Yesterday, I read a comment from someone who claimed the problems in Baltimore were a result of the “white police state” and that Baltimore is now “reaping what was sowed.” This same tone was repeated over and over by one news station after another, parading a number of people, both black and white, with their own versions of what’s wrong with life in the inner city and why black men are killing each other in greater numbers than you can even imagine.The enduring theme is that someone is making them do it, and if there were just a little more money, just a little more mentoring or just a little more of this or that, or a little less police interference…VOILA! Things will change. Crime will go down, everyone will be self-actualized and life will be good.
Another very preposterous suggestion I’ve heard is that we should pay money to people NOT to kill each other or behave badly. All of these suggestions as an antidote to bad behavior are about as effective as a vaccine for the common cold. Sometimes the answers we seek are the ones we don’t want to hear because they’re painful.
So what is the actual cost of opportunistic political leadership and throwing money at self-actualization types of training? A St. Paul/Minneapolis school district is finding out.
Five years ago the St. Paul school district contracted a San Francisco-based company called the Pacific Educational Group that peddles high-priced training to help public schools deal with achievement and disciplinary issues involving black students. Of course, it’s all the white teachers’ fault.The district spent over two million dollars in 5 years when they could have had classes in parenting, started athletic programs, and community groups for much less.
Instead, special needs students with behavioral issues were mainstreamed into regular classrooms, student suspensions were replaced by “time outs,” and school officials starting forgiving or ignoring violence and other unacceptable behavior, according to various sources.
Did it work? What do you think?As EAG News reports, Becky McQueen, an educator at St. Paul’s Harding High School, was beaten around the head and ears by strong high-school basketball players after trying to stop a fight. The kid was only sent home for a couple of days — after all she’s just a white lady and probably deserved it because of slavery or Jim Crow, right?
Yet the targeting of Ms. McQueen continued. EAG News says, “another student who repeatedly drops into her class has hit kids and cursed at an aide, once telling McQueen he would “fry” her ass. She tried to make a joke of it — ‘Ooh, I could use a little weight loss.’ Her students interjected: ‘No, that means he’s gonna kill you.’”I guess her “white self” didn’t know the thug lingo.
McQueen’s students now must use a secret knock on the classroom door so she’ll know who to allow in.
Allowing this type of behavior in order to combat the stigma of victimhood is the height of insanity – so let’s talk a little about psychology.
Many of us remember our first class of psychology, a required course for university studies. One of the first explanations for human behavior was explained by “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled individuals seek to fulfill the next, and so on. Let me review this model: