The day in Baltimore I described in my prior essay was the day I was done being a conservative. I didn’t move Left. I was done with all of the conventional modern ideologies. I still identified as a conservative for many years after but that day radicalized me. I wasn’t about conserving anything either party had foisted upon or allowed to happen to America.
I’ve cried – wept – for hours over the course of days from the overwhelming grief caused by the death of people I loved. I know that pain. When I got home from Baltimore that evening I wept from anger. It was an acute expression of emotion I can’t compare to any other I have felt. I sat on the carpet in the middle of our living room in our tiny apartment crying. My wife was bewildered. She couldn’t get a coherent word out of me. It was hard for me to express that though I was crying (a rarity for me) what I really was feeling was the desire to mount a .50 calibre gun on our sedan and stage a John Brown raid on the city government of Baltimore and a like one on the state government in Annapolis. Short of that I wanted to punch a hole in every wall of our home.
Rage crying. It is an experience I wish for all of you. I would love for you all to have a guide to take you to the northeastern schools so dark and hermitically sealed that flies still live and fly in the middle of January. It would do you a world of good to walk down a dark, littered, stairway with graffiti lining the walls not knowing if an English professor in a classroom awaited you or two hardened 15 year olds with knives. It would help your moral vocabulary to imagine your daughter spending 40 hours per week in such a place.
These are dung pits where we throw children. That is not a mishap it is a policy.
The greater horror is that they don’t stay there. After twelve years in the pit the children are still alive. They come out to face the next decades of their lives with nothing more to sustain them than the emotional and physical scars they earned in the suffocating darkness.
We can fix it I’m told. More teachers who look like the students. Capitalize the ”b” in black. Fund the parents not the schools. Choice.
I doubt it but maybe so. There needs to be many, many firings and jail sentences and maybe even some public floggings or hangings first. We can get to the vouchers after we’ve run out of rope.
Yeah, I know. I go to too far. Not all the schools are bad. Your kids are fine. And what about those parents? Don’t they deserve blame, too, for not being more involved?
Here it is, as succinctly as I can tell you:
“Not all” sounds like a good reason to burn down the entire public education system. When my step-father died of lung cancer not all of his cells were malfunctioning. His legs and arms worked fine.
Using the status of just your kids is too narrow a limit on citizenship in a republic. It’s too close to “go for yours, we went for ours” theoretical libertarianism than what is healthy in reality. Your children do not belong to the State. Absolutely not, but I am quite sure you want your children and grand-children to be part of a prosperous and fit society. The ghetto being across town should not be a comfort. It won’t always stay far away.
And the parents? Admittedly, kids in those schools often have parents who only merit the title biologically. It is a tragedy in the fullest sense of the word but I am here to tell you no child is equipped to withstand the environment of most public schools without making accommodations in their personality, psychology, or behavior. A semester, a year, in those environs will produce a negative change in the most sagaciously raised child.
So, why let these places exist – on our dime, no less?
Count on me to bring the kerosene, the matches, and the Kleenex. Over the embers we’ll talk about how to rebuild