Philadelphia Settles Anti-Asian Pogram in Schools

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Arlene Ackerman

Wikipedia describes the Russian word “pogrom” as a form of “violent riot, a mob attack, either approved or condoned by government or military authorities, directed against a particular group, whether ethnic, religious, or other”. Education Week reports “The courage of Asian students to describe the harassment and violence they experienced at South Philadelphia High School led members of the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission to act on their behalf, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.”

Those of you who are part of the truly politically correct rainbow coalition learned in college in the 70s to 90s that racism can only be committed by whites against blacks because of the nature of the racist power structure. Well somebody forgot to tell the groups of predominantly African American students who weren’t feeling particularly multicultural on December 3, 2009 to not beat up 30 Asian students who were English Language Learners. The Asian-American Legal Defense and Education Fund also filed the complaint with the federal government.
USA Today reported that gangs roamed the halls searching for Asians. After they found and attacked their first victim in a classroom, another 70 students mobbed the cafeteria, beating several others. Another 35 students who were undeterred by a police officer were turned back from what they called the “Asian floor”. After school, Asian students were escorted home, but still targeted by toughs. 30 Asians were injured that day and seven were hospitalized.
Apologists said race had nothing to do with it. Community specialist Wali Smith who saw the violence explains blacks were marginalized by Italians and Irish. Now as the schools are 100% “diverse”, 70% black with an 18% Asian minority they resent seeing Asians given a special second-floor sanctuary for language programs, while the staff doesn’t care about black students. The gangster mentality also drives some to target weak people, so when they mugged Asians in the bathroom and they didn’t report it “they’ll just keep riding it until the wheels fall off.”
I can tell you that such reports certainly put a dimmer on consideration of Philadelphia area colleges such as Drexell and Villanova. From my own experience as a visitor at an Asian American conference there a few years back, the predominantly African American staff was extremely professional. The city of brotherly love has a vibrant Chinatown along with the Liberty Bell. It was remarkable to check the six radio stations on the rental car, and find six different black radio stations, with all of them were different.
Asians were most angry at the school district which had failed to protect them. If anything it seemed that the African American staff and administration was taking sides and looking the other way. They seemed to put the blame it on a racist and capitalist society with a centuries long history of injustices towards African Americans rather than the individual perpetrators as criminals. District superintendent Arlene Ackerman said “These problems are long-standing and go beyond the school and into the community.”
Now this really brings up the contrast between the Progressive White/African American and Asian attitudes towards education. Compare the African American party line of affirmative action, black history, and structural racism / capitalism with that of student Duong Ly from Vietnam: “If I study hard I will get a lot of opportunities, scholarships, grants…,” he says. “It’s rewarding to work hard and study hard here, more than in Vietnam. I can go to a better school, go to college, get a career, then I can take care of my parents. So I like it more here.” Students from the other side declined to be interviewed, but if they did, how many of them (excluding African immigrants) would say anything remotely as optimistic about their future in America?
The primary directive of Asian immigrants is not “demanding racial justice from whites”, even if that is what 70s college educated “Ho Chih Minh is my hero” Asian American Movement™ hippies were taught. They try for and get BETTER grades and scores than majority whites. If the low income immigrants score lower than their counterparts in Cupertino and go to San Jose State instead of Stanford while their parents work 6 jobs 25 hours a day, they still think they’re ahead of the game instead of vowing to bring down suburban Koreans and Mandarin Chinese.. They see America as a land of limitless opportunity. They are thankful they have been given the chance to climb over obstacles placed in their path rather than cursing the races and economic systems responsible for their misery.
Asians do not see America as an inhuman, morally bankrupt capitalist system whose dominant whites and new pet Asians have stolen unfair wealth, restaurants, corner stores and Acuras on the backs of the oppressed. To their tormentors, Amerika is a system that must be smashed. Petty theft is merely payback for “problems that are long-standing and go beyond the school and into the community.” Young predators do not comprehend the concepts like individual accountability or guilt, or advancement through virtue. They only understand the language of “racial equality” and “social justice”.
Black conservatives like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams would certainly agree that White Nationalists could not concoct a more evil system to happily brainwash a once-proud people into a self-destructive cycle dooming them to the bottom rungs of society for generations. There is a multi-million if not billion dollar industry which enriches a leadership (obviously not Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck) enriched by their cut of the profits of the 21st century slave trade of “racial justice” which keeps people in chains. It was South Pacific that explained how babies born into innocence are “carefully taught” to pull others down rather than look for and grab a helping hand up. Perhaps that is what creates jobs for so many full time activists, academic and government officials training poor, Hispanic and African Americans to see American 180 degrees of how Asians see it, and why they carefully exclude Asians from any of their studies of “economic justice”
But Asians do have the African Americans to thank for shoring up the one big Asian weakness – having the guts to stand up and complain. It was local activists, god bless them for once, who came up with the idea of 50 Asian students boycotting school for a week to make a bold statement, a tactic seemingly inspired by the original civil rights era boycotts like the bus boycott. Economic success is not an either-or proposition. Yes you must protest injustice and unfairness. But once you put a stop to violence and hatred, it is ultimately up to the individual to raise him or herself and their people as high as they can go.
Unflattering blog on Ackerman’s performance
Her bahavior was so inexcusable that it even offended frequent race-baiting Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Annette John-Hall:
It’s bad enough that you waited four days to publicly respond to a gang attack at one of your schools. But it was even worse on Wednesday, watching you sit there dispassionately, as though you were listening to your voice mails, when students asked for an apology.
You know, a simple but powerful gesture that says, ” ‘I’m sorry that this happened to you, I’m sorry for the slow response time, I’m sorry that we have not stood with you earlier,’ ” said Ellen Somekawa of Asian Americans United.
Which is the human thing to do.
But how did you, the chief executive officer of the Philadelphia School District, respond?
With silence. Defensive, deafening silence.
And then, you didn’t take questions afterward.

About the Author

MIT electrical engineering computer science graduate has written conservative columns on politics, race / culture, science and education since the 70s in MIT The Tech and various publications in including New Republic and National Review.