This is an unpleasant news story. If it were only another “political correctness run amok” article, I could simply post it with a snide comment or two as an introduction, and that would be it.
But this is more than that. It’s not just the fact that a nine-year-old boy was charged with a hate crime.
It’s what his teachers, his parents, and the newspaper writer consider normal and acceptable.
Here’s the story from The Arizona Republic:
9-year old suspended for ‘hate crime’
A Glendale elementary school principal has admitted to telling a 9-year old boy that it is OK to have racist feelings as long as you keep them to yourself.
“As we said to (the boy) when he was in here, in your heart you may have that feeling, and that is OK if that is your personal belief,” Abraham Lincoln Traditional School Principal Virginia Voinovich said in a tape-recorded parent-teacher conference.
OK, we’re only two paragraphs in, and already we’ve hit a couple of bizarre things. A little boy suspended for a hate crime. A principal having a parent-teacher conference about it, with the whole thing on tape.
But at least the principal showed some sense right? Telling the boy it’s OK to have thoughts in your heart that you don’t act on — that’s a good thing, isn’t it?
Maybe; maybe not. Read on:
The boy was suspended for three days this month for allegedly committing a “hate crime” by using the expression “brown people.”
“Brown people” is an acceptable term to the PC crowd, at least some of the time. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen signs or ads saying “George Bush went to war with the Brown People because etc blah yak”.
However, it apparently depends on who’s saying it. If Barbra Streisand says “brown people”, no problem. If a racist schoolchild says it — time for the re-education camp!
But let’s continue:
– – – – – – – – –
In an interview Monday, Voinovich would not address her comments, first saying she didn’t remember the incident, then demanding a copy of the recording and finally insisting that she could not talk about a student’s discipline.
So the principal obviously has a guilty conscience.
Why? What does she feel she did wrong?
The circumstances of the boy’s suspension itself raise troubling questions about student discipline, interrogation and oversight at Abraham Lincoln.
According to school officials, the boy made a statement about “brown people” to another elementary student with whom he was having a conflict. They maintain it was his second offense using the phrase.
But the tape recording indicates this only came out after another parent was allowed to question the boy and elicited from him the statement that he “doesn’t cooperate with brown people.”
OK, we see part of the problem here: the adults badgered the kid until he said the proscribed phrase, and then they were able to nail him.
“Comrade, how long have you been aiding the counterrevolution? Admit to your crime, and it will go easier for you…”
Do you think I’m engaging in excessive rhetoric about this? Well, look what happened to the poor kid next:
After that was reported to the boy’s teacher, he was made to stand in front of his class and publicly confess what he’d said.
That’s straight out of The Little Red Teacher’s Handbook: public confession of wrong thinking, followed by group correction.
Now the plot thickens: apparently, as is usual in such cases, a personal conflict caused the boy to be denounced to the commissars by one of his comrades:
The boy maintains that he never said it; that the words were put in his mouth by the parent who questioned him. That parent happens to be the mother of the student with whom he is having a conflict—and she happens to work for Abraham Lincoln as a detention-room officer.
And there were leading questions (used on a nine-year-old!):
The tape indicates that rather than just spouting off with racial invective, the boy was asked first why he didn’t want to cooperate with brown people by the parent/school official.
In court, this might be called entrapment. Not to mention a conflict of interest.
The school system has circled the wagons, and the boy’s mother is loaded for bear:
Officials at the Washington Elementary School District, who are supposed to oversee Voinovich, wouldn’t comment about the boy’s suspension. They said only the principal is qualified to talk about it.
Well, the boy’s mother is talking, and she is angry. She has also removed her son from the school.
“I want parents to know … that principals can abuse their powers,” Sherry Neve, 35, said. “Principals need to have pro-active supervisors. I want the parents to know that the principal was influencing my son in a way I wouldn’t want him to be raised.”
Neve said school officials didn’t advise her of the incident until several days after they questioned her son. When Neve objected to the suspension during the conference, Voinovich told her that she didn’t have any rights; that parents give up their rights to discipline when they send a child to school, the tape shows.
“If you don’t want that, you can take him out of here,” Voinovich said tersely.
The mother denies that her son is guilty of the Sin of Racism:
Neve insists that her son is not a racist and that he never differentiated a person’s color until the school made it in an issue.
“We were raised to be color blind,” she said. “My children were raised the same way.”
And now The Arizona Republic editorializes a little bit:
But let’s assume for a minute that the boy actually made the comment. Does this make him a racist and guilty of a hate crime? Or does it make him a confused 9-year-old in need of counseling?
And finally, here comes the punch line of this sordid little Multicultural joke:
Instead of taking an opportunity to educate the boy and get to the root of the problem, the principal taught him another lesson altogether: It’s OK to feel like a racist as long as you keep your feelings to yourself.
Kids often say the darndest things. Apparently, so do principals.
Except for the school principal, nobody in this set piece thinks there’s anything wrong with condemning this little boy for what he thinks to himself.
Nobody has a problem with controlling what feelings a little kid holds in the privacy of his heart.
Not even his parents.
I can think we can chalk this one up as a big success for the Forty-Year School Indoctrination Project.
Thanks, Big Ed.
Hat tip: Fjordman.