Dr. Allen Sullivan, professor of psycho-educational studies at the University of Minnesota, talks with MPR reporter Martin Bunzl about the effects of racism within educational system on minority children.
Sullivan describes numerous examples of systematic bias, and entrenched cultural attitudes towards black children.
Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.
Dr. Sullivan at work that you gave at Lea Minnesota Social Work convention early this year. You said that the many black kids going through the educational system involves questions of psychological and physical survival. And I wonder if you can operate on what you meant by that statement sure. I think there are two things that we have to look at 1 recent laws such as to 1954 Isle Court case on the desegregation of schools a whole lot of other laws that go back further than that spicy versus Ferguson case where educational rights were given to a blacks for the first time and American legal history, but you have to look at the laws. They have to look at the attitudes to go along with the laws. A lot of people have talked about the laws change Behavior, but they don't change attitudes. It's almost suggest you that you can look at the history of slavery in United States of America and relationships the blacks and always find a systematic abuse who actually laws designated the sayThat you could not educate black children and are adults. So I'm suggesting to you that the laws have changed in terms of allowing that to happen, but the attitudes still live on so the laws change the physical nature of the relationship and schools, but they haven't changed the psychological nature of the race was schools. I'm suggesting that there's a residual effect of the attitudes that this Society has said about blacks existing today in the public schools. If you look at reading achievement school, cuz I don't care where you look throughout the country you find a significant number of minority children particularly black have not got those particular reading skills. The basic skills that people say I necessary to be a fully functioning member within a society. So that's what I mean. Why do you think they haven't cheesy skills? I think that there are a very I can give you many responses some people blame it on an adequate home environment. I'm not one of those purses Annex.What's that? Some people blame it on systematic bias within the educational establishments such as the educational establishment that I represent. The university has inadequate prepared teachers to deal with issues of multiculturalism within a society. Some people say that it's a incipient racism in that racism exists. And that is just actualized in this Farm where children are not given the tools have access into a society. But which do you think it is? I think it's all three as I look at the map to college and Medical University, which I represent. I see very few minority people. I think that has an impact in terms of modeling behavior on many of the white students that I see at the University of Minnesota. I think that minardi persons at very often give a counterbalancing point of view to the standard.Educational jazz on Thanksgiving giving at universities. I think it's a valid input that students need to have to kind of balance to biases that they come out of University with they can't help but be racist coming from the University of Minnesota. I think it's part of the social cultural. Milieu. I think that the university is attempting to address this particular issue by affirmative action programs and by recruiting significant numbers of graduate students, but I don't think they really scratched service yet. Can you elaborate on the ways in which you think people exhibit there racism in the educational system? Yes.Set the standard document that I've given that I've been trained to give I guess is that there's bias built into assessment procedures assessment procedures such as for example, the college entrance examination assessment procedures such as the IQ test that a given by state law at various stages throughout the development of career of children assessment procedures such as achievement test at a given by schools to help Place children in certain positions in the speech that you did hear. I began to read some of the questions that are given on the intelligence examinations begin to ask whether it was there was systematic bias built into it and it was unanimity in terms of the audience saying that yes that those questions were biased they could see how black children could indeed answer the questions differentially and how there could be a differential score based upon the results of this particular examination that I did the illustrate some of the questions related to for example, he askedWhat color your cheeks turn when you were embarrassed and the correct answer was indeed red, but for a significant number of black children with the dock of pigmentation of the skin, the answer was absolutely Incorrect and really ridiculous even to ask because it just doesn't go that way they gave another example of if you pair two birds together one being black and one being white what would happened and they said they was suggesting that the birds would remain the same color, but they're hot sweet grow back and you're just a symbolic racism that was involved and that particular question just the Hawks win.A lot of the Layton concern of many white parents when they talk about the desegregation of schools is that our children will come home talking like them and then meaning of black students so that the suggesting that the white students remain the same but their cultural style the language style that way of interacting with their environment will change in subtle ways that a threatening to me. It was one of the associates with crows what happens and it is suggesting that to the feathers remain white for the dove, but it's hot girls black and I just think that's just symbolic racism. There's no other way to explain it. It was another question on the examination that ass children.If you bought a pencil for $0.10 and a pad of paper for $0.10 how much would you spend all together and they had five cents $0.10 15% $0.20 of none of these significant number of students that we work with put none of these when the appropriate answer for 3 points on your IQ score was $0.20. We debrief after the situation has two children why they answer the question that particular way they said because the way the man suggested on that particular examination, you have to pay sales tax and so would be more than $0.20. So the kids were using some very clear understanding but we're being Mike down in terms of actual IQ score.Those are some examples of how systematic bias get in. If we for example accept the fact that there is a document of performance from nrt students as result of segregated educational experiences, which the Supreme Court and its 54 decision did indeed say and that there are some results of that what happened to these children when they bought in or brought into the school system that has children who are non-segregated are non. Minardi what happens in terms of the actual achievement scores. I suggest you that the phenomena ready students indeed have high schools and I suggest you that the grouping of students reflects. The difference is the real difference differences of the kids when they come into the schools and told a systematic bias still continues. All you have is segregation within a school. I think there are some ways to get around that I think there are some ways that we can begin to respond more appropriately and suggest that there is something that nominated students get out of it.Navigate to school situation, that's not talked about very much within a society. What are those ways? First if you're talking about desegregation the school, it seems to me to be interesting to have different classrooms where you have it, but I'm only way it's going but I'm only black school cheerleaders with each other. Just getting to know each other through written communication and since most schools and deed have pictures taken each year so that the student body can can indeed by them. It might be interesting to take the classrooms share pictures and then it might be interesting again at a third-level to have these particular classroom begin to visit each other while to exchange video tapes of what happens within the classroom. It seems to me that that's an enabling process. It might be interesting to have each child take that picture and be asked to identify the kid who is his buddy now in that other school, I think there is some of facilitating processes that we can engage in that get you to get together. For example, a lot of folks don't realize that when you have busing and that's just the big No-No when I call busing just Transportation, but a lot of folks don't realize That a black students are picked up in their community and it taking to the school white students are picked up in that community and if they can fit in school and no time during that Transportation process do they indeed and Domingo? If you really talk about valuable time outside of the structure educational experiences. It seems to me that the bus route should be different that there should be an exclusion or excuse me, the inclusion of different communities traveling different communities having different logistical lines other than just the immediacy of the situation. I recognize that the gas shortage in all that do indeed influenza types of decisions related to Transportation, but I'm suggesting that there are enabling prophecies where you can get children together and non structure situation. I say when I sit and when it's time to sit down and learn how to read if sitting down is important or time to learn how to do mathematics a time for social studies and all that. I really structured Express and I think there's some non-structured time such as gymnasium such as cafeterias. I just Said such as coming and going from school when kids can indeed get along and have a chance to get along with each other. So I'm just talking about a different way to look at how we manage schools. Will you talked about the way in which you think the assessment process exhibits racism in what ways do you think the day-to-day relationships between teachers and pupils in the school setting exhibits racism? Well, I think before I go any further, I better Define what racism is. I think it's very helpful to the find it both from a dictionary definition and in from a behavioral definition first racism is the subjugation of One race by another race with the assumptions of superiority built into it better indeed historical in nature that cause one person to act towards another person in a way that's damaging to their self concept into the physical interest with no consideration for the personal nasaw of the person. It's just a classification of a people by another people. That's historical in nature. And I think that's very important to get at that is historical in nature. We can look at the antecedents of that within United States of America and then in the European culture itself now when you look at how Manifest itself in a society and then and I schools for example, I know it's kind of folly but suppose you were going to pay me $200 for this particular presentation. Now on the check, you would write the check out the doctor Alan Solomon and when I take it down to my bank, I have an extreme amount of difficulty and cashing a check and asked me for all kinds of identification that asked me whether I had an account here they call down to see how much account how much money I had my account for all kinds of procedures and I'm suggesting to you that would take me about 15 to 20 minutes in the drive-in window of a bank that supposed to be expediency the drive-in window the cash my check and I think the reason for that is the built-in belief system that the bank teller manifest that indeed black folks cannot even have a doctorate. I think the thing begins to this same particular process begins to happen to me as I visit many schools and people just can't believe that a black can indeed have these types of skills and these types of knowledge. To look at the educational situations. I think the same thing gets manifested within the public schools. If you try to figure out what white children learn from the segregation of schools. I think they get a false sense of security and I can give you examples of that when I went to a predominantly white school some 45,000 students of which 10 were white. I mean Scooby 10 wear black. This was in Boston, Massachusetts. And every time that I got a b or a nay on the examination many of the students around who were white were very shocked that I got a higher grade than them even some of the professors was shocked because my name is Solomon the kind of fake people out every once in a while that indeed on black and they were shocked and I'm suggesting to you that's some real Insidious ways of having me get a lower grade were introduced into my study. And so I looked at that some folks might say I'm very sensitive and I guess I might be after being hit over the head so many times with this particular reality in this particular shock. Another thing that's kind of interesting to me. I was a long distance Runner I Ran 2 and 1/2 miles across country and the one mile and the thousand yard and traditionally people think black folks as 50 yard dash run is over a hundred yard or 220 aren't the most 4:40 and every time I get on the starting line the the white the entrance in this particular race, what kind of look at me and say that I was at the wrong place because you seem black snap dikhhla position a little funny incident that I ran my last road race in South Boston where they having all that difficult to related to desegregation of schools. And this particular Community Center has a road race each year on Patriot's Day and they had a police escort that goes around the streets and leads and Claire's of traffic and all that and leads at the pickle time. I was winning the race and they had a PA system that was announcing the people in different positions and as they went through the streets South Boston, they were announcing his Sullivan was in the lead and all the men would come out the pub. They were cheering it. Look at this black fellow named Sullivan running down the street and see me. He's protecting at that time, but I have to be honest and say that the indeed that was the the function of the police to indeed clear the road for the road races South and coincidentally I did win that road race and established a record that still exist in Boston right now, which I thought was kind of interesting. But again, you looking at the expectations of people seeing blacks and what they call traditional roles and how does that Cascade in the school's? I think it's a very important question that we need to ask. first The whole element of touch. No do teachers teach kids not yes. They patches on the shoulder some black students who said to me since we've been in the school. I want you to come and look at something. I want to look at that woman that fixes the hot lunch. I want to look at what she does when we give her money for a hot lunch and lo and behold all the white children got the change in their hands all the black children had to change put on the count and had to pick up the change. They said she doesn't like us how did they know you tell me they looked at the secretaries and that we look at the secretaries and when parents come and go to school with an automatic assumption that the parents of coming to raise a whole lot of sand in the schools rather than facilitating. May I help you? Yes, that teacher is there is automatic built into something better run and get the principal, you know, because there's a built-in assumption that the something wrong you're all kinds of insipid ways. I'm saying that they're not direct ways that children get the message that DD being treated as different to children are having difficulty in the Halls one is black and one is way. The white child is reprimanded in the black child isn't an example of that is there was some children having some difficulty on the bus and it was black children. Mostly except for one white child and every time the black children had difficulty or some type of conflict the bus would keep on going and the bus driver get to school report the children being noisy. 1 time the white child get up and he initiated some conflict and he stopped the bus and went back and grabbed why Jonathan that look, you know better than this meaning that the black children did not know better and so the kids came to school upset and so I'm saying it all kinds of ways that we set of subtle message across or maybe not so subtle that the kids pick up in it begin to react to and once they begin to react then they pinpoint it again as being troublemakers within the context of schools. Well, how do you think this affects them in the long run? There's no question in my mind. Bet the kids begin to act out that they begin not to have too much faith in confidence in the people that are supposed to be helping them to learn how to be fully productive members within a society. No question in my mind that the begin to get tuned off and turned out there's no question in my mind that this goes beyond just minority children and goes into a white children. Now, we're beginning to see a significant amount of request for alternative schooling Dropout prevention programs Street academies schools Without Walls all kinds of suggestions that the types of processes and procedures that people have established for working with kids. I'm not being too productive right now. So I think that's a man that lives with people for the rest of their lives. For example, if you look at The Gallup poll on people's opinions about schools are the biggest issue of concern is indeed discipline indeed looking at a verbal and physical aggression with in schools and violence within schools are all issues that are a direct result of our inappropriateness in terms of responding to real legitimate issues within the context of schools. Just recently US News & World Report, April 14th, talk about violence in the schools. And if you look at that particular article and you look at the pictures that represent this particular issue, you'll see that they're really talking about Leighton concerns about race within the schools. And so I'm suggesting to you that we have become more sensitive to different racial and cultural groups a tickly in Minnesota. We're talking before the the taping and you talked about the built-in bias in Minnesota that you and on radio still here Swedish jokes that indeed pots of Minneapolis of frowned upon for example, naughty Minneapolis and that's supposed to represent the Archie Bunker's I'm suggesting to you that this built-in snobbery and built-in bias that not only affects minardi youth but affects all the people of the state of Minnesota and so we have to begin to look at that. We have to begin to eradicate it because I think those subtle little jokes settled that than I do indeed influence people's perceptions of themselves and do indeed set up negative interactions within the context of a society and we're going to have to purge ourselves of that. How does the perception that kids are giving of themselves in school affect at physical survival? Put me a little further that I know you made a statement that the process affects the psychological in the physical survival of black is the educational process and I'm wondering what the physical side of it is. Now, if you if you follow what I'm saying, in terms of students being turned off of school students saying that stayed in that a teacher's indeed races and we're not going to go into a classroom because what she's doing is irrelevant now, I suggest you that some of those teachers that they're talking about I teaching mathematics on teaching physics or teaching foreign language or teaching English instruction. And so the skill that's being taught is a necessary skill and so that when children are turned off by the racial attitudes of the teacher that also turned off from the academic skills that they're supposed to be requiring some kids get turned off so much that they drop out of school and it's just don't want to go to school school is not fun for them. And if you look at some of that the US Census Data On students are people that do not have indeed High School diplomas. Then you see some real differences in terms of the actual income over their life's and so that would that would affect their ability to purchase things are available to purchase homes their ability to do much many things in a society that they have that type of Mobility. So I'm saying the very real sense it limits them in a physical way. That's not very obvious when kids drop out from schools at it influences a society in terms of loss of tax money. If you really want to look at enlightened self-interest and influences our society in terms of The welfare and unemployment benefits in all those other things that have to be paid to people that can't find meaningful work for themselves. So I think it does it was a very physical way. I was educated in England. I was the only Jew in a boarding school and I remember the tremendous anxiety and fear that I felt in trying to deal with anti-Semitism in that school because really the whole bunch of combating that anti-Semitism was placed on me in 11 year old kid in the only doing the school and I'm wondering if it isn't an awful burden that we play some black kids in minority kids in school and really expecting them to combat racism in schools that they feel from the teachers another school personnel and wondering if you see that as a as a problem in in in facing the challenge of trying to combat racism in schools. Well, I think there are two things That the first in the desegregation process desegregation meant that black students had their school clothes. They went over to a white school in the burden was very clearly. They're more recent pushes for the cross line busing have indicated that the burden should be shared and I think that that's what we're getting a significant amount of amount of reaction from many communities is Wenatchee Britain against be shared between folks. Now, I'm not a process that people talk about for the desegregation of schools is what they call a critical mass that students should not be isolated in a school that there should be a critical mass of students involved in anyone school that there should be at least 20% minardi students in a school because it gives that identification group that some children have initially but they can indeed begin to work out of at one time. So that critical mass I think it's very important. We talkin about the desegregation of schools or looking at The racism now that's involved in schools in the requirement of the critical mass incompatible with some of the requirements for desegregation in areas where the percentage of minority kids in the community is Malad high in Minnesota. For example, what is Minneapolis there are yes, 7% to 7% of the population is black and if we integrated the white schools in the whole Twin Cities area, we wouldn't have that critical mass surely. You wouldn't integrate the schools in the whole Twin Cities area because they wouldn't let you do that. That's number one number two. Is that the city school systems both of Saint Paul and Minneapolis are on demand a Bi-State Auto not to have more than 40% and that's with the special dispensation from the state minority students in any one particular school. Is there a minimum percentage are they don't know this not and so that I think that you could begin to identify schools that would have the critical masses of students are a ways to get them done, but they're already Malaysian doesn't get diluted to such an extent that a child feels a sense of alienation within the school itself. I think that can be managed. But I think the other side is that there are some things that can be done with schools that have all white children. So they begin to have a feeling of what it is to be perceived as different what it is that they need to do to help facilitate authentic interpersonal relationships within a society. You can be segregated curriculum desegregate in terms of field trips and different prophecies that you established that give my children a sense of the variability that's in the human species and and within United States of America. There are some things that that must and should be done. If you're really going to talk about getting healthy wholesome attitude towards racial differences within a society when I first moved to Minneapolis, I was told that this was Hubert Humphrey country and send them on their country in that the land of golden opportunity and I swore that Nicollet Mall was paved with gold, you know, and so that when I went out to South Town to do some shopping with my family I will get that the stairs in the looks that that told me that the something about me that's different and then one particular time, I went out in a little girl who have to be white pick my hand and held my hand. I thought that was very cute. You know what I'm saying? Oh what a very nice pretty cute and courteous and kind of not giving all kinds of positive attributes to the two little girl. And as I was doing that she took my hand and she bit it and she turned and it was just very quiet because of the little girl on out of the place and I began to say wealthy was what did that little girl learns? She learned that you could buy someone and I say she's sorry to learn that flash was the same the world over and she learned that there was something about that man that her mommy didn't want to talk about and I guess I look at that same phenomena taken place in the schools, and he wants everyone wants to and keep quiet. About some very real differences and some very real similarities between people and I think that in a D7 Gator situation that kids begin to see the essential humanistic everybody that they begin to see that everyone is trying to grow up and deal with issues that confront their existence in their survival. Everyone wants to good life and a happy life. And that comes as quite a shock to many of the students and my physical work has been working with doctoral students at the University of Minnesota. And that has become a shock to them too. For example, I talked about the systematic bias built into purchasing a home and impact that might have on the educational process and some students that came from upstate Minnesota or Northern Minnesota didn't believe that that existed. So we set up a little experiment where we're going to go buy a home on a street and Saint Paul and we're going to send a white family in to White students male or female from the class and then we go Send interracial group and then we're going to send the black group two couples. So the first night and in the intent, what we what we intended to do was to get the price of the home written down on a car and then also try to capture the essence of the conversation that was taking place. The first couple went which was a white couple. They got a quote of $18,000 for the home. They were asked questions. Like what religion are you? Oh and then it would be told or where the church was and where the schools were in and be orientated to the community of South when interracial couple went. They got a quote of $20,000 a very next night $20,000 for the home and they will ask things like where you come from. What do your parents do and they found as they begin to debrief the situation at the subtle implication was how could your parents allow you even to get married? I don't understand that. When are the next night the black couple went in the price of the home was $22,000 and they were asked questions. Like what do you do for work? And then some implication again was can you really afford this particular home? I'm suggesting to you that if you look at the difference between the White and the black are $4,000 and carry that out over the life of the mortgage, especially with these high interest rates that we have now been something subtle begins to happen. That's not so subtle. Is that the black couple begins to pay 18 to 20 or maybe $22,000 more for a home over the life of a mortgage than a white couple guys. So I just asked the students. What do you call that? And of course I had to call it racism now we did just reverse just to show that indeed it. It wasn't the homeowner being anxious about the prospect of selling a home. We flipped around the same home, but did the opposite and found the same type of gradation that the price of the home went down when the white couple was the last couple to interview for that particular homes. So there's a built-in bias that's there that that nobody wants to talk about and I can give you a thousands of examples of the same process, but I began looking for a home and leave you done other experiments sending kids into the school system. Can you describe some of those? Well that's been related to The desegregation of schools when we have a significant number of whites and blacks coming together for the first time and I suggest you that they use different language systems. Not not that different but they use different words to describe concepts with asked some white students to use the language that they think black students will use it for blacks to use the language that they think why students with you and then we have a little party or what the black actress would call a gig and would ask for example to get a drink a punch the black students at that particular sign would say we'll give me a taste and that meant May I have a glass of punch the white stencil come to the blackest. I may have a glass of punch or can I have a cup or can I have a glass eye may have a drink and that was not the appropriate way within the black experts say that so that they can get a drink. Where is the black children could turn around and say may I have a glass of punch and it got it when it came time to put on some record albums. For example, the white students had to ask for a particular. Artists such as James Brown or at that particular time Otis Redding. They had an inability in terms of identifying who the artist were that their classmates were appreciating who wear black at the black students could turn around and ask for the reading of the that the Beatles are asked for a different white groups. And so they had music and when it came time to dance the black students would automatically School in in hold a girl's hand. They would never say I have this dance. Just hold her and help her out a receipt. Whereas the white suit. May I have this dance, please and so what we were showing that on the very surface-level, they would differences in terms of the way that one orientates to this social environment. And so we're trying to get the each group to be a little more familiar with each other. I think it goes deeper than that is more basic than that and it was pointed out by the Western Electric Company in Philadelphia and Washington in the New York City. Few years back they begin to get to a tilting point where over 50% of the telephone operators with black they began to get complaints about the telephone operator people calling and saying that we cannot understand your telephone operators. They went back and they didn't intelligibility study. They went and found that people were calling information operator to a black and where indeed getting the information that they needed and indeed making the telephone calls, but they were still complaining that we cannot understand. Now what I'm suggesting to you is that they were picking up the subtle differences in terms of word usage and a subtle differences in terms of pronunciation of sounds that created the built-in bias that we have about language for the Western Electric company has really gone pretty far in terms of trying to get an awareness of the of the differences in terms of language itself within the context of school. I'm suggesting to you that these same people that have been calling into the telephone company complaining all the people that have children going to schools and so the same type of concern Will take place within the context of the schools in terms of what language is being used what's except for in terms of proper word form and verb forming and so that I can if this continues on within the context clues, I suggest you that when I was in Boston, Massachusetts that we had teachers trying to teach the black children are English as a second language when a significant number to children in the pickle school. I went to school family came from the British West Indies, which is that particular time was a British protectorate and so we felt we are more English than a teacher that was trying to teach her and so that I find that my particular Express. I'm really tried. I let them I can speak the language of the university community because I've been through that whole particular price. I can speak the language that some folks say up the street, but I wouldn't say it's of the streets. I speak the language that a significant number of blacks in urban setting speak and also I can put a little accent. On my my language by what I sound like I come from the West Indies, but I can change and I'm very conscious and aware of that at times and then other times I'm not I think that's a very interesting process to begin to talk about with some students in school to recognize the different cultural variance that I have and the different culture that exist within schools that can be talked about for example, if you ask significant number of kids, which I have done in Minneapolis and st. Paul NE classroom. How many speak another language at least four or five kids with raised hand and give you a different reason for why they speak another language. How many is Grandparents speak another language and indeed you see a lot of hands go up and you deed will see the beauty of Minnesota and terms of the cultural difference that indeed exist there. I don't think we begin to use that in a very meaningful way at all within the context of schools. And I guess I hope you hear what I'm saying. I'm saying that yes to has been inclusion of minority students yesterday issues related to culture and has a built-in bias related to culture. Yes. It is a strong are the strongest will begin to talk about minority groups and particularly blacks, but that bias goes beyond issue of race. It goes to coucher it goes to social class and economic standing so that what I'm suggesting to you is when we begin to address this particular issue in school. We addressed a lot of other kuncman issues that go along with him. But sometimes it's being a raging debate in parts of the country of a whether or not a minority kids should be taught what's been called Standard English the argument that's being made by some is that the only way that Minority kids have a hope of quote making it in American society is if they learn to speak the Standard English the white people accept the distinction between standard and non-standard English. No, I don't. First what is standard English and I've tried a little experiment with some of the teachers that I work with. I asked him to call the number 5 5 5 1 2 1 2 and you can call any information officer operate throughout the country. And so I suggested they called San Antonio, Texas Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Boston, Massachusetts, Miami, Florida, New Jersey and Brooklyn New York and just talk with you operated and tell me what The Operators sound like they sound the same and I suggest you that they don't sound the same that you begin to see the cultural diffusion that exists. You called the Massachusetts John F Kennedy. If you will speak in your call down a San Antonio and you might hear the Spanish influence. You call down to Miami, Florida. You might hear that the Cuban influence that's been infused. Are you call to Milwaukee, Wisconsin? You might hear the influence if you call to not East Minneapolis, what makes you hear a suggestion to you is variability in terms of how the languages spoken and how the language sound so that just that simple it's Indicates that we don't really know what talking about when talking about standing English because there's no standard that we really can apply that everyone speaks. There are Regional differences in their cultural differences that do indeed exist. I suggest you that the Spanish language is influenced by Spain. I suggest you that the English language that spoken in Boston, Massachusetts that spoken throughout the countries is influenced by a lot of the other Germanic language system such as French and so I'm suggesting that indeed the black people's language is influenced by African because they brought here from Africa and there are certain things that exist within a language system that a lot of folks have it recognizes African for example, the word banjo for example, the word voodoo for for example of the word guitar, for example, the word chicken gumbo soup, for example, the word he walks with a steady gait, for example, the word banana all these particular words are African origin, but a lot of people don't know that because there's a systematic denial of that language infusion into the English or Anglo language system itself. So I'm suggesting that a significant number of black kids. Indeed right now have the vestiges of the African language system built into that language. It's because language and to get specific with you point the teach people to speak a language. Isn't that 80 to 85% of language acquisition has taken place before school and only about 15% in terms of grammar. And in terms of increasing the vocabulary vocabulary on the Lexicon is done within School South. So no one took you and set you down as a look. I'm going to teach you how to speak today. Did they know? Of course, it's a experiential process and sold to teach a person a different language and make the assumption that indeed the languages that different from the start. I think it's ridiculous. So if you really had to begin to talk about language expresses for people and put them in experiences what they begin to test out different ways of interacting example of what we've done one time and Syracuse, New York. We took the children. To the General Electric Factory and we said look we want to the game case of tape recorders. We want you to interview the executives and we want you to pick an executive this most like you and these were mostly black students about 15% of the Moon white. And so they went out they pick somebody cuz they didn't seem any black Executives. They pick someone that made it had a blue suit on or blue shirt on or something like that and it went something like this week 3 sit also be like Walter Cronkite they watch walk the contact Cronkite for week on TV. So they got interview style down and they said the man how you doing man. What kind of gives you got? I was just you make a seagull fly and all along in the back of the tape as we transcribed when you can hear the man say what it what I'm back. We took him to the classroom and we play the tapes and we transcribe them for reading materials and ask the kids. Did the man understand what you were saying and they said well know we will how come sit well, he'll speak English. Is it all really something else? Let's go on out another day in interview the workers and you can tell her work is because they differ from the executive cuz the executives had suit and ties and Akshay cases get the stereotypes out. Okay, and the workers have the coveralls in the lunch pail. And so you can go interview them and try to interview worker most liked you so they went and they indeed did find some black workers in the dialogue when something like this for the house everything you got what I operate a lathe and what does it means do well Aleve is a machine that drills holes. I wanted to say that I wish apparently man. I recognized his nephew. The communication was taking place. We went back and asked the kids. What how come communication is taking place when they can speak English. And so we said what really is that what's really going on or do they speak different words at different times? And lo and behold we went back and we said that if you really want to know what that man. The gig is then it's called occupation. Can you dig it occupation? If you really want to know how much does he make which is the same as salary or some folks call it renumeration. So you call it renumeration. If you really want to know when the eagle flies that you can fly is indeed payday and you say these but you have a choice that you have to make depending on the type of communication that you want to have to take place. And so indeed the kids understood that is indeed the kids operationalize if I go out and actually interviewing Executives with very little Instruction if you will and terms of English as a standard language, the kids will putting experiences, but they had real options and real choices that they could begin to utilize and some meaningful fashion for them in their own lives. And I think that's what we need to talk about because I suggest you that is significant number of a white teachers. Can I do that? They cannot teach English as a second language because they don't know the primary language themselves. For example, the lexical in the pipes of word differences that some black children present the types of grammatical difference. Is that a systematic in nature that some black children represent and present in the schools. They have no idea of it and matter fact once they do get an idea. It changes teacher begins to appreciate What's your go-to saying? Sometimes it doesn't do you change so you really can't get it that and I think the address that to the same phenomena, for example, I would suggest that a significant number of parents that have teenage children the teenagers a talking almost like a different language Sometimes using different words use them in different ways and it is perplexing. Sometimes when your dog gets tuned in and listens and learns what those words. I did my time to get tuned in and listened and learned the words a change and so that's the nature of the communication process. But you must appreciate the fact that Andy communication is taking place within that particular group at many times has shared that sometimes has not shared and so I suggest you But that's just a reality in terms of this language. When we begin to look at groupings of people that is part of a language that remains intact and that's an in-group communication that will always remain that way. I think that's the nature of groups. There's a lot to be shared though. I take it you would take issue with the contentions up the way black folks speak English has a degenerative form of the language. That's just not so that's research is very clear on that. For example, if you listen to Appalachian White's you find out that the top the Appalachian wife speaking in that lot of folks think is a degenerative form of the English language indeed is 17th and 18th century English. If you look at the protection or the insulation of that particular culture Group by the Appalachian Mountains indeed a language get sheared and generated and with very little infusion because of the inseam nature of that particular population to the language remains intact overtime if you look at the nature of Free with the United States of America you saw enclaves of blacks kept together. So indeed the African language system parts of the African language system remained intact and so that in certain posture this nation, for example off the coast of South Carolina, you have the Geechee islands and you have a form of African spoken call Della Gullah that's open right here today in United States of America because an insulin Nation nature and nature of that particular population within America. So I'm suggesting you because of the whole Insidious process of slavery and the confinement of populations of blacks that you have a Vestige of African language system. That's a little older than what we might recognize right here in United States of America and indeed influences what has taken place and influences The Standard English itself. Oh, definitely, and otherwise we talked about rap right now you talk about your appetite right now, you know and in all these words, we begin to appreciate and accept with another language system. Not really given true credit to where they have come from. Some people seem to have viewed the process of desegregation of the Minneapolis schools is a model of sorts of the rest of the country. I know that lost full of a delegation of the Boston School Board came to Minneapolis to study the system. You've been studying at you've been working with it for quite some time. Now, what do you think about about how satisfactory has a process being in your view? Well, let's let's back up a little bit. I think that hurt and perceptions of hurt our perceptions of bias. I just as strong and Minneapolis as they would be in Boston, Massachusetts. Let me be more specific about that. A group of parents if they perceive that their child is in fact not getting an adequate education. They wouldn't feel any less strongly about it living in Minneapolis as they would in Boston Massachusetts a group of parents that have offered resistance to the whole movement for the segregation because we did have some controversy when the desegregation integration plans were first introduced in still do have controversy related to them in Minneapolis. Don't feel any less strong or more strong and Boston are in Minneapolis. I'm saying the same types of basic feeling I hear I don't think this is really much difference between Boston and between Minneapolis that in terms of feelings about it. Now in terms of overt Behavior, they might be some real differences in terms of critical masses of people. Moving from one person to another there might be some very real differences. I think the members and Boston a much larger in terms of the number of students that have been desegregated are being moved. If you will physically move in Boston than there is in Minneapolis and that the nature of that number is the thing that causes the difference in terms of over at responses to it, but I'd suggest you that the impact is just a strong in both situations is South you look specifically in Minneapolis. Someone already students and parents are very concerned about that critical mass that talked about being put into a school where they don't feel that they accepted being put in situations that they have to begin to speak up and act out to let people know that they're they're hurting in a particular situation. I think the minardi community has spoken very effectively about this particular issue of a critical mass. No dilute the number of students going to all kinds of schools so that you don't really get Critical mass of kids again the whole issue critical mass and relationship to judge license order relating to education Personnel his ruling. Say that there has to be at least one black teacher in every school throughout the City of Minneapolis. I suggest you that the same feelings of alienation the same feelings that the children have at the Children's level passed on at the adult level. They're the same issue of not being included within the decision making process but not being informed about the social network within a school has the same feeling of alienation. Within the black delegation Personnel itself. So I suggest you that yes that Minneapolis has taken a pretty big step towards you take engagement in schools. Now, the next step is the integration. When asked the meaningful acceptance of the real differences in people in the inclusion of people with into the educated within the educational process to stop the involvement of people at all levels of the decision-making process itself and until that happens, we're just real talking about integration. We haven't had that happened yet. And so does a lot of work to be done. Let me throw out an argument get your reaction an argument against desegregation and I'll give me the gangster integration you made a statement earlier that the educational process the problems of the educational process. It's actually reflect the problems of the economic status of people in society as a whole they prefer they reflect the general problems of society as a whole And I think it's Sonia controversial to say that at least up until now. We generally seen the systematic denial of particularly minority cultures in the educational system. Call and make the argument that the issue is not one of the segregation and integration with the argument is really whether or not whether or not minority groups are going to be able to control the curriculum financing hiring on the policies of the Educational Systems that the children are included in and that that applies as much to people of Irish descent in South Boston as much as it applies to Black minorities in Indian minorities. The only way that blacks and Indians and other minorities are really going to be able to avoid the systematic turn. All of the culture is by controlling their own educational system and that the only way they're going to be able to do that is to have black kids concentrated Way Beyond the critical mass that you talked about and then if we desegregate the schools, we never going to approach that kind of critical mass is required for that. How would you react to that kind of has performed by my black communities in Detroit many years ago in the desegregation would have came down in Detroit. That is I think legitimate concern. That's when the spear has set in when nothing else is worth. I think the re-segregation has been suggested but I think that you're happy mindful of one thing is that when we're talking about the education of children, especially young children right now, but really talking about trading them for living. in the 21st century and so we had to begin to ask some questions about what the 21st century is going to look like and already we've seen this whole issue of shortage of fuse of fuel oil beginning to raise some questions about cultural variability. For example, who has oil goes or resources right now. I suggest you that there are people of color throughout the world and you begin to see things like overtures to South America by doctor Kissinger you begin to see a whole lot of interdependence if you will. You see for example refugees from Vietnam coming to United States of America infusion of strong infusion of a cultural group. So my question is what our children to be learning and I think one thing that they should be learning. It's hard to get along with each other. I suggest you that you can't do that. If you don't have the experiences in the contact to get that done and some suggestions you for almost Self-interest of what this world's going to look like in the 21st century begin to look at Red China begin to look at Russia and cultural and racial differences to the looming up. The world will be very much different is very interested in in preschool class that I attended. How about some 22 children eight of which have been out of this country to other parts of the world and could begin to talk about us like my preschool children now? Okay. So lit right now the world is very much different from what you might think it is. I was walking down the streets in London England and bumped into people. I know I was walking in the bush and western Africa and bumped into about five or six people that I knew that I didn't know were going to be there and so I'm really suggesting that this world as we know it's going to be much larger in terms of the social cultural context. Then we might be able to visualize right now. And so that we're really educating children because we as adults right now, I've had a very difficult time and seeing the worldly picture or the picture of cultural interdependence if you will, so if you always have to be mindful of that we have reached that point of Despair we have to give up Andre segregate I think in some parts of the Country that is at that point when I was just do that Detroit is I was just you that possibly. I was just at their that the the the feelings of powerlessness is so strong that something has to be done as a measure to show folks that they can indeed have a meaning for input but I suggest you again that is what they called what I call the sinking ship philosophy when the ship is really going to sink and then you give it to me. He's then you say will look what you've done. You haven't pulled it up. You can look at a black Maran Detroit. You can look at Newark New Jersey. You can look at Gary Indiana and you have to raise some very clear questions about the sinking ships. And so that don't give me anything unless you go to put an adequate amount of resources and they don't give me anything less. You going to give me a fair chance to make that whole process work and really meaningful decision-making processes, and then I'm sure baby turned around