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Old 08-21-2008, 04:47 PM   #300
buckeyefan78
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I concede that the system is not so fluid that any person at any level can
just, at will, move up to a higher income class. However, I contend that
our system is a lot more fluid than people give it credit for. For one
thing, we have an extensive educational system that's there for everyone.
It was my personal frustration when I taught high school, that I was often
abused and disrespected by many of the same people that would be
complaining that our country is just not giving them opportunities.


I don't find the system to be very fluid. The system often requires one to empower the existing ruling class to move up the ladder. The fact that a schism exists (our class system) is what I find to be arbitrary/immoral/illogical.

On a personal note, I can understand why you struggled teaching in the inner city Phil...as you've mentioned before. The problem is you can't apply the logic/values that you see/saw in education to people that live in an alternate world. If you aren't from that world...you can't really expect to express the values/teach deemed important by you or the system as a whole.

Having grown up in that environment, teaching in it, coaching in it...it doesn't bother me. The problem arises when one doesn't admit that there are two worlds...two sets of rules...in this nation: one for the rich, one for the poor.

Let me give you an example:

Since May I have been coaching a high school football team in the inner city (the high school I graduated from, taught at for years). Recently the transit authority cut/restricted busing from the city to the suburbs due to a lack of funds. There were only a few routes to the business districts but they were vital to these inner city folks. The city of Youngstown has about 85,000 people in 34 square miles of land. It has only ONE supermarket within the city limits (remember that capitalism dictates profit as being paramount over health, education, etc...values I think are important...not sure about others).

So basically you have a city of 85,000 people (deemed the poorest city in the U.S. by the the feds a few months back) with only one supermarket and limited transportation.

Understanding this as a major problem wasn't hard to do. Kids started missing practice to carpool to the burbs and get goods/services for their families. This created a problem immediately because poor folks...especially those of color...aren't permitted in those suburbs in personal vehicles (sorry if you're going to take offense to this Phil but we gotta press on with reality here so just suck it up and take my word for it ). Kids started getting tickets, detained and essentially "discouraged" (seems like yesterday rich folk were discouraging me from entering their domain ) from doing business there.

Now...the rest of the coaches and myself had to solve this problem.

1. We couldn't have kids skipping practice to do this. One, if not more, was liable to get shot or arrested for SWB/P (shopping while black/poor ).

2. Us coaches simply taking $ and shopping for the families wasn't an option (cuz my college degrees and nice car say I can go where I want to :thumbup. Food stamps are electronically run in this state and you have a pin #. Poor folks aren't exactly trusting of others to simply give the # out and in any event...that would be quite a pain in the ass

3. We didn't want to involve the churches. Like I said, I don't like empowering the oppressors so involving churches, especially the predominantly black inner city churches which have done little to nothing in my eyes, wasn't an option. You probably wouldn't have wanted to do so either Phil. Think Reverend Wright...:thumbdown:

So we had a huge problem, as you can see here Phil. How do we get these kids and their families mobilized without the aid of the government (cuz the bus funds were cut), the churches (because most of us felt they simply oppress the poor) and do it while being able to drive in these burbs without someone getting shot or arrested cuz they're black and/or poor? And how do we do so on a limited budget of our own? Trust me, I've spent hundreds of my own dollars driving kids around.

We came to a solution: first Saturday of the month (cuz the government checks go out on the first) we get a van/bus or two (sponsored and donated by a local car company) to drive 'em out to the burbs. We made a call to a friend of mine at the local paper to do a story on us. Flashed my college degrees and put on my "for the children" shtick for the story and there ya go. You know, one of those PR things that folks just love.

That way, everyone knew the undesirables were coming. :thumbsup2: Cops couldn't touch us due to possible bad PR for them. God forbid they create an incident and spoil the van dealer's tax write-off not to mention his good PR. Plus, nobody wants to be against the children...even poor and/or black ones.

We keep the kids and their families in check on the bus (though they already know to be cautious around rich folks) and there ya go...problem solved.

We've been doing this every Saturday since May so now you know how I spend my weekends. :thumbup: Not one incident and my buddy at the paper even did a follow-up on us and I was interviewed on TV (extended our PR and ability to do the project).

See what I mean Phil? You gotta own up to the alternate world, navigate it and then get the best result. I, along with a few of the other coaches, were able to use our clout to do this because we understand the two-worlds REALITY (cuz it ain't a theory). This isn't a set-in-stone intelligence issue. It's subjective. If you haven't lived it, then it won't click. You can't have the ladder be so wrought with b.s. such as this that a person has to go thru endless hours of work to get quality food on a limited budget.

I still feel awkard about using the media because I don't think they've done their best in exposing the b.s. of the situation or the world in general but like everyone else without all the answers...I made a compromise. And considering I was the one who put on the tie and stood in front of the camera...it didn't hurt too much. I'm used to being a whore. :thumbup:

BTW...We spread the kids and their folks out when we go out to the burbs. Never have too many of 'em in one place.

Don't wanna have some rich SOB see too many poor/black folks at once and give him a heart attack.

CK...I'll get back to ya as soon as possible on your Dem question. :thumbup:
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