‘How long will it be before you people realize’
In a commentary posted Tuesday on his website, West, who represented Florida in Congress after an extended career in the U.S. military, confronted the issue of racism.
Citing Obama Attorney General Eric Holder’s warning that schools must drop policies that “disproportionately punish minorities,” West asserted it’s not racist to punish blacks more when they are causing more trouble.
“I taught high school for one year in Deerfield Beach, Fla., and in the end, it was such an enjoyable experience breaking up fights daily, that I decided to return to the combat zone of Afghanistan,” West wrote. “Teachers are already disrespected and attacked, not feared. There were students at Deerfield Beach who steered clear of the lunchroom for fear of being picked on or engaged in a fight.”
West said the violence on campus “was perpetrated eight out of 10 times by black students, male and female, but it had nothing to do with racial disparity.”
“It had everything to do with a lack of discipline and control,” he wrote.
He said Obama’s and Holder’s advocacy for leniency for those who cause trouble essentially makes them racist.
“This is my clear and succinct message to white Americans. How long will it be before ‘you people’ realize you have elevated someone to the office of president who abjectly despises you – not to mention his henchman Holder. Combined they are the most vile and disgusting racists – not you,” he wrote.
The commentary was prompted by Holder’s recent demand that schools “rethink ‘zero tolerance’ disciplinary policies” because they “disproportionately punish minorities.”
A Hill report on the issue said “alarming numbers of young people are suspended, expelled or even arrested for relatively minor transgressions like school uniform violations, schoolyard fights or showing ‘disrespect’ by laughing in class, Holder said during a speech.”
West said the accompanying new federal guidance from the departments of Justice and Education “encouraging (i.e. threatening) schools to adopt disciplinary policies that are ‘fair, nondiscriminatory, and effective’” is a threat from the Department of Justice.
“So now [the department] … will use its power to enforce ‘civil rights protections’ in school disciplinary actions. In fact, the DOJ and DoEd are putting schools on notice that they are prepared to use their authority to investigate the claims of racial disparity in the punishment of students,” he wrote.
“Not to be outdone by Holder in the ‘stuck on stupid’ category, Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated, ‘Positive discipline policies’ can actually foster safer school environments. … Schools also must understand their civil rights obligations and avoid unfair disciplinary practices,” West said.
“When a young man took a swing at me while I broke up a beat down that he and three others were giving a young man already on the ground, it had nothing to do with civil rights. It had everything to do with a criminal behavior which does not belong in a learning environment – and he was expelled. Now imagine under these new guidelines and rules, DoJ and DoEd would initiate an investigation.”