The firings at the Times-Picayune, the slashing of higher education budgets and the assault on local teachers must be placed in a larger context of management's waylay on anti-intellectualism and the noble professions. Since the killing of Socrates, management — and specifically corporate resolution — have sought to eliminate the voices of cynicism and reason. But, hallelujah, I see the reemergence of the philosopher king on the horizon.
This week I talked violence on a weekly radio show on a hip-hop/R&B commercial station that dubbed itself the “non-violent station.” The 30-minute segment offered evidence of its commitment to the moniker. The disk jockey and I exchanged ideas about the root causes of violence, and indubitably education (or lack thereof) surfaced as a prime source. After a solid 10 minutes of talk, the DJ transitioned to a musical intermission in which he played parts of “Kinda Like a Big Deal” by the Clipse.
Moses delivered the word on two stone tablets. The town crier eventually lost his voice. Paper in and of itself is an antiquated medium. Yet many were shocked to hear that the paper's ownership plans to cut the city's only daily to three editions a week and expand their online offerings.
The means by which the Times-Picayune is distributed should change as society does. New Orleans is intensely diverse, and we should be more concerned if prevailing news outlets represent information accordingly.
On Tuesday at 5:45 p.m., a 10-year old boy was shot in the face and leg at his birthday party. Bullets sprayed the gathering at Simon Bolivar Avenue and Clio Street, killing a 5-year-old girl and a 33-year-old woman. A few hours earlier, two assailants had robbed and killed a 58-year old man in Mid-City. Police arrested a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old, the latter wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor.
If our political fights barely rise above the embarrassing displays of violence within the communities that officials are supposedly serving, then it’s time for a radical change in representation.
At the May 15 Orleans Parish School Board meeting, black angst sparked among fellow members around matters of disrespect in the naming of an interim superintendent. After a round of feinting punches, the board voted along black and non-black lines to name an interim.
It’s that time of year when Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 is played to the delight of millions of graduates in high school and college. The selection of a march is appropriate given that students must face a certain rise in college tuition and an antagonistic job market. For good or for bad, the credentials of a high school diploma and college degree pave a one-lane bridge to economic and social independence.
Andre Perry discusses the Trayvon Martin shooting and our society.
In his classic essay titled “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell writes of a colonial, sub-divisional police officer’s experience in twentieth century Burma. The narrator, who we presume to be Orwell, reflects on the officer’s pursuit of a rampaging elephant in heat that was ravaging the fragile village that stood in the way of the humungous beast’s unpredictable path. The impassioned elephant even killed a man who could not dodge the animal’s urges.
What exactly is the purpose of public education? Gov. Bobby Jindal’s sweeping education package has introduced a litany of policy initiatives, slogans, and ideas that have flown over the public’s head faster than it did through the House and Senate education committees. As the general public literally waits for whatever falls in our collective laps, would proponents or opponents please articulate a coherent vision of the purpose of public education.