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westslope

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Location: BC desert


Posted: Sep 10, 2017 - 3:50pm

NPR has an interesting podcast on the Southern Poverty Law Centre.
On the Media:  Duck and Cover
westslope

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Location: BC desert


Posted: Sep 9, 2017 - 10:05am

Interesting discussion.  I grew up listening to Nazi occupation stories.  My grandfather was a capo terrorist who went on to be a very successful businessman with conservative political leanings.  He was also one of the most civil persons I have ever known.

I quickly figured out that my mother's use of the term 'hate' was very different from my spoiled Canadian class mates who 'hated' this or that.

Maybe the USA should be occupied by a foreign power to regain perspective?
—————————————————————————————-

I looked up Charles Murray and found this on the wiki-page:

Incident at Middlebury College<edit>

On March 2, 2017, Murray was shouted down at Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vermont) by students and others not connected with the school, and prevented from speaking at the original location on campus. The speech was moved to another location and a closed circuit broadcast showed him being interviewed by professor Allison Stanger. After the interview, there was a violent confrontation between protesters and Murray, Vice President for Communications Bill Burger, and Stanger (who was hospitalized with a neck injury and concussion) as they left the McCullough Student Center. Middlebury students claimed that Middlebury Public Safety officers instigated and escalated violence against nonviolent protesters and that administrator Bill Burger assaulted protesters with a car. Middlebury President Laurie L. Patton responded after the event, saying the school would respond to "the clear violations of Middlebury College policy that occurred inside and outside Wilson Hall." The school took disciplinary action against 67 students for their involvement in the incident.


On a purely emotional level, I would have been tempted to shave the heads of these students and then parade them through campus as disgraced Nazis.  


Lazy8
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Posted: Sep 2, 2017 - 5:52pm

 aflanigan wrote:
You make a good point. I wonder if they began putting assets for their nest egg in offshore accounts from the beginning, or only began doing so recently?

Are they being injudicious or engaging in hype with the "hate group" label? Which groups that have been so-labeled do you feel don't deserve the label? 

According to the article posted it began no later than 2014, but the nature of offshore accounts makes them harder to track. Unless they come clean there may be no way to know what their offshore books look like.

The biggest problem with the SPLC's criteria for being listed as a hate group is how vague and squishy it is. From their web site:
  • "All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics." And both "attack" and "malign" seem to be very flexible verbs.
  • "Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing." Well, golly—hard to think of an activist organization not engaged in marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.
A more conventional definition would be groups that advocate violence. SPLC lists organizations like the Family Research Council, which promotes anti-gay initiatives, but not other organizations (like, say, the Mormon church) that back the same initiatives and take pretty much identical positions, The Family Research Council doesn't have the resources to sue the SPLC for libel, and that may figure in to whom they pick on. FRC formed in 1981 but SPLC didn't list them as a hate group until 2010. Did something change between those two dates? Not at the FRC.

Opposition to gay marriage seems to be enough to label you an anti-gay extremist...depending on who you are. It didn't get Barrack Obama labeled as such (before he changed positions in 2012) or Hillary Clinton (2013). The SPLC has gone on several tirades against the NRA (here's one) labeling them as extremists and anti-Muslim (among other things)...but hasn't quite had the courage to officially list them.

Anti-feminist/conservative political groups like the late Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum get tagged, as do anti-immigration groups. In fact SPLC counts every single Eagle Forum chapter as a separate extremist group to pump the numbers up.

They labeled Charles Murray as a "white nationalist", which is so absurd it would be funny if it hadn't lead to threats to his life and limb.

On balance I'm glad they're around. They are taking on an important role tracking legitimate threats, but by conflating conservative political views with hate they are diluting the impact they could be having.
 
 

aflanigan
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Posted: Sep 2, 2017 - 4:19pm

 Lazy8 wrote:

 

The listing of salaries is the least-troubling aspect of the report; they aren't out of line with other (large) nonprofits and they are pitifully small compared to what the same people could command in private or corporate practice.

They are a 501 C(3) entity. They don't pay taxes. Moving vast sums of money to the Cayman Islands makes it easier to avoid oversight on that money, so as a donor that makes me suspicious—I see no legitimate reason for that, and I'll remind you how tight it would wind your knickers if a for-profit entity were behaving like this.

Spending 68% of revenue on programs isn't horrible for a non-profit but not exemplary either. I suspect (given the sums moving offshore) that there is some creative accounting defining the words "revenue" and "programs", but even that isn't the most troubling thing about the SPLC's behavior.

They are squandering their credibility by labeling people with politics they disagree with as "hate groups". That dilutes the term and softens the blows they need to deliver to legitimately dangerous groups. They've done great things in the past, and the need for watchdogs like them has never been greater, but they are pulling their own fangs by crying wolf at every barking dog.
 


 
You make a good point. I wonder if they began putting assets for their nest egg in offshore accounts from the beginning, or only began doing so recently?

Are they being injudicious or engaging in hype with the "hate group" label? Which groups that have been so-labeled do you feel don't deserve the label? 
islander
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Posted: Sep 2, 2017 - 2:32pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
 aflanigan wrote:
This strikes me as more of a hit piece than credible journalism.

He's got some tepid scare quotes, but where is the context? He could have easily done some digging on the hundreds/thousands of other 501(c)3 nonprofits in the US, both conservative, progressive, nonpartisan, etc. to buttress his insinuations, i.e. to find out if other such orgs. hold offshore assets, how much their salaries for top employees tend to be, etc.

The inclusion of editorializing comments and criticisms from anti-LGBT organizations it has labeled "Hate groups" (not sure how that's not true) seems to be fairly irrelevant to the issue of whether what they are doing is a) unusual, b) illegal, or c) unethical.

They seem to have been upfront about wanting to have a nest egg stashed away to deal with the vagaries of fundraising, and started decades ago. Not surprising that like many businesses and entities, they want to shelter their assets from taxes if possible. From Wikipedia:

"The SPLC's activities, including litigation, are supported by fundraising efforts, and it does not accept any fees or share in legal judgements awarded to clients it represents in court. Starting in 1974, the SPLC set aside money for its endowment stating that it was "convinced that the day come when non-profit groups no longer be able to rely on support through mail because of posting and printing costs". For 2016, its endowment was approximately $319 million per its annual report and SPLC spent 68% of its revenue on programs."

The listing of salaries is the least-troubling aspect of the report; they aren't out of line with other (large) nonprofits and they are pitifully small compared to what the same people could command in private or corporate practice.

They are a 501 C(3) entity. They don't pay taxes. Moving vast sums of money to the Cayman Islands makes it easier to avoid oversight on that money, so as a donor that makes me suspicious—I see no legitimate reason for that, and I'll remind you how tight it would wind your knickers if a for-profit entity were behaving like this.

Spending 68% of revenue on programs isn't horrible for a non-profit but not exemplary either. I suspect (given the sums moving offshore) that there is some creative accounting defining the words "revenue" and "programs", but even that isn't the most troubling thing about the SPLC's behavior.

They are squandering their credibility by labeling people with politics they disagree with as "hate groups". That dilutes the term and softens the blows they need to deliver to legitimately dangerous groups. They've done great things in the past, and the need for watchdogs like them has never been greater, but they are pulling their own fangs by crying wolf at every barking dog.
 


 
I'm very disappointed in them taking this action.  I wasn't bothered by the salaries or the percentage spent on programs (although the percentage could have been higher). In general it just looks bad, and especially in this circumstance it is important to not raise questions unnecessarily.  I hope the attention gets them to step back and rethink it and be more aware of the perceptions of their actions. I'll be holding back further donations until then. Plenty of other places doing solid work in this realm that also need support. 
Lazy8
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Posted: Sep 1, 2017 - 8:31am

 aflanigan wrote:
This strikes me as more of a hit piece than credible journalism.

He's got some tepid scare quotes, but where is the context? He could have easily done some digging on the hundreds/thousands of other 501(c)3 nonprofits in the US, both conservative, progressive, nonpartisan, etc. to buttress his insinuations, i.e. to find out if other such orgs. hold offshore assets, how much their salaries for top employees tend to be, etc.

The inclusion of editorializing comments and criticisms from anti-LGBT organizations it has labeled "Hate groups" (not sure how that's not true) seems to be fairly irrelevant to the issue of whether what they are doing is a) unusual, b) illegal, or c) unethical.

They seem to have been upfront about wanting to have a nest egg stashed away to deal with the vagaries of fundraising, and started decades ago. Not surprising that like many businesses and entities, they want to shelter their assets from taxes if possible. From Wikipedia:

"The SPLC's activities, including litigation, are supported by fundraising efforts, and it does not accept any fees or share in legal judgements awarded to clients it represents in court. Starting in 1974, the SPLC set aside money for its endowment stating that it was "convinced that the day come when non-profit groups no longer be able to rely on support through mail because of posting and printing costs". For 2016, its endowment was approximately $319 million per its annual report and SPLC spent 68% of its revenue on programs."

The listing of salaries is the least-troubling aspect of the report; they aren't out of line with other (large) nonprofits and they are pitifully small compared to what the same people could command in private or corporate practice.

They are a 501 C(3) entity. They don't pay taxes. Moving vast sums of money to the Cayman Islands makes it easier to avoid oversight on that money, so as a donor that makes me suspicious—I see no legitimate reason for that, and I'll remind you how tight it would wind your knickers if a for-profit entity were behaving like this.

Spending 68% of revenue on programs isn't horrible for a non-profit but not exemplary either. I suspect (given the sums moving offshore) that there is some creative accounting defining the words "revenue" and "programs", but even that isn't the most troubling thing about the SPLC's behavior.

They are squandering their credibility by labeling people with politics they disagree with as "hate groups". That dilutes the term and softens the blows they need to deliver to legitimately dangerous groups. They've done great things in the past, and the need for watchdogs like them has never been greater, but they are pulling their own fangs by crying wolf at every barking dog.
 

aflanigan
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Posted: Sep 1, 2017 - 8:01am

 oldviolin wrote:

A reasonably intelligent person would have to ask themselves if any of this 'hit piece' is true outside of the side show equivocation and resourceful apologetics...It's a bit disturbing and disappointing if not illuminating. Wish I had the time to look further. I always respected this organization for taking on the 'Klan' but it seems like as in everything else, money spoils the day again...
Admittedly I'm not clearly informed if my shallow perception is askew to reality in this case.

 
We probably all want to think the best of both people and organizations we admire, and are ready to think the worst of organizations we don't like. I remember hearing the NPR story on the Red Cross' efforts in Haiti where they spent 500 million with little to show for it. People have brought this up in suggesting that folks not donate to ARC to help Houston victims of Harvey. Established in 1881 by Clara Barton, it has, as someone pointed out, "name recognition to die for". Morris Dees, who founded SPLC, has a similarly heroic stature in the mind of the public. His personal story paints him as a Saint Paul type convert to the fight against racism.

Maybe too much success, growth, and attendant bureaucracy is likely to diminish the virtue and effectiveness of any public service organization over time.


oldviolin
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Posted: Sep 1, 2017 - 7:21am

 aflanigan wrote:

This strikes me as more of a hit piece than credible journalism.

He's got some tepid scare quotes, but where is the context? He could have easily done some digging on the hundreds/thousands of other 501(c)3 nonprofits in the US, both conservative, progressive, nonpartisan, etc. to buttress his insinuations, i.e. to find out if other such orgs. hold offshore assets, how much their salaries for top employees tend to be, etc.

The inclusion of editorializing comments and criticisms from anti-LGBT organizations it has labeled "Hate groups" (not sure how that's not true) seems to be fairly irrelevant to the issue of whether what they are doing is a) unusual, b) illegal, or c) unethical.

They seem to have been upfront about wanting to have a nest egg stashed away to deal with the vagaries of fundraising, and started decades ago. Not surprising that like many businesses and entities, they want to shelter their assets from taxes if possible. From Wikipedia:

"The SPLC's activities, including litigation, are supported by fundraising efforts, and it does not accept any fees or share in legal judgements awarded to clients it represents in court. Starting in 1974, the SPLC set aside money for its endowment stating that it was "convinced that the day come when non-profit groups no longer be able to rely on support through mail because of posting and printing costs". For 2016, its endowment was approximately $319 million per its annual report and SPLC spent 68% of its revenue on programs."

 


 
A reasonably intelligent person would have to ask themselves if any of this 'hit piece' is true outside of the side show equivocation and resourceful apologetics...It's a bit disturbing and disappointing if not illuminating. Wish I had the time to look further. I always respected this organization for taking on the 'Klan' but it seems like as in everything else, money spoils the day again...
Admittedly I'm not clearly informed if my shallow perception is askew to reality in this case.


aflanigan
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Posted: Sep 1, 2017 - 6:22am

 miamizsun wrote: 
This strikes me as more of a hit piece than credible journalism.

He's got some tepid scare quotes, but where is the context? He could have easily done some digging on the hundreds/thousands of other 501(c)3 nonprofits in the US, both conservative, progressive, nonpartisan, etc. to buttress his insinuations, i.e. to find out if other such orgs. hold offshore assets, how much their salaries for top employees tend to be, etc.

The inclusion of editorializing comments and criticisms from anti-LGBT organizations it has labeled "Hate groups" (not sure how that's not true) seems to be fairly irrelevant to the issue of whether what they are doing is a) unusual, b) illegal, or c) unethical.

They seem to have been upfront about wanting to have a nest egg stashed away to deal with the vagaries of fundraising, and started decades ago. Not surprising that like many businesses and entities, they want to shelter their assets from taxes if possible. From Wikipedia:

"The SPLC's activities, including litigation, are supported by fundraising efforts, and it does not accept any fees or share in legal judgements awarded to clients it represents in court. Starting in 1974, the SPLC set aside money for its endowment stating that it was "convinced that the day come when non-profit groups no longer be able to rely on support through mail because of posting and printing costs".<117> For 2016, its endowment was approximately $319 million per its annual report and SPLC spent 68% of its revenue on programs.<1>"

 

miamizsun

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Posted: Sep 1, 2017 - 3:51am

uh oh, the jig is up...

Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities

Left-wing nonprofit pays lucrative six-figure salaries to top management

Tax experts expressed confusion when being told of the transfer.

"I've never known a US-based nonprofit dealing in human rights or social services to have any foreign bank accounts," said Amy Sterling Casil, CEO of Pacific Human Capital, a California-based nonprofit consulting firm. "My impression based on prior interactions is that they have a small, modestly paid staff, and were regarded by most in the industry as frugal and reliable. I am stunned to learn of transfers of millions to offshore bank accounts. It is a huge red flag and would have been completely unacceptable to any wealthy, responsible, experienced board member who was committed to a charitable mission who I ever worked with."

"It is unethical for any US-based charity to invest large sums of money overseas," said Casil. "I know of no legitimate reason for any US-based nonprofit to put money in overseas, unregulated bank accounts."

"It seems extremely unusual for a ‘501(c)(3)' concentrating upon reducing poverty in the American South to have multiple bank accounts in tax haven nations," Charles Ortel, a former Wall Street analyst and financial advisor who helped uncover a 2009 financial scandal at General Electric, told the Free Beacon.


kurtster
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Posted: Apr 10, 2017 - 4:39pm

 R_P wrote:
When a black fighter won ‘the fight of the century,’ race riots erupted across America
Jack Johnson knocked out Jim Jeffries, and black people were murdered for it
Jack Johnson looms over a fallen Jim Jeffries in the concluding rounds of their Independence Day rumble in 1910.

 

 


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Posted: Apr 10, 2017 - 3:47pm

When a black fighter won ‘the fight of the century,’ race riots erupted across America
Jack Johnson knocked out Jim Jeffries, and black people were murdered for it
Jack Johnson looms over a fallen Jim Jeffries in the concluding rounds of their Independence Day rumble in 1910.

(...) The fight itself made for an odd pairing. Jack Johnson was the world’s premier up-and-comer. Born in Galveston, Texas, the son of two former slaves, he had shaken the sporting public when he won the heavyweight championship in Sydney, Australia two years before.

Johnson - witty, charismatic, rich, well-dressed, and apparently unstoppable - practically dared an uneasy white public to find a counterweight. “But one thing remains,” wrote novelist Jack London who reported with dread on the boxer’s Australian victory, “(retired boxer Jim) Jeffries must emerge from his alfalfa farm and wipe that smile from Johnson’s face.”

Though a fearsome heavyweight boxer in his day, Jim Jeffries’s prime was behind him, having quit boxing six years before to spend his days on his Burbank ranch. Yet Jeffries, who had always refused to fight black opponents, was finally persuaded to come out of retirement (the $101,000 purse ($3.7 million today) helped). He was billed as “the great white hope.”

It was easy for a fighter in his prime like Johnson to welcome the high-profile fight. He loved the spotlight, and was known for his sharp dressing and wit, and in some sense anticipated the time when star athletes would become above all entertainers, ready to perform on stage and pose for the camera. (In Johnson’s case, he appeared in a string of vaudeville shows in the months leading up to the fight.) And this new match was shaping up to be the fight of his career. (...)


kcar

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Posted: Mar 27, 2017 - 10:15pm

 haresfur wrote:

Note this is in response to a court order addressing the lack of resources for predominantly black schools. So the obvious solution is to provide enough funding for everyone, rather than cutting to a win-lose level.

If the school board was smart, they would encourage busing white students to schools where they are putting more funding and to bus black students to the white schools to balance the demographics. Maybe at some point they could change it so the funding is based on parental education levels rather than race.

 

You might want to read up on the history of court-ordered busing in Boston during the 70s. AFAICT it generally didn't improve educational achievement for minority students bused to better schools. It also lead to a lot of white families moving their kids out of the Boston school system, either to the suburbs or into private and parochial schools. Busing also really worsened racial relations in Boston. IIRC it also didn't prevent eventual re-segregation of schools in the city. 

I think it's generally better to move funding, resources and effective government oversight into underperforming schools than to bus kids out of them. 


Today, it seems that Boston uses a lottery system to help parents choose schools for their kids.



The new system, approved by the School Committee last March after more than a year of research and debate, is quite different from the old one. For 25 years, the city divided schools into three sprawling geographic-based zones, under a plan to comply with court-ordered desegregation that offered families a choice of about two dozen schools.

Schools are no longer divided into assignment zones. Instead, a computer algorithm generates a list of schools that considers such factors as distance from a family’s home, school capacity, and MCAS performance. The algorithm guarantees a minimum of six school choices, including at least four of medium or high quality. But in many cases, families in densely populated neighborhoods with many nearby schools are receiving more than a dozen options.



But it's not fully successful:


The city uses a lottery system that was intended to give all students access to high-achieving classrooms, regardless of neighborhood or life circumstance. But families fixate on a collection of well-known, fiercely sought-after schools, largely ignoring those with lesser reputations. And over the past two decades, popularity has often become a proxy for quality, making it even harder for schools to get off that second rung. 
...

Popular schools have become synonymous with the choices of white middle-class families, principals and families say. And the demand report reflects the choices of families who choose early.

Oliver said parents of color and those in low-income communities “don’t always go in to make choices when the lottery starts. We have a lot of people who can’t make a commitment until June or even Labor Day.’’



...

School choice is “pretty complicated stuff, and people are always eager to come up with pretty simple solutions,’’ said Curt Dudley-Marling, a Boston College professor who studies patterns of school failure and success. “It always seems to me that it’s rigged for parents who have the most resources.’’

Not all families have the benefit of active parent groups that organize school tours to help families vet their options, which in Boston could mean as many as 20 public school options, not including charters. Single parents, families new to the country, parents of disabled children, or families struggling with the demands of life often are unable to investigate every option.

“I can’t imagine they have time, much less the resources, to go to fairs and all these things,’’ Dudley-Marling said. Instead, they, like most people, default to what they have heard within their circle of influence.

...


Boston is seeking to overhaul its school assignment process, but city officials are adamant that parents will always have some degree of choice. “The question,’’ said Superintendent Carol R. Johnson, “is how much choice is enough and what are the . . . choices parents have?’’ 

 
R_P
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Posted: Mar 27, 2017 - 8:37pm

The racial formula was a condition imposed by court decisions dealing with desegregation in the 1970s.
Being unexpectedly on the receiving end of discrimination opens eyes and mouths...
haresfur
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Posted: Mar 27, 2017 - 8:34pm

 kurtster wrote:

How would that work ?  Seriously.  A brand new approach I've never heard before.

 
Base it on the census.
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Posted: Mar 27, 2017 - 8:23pm

 haresfur wrote:

Note this is in response to a court order addressing the lack of resources for predominantly black schools. So the obvious solution is to provide enough funding for everyone, rather than cutting to a win-lose level.

If the school board was smart, they would encourage busing white students to schools where they are putting more funding and to bus black students to the white schools to balance the demographics. Maybe at some point they could change it so the funding is based on parental education levels rather than race.

 
How would that work ?  Seriously.  A brand new approach I've never heard before.
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Posted: Mar 27, 2017 - 8:16pm

 miamizsun wrote:

NoHo school budget cuts due to high white student percentage sparks outrage

Outrage has grown at Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, as the school faces layoffs and increased class sizes due to a law limiting funds for schools with a higher white student body.

The Los Angeles Unified School District provides more funding for schools where the white population is below 30 percent.

 

"Thankfully we're going to keep our librarian. We're going to keep our nurse, but we may lose a few teachers, but not as many as we once thought," said Sheila Edmiston, one student's parent.

Several jobs will still be lost and class sizes could grow. For many parents, the race-based reason of "too many white students" has made the cuts more difficult to swallow.



 
Note this is in response to a court order addressing the lack of resources for predominantly black schools. So the obvious solution is to provide enough funding for everyone, rather than cutting to a win-lose level.

If the school board was smart, they would encourage busing white students to schools where they are putting more funding and to bus black students to the white schools to balance the demographics. Maybe at some point they could change it so the funding is based on parental education levels rather than race.
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Posted: Mar 27, 2017 - 7:39pm

 miamizsun wrote:

NoHo school budget cuts due to high white student percentage sparks outrage

Outrage has grown at Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, as the school faces layoffs and increased class sizes due to a law limiting funds for schools with a higher white student body.

The Los Angeles Unified School District provides more funding for schools where the white population is below 30 percent.

 

"Thankfully we're going to keep our librarian. We're going to keep our nurse, but we may lose a few teachers, but not as many as we once thought," said Sheila Edmiston, one student's parent.

Several jobs will still be lost and class sizes could grow. For many parents, the race-based reason of "too many white students" has made the cuts more difficult to swallow.



 
They'll have to put all the white people on boats and ship them back east where they came from ....
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Posted: Mar 27, 2017 - 7:14pm

NoHo school budget cuts due to high white student percentage sparks outrage

Outrage has grown at Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, as the school faces layoffs and increased class sizes due to a law limiting funds for schools with a higher white student body.

The Los Angeles Unified School District provides more funding for schools where the white population is below 30 percent.

 

"Thankfully we're going to keep our librarian. We're going to keep our nurse, but we may lose a few teachers, but not as many as we once thought," said Sheila Edmiston, one student's parent.

Several jobs will still be lost and class sizes could grow. For many parents, the race-based reason of "too many white students" has made the cuts more difficult to swallow.


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Posted: Mar 18, 2016 - 2:56pm

Recalling an Era When the Color of Your Skin Meant You Paid to Vote
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of a ruling that made the poll tax unconstitutional

In January 1955 in Hardin County, Texas, Leo Carr had to pay $1.50 to vote. That receipt for Carr's "poll tax" now resides in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. In today’s dollars, Carr paid roughly $13.

“It’s a day’s wages,” explains William Pretzer, the museum’s senior history curator. “You’re asking someone to pay a day’s wages in order to be able to vote.”

Pretzer says the museum accepted the donation of the receipt from Carr’s family as a vivid and a significant example of the way that voting rights were denied to African Americans. Poll taxes, quite simply a tax to pay to vote, were enacted in the post-reconstruction era from the late 19th to the very early 20th century. But they remained in effect until the 1960s. (...)


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