Sunday, February 1, 2015

'The Pamphlet" and Buffalo as Balkanized Racial Minefield

Aside from the Board Majority Charter School Commission having their arses handed to them by an outraged community the other night there was also some talk of "the pamphlet." Actually, there was a bit of all out screaming about it for that matter. You may be able to find a better version of the thing somewhere online or possibly gummed to the wall outside of Spot Coffee. I did the best I could with what I found and the result can be seen below. The part I find most worthy of discussion though is that Sharon Belton-Cottman took heat heat from some of the other members reportedly for forwarding it to people in the community. I suspect she did it to wrankle the Majority and get them talking about racist emails and the like which would open the door to discussion of Carl Paladino's history of tasteless, racist and porn attached emails. This thing is pretty comprehensive in its attempts to insult everyone. Phil Rumore catches some as do the big 3 with Paladino being likened to Bull Connors (sic) , Sampson as David Duke and Leisure Class Larry as George Wallace. That Cottman, an African American female would forward this thing that refers to African American male Sam Radford as swinging from monkey bars is baffling. Maybe she doesn't care for him? Maybe she takes his being insulted in stride regardless of their common skin tone. The text of the Radford slam is printed inside a Star of David to what end I can't imagine except to make sure that Jews took some heat like everyone else. I was amused by the relatively innocuous characterization of Board Member Pierce as Peppermint Patty and a rubber stamp. I've said all along she is the hole in a donut, a study in negative space who has no opinion except whatever the boys say her opinion is. It was definitely written by someone who knows all the players. They even caught up to NYSUT regional director Mike Deeley who's more of a behind the scenes player than one of these others who seem to enjoy center stage. 

I can't say for sure what this pamphlet means in the larger discussion. It's relevant though as B-Lo is often ridiculed for being a segregated city at best. More often it's described as segregated and crawling with racist sentiments. If someone slapping everyone of all races with equal vigor can be said to ease the tensions I guess we'd make room for that. I'm not sure though that this is what's going on here. Larry Quinn has called it disgusting in defense of his homie Sam Radford who wasn't called a monkey as Sir Lawrence alleges but said to be swinging from monkey bars instead. A split hair's difference but Larry needs to confine his righteous indignation to what's said not to what he divines from a  Common Core inspired close reading of the text. Less than "disgusting" and far below Belton-Cottman's designation as "satire" I'd say the thing is lame and worst of all, it's just unfunny as hell -- with the possible exception of the "OSHIT Foundation." It is however fit for deposit into the 2015 Buffalo Board of Ed time capsule should they ever get the notion to chronicle the era of corporate encroachment upon public education for posterity's sake. More likely this thing would do well as a cage liner or scrap paper for fourth graders doing CCSS math problems who need to use a 108 step method instead of 2. If Larry Quinn thinks racism is disgusting how do he and his pals think throwing Bennett kids out of their school and handing it over to Tapestry Charter Inc. will rectify the problem? Racism is disgusting make no mistake but so is braying about school choice and civil rights while trying to privatize public schools and toss minority and majority kids out on the street for the sake of turning a profit. 

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