Article Comment 

Garthia Burnett: The black and white elephant in the room


Garthia Elena Burnett



Wednesday, I fielded a call from an upset reader. 


He accused the paper of trying to keep black people out of significant local leadership positions and cited its "attacks" on Columbus schools'' Interim Superintendent Martha Liddell as the latest attempt to support the "good old Southern Mississippi white boys trying to maintain a position of leadership." 


Maxwell Barnes said he has lived in Columbus for more than 30 years and has a son who graduated from Columbus High and Mississippi State. 


Not a single bad word was printed about Del Phillips, a white man, during his tenure as superintendent, he said, even though Phillips failed to achieve great gains in test scores. 


Here, I thought, Mr. Barnes had a point. 


The truth is Phillips wasn''t around long enough to oversee a district transformation or even a significant increase in test scores. 


And, let''s be realistic, none of us, Phillips included, thought he would be. We got him pretty early in his career for an educator -- with 13 years of experience under his belt. Phillips made it clear he had bigger aspirations, being named state superintendent among them. 


During his time here, he mostly tried to change perceptions. And in some aspects, it worked. He sang the praises of the district and got community members to rally around it enough to pass a $22 million bond issue with a near 80-percent approval rate. Columbus High added the International Baccalaureate program and had begun regaining some of the population the district lost to private schools. 


There were no dramatic gains in test scores. That''s the truth. 


There was no overwhelming increase in the graduation rate. That''s the truth. 


But let''s face reality. Columbus has a huge elephant in the room. 


No one wants to talk about it, but it''s ever there -- race. 


We pull the race card for everything, but then we conveniently want to hush it away. 


Even Phillips, who headed a district famous locally as an illustration of white flight, didn''t want to get too close to the subject. 


He thought if we made the schools the best they could be, gradually, without saying a word about it, attitudes would change, and the district wouldn''t face such a huge racial disparity. 


Barnes said, "We need to change our attitudes," and I agree, though I don''t agree that The Dispatch is discouraging black leadership. I, personally, think we need more of it -- dynamic and unifying black leadership. 


Can Dr. Liddell be one of the leaders playing a part in that? It''s yet to be seen. 


And an outside consulting firm will make the recommendation on whether or not to hire Liddell to the superintendent''s seat full time. I know Martha. She''s sharp, professional, knows her stuff. And someone has apparently been advising her poorly on how to handle these public and media events. 


Local attorney Scott Colom made the point that the situation has become a "classic lose-lose": If the search firm recommends someone other than Liddell, this "will obviously upset the people she''s mobilized to support her," Colom wrote in an e-mail. "When the school board selects someone else for that position, (there''ll) be an uproar." 


He also notes the firm has a $15,000 incentive not to recommend someone already doing the job; "people would complain about that being a waste of money." 


The Tuesday editorial that lit Barnes'' fire was meant to illustrate these ideas and had nothing to do with the color of Liddell''s skin. 


"Your paper likes to create people, and it likes to tell us who our heroes are," Barnes said. 


The paper may celebrate heroes, but it does not make them. Heroes seem to rise from the rest, able to create unity where there is divide. 


Perhaps one day a hero can help us overcome the elephant in the room and focus on issues that matter to us all, black, white or otherwise. 


Until then, maybe we can focus on one of the issues at hand -- naming a superintendent, not based on race or popularity, but based on who will do the best job for our children, who just so happen to come in many colors. 


And whether anyone else has a bias about the color of the next superintendent, the children won''t care if he or she is black or white. 


Garthia Elena Burnett is news editor for The Dispatch. E-mail reaches her at [email protected]



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Reader Comments

Article Comment nativecolumbian commented at 7/2/2011 10:53:00 PM:

I agree that there is a huge elephant in the room; and both sides are to blame ! I'm white; and I get frustrated when I see that the majority of "troublemakers" in school or in jail or have illegitamate children and are on welfare are black..The numbers speak for themselves.I think its really not the "kids"
fault ! The fault is with the parent/parents. I think the people that frustrate me (mentioned above) are victims of POOR PARENTING ! No amount of money can fix this. Education, disipline,and good role modeling at home at home is where it all begins.
The black community must take responsibility for themselves and be better parents and role models.


Article Comment claude commented at 7/3/2011 4:16:00 AM:

The White Elephant story is very good and somewhat appropriate. However, it is time for us to quit blamming racism as the source of all our problems. Blaming racism is a good excuse for poor performance and failure of function. It is very easy for both the black and white community to blame racism all of our problems. Our media needs to focus itself toward the elimination of voter apothey. Require all candidates for e;ected positions to state their vision and plans for our future instead of showing their resume as if applying for a job. Our community needs leaders not employees.


Article Comment jp2011 commented at 7/3/2011 2:03:00 PM:

When I was a child I was the only white student in my class and in my grade level. That was about 1st grade all the way through to 6th, with only a few whites in each class all the way through up to high school. Growing up and learning in that situation made me accept people of a different race more compared to other people. Other people I mean those whites and blacks who think its all about color.

The black children that I grew up with and came to know as a child had their own beliefs about white people and I hope I changed that. These things are embedded into us as child much like religion is.

Its not only that whites are biased, but blacks are as well. What I wish people would understand is that we all have to live on this big rock we all call Earth. We all are trying to make a living for ourselves. I only wish people would bury this subject once and for all and end the racism, because it starts on both sides of the table.

And most importantly it starts as children. These mindsets need to stop. We're all human.


Article Comment fil-col commented at 7/3/2011 3:02:00 PM:

Seriously???? I agree that race should not be a major factor in 2011. But for some reason it IS in Columbus. And this article in NO way distracts from the real issue at hand..there is, in fact, an unnecessary struggle for the black leaders in Columbus. However, there is one sole standing individual who has fought a good fight and seemingly remained true to himself through it all (and we should be fighting to keep him in office, hint hint). The amount of domestic issues(which should be left personal unless there is an arrest), alleged drug habits, cell phone records, gas card usage, attacks leading to people dying before their time on an ordinary day...Black leaders in Columbus have it hard. Just over the last few weeks there was a mini uproar about a Wendy's manager being appointed to the CVB board as if he's not "good" enough, yet this man works daily with a true representation of Columbus, from his crew to the patrons. I'm sick of people jumping to the front of the line not wanting to discuss education and experience because they're hiding behind a mail-order real estate license and a marriage to Peggy-Sue (which gives them some kind of pass)..Dr. Liddell is an adult woman with a PhD. So, what exactly makes you think someone has "been advising her poorly" (see article for this quote)...Unlike many of these zombies who lack common sense, she may actually make decisions on her own and leave the poor ADVICE (ex: Opinion articles in the dispatch) behind. I also would like to applaud you for having this article written by a young African American and quoting a young African American attorney toward the end of the article....Oh yes, Massa! Dat Der is Sho wat we need!! Coloreds isa writin!! In no way am I making light of the intelligence of Burnett and Colom. They appear to be two fairly sharp individuals who may overcome the chains of the Columbus system. But it's time out!! We see your bs and are calling you on it! When will you stop??? The interference is unfair to the citizens of Columbus who do not have the option of sending their children to Heritage..Please cut it out! I'm waiting on an apology...


Article Comment nativecolumbian commented at 7/3/2011 9:14:00 PM:

Hey man! give me a break with the African American moniker..
It insults my intelligence when I see a colored person on T.V. or in person, or the media, who calls themselves an African American.. You must really think I'm stupid if, when I see a colored person, I have absolutely no idea that he is of African decent! So what? I'm Irish; and I don't demand that my heritage is recognized. I doubt you could tell wherther I'm Irish, British, Italian, German,Russian,Polish,Canadian,or Austrian. Get over it!
To me; a black person is a black or colored AMERICAN.
Chances are, you, or most black people, don't know your family tree or have any regular contact with any African people.
You write very well!


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 7/4/2011 6:17:00 AM:

It's just part of their folly. Technically, the are of the class known as Negro, which is short for Negroid, which is a species of man and denotes a region of origin.

I've never really understood their use of African-American as most are neither from Africa, nor do they seem to be American as everything they do or say is contrary to what most think of when they say American.

You can call a goat an elephant if you wish, but in the end, it is still a goat.


Article Comment ruserious??? commented at 7/4/2011 8:50:00 AM:

nativecolumbian and roscoe p. coltrain, you two are a prime example of the crap that black people have to deal with in Columbus, MS. You don't want to acknowledge the ill doing of the citizens there so you just make the excuse that we are pulling a race card. I'm a young AFRICAN AMERICAN(don't call be colored!!!) woman who is very educated and see the struggle of my cohorts at my job and througout my interactions on a daily basis and yest race is still a BIG issue there. To the one of you who commented about all the African Americans in jail, on welfare, and having illegitimate children; I see just as many meth heads and trailer park trash with half/black children walking around and in the local papers as I do us. I completely disagree when you say it is due to poor parenting because I know several good, wholesome, hard working African American families who taught their kids right from wrong but the kids chose to do otherwise so I consider that a slap in the face. The problem with my African American community is that we don't have the rich parents and grandparents who can pay to brush the wrong we do under the rug so we must face the consequences, unlike the "good ole boys and girls". Maybe if our parents and grandparent weren't soo busy raising you all while your parents cracked the whip in more ways than one then my people could have been better. You guys need to do some soul searching and start lifting up your fellow humans instead of stepping on their heads when they are already on the ground because ultimately we all are Christians and that should be the principles that guide our lives. Just another aside we call ourselves African Americans because that is where we originated from until YOU brought us over here to this land. It doesn't matter if it was 20 years ago or 2,000 years ago we are still of African descent just like you have probably never been to Ireland, Russia, Italy, etc. but you still are Irish American, Italian American and whatever else. Happy Independence day to you guys because it is obvious we still are fighting for ours.


Article Comment thom geiger commented at 7/4/2011 10:20:00 AM:

Where to start, where to start? It's no secret to some that I author a web site that archives audio from the broadcasts of the radio shows of sitting Columbus city council member Kabir Karriem and some past hosts of the same radio station. While I consider the on-air statements and opinions put forth by a current city official to be news worthy and of concern to every resident, taxpayer, voter and property owner of the city, I'm not allowed to post the address of that site on the Dispatch web site. Perhaps the ownership and management of the Dispatch feel those statements and opinions expressed on the radio station, including ones from regular guests and callers such as county supervisor Leroy Brooks, assistant Columbus police chief Joe Johnson, supervisor Jeff Smith, pastors of many local churches, the leadership of state and national organizations such as the Lowndes County Voters League, the NAACP and the Nation of Islam and even interviews with the owner and publisher of the Commercial Dispatch are too inflammatory to allow the posting of the web address.
To Mr. Claude Simpson, about his reaction to the article about Dr. Liddell, while I applaud your efforts to bring some semblance of rationality, sanity and credibility back to the local Democratic Party, I felt I read in your comments some of the age old philosophies and practices that have stymied the potential of young people in this area for decades, the most egregious being that "they have to wait their turn".
I've personally approached many young people locally about the possibility of their running for political office, apply for key government positions and step out in front of local issues that directly impact them. The most frequent answer I get is that "it's not my turn (or time). It's 's turn."
I am from Columbus, Lee High student and Palmer Home. That mindset has been a boat anchor around the necks of bright, energetic, intelligent and motivated young people since I was in high school. THAT is why these same young people, unless tied here by family or circumstance, have to go elsewhere to realize their full potential.
That is not a race problem, it's a cultural problem. I have stood and heard some of these young told that very thing by older individuals, that it's not their turn for this or that. As a person who would benefit from the energy and intelligence of these young people, I personally resent that argument and it needs to be stopped.
As I said, I have hours of audio from councilman Kabir's radio shows where he has pushed hard for the selection of Dr. Liddell for the CMSD position, just as he is still pushing hard for Asst. Chief Joe Johnson's selection as Columbus Police Chief. In so doing, he has been steadily criticizing the work and performance of both Del Phillips and Chief Joe St. John. That, in my opinion, constitutes no only a gross conflict of interest in votes the council casts that would affect either position and is on point about the cheerleading comments made by many about the CMSD position.
Aside from the councilman's (and many of his callers') efforts to criticize Del Phillips and Chief St. John, the argument has been made on the station, almost daily, that with the change on demographics shown in the last census, African-American voters in Columbus should start electing and selecting "people who look like them". Those very words have been spoken by not only councilman Karriem, but by his brother the former councilman, the state head of the NAACP, other hosts of the station and many of the callers.
Again, I'm not allowed to post the address of the audio archives to the Dispatch site, but it's online and anyone can hear the actual words of the individuals themselves, including the owner/publisher of the Dispatch.
Yes, there is an elephant in the room. There's more than one. Mrs. Garthia, local whites/Caucasians have more than one, but so does the African-American community. The opinions and statements expressed on the radio station are the manifestation of some serious problems in our area, not only about race, but about the traditional family unit, cultural superstitions and biases, stereotypes and the lack of possibilities for young people.
Going after one elephant in a herd of elephants will not do much to deal with the problems and dangers that the herd as a whole presents to the public and the individual. Shooting or corralling one, but pretending none of the others exist, is a poor effort and won't change much of anything.


Article Comment fil-col commented at 7/4/2011 10:27:00 AM:

Actually, the portion of my comment referring to African Americans, Coloreds, and Massas was laced with sarcasm. I was eating the poo-poo off the spoon left at my front door by Commercial Dispatch just as they'd hoped. If you notice, I use the term "black" throughout the rest of my post. I refer to myself as black 100% of the time. (except on the 2010 census where I had to check negro and be counted--so soon the most manipulative and racist individuals would be disappointed when they discovered they are the minority and shoot themselves in the face(I'm kind-hearted, so this only applies to the racists and/or those who continue to "poorly advise" us lowly coloreds)...Hey NativeColumbian!!! Hey "homie"! Hey "friend"! I am black! So YOU get over it!!! And I am a WOman! So YOU get over that too!:) I don't take kindly to people trying to shade there bs! And by the way, you know how you're "advising" us to train and discipline our kids..Guess what---Mama ain't raise no fool!! (completely aware of the double negative used here. I know my grammar.) I'm a mama and I ain't raising no fool either, so you better take cover. And..Yes..You are correct. I write well. (but I don't need you to tell me) I look and speak even better! Happy "Independence" Day! Independence??????? We need "advising". How can we bee independent??? I'm still waiting on an apology!


Article Comment thom geiger commented at 7/4/2011 10:31:00 AM:

...and to ruserious???, when you wrote "until YOU brought us over here", to whom are you speaking? Were you involved in one of the many the drive-by shootings in East Columbus in the last six months? Were you involved in the fight at City Hall? It was said by a host of the radio station, after the incident at City Hall, that it was unfair to stereotype all African-Americans for the actions of two individuals, yet you're doing the same.
Unless there was a recent crime committed against you, personally, YOU were not brought over here. No one alive brought YOU here. Unless you are a prisoner or on probation/parole, no one alive is keeping you here in Columbus, Lowndes County or Miss., and even probations and paroles can be transferred.
Collective guilt is a lie. I have opposed many things that the majority approved of and I have voted for people who have not been elected, people who campaigned on stopping many of the things I oppose. This is the time of personal accountability and personal responsibility.
Unless you agree that the same guilt by color applies to you that you apply to others, your statements are hypocritical.


Article Comment nativecolumbian commented at 7/4/2011 11:20:00 AM:

Wow... I think this has been a very good and open dialog about the elephant in the room! ruserious and fil-col; you won't get an apology from me; and I've already tried "lifting up" my fellow human when I pay my taxes, which are probably disproportionate to yours.
Remember: you can have a Phd. but if you wear your pants below your butt, there is a good chance you won't get the job you want.
Look, everybody wants a better life for themselves and their children and families. If thats what you want; the go get it! There is a price you have to pay for it though! Its conformation!


Article Comment fil-col commented at 7/4/2011 12:16:00 PM:

Native Columbian,
Your comment about confOrmation serves as confIrmation that you are an idiot!!! Please don't group me with ruserious. She seems like a nice lady, but don't do that. I am one of a kind. As far as the apology, you are completely missing the point. I would like to see a PUBLIC and PRINTED apology from the dispatch: 1) apologizing for the initial "troubling campaign" article 2) apologizing for this fail of a cover up article 3) apologizing to Dr. Liddell and the families of Columbus for their excessive pettiness
In spite of the pettiness, I am so very thankful for this discussion being birthed. I am almost sure there will not be an apology. But maybe they will print some of our comments or another article on the issue (this time taking care to at least sweeten the smell of the boo-boo). Hey-It's progress. I guess.


Article Comment ruserious??? commented at 7/4/2011 5:22:00 PM:

Native Columbian I am probably way more educated than you will ever be. I am 27 years old and have held a Bachelor degree( with which I graduated Cum Laude) and did it in 3 years so don't belittle me like that. I pay my taxes and probably is the one supplying your social security check that you skip to the bank and pick up each month. The point of my comments was that you can't group all black people together just because of the color of our skin because from what I see your people are doing just as much to hinder our community as the blacks. Mr. Geiger, I was referring to the ancestors of Caucasian descent( as if you didn't know that) who drove the wheels of slavery for years and the comment that one made saying we should not call ourselves African Americans. Did you forget your Black History? That is how people of color ended up here isn't it? Mr. Native Columbian I didn't ask nor do I need your apology because one thing I've learned in life is that the people who should apologize the most are the narrowed minded ones who don't. I earn my place in this community everyday and do it 10 times better than, I feel, the whites do because I know if I'm slacking the least little bit I'll get called on it where as other air heads hold positions of authority and respect just because of who their parents are.


Article Comment observer2 commented at 7/4/2011 7:40:00 PM:

I'm disappointed in the cum laude grad. Didn't take much history in your school, did you? There were blacks from other places than Africa and there were free blacks who owned black slaves in those days that helped drive those wheels of slavery for years. Might as well do some history remedial yourself. Cum laude grads now a days should know that post on the internet can be traced to your pc so the annonamous handles aren't fool proof secrecy. Mr Geiger seems to be the only brave soul around and should be respected for it.


Article Comment orphanbully commented at 7/4/2011 8:40:00 PM:

Thom Geiger,
Everybody sees you're just trying to plug your website. The Dispatch does, too. They aren't stupid. That's why they aren't letting you post your stupid effing link.


Article Comment thom geiger commented at 7/4/2011 10:11:00 PM:

Way to go Bully, truth in advertising. Strange though that you would go so far as to use such a moniker. But do I feel bullied? No, but it does seem odd that someone would pride themselves on any attempt to bully anyone. Hhmm. BTW, I'm not an orphan. Living in a Children's Home doesn't mean one is automatically an orphan.
The web site is non-commercial, with no ads or donation links and I do it as a public service, free of charge to anyone. It has few personal comments from me and the bulk of the site is a list of links to audio files, audio of the voices and in the words of the speakers, the individuals themselves.
It makes me wonder, other than a failed attempt to bully me, what is it about the recorded words of these people that makes you so upset? Is it that someone had the means and audacity to record them or that I put them online for anyone to listen to? If Ms. Garthia were to listen to only half of the files on the site, I think she would see clearly the point I was trying to make. Luckily, if she decided to do that, she wouldn't need your permission to do it. No one does.


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 7/5/2011 6:39:00 AM:

If you have a problem with the term "Negro" then I suggest you take it up with scientist the world over. It probably won't be a problem for you are you people seem to want to re-write history to suit your cause so having science changed to suit you will most likely be next.

As for the man whining about checking the Negro box on the census: you do realize that blacks were the ones who insisted this category be placed on the census, right? And now you're going to whine about it. Typical.

And to the lady who started that tired old "whitey sold us into slaves" nonsense, YOU need to study some history that isn't slanted towards the "black version". Yes, whites bought slaves, and yes they bought slaves from white slave dealers, and they also bought slaves from blacks in Africa too. Ouch, I bet that hurt.

Anyway, you can get together with the other person and re-write that one too. And while you are at it you can re-write the books to show that you don't lead the crime rates even though you are a minority, and that your kind don't blight a neighborhood once you become the majority in it, and that you don't throw trash down wherever you are as soon as the last chicken wing goes in your mouth, and that ya'll don't drive like your blind.

Go ahead a re-write it all to suit yourself, the rest of us will just laugh.


Article Comment observer2 commented at 7/5/2011 7:13:00 AM:

I think Columbus is only about 52% white. This poll is a dilly.
Online Poll
What are we celebrating on July 4?
Start of Revolutionary War. (23) 6%

End of Civil War. (23) 6%

Approval of the wording of Declaration of Independence. (215) 52%

Signing of the Constitution. (144) 35%

Boston Tea Party. (7) 2%

Show results

Read more:


Article Comment fil-col commented at 7/5/2011 9:31:00 AM:

Coltrain: Your last post most certainly does hurt. So, when you say "ouch I bet that hurt"-You are so correct. It hurts because ideas like those presented in your post are exactly what holds this city back. I will not waste time falsifying history (for anyone's benefit). Never have. Never will. I do not know all the details of slavery because I was not born during that time. However, I do know..we were not considered equal, maintaining our family unit was not a priority, we did not have the luxury of eating "chicken wings" everyday, we may or may not have had a container dedicated only to trash and debris. (reference to your chicken wing and littering bs) But really, I've moved beyond that because I don't believe that to be my battle today. When I supplement the history being fed to my son... I tell him about Universities that were formed for white women only-MUW. I tell him about wild dogs being set loose on human beings that were trying to get an education. I teach him that the same water hose used to fight flames was once used to turn away and control our people. I tell him about these things becuase the people that endured this foolishness are still alive and breathing. And I don't really care to read all the jibberish about the term "negro". I don't have a problem with the word. I don't have a problem with "nigger" either. I simply choose to refer to myself as BLACK. It especially saddens me that your response is to "just laugh". I'm not even 30 years old and I have stories of being spit on and called a nigger by a complete stranger in Columbus, MS. I must have been "driving like I was blind". I have a story of not being invited to a sleep over by one of my closest "friends" because I was black and her mother was a racist. Her mother probably feared me bringing a plate of chicken wings and dropping them all over the house. LET'S NOT GET DISTRACTED! This thread is all about DISTRACTION! WE NEED LEADERS WHO UNDERSTAND THE NEEDS OF OUR COMMUNITY. I DO NOT MEAN THE "BLACK" COMMUNITY. I MEAN THE "COLUMBUS" COMMUNITY. CUT THE BS...THE WACK HISTORY LESSONS...AND TRIPS TO GOOGLE! THIS IS ABOUT RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!!


Article Comment nativecolumbian commented at 7/5/2011 10:30:00 AM:


My dear; This whole thing started out as the "elephant" in the room. And I still think these exchanges cast a light on how we perceive each other; and thats a good thing.
But, you are a big part of the problem ! Why "supplement"/subvert your childrens education that they are "being fed" with your negative
version of history? Why not turn that into a positive experience by supporting what he/she is "fed" in school, in order to be a successful
and contributing member of society insted of filling his head with anger and hate. You have taught me something I did not know! Thank you for letting me see why children are filled with hate and anger.
As I said in my first post: POOR PARENTING!


Article Comment fil-col commented at 7/5/2011 11:17:00 AM:

Dear Naive Columbian, (there's no "t" in naive)

1) I don't teach my son to hate anyone. I don't teach him that white people or purple people mistreated blacks. I teach him that there was a time when cruel and cold-hearted people mistreated innocent people.
2) If there is a giant "elephant in the room" and people are acting as if they don't see it, there must be some good DISTRACTION going on on the mainstage along with maximum levels of fear and ignorance spread throughout the room.
3) I supplement my son's education because 2+2 may always equal four. But his-story and her-story and my-story and your-story is NOT always the truth. And the things I mentioned in my last post are true and important to us all...You may not understand because as a child your grandfather or great grandfather may walk up from a neighbors house squeaky clean and smelling like roses prepared for a lovely evening with you and the rest of your family. He may have been returning from creating DISTURBANCE and DISTRACTION in the black community(or he may have been a part of the solution, who knows. But I doubt it, considering you attitudes toward the negro). Meanwhile,across town a black father or grandfather has to stand before his family drenched and/or bloody and recall where he has been and what has happened to him...
4) Let's stick to the elephant in the room...There is an individual who is interim Superintendent of CMSD. She happens to want to the permanent positon. She may or may not be the best person for the job, but it is unfair to speculate prematurely by running an article dragging her through the mud. If she doesn not get the postion, CMSD may end up with a new leader and may possibly lose someone who has the kids' best interest at heart because the crazy citizens whose kids (probably) do not even go to public school have run her away. Some people are opportunist who "end up" here..and some people actually care and stick around if they don't let the crazies run them away...


Article Comment walter commented at 7/5/2011 1:18:00 PM:

Ditto, Mrs. Burnett. The children deserve only the best Superintendent that the district can locate and afford, regardless of the individual's race or gender. Neither the person's distant past indescretion, orientation, religious affiliation or region of the country where he or she was born should be a hinderance to hiring such a person, so long as he or she is dedicated to delivering for our young the very best education that they are able to receive.


Article Comment friendofafriend commented at 7/5/2011 3:11:00 PM:

So let's talk about the elephant in the room. Whites generally do not want to send their children to schools that are 80-90% black (and generally don't if there's an option or a private school nearby), Blacks generally do not want to send their kids to schools that are 80-90% white (and generally don't if they have another option). So far the solution has been to cram over 100 school districts into a state with around 80 counties. We see how that's "worked." So how do you solve this?


Article Comment honestabe commented at 7/5/2011 4:35:00 PM:

I still can't figure out why everyone considers Dr. Phillips as a great superintendent. Therefore, I also can't figure out why it makes sense to hire a group that considered him as a great superintendent to select the new one. One of the major problems in this area is that we are more interested in one night stands than we are in building long term commitments. When you really look at what happened over the past few years, it starts to look incredibly stupid.

You hire some hot shot candidate that really hasn't accomplished much at all and he basically tells you to your face that you are merely a stepping stone. Not only that, but it is public knowledge that he is out there looking for his next gig, while he is spending millions of dollars to build up his own reputation. He started a new program in the district, he started the charter schools and he lead the way in building a new school. We could have hired anybody to do that. Those are not the accomplishments that are needed in this town. He didn't increase test scores, he didn't increase the graduation rate, he didn't make the schools safer, and he didn't leave us off better financially than we were when he came. He merely made changes that "sound good".

If we are going to be serious about the education in this town, we will start to make changes the benefit EVERYONE. Make sure that the next person has ideas that would make the students feel more safe at school. Make sure that the next person has ideas about increasing test scores by successfully encouraging the parents to become more involved. Make sure that you bring in someone that knows how to make changes without simply writing a check. Make sure that the next person wisely uses their resources. We shouldn't see articles in the paper where our great superintendent told us that we needed to build a new school because of the need for repairs, but now the old building is being used by the central office. We also shouldn't read that teachers or assistants are being cut while the central office is left untouched.

If you are going to go out and find someone, make sure that it is for the right reasons. Otherwise, it appears as if you are more concerned about who not to hire than you are about who should be the best person for the job.


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 7/6/2011 5:10:00 AM:

Fil-col: I knew you didn't know anything about history. There hasn't been a society yet that didn't "hate" someone else around them. I'd be willing to bet that even back in the caveman days one tribe didn't like the other for whatever reason. It doesn't have to make sense, and it really doesn't matter if you like it or not. And I seriously doubt you are going to change it. If so, it would seem it would have already happened by now, don't you think?

So today it is the Negro, and yesterday it was the Native American.

Your problem is that you don't understand that throughout history, at some time, everyone has been someone else's bitch. Even the Negro was his own bitch in his own native Africa. Google the history of diamond mines in Africa if you want to see your own race slaving itself.

I really don't have a major problem with blacks other than your personalities. I don't owe you anything, contrary to whatever who told you what, and I guarantee you I won't be putting up with any BS from you. You want to act like a human, fine! You come at me with that homey-ghetto nonsense you will find real quick it won't fly. If it makes you feel any better, I'm not that crazy about some whites either. There is one moron who thinks it's his God-given right to crap his dogs on someone else's yard in East Columbus, and it is all I can do to keep from taking a baseball bat to him. I don't know where this fool is from, but I'm betting it is made up mostly of cousins that have married cousins.

I'm perfectly happy with you going your way, but in the process don't think for one second you are going to write a check on my back for some perceived injustice regarding a sleep over. So you didn't get invited, big deal. Do you really think everyone everywhere should just blindly let you in wherever it is you want to go? The world doesn't work that way. I remember a lovely little Cajun gal I was focused on whose parents didn't want her to have anything to do with me because I wasn't Cajun. While that was a shame, I don't carry it around on my shoulders for all to see years later.

You should give that a try.


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 7/9/2011 6:19:00 AM:

I responded to you Fil-Col, but the Dispatch, you know, the people who out one side of their face supports free speech while using censorship out the other side of their face, completely deleted my post.

No great surprise there.


Article Comment Birney commented at 7/9/2011 2:02:00 PM:

Birney Imes replies to roscoe p. coltrain: Blogs are reader monitored. Readers can delete postings that they think inappropriate. As it happens they also delete postings they disagree with, something that should not happen but does.


Article Comment pimes commented at 7/10/2011 10:02:00 PM:

Thom, we block the posting of certain strings like "http:" and "www." due to web bots that attempt to post spam in our comments. We don't target you. For those who don't know, Thom runs a website called -Peter Imes


Article Comment readaboutit commented at 7/14/2011 7:26:00 AM:

I am from another state where as a child I did not notice "racism". Now after working years with predominately black children, I understand both sides. But there is "white" racism and "black" racism and sometimes black racism is worse. Get to really know someone before you collectively put them in one group...yes, some black americans know how to work the system...and yes, some whitesdo to. It's just in or area there are more uneducated black people raising children, whereas in another state the roles will be reversed! Instead of trying to climb over each other , lets work together and make it an "us" situation!!


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