Sunday, May 27, 2012
The Struggle In Philadelphia - Gain Understanding Using "The Timeline" As A Management Tool
Most people think transactionally.
They are presented a compelling story, as is the case in the video above, and then are compelled to assign their personal views to the struggle that is before them thus providing the activists with the new lease on life that they need to struggle on.
I only ask that you accept that your antics "in the struggle" can be easily documented.
With the advent of each new generation of young activists, largely unaware of the history that had a person - just like them - in the very same position on the protest lines - initiated an action against the school system - no one tells them about the SUCCESS in placing "favorable people in power" to run their public policy. Fewer people dare to tell them that once they had the rule of the roost the results did not turn out so good.
It is my assessment that the "permanent strugglers" must necessarily make educational administration a NATIONALIZED struggle because it allows them to shift their focus from the tough reality of having to deal with the physical children as a means of expressing "quality education", instead they can protest against (or shill for) the national administration FOR "quality education".
....But There's A Hole In The Bucket Dear Liza
(as you see from the video).... The strongest indictment that the activists can make is that the students within the school system of Philadelphia are being screwed - financially.
Scroll back to the first days of this blog and you will see my arguments over how the dramatic differences in assumptions about GOVERNMENT define the distinctions between conservatives and progressives. Few other cities bear this out better than Philadelphia.
From a first hand vantage point I can attest to the fact that the longitudinal struggle for control over Philadelphia was focused upon two key entities: The Municipal Government and The School District Of Philadelphia.
The assumption was (I will spare you and not repeat the words of the activists that are still burned in my mind) that once they took over the rungs of power that they now protest against, putting forth more favorable public policy - the key points of discrimination in resource allocation, lack of awareness of the unique needs for Black people and representation of more Black faces in the city government and school - would lead to a grand fix to what ails the Black community. (To be clear - "Black AND Progressive" was the driver. Between the two they would prefer a Progressive of any color to the alternative).
The missing element in their struggle, as we now see, is the need to focus on maintaining and growing a TAX BASE.
Please rest assure that during my days as a student in the Philadelphia Public School System - the "Perfect 1.0" in school financing was toward the lily White "Northeast Philadelphia". The reports were that the Black schools in West/North/South Philly received the hand-me-down instructional materials from the White schools.
Now that Philadelphia has experienced a massive exodus of White people from the schools - the activists have now expanded their indictment across political boundaries to where the White Folks now reside.
The point that is missed in this scheme - which is very effective at assuring the congregation that their movement is just - is - that the primary reason why the State Of Pennsylvania agreed to give the city its charter and the school system its charter is the assumption that both are fiscally solvent entities - able to raise sufficient local taxes to affirm their continued existence.
Indeed education remains as a state constitutional function. While the state has franchised the operation of the educational services to the local school system - it still retains its constitutional obligations to work in the best interests of educating the children.
This assumption is why the state of PA took over the School System of Philadelphia after it failed a series of academic performance decrees that it was compelled to attain.
If we fail to talk about the POLITICAL and RACIAL aspects of this state intervention (the situation in Detroit is working from the very same model) then we fail to understand how entrenched incumbent forces, desperate to retain their power - are prone to retain the Black people that they have failed into their congregation by making the case that the Black leadership that the state seeks to push out of power are themselves victims of a racist attempt to remove Blacks from power - no different from the Post-Reconstruction South.
At the end of the process "The Blacks" can be heard arguing: "Indeed while our children are being failed.....we LIKE the leadership that is failing them. The understand us better than your people who we got rid of for failing us Black folks. At least our people are not racist against Black people."
Again - speaking from first hand experience - a significant number of "Black people who can" also move out of Philadelphia. South Jersey, Delaware and northwest suburbs of Philadelphia that few Blacks would ever had dared move to just 30 years ago - are now the recipients of many young Black professionals who do not see the School District Of Philadelphia as a credible option for the education of their children.
Ironically - the political salivating over the fact that the suburbs of Philadelphia, once a Republican stronghold - are becoming more purple, shifting to blue as time goes on - are beneficiaries of "Flying Progressives" who are exiting the dysfunction of Philadelphia but retaining their party and ideological loyalties.
While the "Black Political Analysts" don't care to talk about the matter - the point that must be made IS: Your drive for PARTY LOYALTY on the front end has short term benefits in your goal for retention and propagation of power - it also fails to generate the EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE that is needed to keep the machine apparatus in check - focused on delivering effective services for the people and growing the tax base as an attractive city to live in.
Instead instead of fighting against the machine - THEY MOVE - leaving behind "Mission Accomplished Zone" - just as the masses have struggled for over time, but, zones of incompetence and dysfunction.
If you get nothing else out of this post - PLEASE understand the key distinction between the forward aspirations of the political operatives to gain more political power for their machine VERSUS the advancement of the Black community's permanent interests - measured independently from what ever POPULAR action that the congregation is compelled to follow.
We are more likely to generate complicit silence with these grand struggles that place "favorable people in power" as they seek to avoid hitting "their guy" who is now in power - than we are to receive effective outcomes - as measured by the advancement of the fundamental issues that the Black community got into politics to pursue in the first place.