Monday, August 23, 2010

Why Doesn't Claude Steele Make The Next Logical Argument With Respect To His Argument?


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I promise you that this is not a cherry picked clip from Claude Steele's 40+ minutes of speaking to this C-SPAN crowd about how racial realities impact academic outcomes as a means of making an indictment against him.  I will go so far to say that I either agree with his points or am empathetic to his perspective.  I went to a majority White academic institution and felt at times that the Black student social experience was in a separate orbit from that of the mainline "White" experience - especially when it came to fraternities and sororities.  I can't claim to relate to the notion that a White person's assumption of my intelligence would cause me to do poorly on a test that I control the pencil that fills in the bubbles on the answer sheet though.

The key point that Steele was making is that people can sense a hostile environment and this feedback has a negative impact upon their academic performance.  He then calls upon the academic institutions to be conscious about how minority students (racial, gender, etc) are impacted and thus be responsive, attentive and accommodative.

As Steele was talking I could not help but to take this same framework and apply it to the INTERNAL challenges that are faced within the Black community.   If only Steele would note how SOME Black people talk to each other in the context of their communities and the amount of damage that is inculcated.  Go rent any one of the independent Black produced DVDs on NetFlix, a disproportionate number of them which document life on the street in the drug game,  to make note of how a they capture these interactions between our people.  There is a high level of disrespect in male/female dialogue.  There is an underlying threat of violence and aggression between males.   Where are the calls to reform this interpersonal contract so that a better outcome can be obtained...............just as Steele points out within academia?

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