We liberals don’t care about black kids: Yesterday, Salon attempted to discuss Chicago’s public schools. In a rational world, the bungling would be a scandal.
The piece was written by Natasha Lennard, "an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing." We were struck by one key word in the headline:
Mass protests hit Chicago over school closuresWe were struck by that one key word: “disproportionately.” When we checked to see how bad the disproportion might be, we were gobsmacked by Lennard’s copy:
The Chicago Teachers Union is rallying support against closures that will disproportionately affect black, Latino kids
LENNARD (3/27/13): On Wednesday Chicago will see a mass rally, led by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), to protest the planned shuttering of 54 elementary and middle schools before the next school year. Critics of the closures have pointed out that the vast majority of schools targeted (50 are on the West and South Sides of Chicago) provide for black and Latino children. While only around 40 percent of children in Chicago are black are [sic] Latino, 90 percent of children whose schools will be shuttered are black or Latino.Eighteen hours later, that typo stands uncorrected. That said, let’s try to understand what Lennard and Salon seem to have said.
Chicago is closing a bunch of schools, as we noted last Friday. According to Lennard, “90 percent of children whose schools will be shuttered are black or Latino.”
If true, that’s hardly surprising. According to the Chicago Public Schools, this was the composition of its student population just last year:
Chicago Public Schools, student population, 2011-2012According to the official data, Chicago’s student population is 86 percent black or Hispanic. But so what?
Black students: 41.6 percent
Hispanic students: 44.1 percent
White students: 8.8 percent
At Salon, Lennard seemed to say that the student population was 40 percent black or Hispanic. Plainly, she was concerned because 90 percent of affected students would be black or Hispanic.
Granted, it’s hard to know what Lennard meant because of the typo which stands uncorrected. But if 90 percent of affected students are black or Hispanic, that is right in line with the overall student population.
Meanwhile, Lennard seemed to think that the student population was only 40 percent black or Hispanic. What kind of contemporary journalist could believe something like that?
One, a journalist who doesn’t know—or care—about children in urban schools. Two, a journalist from the New York Times!
(On March 15, Katharine Seelye authored a very similar groaner while writing about Boston’s schools. To review our report, just click here.)
If we lived in a dimly rational world, work of this type would be seen as a scandal. But we don’t live in that world.
Two points concerning Salon:
Lennard’s piece was posted yesterday afternoon, a bit before 5 PM Eastern. As of 11 this morning, it has generated eleven comments.
As we’ve often told you, we pseudo-liberals manifestly don’t care about urban schools or the kids who attend them. Try to remember this when you see Salon’s fiery readers conducting the endless flame wars in which they hunt down all the racists.
Second point: Salon has degenerated into an open joke. We’ll assume the site must be in financial trouble. But endlessly, it now pursues the dumbest possible readers with the most ridiculous possible work.
If you're concerned about farting in bed, please review Salon's recent work.
When Salon does try to cover the news, it churns out work of this type—work which makes no earthly sense. In fairness, the New York Times can match them howler for howler.
Who could have thought that Chicago’s public schools were 40 percent black or Hispanic? Answer:
Salon was able to think such a thing. Two weeks ago, the New York Times thought the same thing about Boston!