Mass incarceration of blacks is "the new Jim Crow," according to Michelle Alexander's 2012 book with that title.
It sold very well, though, and is now, I am sure, a standard textbook for college Grievance Studies courses all over the country, if not the world.
Whether this started, or merely encouraged, the practice of naming any and all facts about black underachievement or social dysfunction "the new Jim Crow," I don't know; but peddlers and inflamers of race grievance seem to have sucked all the juice they can out of it.
So what's new in race grievance rhetoric? This, perhaps.
Principal says standardized testing is ‘modern-day slavery’
In an online rant, a Bronx public school principal has likened standardized testing to slavery, redlining and crack cocaine in damaging the lives of minorities.
“Public school high-stakes standardized testing is a form of modern-day slavery, and it is designed to continue the proliferation of inequality,” Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School Principal Jamaal Bowman says in an Aug. 31 blog entry titled “The Tyranny of Standardized Testing.”
“America was born of horror for black people and that horror continues today for brown and poor people as well. Slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, crack cocaine and now standardized testing were all sanctioned by the American government. All designed to destroy the mind, body and soul of black and brown people.”
Bowman blamed the US government for perpetuating a “legacy of oppression” — with the Obama administration adopting the Race to the Top program that prodded states to use student exam results to evaluate teachers and promote charter schools.
“From the Continental Congress to Race to the Top, America has a tradition of disenfranchising the masses,” he said in an Oct. 4 post on the personal blog.
‘Slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, crack cocaine and now standardized testing were all … designed to destroy the mind, body and soul of black and brown people.’
The founding principal of the Eastchester middle school, Bowman has emerged as an outspoken critic of Common Core testing and recently testified before a task force formed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to probe the standards.
But supporters of standardizing testing blasted Bowman’s comments as utter nonsense.
Former US Education Secretary Rod Paige, who grew up in segregated Mississippi and, like Bowman, is black, said it was wrong to inject slavery into the discussion.
“I disagree with him completely,” Paige told The Post. “I’m disappointed the discussion is turning ugly. We’re better people than that.”
As education secretary under President George W. Bush, Paige implemented the No Child Left Behind program that required testing in grades 3 through 8.
Paige said the testing regime was instituted to close the racial-achievement gap and ensure that struggling and special-needs students weren’t falling through the cracks.
“Appropriate testing is a part of teaching, not apart from it,” he said. “The outcomes call attention to the students’ needs so we can help them. Before that, people didn’t expect much from kids.”
[Principal says standardized testing is ‘modern-day slavery’ by Carl Campanile; New York Post, November 9 2015]