Sunday, December 06, 2015

"We Can't Make an African-American White"

This from a Michigan state lawmaker, Marty Knollenberg, who was reviewing state K-12 test scores. 

State Sen. Marty Knollenberg (R) made the comment during a hearing Thursday after seeing state data breaking down academic performance among different demographic groups. The data indicated most students who were struggling were students of color, Knollenberg later told WXYZ Detroit.

"You mention why these schools districts fail, and you mention economically disadvantaged and non-white population are contributors to that. And we can’t fix that. We can’t make an African-American white," he said at the meeting. "That's just, it is what it is."

A spokesman for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) told WXYZ that the state officials presenting the data specifically did not suggest causality between race or economic status and academic achievement. 

But Knollenberg told WXYZ that his comments were taken out of context, noting that he had an African-American employee, and offered to apologize to people who felt offended.

Apparently Trump's "I can say anything and get away with it" mentality is rubbing off on some.



Anonymous said...

I'm not defending this guy, I know nothing about him and he may well be an unrepentant racist but - when I saw that statement i didn't immediately see it as derogatory. I don't know if this was what he intended or meant, but to me saying "you can't make an African American white, is an acknowledgement of multigenerational impact of the past hundreds of years history of enslavement, persecution, discrimination, unequal opportunity to education, jobs etc, poverty -that underlies the socioeconomic, and therefore educational disparity, we see today between AAs and whites. Of course you can't make AAs white - it is not about the color of the skin or any fundamental genetic difference -but rather the fact that for hundreds of years and even in the present day, generations of whites have been born and raised with many advantages and none of the burdens that generations of black people in the US faced - we can't change the shameful history that has lead to differences in outcomes we see today. The question is how to we change and improve things moving forward?
Thats how I see it anyway but I don't know if that's how it was meant.

Not racist.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Not racist, all you said could be true. I would just expect an elected official to be much more careful with his words and make sure that he said what you think he said. His original statement is clumsy at best and racist at worst.

Anonymous said...

" generations of whites have been born and raised with many advantages and none of the burdens that generations of black people in the US faced"

Your statement is probably the most racist I've seen NOT deleted from this blog.

White women

Anonymous said...

Dear White Woman,

Read up on white privilege. You have it whether you recognize it or not.

Another white woman,