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Francis Howell vs. Normandy

The Problem We All Live With


Dear, ‘Rebecca’,  Beth Cirami, and ’Woman’ of the wealthy Francis Howell school district,

I don’t think you are racist at heart, but unfortunately, your rhetoric against the student body of the Normandy school district IS. A better argument to make against the wrong side of the tracks moving into your district would be that you WELCOME students with good academic and disciplinary records, but you are concerned about those who have contempt for school and have poor disciplinary records. Your original statement paints an entire community as worthless and dangerous. The revision I provided acknowledges those who doing well and have great potential.

Do you know that there is a large group of minorities who try their darndest to be the exemplar of society? No, I am not speaking of the model minority that is the Asian community, but the very communities that are widely disdained: Black and Brown. Yes, we’re being systematically moved to your community to enjoy the resources you’re property taxes pay for, but you know what? Our children will pay you back by being the doctors, lawyers and bankers that may help your child in the future as a peer. Seriously, the U.S. can use all the STEM graduates it can get.

Who care where they come from???

Do you know that the curriculum in wealthy communities like yours are more kinesthetically oriented? Learning by Doing and interactivity is the most universal form of teaching, however it’s also the most expensive. Only 20% of the population are auditory learners—guess which learning style is taught in under funded public schools? Yeah, expect only 20% of the student body pass algebra II in an underfunded school. Such a small percentage is not going to boost the test scores of those schools, therefore the college recruiters won’t visit. Forget it.

As a predominantly visual learner, I became an artist. Artist aren’t in high demand, but I am good at what I do and earn a respectable living as an animator. When I transferred into a wealthy school when I was 11 years old in 1983, I was one of those poor kids who inspired my wealthy peers with my ability to turn any lecture or project (save math) into a comic strip. One right-side-of-the-tracks classmate even said that she would not have gotten through trigonometry without me. I was an asset. I AM an asset. So, please. Give those poor Black and Brown kids a chance! They WILL surprise you.

Yes, there will be problems with adjusting, but be patient and most of all—DON’T LEAVE!!! White Flight, as This American Life said, is the other half o the problem. Civilizations advance when cultures mix, not when they’re isolated. It may look like Northern Europe has made every advancement on their own, but no, much of the prowess comes from China, North Africa (through the Romans), the Ottomans and the riches plundered via dependency theory on the New World. White hegemony came through European expansion during the Renaissance. War, technology and administration( you don’t need to be rocket scientist smart to organize desperate people) learned from other nations and innovated into Dutch East/West India trading companies et al. Humans. We all need each other.

Please reconsider running away from the absorption of the Normandy school district. As I said, it will be uncomfortable for a while, but if the community gels together and develops a great network of parents, your fears of school violence and under achievement won’t be as disproportionately overwhelming as you fear.

Yours truly,

Ashanti Ghania

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