Friday, May 7, 2010

What were they thinking? The Black Only Field Trip

I first heard about this story on Twitter and thought it might have been one of those crazy things people say on the Internet. However, when I check it out, sure enough it was real. 
An Ann Arbor elementary school principal used a letter home to parents tonight to defend a field trip for black students as part of his school’s efforts to close the achievement gap between white and black students.
Dicken Elementary School Principal Mike Madison wrote the letter to parents following several days of controversy at the school after a field trip last week in which black students got to hear a rocket scientist.
“In hindsight, this field trip could have been approached and arranged in a better way," Madison wrote. "But as I reflect upon the look of excitement, enthusiasm and energy that I saw in these children’s eyes as they stood in the presence of a renowned African American rocket scientist in a very successful position, it gave the kids an opportunity to see this type of achievement is possible for even them.
“It was not a wasted venture for I know one day they might want to aspire to be the first astronaut or scientist standing on the Planet Mars.
“I also think it’s important that you know that I have talked to the children who did not go on the field trip, and I think they have a better understanding of the purpose of the AA Lunch Bunch now, as I hope you do. I’m sorry if any kids were upset by the field trip or my discussion afterwards with them, and I have let them know that.
“The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported, but rather to address the societal issues, roadblocks and challenges that our African American children will face as they pursue a successful academic education here in our community.” 
If I were one of the parents who got this letter my question to Mr. Madison would be, what is it that would prevent black students from experiencing excitement, enthusiasm and energy if children from other races were around? I would ask this question because for the life of me, I cannot see any good reason.

What this program of exclusion reminds me of is how socialism really works. The way socialism works is that it does not really elevate the poor or middle class. Instead, what socialism does is to bring down the wealthy to the level of the poor. In this case, Mr. Madison is attempting to pretend to elevate black student’s achievement by bringing down the educational opportunities of children from other races. Not cool, Mr. Madison.


not a minx, a moron, or a parasite said...

"The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported..." And yet, isn't that exactly what happened?!

Nick Rowe said...

Thinking? I don't think any thinking was involved.

I doubt the rocket scientist needed a black role model in order to motivate his ambitions.

LL said...

Mr. Madison is the typical progressive.

And by arranging activities like this, only SEPARATES people more simply on the basis of skin color. He's a racist of the worst possible sort.

Just Me said...

"it gave the kids an opportunity to see this type of achievement is possible for even them."

Is it just me, or that a seriously condescending thing to say... "even them". What the hell is that?

Reaganite Republican said...

Agreed- I think the guy meant well, and great role model... but the white kids wouldn't be inspired? Were Asians allowed? He should know better than this-

I don't think implementing a segregated curriculum is even legal anymore, is it? He should expect to be sued... but in superliberal Ann Arbor he probably has little to fear from the judges.

If I was a white parent in Ann Arbor, I sure wouldn't be thinking this guy had my kid's best interest in mind- doesn't seem to care if his agenda is fair, legal, or just at all... just going to do as he pleases to fulfill some top-down agenda, who does that remind you off, LOL

And imho socialism wrings the wealth right out of the entire society... by implementing a system that doesn't make money, but in fact loses it- just like any other poorly run enterprise.

Reagan's militarily-mighty USA ran at a profit, as the Soviets operated at a loss- that's how I look at it, and they went into debt, then broke... just like hopenchange, great

Just a conservative girl said...

AA Lunch Bunch? What the heck is that? There also was a little Muslim girl in the class during the racial discrimination discussion and she reminded him that she is also a victim of discrimination and the other kids told their parents he was very dismissive and ridiculed her claim. Which is very a valid one. The district school board is also sticking up for this man. He won't lose his job.

Where is the ACLU in this? This is illegal and no one is saying anything.

Anonymous said...

I think those white kids missed an opportunity to meet a black man who was successful for his own merits. Positive role models work both ways. It is just as important for white kids to see that blacks can be successful, to know that it can happen, to see it with their own eyes.

trinity said...

After reading this, I find that I am at a complete loss for words, which really never happens. All I can do is shake my head.

Anonymous said...

As a white parent, I think it is extremely important to expose my kids to successful people outside the media stereotypes. If the guy had wanted to address the issues he had to overcome to achieve his education and career, WONDERFUL! Did this principal think that would not be useful information for white students? Take 2 buses! Better, ask the guy to come talk to an auditorium full of kids about it. I went with a Navaho colleague of mine to one of the Gallup schools many years ago to discuss how to become a physicist. We went for free, so we could feel good about ourselves and give out some serious encouragement. Didn't cost the school a dime. ASK, PRINCIPALS!

Mats said...

Socialism is not spreading the wealth, but spreading the poverty.

Madison said...

This is the first I have heard of this story. Can you imagine the field day the media would have had with this if there had been a white only field trip. Why is it the liberals do exactly what they preach against and then find a way to justify it for themselves and condemn everyone else?

Jess said...

It was a bad decision, but the teacher probably never thought of any consequences, or was arrogant in assuming the segregated field trip was justifiable for some unwarranted reason. I think this bothers me more than anything else.

Angie Lee said...

Just imagine the look of excitement, enthusiasm and energy he could have seen on ALL the students' faces at being in the presence of a renowned rocket scientist OF ANY COLOR, just because kids think that shit is COOL.

I thought we were living in a "post-racial" society? I guess that only counts when talking about the first biracial president, and everyone else is still held back by all the rampant racism overwhelming this country.

Seriously. He wants to hold up a black scientist as a role model, and that's great - for kids of any race, color, or ethnicity - but aren't the black kids he's trying to inspire ALSO inspired by Barack Obama? Or isn't he inspiring because he isn't black enough for this guy?

FWIW, it's against Michigan law to discriminate in public schools based on color. So technically, even though the district refuses to acknowledge what happened and deal with it appropriately, this man has broken the law. With taxpayer dollars.

Clifton B said...

Not a minx,...:

The name of the program, pretty much tells you their intent.

Clifton B said...

Nick Rowe:

I doubt the rocket scientist needed a black role model in order to motivate his ambitions.

Good observation.

Clifton B said...


Mr. Madison probably doesn't even realize he is a racist.

Clifton B said...

Just Me:

That statement is what you call the bigotry of low expectations.

Clifton B said...


Nope it ain't legal and the authorities are already looking into the program. If you are correct about the liberal judges there, then Mr. Madison may at worst get a slap on the wrist.

Clifton B said...


I read about the Muslim girl. I bet Mr. Madison was dismissive to her too. I say that because I have met blacks like Madison and they think no one in the world suffered more than black people. God help you if you try to show them otherwise.

Clifton B said...

Anonymous @ 12:42:

I think those white kids missed an opportunity to meet a black man who was successful for his own merits.

How much to you want to bet, Mr. Madison would be the first to complain about whites holding certain stereotypes? He had an opportunity to do something about it and completely blew it.

Clifton B said...


That was my first reaction too. I had to let it sink in for a while.

Clifton B said...

Anonymous @1:51:

Good idea bringing the scientist to the school. Mr. Madison could have killed two birds with one stone. Expose all the students to a successful black man and save the school some dough.

Clifton B said...



Clifton B said...


Why is it the liberals do exactly what they preach against and then find a way to justify it for themselves and condemn everyone else?

Liberalism has always been a mass of contradiction.

Clifton B said...


The decision was made within the narrow confines of race only. That is why they cannot see the obvious flaws in their plan.

Clifton B said...

Angie Lee:

He obviously made the decision based on racial oppression. Therefore he could not see that he is doing the exact thing he was trying to combat.

Yes what he did is against the law, but as Reaganite pointed out, with a very liberal court system, he may just skate.

lilolady said...

Ditto bingo on Mats' "Socialism is not spreading the wealth, but spreading the poverty".

A snappy ad using this concise statement over compelling music and Greek type demonstration would be great - it would completely run before a leftie had time to turn it off - and maybe its truth would actually sink in.

Anna said...

We would have all forgotten about racial segregation a long time ago if people like Mr. Madison ceased to remind us at every opportunity.

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