You probably remember, somewhere under the absinthe haze you live in, that story from Friday about the racial disparity in school suspensions: starting in preschool, black children are far more likely to be suspended from school than white kids. Well, in a complete surprise to nobody, the National Review Online has proclaimed that it’s just common sense that black 4- and 5-year-olds are more unruly, because just look at the black crime rate:
Black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicide at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic males of the same age combined. Given such high crime rates, what do the civil-rights advocates and the Obama administration think is going on in the classroom — docile obedience and strict self-discipline? In fact, the same weak impulse control that leads to such high crime rates among young black males inevitably means more disruptive behavior in school.
It just makes sense, says NRO’s Heather MacDonald, presumably because there’s just something about white and Hispanic preschoolers that makes them so much better at impulse control.
And yes, MacDonald is aware that the latest Department of Education report is talking about discipline as applied to preschoolers. She leads with the report’s own statistics:
Black preschoolers are 42 percent of the students suspended once, and 48 percent of the students suspended more than once though they are only 18 percent of preschool enrollment.
But you see, since pre-K suspensions are “exceedingly rare,” there’s no need for any of the “usual handwringing about racial ‘inequity.'”
Somehow, too, a story about a 14-year-old in New York who shot and killed a passenger on a bus is very germane to the tendency of schools to send home black children from early elementary classrooms instead of working with them in some way that keeps them in school. After all, why bother teaching 6- and 7-year-olds if they’re just going to go wild with guns in a few years anyway?
Besides, the real problem is all those single black moms, says MacDonald — until the “civil-rights industry” starts recognizing that “family breakdown” is the real problem, then it just doesn’t make any sense to talk about “racial disparities.” In schools, at least. Now, when you’re talking about crime, then yes, you do need to recognize that blacks are more prone to criminality, she says:
Given the black–white crime disparities, it is equally common sense that black students are more likely to be disruptive in class as well.
The refusal to take student behavior and family breakdown into account in interpreting student discipline rates means that more millions of taxpayer dollars will be wasted suing hapless school districts for phantom racism and sending teachers and administrators back to anti-racism training. The advocacy and anti-bias training complex cleans up, while the root cause of student misbehavior still goes unaddressed.
It’s a pretty neat trick, really — blame the breakdown of families (and hint at an inherent tendency toward aggression among blacks, but never explicitly say that openly, for godssake), and then nothing really needs to change until those people get married and straighten up their families. Which they won’t until we end food stamps and tell them to go get a job. Dress it up as much as you want, there’s really just a small difference between MacDonald’s column and the comments section of Gateway Pundit.
The liberal wimps at Media Matters do have to go and talk about actual disparities in discipline, pointing to studies showing that “[e]ven when they commit the exact same offense as white students, black students suffer more severe consequences,” as well as to reports from the Department of Education and Department of Justice that show that
racial disparities in school discipline are not explained simply by “more frequent or more serious misbehavior by students of color[.]”
But isn’t that just a cover-up of the real problem? As NRO says, it’s just common sense that the criminality of black teenagers is rubbing off on black preschoolers.
Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He favors trying 5-year-olds as adults