TI83 calculator in the building was stolen from every math and science teacher. But can’t you just make them put it back before they leave? You think we didn’t try? They’d howl and scream about any number of things and just storm out with it anyway. And again, couldn’t do anything about it because the school cop told me, along with the principal,

    "it’s just their culture."

    I don’t want to hear about “well they can’t worry about school when they’re poor and may not make rent and are hungry” either. Every two weeks we handed out bags of groceries to every kid in addition to the school cafeteria serving free breakfast and lunch to the kids and free dinner later in the evening to students and their families. I don’t know why, it was a waste. They’d fish out the snacks and dump everything else. Hundreds of pounds of food wasted a month. We often tried to salvage what we could when they’d just throw the bags on the floor.

    And we haven’t even touched the real big issue yet, which is violence. Fights were a daily thing. There was pretty much at all times a fight going on somewhere in the halls or in the classroom. Usually the punishment for a fight was about an hour in ISS. A kid needed on average 5 fights before anything more substantial happened, like a one day suspension. Notice how I said “in the classroom” too? At least once a week a teacher got hit. I had quite a few take swings at me. Again, usually just sit in ISS for an hour, right back the next day. The first time a kid took a swing at me, principal demanded to know what I did to provoke him... apparently telling him to remain in his seat was enough to set him off, and it was my fault. Again, why? It’s their culture.

    And now the big one, where I decided I was done. A group of 6 of the biggest assholes followed me out to the parking lot and they showed me their knives. Said if they didn’t get credit for my class toward graduation, they’d kill me. I was terrified. I ran to the school resource officer and the principal. The principal told me I had to give them extra credit. You guessed it, it’s just their culture, these things happen. And we wouldn’t want to wreck their lives with a police report over something like this would we? For the first time ever in my life, I told a supervisor to **** off. I would do no such thing, and I would finish my contract to the letter, but I would do absolutely nothing extra of any kind, I was done with them. I never walked the same path twice and kept my back to a wall at all times until in the parking lot where I was constantly looking over my shoulder, prepared to run at any time.

    That was 3 years ago. I went to another school in the district, just as poor but Hispanic instead of black. The principal is also Hispanic and an alum of the school. And because of this school, I’m glad I didn’t quit education. I love it here, it’s just like the school I started off at. There’s issues with poverty but they’re good people trying to make the best of what they have and I go into work each day (not so much anymore with remote learning due to COVID, but you get what I mean) with a smile on my face. Yeah I have lousy kids, but we all do every year. I was deeply saddened by COVID because I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye, I actually cried over that. Except 2017, when it was almost every kid, every period.

    That sentence is burned into my brain. It’s just their culture. If so, you’ll have to forgive me when I’m not exactly sympathetic to your cause.
     
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  9. CappyNU

    CappyNU Well-Known Member
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    Wow, an unsourced copy-and-pasted article of one anecdotal experience? I'm convinced, systemic racism is just a myth.
     
  10. Fitz51

    Fitz51 Well-Known Member
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    My wife for years taught in almost exclusively black high schools and city colleges. Much of what is in the anecdote above does mirror her experiences.

    That in no way changes either of our opinions on systemic racism. Maybe you should ask *why* that kind of behavior even starts happening. You quickly get back to the root cause.

    Whew. That was easy.
     
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  11. Eurocat

    Eurocat Well-Known Member
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    What to do?

    Treat them like you would truants if they were white truants in a white school district. Problem solved.

    No way this is gotten away with in rural West Virginia or upstate New York or Kansas or South Dakota.
     
  12. FloridAlum

    FloridAlum Moderator
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    To whom it may concern, don’t be too shocked if this dialogue is moved it to the Rant Board
     
  13. Fitz51

    Fitz51 Well-Known Member
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    I encourage you to present your thoughts to government entities.
     
  14. Eurocat

    Eurocat Well-Known Member
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    No need to do so in Latvia.

    My oldest just got into what is almost univerally seen as the best "Gymnasia" (High School) in the entire country, in fact kids come from Russia and Estonia and Lithunia to attend.

    http://r1g.edu.lv/v/index/?lang=en

    http://r1g.edu.lv/v/parskolu/ib

    Admission - Math exam which the schools director says is the "best indicator of logial thinking at 11 years old". No "race" no "gender" no
    oppression" no "making up for past misdeeds by the ruling class".

    Kick ass on your test - you're in. Less good score means less good high school. Oh well, work harder next time and spend less time on the computer playing games.
     
  15. hoosboot

    hoosboot Well-Known Member
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    That will produce a wonderful group of kids who are fantastic at taking math exams.
     
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  16. CatManTrue

    CatManTrue Well-Known Member
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    Wow, that sounds like a utopia.

    Just one question: what is logial thinking and how do we teach it to our kids?
     
  17. Eurocat

    Eurocat Well-Known Member
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    If I may pivot to our neighbors to our North (Estonia), they are two years ahead of us in this venture of eliminating emotion from [rom political decisions.



    https://e-estonia.com/
     
  18. Eurocat

    Eurocat Well-Known Member
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    Maybe if we had more of them Silcon Valley would not be constantly complaining about how America does not produce enough mathematicians, engineers, computer scientists, technicians and chemists.
     
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  19. loyolacat

    loyolacat Well-Known Member
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    I will never forget going to my daughters school on the West Side...100% African American.(She teaches in Evanston now)...the faculty and administration had made a really good effort at promoting a college prep atmosphere...it was a K-8 school.....She had me in as a guest ....for their poetry unit....and as they did for all guest speakers they had me talk about their college experiences....class was great...the kids loved the poem I had brought in (theirs were better.always forget what is important to middle school kids!)!)...but after I was done and had done my spiel on college..one girl raised her hand,,,,and asked the following question and statement " Ms. ********** why do you have these people talk about college.....you know none of us are going to be going to college" and the girl was fairly correct.....My daughter kept in touch with a lot of them...most had dropped out of school to go to work and the other stuff that gets in the way in poor communities. Two other things stood out....1. The drug dealers were visible from the window of the class room. They were there every day I visited......2. I took the class to tour LU and not one kid in the class had ever seen Lake Michigan even though they had all grown up in Chicago. It was a great day,,,had lunch in cafeteria,,,kids were great and engaging but I was stunned at there lack of general knowledge gained from experience. I am thinking their experience had taught them something else . The one thing I think is the best take away from an extremely good letter is that this is an economic problem...created in an unfair economic system.of over 400 years....that has great social impact......Also recently there has been really good research on the effects of childhood trauma on brain development and its effects on learning....https://www.traumaandlearning.org/how-trauma-impacts-learning. This is a serious issue for our country....we have looked at it before....lets be successful this time..... I dont know if this does not belong on the rant board or not....but we are certainly seeing how sports and society criss-cross.....to keep it on NU....man we have seen a lot of evidence that NU athletes are some pretty sharp people.!
     
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  20. Eurocat

    Eurocat Well-Known Member
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    I don't see this as a racial issue but a "poor vs rich" issue.
     
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  21. CatManTrue

    CatManTrue Well-Known Member
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    Did you even bother to read Torri’s heartfelt article???

    He fully admits and explains that in the context of his own family’s journey. Pull your head out of the Latvian sand and contemplate that you might not have a great pulse for what the current reality is in America, and you likely never did.
     
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  22. Eurocat

    Eurocat Well-Known Member
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    In my opinion the current reality is if you get good grades you go to a good school, and good grades then means med school, lawyer school, mba, etc.

    Poverty, not skin color, is the problem.

    I appreciate discussion, but I would ask there be no further attacks on my ethnicity.
     
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  23. CatManTrue

    CatManTrue Well-Known Member
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    I was referring to your current country of residence and assumed you were an expat over in Latvia. I of course have nothing against Latvian or Estonian people and also am of Eastern European descent - my point was that you are far removed from the racial divide in America if those are your points of reference.

    It is very difficult to get good grades if you live in a violent neighborhood, worry where your next meal is coming from and if you’ll even have a bed to sleep in, and can’t get to a safer place due to things such as redlining, housing discrimination, and racist policing tactics. Torri speaks to this as well in his article.
     
  24. Eurocat

    Eurocat Well-Known Member
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    Racist policing tactics keeping grades down?

    Um, no.

    https://home.chicagopolice.org/about/specialized-units/education-and-training-division-etd/
     
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  25. CatManTrue

    CatManTrue Well-Known Member
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    How many inner city families can even access that link or care to?

    Lack of trust and faith in the policing institution that exists to protect you disrupts the entire societal fabric. If you might get killed in a routine police stop, wouldn’t you place more faith in your neighborhood gang - where at least there are no false pretenses?
     
  26. hoosboot

    hoosboot Well-Known Member
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    What's that thing missing on your list? Oh yeah...Silicon Valley never complains how America does not produce enough people good at math tests. Maybe they just don't speak to the director of the best gymnasia in all of Latvia enough about his/her thoughts on the best indicator of logical thinking. :rolleyes:
     
  27. clarificationcat

    clarificationcat Well-Known Member
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    Take it to the rant board. It was a post about one of our former players and his experiences. Not your views on race. This is a complicated issue and one which requires some attempt to understand other people's experiences and viewpoints.

    Two things that are very simple, though.

    There was no attack on your ethnicity. Not even close. Everyone understood what he was saying.

    And we could all care less that your child got into the top gymnasia. Not at all helpful in this discussion. Just annoying. I don't know what race or ethnicity you are. I do know you are very unlikeable. I can say that without any prejudice.
     
  28. Eurocat

    Eurocat Well-Known Member
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    No, because police officers killing people are very rare.
    If you are so paranoid as to think oh my god the cops pulled me over....than you need to see a doctor.
     
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  29. Purple Pile Driver

    Purple Pile Driver Well-Known Member
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    What are you waiting for? This has spiraling completely off the rails.
     
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  30. CatManTrue

    CatManTrue Well-Known Member
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    It’s a shame. Torri poured his heart into that article and is a Northwestern Football Alumni to clearly be proud of.

    It’d be cool if Lou invited him on for a guest article... since there’s no football to write or talk about for a while.
     
  31. hdhntr1

    hdhntr1 Well-Known Member
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    Just shows there is more that the side we aare being told. I know of other teachers with similar experiences in CPS. It isn't as simple as "it's all systemic racism"
     
    31 hdhntr1, Jun 29, 2020 at 7:38 PM
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020 at 7:59 PM
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  32. hdhntr1

    hdhntr1 Well-Known Member
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    And maybe kids that have the tools and likes that have them able to choose majors that actually lead to jobs when they graduate
     
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  33. Eurocat

    Eurocat Well-Known Member
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    I have gotten six emails saying to me how right I am about this behavior.

    I have asked, nearly begged, for them to post. Scandal? Race?

    They don't want to risk their pensions. They flat out say that in their emails! Keep your head down and don't cause any waves.
     
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  34. Fitz51

    Fitz51 Well-Known Member
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    I don’t think anyone is questioning that the behavior happens. If they do, they’re wrong. Problem is your initial statement is still incorrect.
     
  35. hdhntr1

    hdhntr1 Well-Known Member
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    It is one thing to say that systemic racism plays a part it what is happening. It is another to ignore the effect of the role of their own actions. Cutting them some slack is one thing. Absolving them for any role that they have had in the outcome is something totally differernt
     
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  36. hoosboot

    hoosboot Well-Known Member
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    It will definitely produce a group of kids who are good at taking math exams and get into the best gymnasia in Latvia.
     
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  37. thewildcat2011

    thewildcat2011 Well-Known Member
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    Found the National Alliance voter!
     
  38. Eurocat

    Eurocat Well-Known Member
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  39. Eurocat

    Eurocat Well-Known Member
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    Here you go -

     
  40. hoosboot

    hoosboot Well-Known Member
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    And? What's supposed to be moving me here? It's definitely not the great communication skills or compelling filmmaking.

    But, I totally get why you'd like your oldest to be at a place like that. ;)
     

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