Black at Boston Latin School: 'And when slavery comes up, they all turn to you'

#BlackAtBls 2016

Black students at Boston Latin School have started a campaign against the racism they say persists at the nation's oldest public school.

In a YouTube video, organizers Kylie Webster Cazeau and Meggie Noel pointed to examples that range from the annoying to the infuriating - and urge other students to post examples under the hashtag #blackatbls:

"When you're the only black student in your AP US history course and when slavery comes up, they all turn to you," Cazeau says. She continues that when she collected "racial slurs and negative things about students of color" tweeted by white BLS students and printed them out and gave that to BLS Headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta, she did "nothing about it."

Responding - on Twitter - to the campaign, Mooney Teta writes:

Thank you #BLACKatBLS for bringing your concerns forward. Eager to work together to create a better BLS climate for all.

Some other examples cited by students on Twitter:

That one time I had to do in house suspension for cutting school because a Teacher saw a black girl exiting the bldg #ItWasntMe

"Can you come to Westie to work on the group project cause my mom said I'm not allowed in Dorchester"

"I don't know how to describe you, you speak too white to be ghetto"

When your people's history is completely disregarded

when people tell you you'll get into college only because you're black

when your teacher calls you the name of three different black girls in the grade cause y'all "look exactly alike"

When your peers are shocked at your success because they've let stereotypes define our degree of intelligence

When POC are the majority at every other BPS high school except for the one with the most opportunity

When you can't even have a hashtag voicing your experiences without white people somehow taking offense

Neighborhoods: 

Free tagging: 

Comments

So are you suggesting that as

By on

So are you suggesting that as a white person I have done something wrong? And all other white people have done something wrong? What's your point of this article Adam?

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Yeah, it's always about white people

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Just like women complaining about stuff is always about all men.

Nobody's blaming you personally, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, and nobody's asking you to do anything. But maybe if you'd turn off your Insta-Whine for a moment and actually listen to what these kids are saying, you'd realize that life's not all peaches and cream even at BLS, and that members of a particular group (in this case, black students) might actually have to deal with stuff that you never do.

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I would just like to see you

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I would just like to see you being a little less irresponsible in the sense of falsely accusing people of not caring about any other race than white. That is dangerous and not acceptable.

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Thin skinned much? Dangerous, really?

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I'm no South End millennial looking to get drunk at a wine tasting and run down to Roxbury and start a race riot, please.

Where did I accuse somebody of anything and get all tough and dangerous? I was answering questions from somebody who seems to think that writing about a group of black kids complaining about something was akin to inciting violence.

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"I was answering questions

"I was answering questions from somebody who seems to think that writing about a group of black kids complaining about something was akin to inciting violence."

Where did that happen?

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Right there

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Where did that happen?

Right in Adam's comment. This is the asinine strawman question he was answering.

So are you suggesting that as a white person I have done something wrong? And all other white people have done something wrong? What's your point of this article Adam?

If the words in Adam's response are too hard for you, then perhaps "Of course not" and "Read it without a chip on your shoulder and it's obvious" will have to do for you.

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Um, not getting that at all from Adam, Anon...

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The young people have valid points. Racism is still present in many forms in our society (even if folks like you love to deflect that fact). And apparently at Boston Latin there appears to be an unfortunate issue.

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Really?

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Really? White and/or Asian students say that people say to them that they'll get into college only because they're white and/or Asian? Or maybe that they speak too black to be white and/or Asian?

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I went to a BPS HS

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And was given crap routinely for being white. Less the kids i associated with, my name and every other white kids name was "white boy."

I was always treated unfairly by teachers of color, except for two who i still see in Rozie Sq every now and then. Two of the nicest women i have ever meet!

I'v heard people ask Asian students if they eat dog. So ya it does happen, and its far from uncommon.

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BPL?

What's going on at the library? And what does that have to do with BLS?

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Typo

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Corrected.

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Nothing negated

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I don’t think the above post was meant to negate anything. Rather it was to point out that anyone can be the recipient of racist, disrespectful treatment. Everyone needs to be aware of how they treat others and be respectful. Of course, we all know that. And it doesn’t lessen anything that happens at BLS.

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It's called white privilege

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You know, the system is stacked to get white kids into college while the system is stacked to get black kids into jail. As far as Asians go, well, they are naturally smart, right? The statements are as untrue as saying that someone attending the most academically challenging school in the city somehow got into a college "because they are black."

I'm sure one of the points the guy meant was the "they all turn to you" comment.

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The people of color argument had to be modified

when activists realized that Asians were outperforming everyone. Now its address the needs of people of color EXCEPT Asians. As Hispanic students outnumber Black students will we see antagonism towards Hispanic progression?

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Ummm, no.

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Ummm, no.

I went to English High in the 80's (after leaving BLS - and no it wasn't b/c I couldn't do the work). As a white girl I was the minority and what you are trying to say never happened. I was actually more accepted by my peers at English than I was at BLS.

Why do white people have such a hard time with admitting the absolute systematic racism that happens every day in this country?

Adam isn't doing anything dangerous. He posted an article about shit that happens to these students. What would be dangerous is if he DIDN'T post it. Conversations need to start happening people!

Maybe instead of getting your tidy whities all up in a bunch you can try to see things from a non white privilege perspective. And yes if you are white you have white privilege. Realize it, accept it, move on from getting your white feathers ruffled and maybe try & make a change.

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Sweetie

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I work for MIT (which, you might not know, has oh, a few Asian students) and some of our black students are also feeling less than.

Want to try again?

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While there may be many

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While there may be many students at MIT who are from China and India, there may not be many from say Cambodia or Laos. Please don't lump all Asians into a single category by saying: "Asian" was not considered to be an underrepresented group at MIT.
Thanks.

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And yet its OK to lump all

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And yet its OK to lump all the white and black people together? What about Ethnicity and Hispanics?

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We're not supposed to say

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We're not supposed to say "Hispanic" anymore. It's considered a bad word. You're supposed to say "Latino."

Seriously, if you submit a research paper containing the word Hispanic, then a standards committee will kick it back to you and tell you to correct your error.

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Semantics?

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Are you sure you weren't just using the wrong form? Hispanics and Latino/as are not the same. A Brazilian would be Latin but not Spanish, a Mexican would be both. And a Xicano.

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Not a bad word

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Hispanic isn't a bad word, but it isn't a very accurate descriptor and it's usage is becoming more and more outdated. So it's not so much about being PC as it is about learning how to write with a professional or journalistic standard. I wouldn't use words like Afro-American, Anglo or Oriental to describe people, even though they're not typically offensive words. Usage of those descriptors would make the writer sound like she hadn't written in a few decades. Even Caucasian turns out to be a silly nonsensical word since it has been used to describe people from so many disparate places: Irish, Turks, British, Armenians, white Americans.

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Surely the same goes for "white"?

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These monoliths are not so monolithic, as people of Boston know very well. The English, Irish, and Italian are not the same group, and those three are substantially different from Germans and Russians, Polish, etc.

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Not sure what your comment has to do with my comment.

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3.5% of MIT's current student body is black (this has been the percentage since 2004, according to the below article).

http://news.mit.edu/2015/black-student-leaders-recommendations-inclusive...

It appears, per this article, that the black student body perhaps has more concerns than our "Asian" student body (not to say that they might have a different set of issues/concerns regarding how they are treated)- that was my point, in response to the original post.

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Aaaahahahahaha

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Oh anon, you warm my heart. How dare someone have the audacity--the AUDACITY--to question your god-given right to merrily bludgeon your way through life without being told things you don't want to hear.

Anyway, I'll be back with a UHub Racism Bingo Card as soon as I can get to a non-work computer.

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Ooooh

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I would just like to see you being a little less irresponsible in the sense of falsely accusing people of not caring about any other race than white. That is dangerous and not acceptable.

"Ooooh, how grimy and sooty is your ugly ass!" said the pot to the kettle. Irresponsible? Falsely accusing people? Your post is full of both of these things.

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neighborhood tag?

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why is this post tagged "roxbury"?

you even mention dorchester in the article. I bring it up because the media has historically used "roxbury" to mean black, and I am hoping we can move forward from that.

Otherwise, I am happy to see that you made space for these students.

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Uh, really?

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I would have said that it was in the West Fens, or if you insist, in the Longwood Medical Area.

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If you say so

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I used to live in the West Fens, and I would have said that BLS was a neighborhood school. Certainly they used the park for sports practices.

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And they still do

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Clemente Field is as close as BLS gets to an official field. But it's on the other side of the river. OK, not much of a river, but still ...

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Mighty Conveyance? You've got

Mighty Conveyance? You've got that right!

Brookline Police report a woman getting into her car on Brookline Avenue near Parkway Road after work Monday night was set upon by a highwayman, who grabbed her from behind and tried to pull her in the direction of the nearby Muddy River:

"At this point, a passing motorist stopped his vehicle and attempted to assist the victim. The suspect fled towards the river and dove in and was carried downstream according to the witness."

A search by Brookline and Boston Police found no body in the raging roiling swift placid river.

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Don't use Zip codes ...

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They're a decent approximation, but most of lower Roxbury is 02118 - and that's not the only variance in the city.

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If Sarah P. WESSMANN, p.p.a.

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If Sarah P. WESSMANN, p.p.a. Henry Robert Wessmann, Plaintiff, Appellant, v. Robert P. GITTENS, Chairperson of the Boston School Committee, et al., Defendants, Appellees. was in place back in 1992 I might have been admitted to BLS. I was denied because I was white.

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Why would you have gotten in?

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On what grounds would you have been admitted now that excluded you then? Did you outperform other students who were admitted on the exam (and were the exam -- and race, as you claim -- the only criteria for admission)? Or were you a non-Boston resident, product of private or suburban schools, who (after eight years of superior educational advantages) wanted admission to a Boston public school?

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My brother didn't get in and

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My brother didn't get in and I did. You know what he didn't do? Blame a person of color.

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This article is about "When

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This article is about "When you're the only black student in your AP US history course and when slavery comes up, they all turn to you," yet it's the parent post that's "whining." Riiiight.

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So are you suggesting that as

So are you suggesting that as a white person I have done something wrong? And all other white people have done something wrong?

Not at all. But one thing you (as a white person) could do, that would be really, really helpful, would be to assemble a list of what things black kids are allowed to be offended by. I'm sure you're up to it.

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The point of this article is

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The point of this article is draw attention to a very important issue that is often overlooked in our school community. It's important to understand we are not "blaming" white people. Our goal isn't to make people feel guilty. Our goal is to educate, inform and make change. What we wish is to be acknowledged and respected in our communities, in school and out.

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I guess I'm getting old

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I just can't take anything seriously when it's accompanied by a #

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"Looks like I picked the

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"Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue!"

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I guess I'm getting old too, because

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I get annoyed when people use "old" to imply "fuddy duddy stick in the mud refusing to acknowledge anything invented after they got their first gray hair" *especially when it appears calculated to be dismissive of an underrepresented group's message*

I'm old too. Other old people may remember a time not that long ago when previous curmudgeons were lamenting how they couldn't take anything seriously if it was reported on a computer screen :) And yet, here we all are, commenting on a web based news site. (And before that monks were complaining about printing presses, and before that Socrates was complaining about the popularity of writing.)

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Why do older folks on this

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Why do older folks on this site so proudly broadcast their refusal to accept present and future social technologies, especially when said technology is tied to teenagers aka the future of our world?

These students are using a technology that is tied to our socio-global networks, which allow them to easily share with a broader base how the atmosphere in their school negatively affects them. That hashtag will also allow for their classmates and alumni to chime in with their own experiences at BLS. Yet, you think that it's funny to dismiss this fact, announce about how narrow-minded you are because you think their message shouldn't be taken seriously because of a hashtag, all while throwing in an unspoken, 'Kids these days!'

KiK and Yik-Yak is slightly ahead for me as they are for the HS and current college crowd, but I don't find cause to dismiss it because it doesn't disseminate information the way I've always been taught to (which is changing every day).

That closed-off way of thinking doesn't look favorably on you.

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Yes, but ...

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Since you seem to have ready access to the stats, compare the number of black (and Hispanic) kids at BLS with the numbers in the rest of BPS.

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Statistics are a funny thing

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Compared to BPS as a whole, yes, Latin is whiter, but compare Latin to the average for high schools across the Commonwealth and it is very diverse.

That said, the movement has nothing to do with being a "minority" at Latin. It has to do with being black, which is a bit different than being Asian at Latin. Sure, send these kids to Concord-Carlisle and they will get this shit, but all their classmates are Bostonians, so we should be doing a better job in getting along.

I'm usually thin skinned to cries to racism, but their gripes seem reasonable.

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Maybe

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but all's I know is that back in the day, lily-white me in a lily-white suburban high school got detention for something I didn't do that had more to do with the teacher being an ass than with racism.

Maybe Boston has equal opportunity asses, too?

I also remember the whole class turning to me when Soviet Russia came up in history class, and I don't recall being nearly as worked up about it as this young woman seems to be.

Maybe it's just instinct and the class didn't mean anything nasty by it?

Or it's Racism!(TM), the one, the only, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

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Are you saying

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A multiple choice exam is racist?

Whats racist the multiple choice format or the Scantron? I bet its those racist Scantrons.

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Nope

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I'm not saying the ISEE is racist, as opposed to past standardized tests.

I am saying that BLS is whiter and, um, East Asianer than BPS as a whole, by a significant margin. And I will say there are reasons for that that go beyond a simple standardized test.

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So are you saying East Asian

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So are you saying East Asian students and their parents are racists? I don't understand. What are you implying, but not saying? I went to a public school which didn't even offer AP classes let alone have the money to always heat the building in the winter, so I'm not acquainted with elite exam school
speak.

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You're not really that dense, are you?

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No, I'm not saying East Asian parents are any more racist than the white parents with kids at BLS. That doesn't negate the issue of that there are fewer blacks and Hispanics at BLS than at other BPS schools. The reasons behind that statistic are many and longstanding and obviously not easily fixed, but just ignoring them doesn't make them go away or absolve us (excluding, of course, many of the anons here who obviously don't care) from wondering if something could be done about them.

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not again...

Before you post again, anon, look here so you don't write something stupid.

So are you saying East Asian students and their parents are racists?

IMAGE(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1623/24141410869_81e47309f8_z.jpg)on Flickr

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No doubt.

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And yet I wish that these young women, with their tremendous energy and intelligence, were tackling broader issues of why that is rather than just carp about this or that slight. Trust me--I have years of BLS stories about racial and ethnic issues, from grouchy old white teachers and cosseted Westie kids not wanting to go to xyz, not to mention threats and fights and name-calling between Southie kids and black kids, bullying of Jewish kids...honestly it goes on and on. But I guess I'd rather see more people figure out how we get BLS to look more like the rest of the BPS. I've written here before about my kid's incredibly diverse elementary classes which then split in 4th grade--most white kids, Asian kids, many new immigrant kids of all shades, went to AWC, while the "regular Ed" classes were majority American-born black kids and Hispanic kids. The black and Hispanic kids who were in AWC faced innumerable hurdles in my observation, from parental and economic issues but also with a lot of negative peer pressure along the "you think you're white" variety. And those classes--private and parochial schools aside--are the main feeder for the exam schools. I just wish that we could start tackling this split then, when kids are eight, not eighteen.

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Rewind, reverse that

I guess I'd rather see more people figure out how we get the rest of BPS to look more like BLS.

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I think you are missing the point, Sally.

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Yes, all well and good. But these students have specific and apparently documented concerns. And what is more broader (as well as important) that tackling the issue of racism in any way, shape or form? I applaud them at such a young age to do so. And if the headmaster "poo-pooed" their concerns, than shame on her.

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How on earth do you start monitoring Twitter?

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I'm all for addressing current issues at the school but I honestly can't imagine that BLS administrators have the wherewithal to get involved with student scraps on Twitter unless there are actual threats or really egregious examples of racist language or behavior. And sorry, but how do you start tackling issues of racism at the school if the incidents are on the scale of "everyone looks at you" when slavery is discussed? Call me crazy--I'm still more bothered by the notion that there's only one black student in the AP History class.

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Not to mention

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How does the school prove a student is the author of a specific twitter account. I could start @SallyonUhub and say all kinds of nasty things.

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not as hard as you may think

Most students aren't on snapchat, twitter, et cetera, anonymously. They may have a pseudonym-- as I do-- but that's different from actual anonymity. For example, BLS Wolfpack has fewer than 500 followers on twitter. If 20 people who know each other are tweeting or tagging during a game all of them are attending, they'll figure out who's who.

Making this all easier is that most of the students I know incorporate their name or a distinctive identifying feature into their handle.

Yes, people can start anon accounts to troll, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

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What are the total city stats though?

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How do the demographics of the general Boston population of high school kids compare to BLS and BPS? I have always assumed the percentage of white kids is less than at BLS but higher of course than BPS as there is a lot of parochial/private school opt out by white middle class families. But is that true?

BTW, this is not to say these black kids aren't right to bring up their issues with the school. I just hate the zero sum approach of some people that because lots of white families opt out of BPS k-8 that means it's problematic that they opt into exam schools.

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Close

The demographics of the exam schools are much closer to those of the city as a whole.

It's the other schools that fail to represent the city demographics.

The problem isn't at BLS. Trying to make it equally broken as the rest of the system is a fool's errand.

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This is the hashtag generation.

With education and some life experience where will you be and what will you do to give back in 10 years? The city will need you and you will have a lot to offer. By then you'll be cringing at your hash tag phase because your parents will be on twitter.

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By then...

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By then you'll be cringing at your hash tag phase because your parents will be on twitter.

By then no one will be using Twitter except crotchety old farts like you.

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It's okay not to understand.

Saying this:

By then you'll be cringing at your hash tag phase

Just demonstrates that you profoundly misunderstand how hashtags can be used on social media.

I'll let CUNY journalism professor Jeff Jarvis explain:

A hashtag is open and profoundly democratic. People gather around a hashtag. They salute it and spread it or ignore it and let it wither. They imbue it with their own meaning. The creator quickly and inevitably loses control of it. [...] Hashtags allow us to gather around topics, events, and actions across platforms. Hashtags are in our control.

Rather than relying on the Boston Globe (or even our humble Universal Hub) to report on their concerns, these students are able to use a hashtag to organize around a topic and get recognition for what they see as an overlooked problem.

Dismissing hashtags as a youthful phase ignores the extreme democratization of media and the voice that social platforms like Twitter and Facebook have given people around the world. From #blacklivesmatter to #egypt and #jan25, the past few years have proved that the hashtag can do anything from changing traditional media narratives to sparking revolutions.

(edited: typos)

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#stupid

Your self absorbed generation can't see the World around them because they are staring at an oxymoron device called a smartphone. Citing a CUNY professor is supposed to bring weight to your argument? Those that can do those that can't teach journalism at CUNY.

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By the way...

My self absorbed generation is mostly made up of parents and teachers of the generation currently in high school. I'll be sure to keep off your lawn, though, old man.

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Huh.

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You're not making it easy to pick a side in the great "Is bulgingbuick a collective piece of performance art by the Berkeley Theater Department, or is he is he an unhinged white guy in Weston?" debate this week.

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I feel sorry for this student

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I feel sorry for this student. However, I feel more sorry for BPS students who suffer stereotyping, whether it be based on skin color, religion, sexual orientation, etc., and they are at a school which is severely underfunded, they have to deal with daily violence in the classroom and are not getting a top-notch education. Stereotyping benefits no one and it works both ways.

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It works both ways? Really?

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it works both ways

I think you meant to say, "All people stereotype others." That's true, but not all stereotypes are equally powerful or damaging. There's an essay floating around out there that makes this point with four men applying for the same job: one black, one Mexican-American, one Arab-American and one white. The black guy is stereotyped as lazy/incompetent, the Mexican-American is stereotyped as an illegal immigrant, the Arab-American is stereotyped as a terrorist, and the white guy is stereotyped as liking football. It's pretty hard to find any stereotypes that are widely applied to white people as a group, and it's even harder to find a stereotype of white people as such that's damaging or limiting to them or their lives and opportunities.

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Kids of ALL races and ALL

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Kids of ALL races and ALL backgrounds are committing acts of racism and stereotyping and are being subjected to acts of racism and stereotyping. Do you disagree? What, when Latino kids or Arab kids are subjected to stereotyping by Black or White kids it doesn't count because they're not Black? That makes NO sense. We're talking about kids here. Do Asian kids not get to have a say because it's assumed they are smart? That makes no damn sense. Would you say that Black kids who get made fun of by other Black kids becuase they have mixed race parents aren't being subjected to a form of racism because it's Black on Black stereotyping? Who are YOU to judge? Give kids a chance to grow up before you make so many iron-clad judgements against them! It's already hard enough growing up in a city!

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White privilege

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The idea of white privilege, or whites getting ahead simply based on their skin color and not actually having to apply themselves, applies to whites as a group. It may not be inherently as damaging as the others described but it still exists and casts a broad brush that whites will get what they want every time and use no intelligence or experience to get ahead.

The same brush is used when saying blacks only get into college because they are black.

Why is one ok and not the other? (Right, neither are)

So yes, it works both ways.

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The difference is ...

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White privilege exists, while blacks, even with affirmative action, as a group do not really gain any benefits simply from the color of their skin.

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Sorry bud

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Despite white your bleeding heart is telling you, it's actually quite the opposite. Only one of the two equally qualified candidates can sue for being turned down for a job, and it sure as hell isn't the white one.

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Too funy

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That's one case that's going to be laughed out of the court, against countless millions of claims that "we didn't get the job," "we didn't get promoted," "we were fired" because, well, you know.

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leaving aside the actual message and substance of your words.

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lets look at the math you just dropped on us, the reader. So the demographic ratio of plaintiffs in employment related lawsuits is 1(who is going to be laughed out of court) white human being to millions (others suing because of well "you know"). So 1: 1000000, I know you said countless millions because you added a slight layer of anecdotal feeling to your rock solid base numbers so I figured I'd stick to 1 million other.

So in a country of just about 320 million people , where about 198 million of them are white. Your gut tells you and you just KNOW that the ratio of employment lawsuits filed by white people vs the nebulous other is at least 1:1000000? That's the common sense truth you are espousing?
I know i'm using general population numbers here but I have some anecdotal not scientific data ( you might call it GUINTUITION, or GUT + INTUITION. Though I have a suspicion mine might differ from yours. I work in Finance, i manage discovery for litigation. The demographics of HR lawsuits is about 99.999999 white to .00000001 other. I only have personal knowledge of a few thousand lawsuits so it'll take more research to prove what anon(unverified) and everyone else already knows.

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While you are entitled to

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While you are entitled to feel that white privilege exists, I wholeheartedly disagree, and to rebut your statement, affirmative action is exactly how blacks and other groups gain benefits based on their skin color.

Excluding one race in favor of another is wrong, no matter what fancy term you use to describe it or what justification you use to make it seem right.

If I remember correctly, everyone takes the same exam to get in, as I did many years ago. I don't remember checking the box that said "white privilege" and moving to the head of the line. I do however, remember having classmates of all different races who were intelligent, gained entrance based on their merit, and had a ton of great things to add to our class.

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What about

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The stereotype that "white people" (I found it a bit racist that you lumped all of those with white skin as the same "ethnicity") are more racist than others. What would happen if those 4 people applied for a job at a black-owned business? A Mexican-american owned?

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BOB and a lot of POC-Owned

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BOB and a lot of POC-Owned Business are in parts of towns you hardly step foot in, besides being a thing that I'm sure you've never walked into and said this must be a BOB. There's not enough BOB's to make that a valid example.

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(I found it a bit racist that

(I found it a bit racist that you lumped all of those with white skin as the same "ethnicity")

Whoa. I can see how upsetting that must have been. You better go have a lie-down. Good for you for being strong enough to talk about it.

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Well,

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I really would have appreciated a trigger warning, but I think I'm going to be ok. Made it to my safe space just in time.

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Just found a widely held example for you.....

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The entire attempt to create a phenomenon of "White Privilege" is stereotyping. While I agree that overall, there are more societal benefits which accrue to many white people merely due to their color, I also recognize that there are tens of millions of multigenerationally poor and undereducated whites who don't feel very privileged. ( And lots of them are supporting Trump and Cruz). And just because you say they are privileged doesn't make it so.

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Do you know that it's not true?

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"all" is a big generalization

If all the non-black students in a class do, in fact, turn to you whenever anything pertaining to black people/history/whatever is raised, is it still a generalization? Of any size?

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When POC are the majority at

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When POC are the majority at every other BPS high school except for the one with the most opportunity

Isn't it still an exam school? Sheesh!

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Sort of

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It is an exam school that rich white private-school-educated suburbanites can buy or bully their way into with lawsuits from their lawyer daddies.

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Oh, so you don't know anything about BLS

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Yes, there was that one case, years ago. Plenty of regular kids there whose parents aren't lawyers and who didn't send their kids to private school. Hard to believe, but there are parents who believe in public education, to the point of trying to put up with all the barriers BPS puys in their way to get that for their kids.

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Adam you've written and voiced

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Your displeasure with BOSTON residents who send their kids to say Holy Name vs The Irving and then send their kids to exam schools.

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Sort of

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I admit, as a BPS parent from the start (even back to pre-K if you count a program that, while not part of BPS was located in a BPS school) it's a bit annoying that kids who did not go through BPS suddenly get to try to cherry pick the best school in the city. But in the end, it's their right as Boston residents, and yes, their parents pay taxes to support that school and all - as opposed to those kids we hear about every so often who suddenly become Boston "residents" thanks to an aunt or a rich parent who rents an apartment so they can apply to and go to an exam school even as they really continue to live in some surbur.

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You do know that some

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You do know that some families do not get into a BPS school and have no choice to send their kids to a private/parochial school, right?

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Prove it

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Please show a single example of a kid who really, truly was not placed in any BPS school and was forced to go into a private/religious school. Not a kid whose parents didn't like where he was assigned, but a kid who actually got a letter saying "Nope, no room at the schools for you."

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You see Adam, since your kids

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You see Adam, since your kids are white, and if they scored high enough to get into Boston Latin then it is not due to merit, but white privilege. This is BS. Not all kids who are white or Asian are privileged, as a matter of fact, most are not.

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I'm not concerned for you or

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I'm not concerned for you or your kids, just voicing support for students who bust their ass to get into good schools.

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Like my daughter

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No private school in her past, she didn't even take one of those prep courses that are all the rage in some neighborhoods.

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You just proved my point.

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You just proved my point. Stop apologizing for your kids or any other parents' kids who work extremely hard to excel and get into Boston Latin. Not all kids who get in do so because of privilege: ethnic or financial.

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I was not privileged in the

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I was not privileged in the sense of $ or a strong family growing up but I was white which means I was and still am privileged. Not as much as a white male but still privileged due to my skin color. And if you are white so are you.

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Reminds me of a joke from the old country

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At the end of the cold war, a Russian Jew calls up the headquarters of the newly-reconstituted Russian nationalist party, and asks, "is it true that we Jews sold out Mother Russia?"

"Damn right you hook-nosed scum!" comes the reply.

"Oh good," says the Jew. "Where do I pick up my share?"

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Oh relax, Adam

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I know plenty of "regular kids" who went to Latin. I just have an intense dislike for the nose of that particular elephant, if you get my meaning. I think that an exam school that's part of the Boston public school system should be reserved for products of that same system, not for suburbanites. I don't really care if it's "that one case"; I am firmly opposed to the principle that forms the basis for the decision in "that one case".

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Do you know what that one case was about?

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Suburbanites had nothing to do with it, so let's not get angry about them. It was a white parent from Hyde Park who sued when his daughter didn't get into BLS. He won.

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Following this argument about alleged white suburbanites

attending BLS and bumping BPS products from seat access I'd like to know if either of these young ladies took advantage of suburban schools through METCO and how many of this group of BLS students attended suburban schools through the METCO program. I believe it would help clarify lbb's point on the negative effect of a kid coming in from Concord Carlyle to bump a kid coming from the Lee, King or McCormick schools.

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I'd love to hear about all of

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I'd love to hear about all of those suburbanites whose parents sued and won them a spot at BLS (or BLA). Any statistics to back that up? If anything, there are plenty of kids who grew up in Boston, but did not attend BPS until they were were able to take exams to attend BLS/BLA.

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Really? Kids from parents

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Really? Kids from parents right off the boat that have experience with a pick and shovel, get to live in the suburbs first and get a private ( do you really mean Parochial ) education if they are white? They dont have to live in cold water flats and endure? You don't know what you are talking about one bit. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cant fool all of the people all of the time.

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Reading comprehension, it's your friend!

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Really? Kids from parents right off the boat that have experience with a pick and shovel, get to live in the suburbs first and get a private ( do you really mean Parochial ) education if they are white?

Uh, no, son. Who said that? Show me.

You don't know what you are talking about one bit.

Oh my. Physician, heal thyself.

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Can you ever resist

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Posting crap about stuff that you clearly know nothing about? Honestly. This. just. isn't. true. It's like some weird part of your own personal mythology about a school you are completely ignorant of. And the irony that you're posting this from a lily white suburb or ex-urb is not lost on us.

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Us?

Are you the UHub Blog arbiter?

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Royal we.

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But sure--I'll arbite. I think enough Uhub readers are familiar enough with the players and topics here to know what I'm talking about.

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An earlier BLS era

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I must have gone to BLS in some sort of golden age or something. Early 70s, pre-busing. Not only did it seem more integrated than other Boston schools at the time which were overwhelmingly white or overwhelmingly black, but I don't recall race ever being an issue. I couldn't stand the place, but none of that had anything to do with race. Perhaps things got more sensitive with the advent of busing and escalated from there. Though BLS, as a test school, wasn't directly affected by busing. I was there during the all boys era and the beginning of the co-ed era, so I saw both sides of that situation as well.

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political correctness

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The school is EXTREMELY POLITICALLY CORRECT

These students are extremely sensitive

I am a graduate of BLS

The school is a meritocracy where you get treatest based on how hard you work, not your race

It is time to give up POLITICAL CORRECTNESS for all of our sake.

The administration should not bow down to the altar of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act- George Orwell

Thank you

'14

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Truth?

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As a BLS parent, I am very grateful this is not your father's BLS. Yes, it's a tough place, but it's no longer a mini "Paper Chase" run by some John Houseman wannabe where kids sink or swim, and I find it cool that these kids see a problem and are trying to do something about it, rather than just keeping their heads down and graduating as some (very intelligent, yes) cogs.

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I, too, and a graduate of BLS

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I, too, and a graduate of BLS ('94). I expect better logic and reasoning from a fellow alum, even if they are *ahem*...much younger. This comment makes me wonder what they're teaching you over there now...The population of black students at BLS has dropped by more than half since the admission process was changed in 1997. Perhaps they feel underrepresented and less supported when they look around and see less kids who look like them. Institutional racism throughout the BPS system has funneled white kids into the exam schools at a much higher rate, whether it's by sorting kids into AWCs (primarily white) or allowing kids from private schools to take the tests (mostly white and well-prepared).It doesn't help that BLS has an undercurrent of "sink or swim" that can keep less-prepared kids from succeeding. In Boston, the black population makes up a large percentage of the low-income population. Lower income is correlated with lower academic success. Meaning, in BPS, black students are likely less prepared for academic success, less likely to be channeled into advanced classes, and less likely to make it into an exam school. Once they do make it in, they are surrounded by a school population that looks nothing like them. Incidents like the ones the students are complaining of may happen everywhere, but these kids probably feel somewhat isolated and ignored. Political correctness is not the opposite of racism. If the incidents these students are mentioning are true, it's a problem. It sounds like the school has tried to address some of the issues by being a more supportive environment, but they have also ignored some direct complaints from students. You may feel that asking for a school to address incidents of racism is too politically correct, but perhaps it would help for you to understand the history of the school you attended, and the much larger issues associated with the BPS system in general before you make that assumption.

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Did they really say racial epithets are okay?

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I just watched their video, and there is one thing they said that they should really have thought twice before putting in there.

Are they really griping about students getting reprimanded for using a racial epithet in the hallways between classes? That's what I heard.

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No

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They are griping about students using a racial epithet in the hallways between classes "without fear of being reprimanded". So, the opposite of what you heard.

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So, they want a school

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Where the "n-word" is used freely in the hallways?

That's the way I heard it.

Of course, if I heard it wrong, or maybe I heard it right but the tone was off for me, in which case, nevermind. That said, I won't be able to check it until later.

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They want a school where the

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They want a school where the N-Word is not used freely in the hallways. They're saying students use the word against people without worrying about getting in trouble.

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Upon further review

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Aldos is right, I was wrong, which honestly is a very good thing. They in fact are totally uncool with what I thought they were cool with.

Overall, they are trying to start a conversation that should be happening. Of course, it might not necessarily be the conversation they want, but hopefully it will get all of us closer to the place we should be at.

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My half-sister attends there.

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My half-sister attends there. There's absolutely no blatant racism. It's always hindering when these kids start watching MSNBC and suddenly want to antagonize something that isn't there. BLS is a melting pot and amazing school.

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The type of racism found in

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The type of racism found in schools, and really in any sort of public place, is in micro aggressions. The examples that these students have provided are exactly that.

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Hmm, the student's allegations

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are pretty blatant to me. Some indeed might be mico aggressions but these cited seem pretty clear to me. I can't agree that with your comment "the type of racism found in schools, and really in any sort of public place, is in micro aggressions."

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But would your half-sister know?

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Is your half-sister black? If not, is it possible she's missing some information on how black students at BLS are treated?

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Don't you know?

White people are the only reliable arbiters of what's racist anymore (i.e. nothing, except calling white people racist, which is the most racist thing of all).

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We're Dominicans, yes. I

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We're Dominicans, yes. I attended an exam school and everybody was completely aware of everyone's cultures. It's an issue with minority parents and how they raise their kids and how it correlates to their performance in class. Hell, most of my white friends did good since their parents raised them during wedlock and responsibly.

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Wait...

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One of the higher ups at work sometimes refers to me by the name of a fellow yuppie employee due to our similar appearances … should I be contacting HR?

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"When slavery comes up, they all turn to you"

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a) "When you're the only black student in your US AP history course and when slavery comes up, they all turn to you," Cazeau says.

b) "When your people's history is completely disregarded."
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I find many of the grievances raised bizarre and contradictory. If slavery is being discussed, how is "your people's history" being ignored? I would also find it highly unusual during a group discussion, if a student with knowledge and passion for a certain topic wasn't turned to for their perspective. If I were the only Irish-American in a class and the topic was an Gorta Mór (the Great Famine 1845-1850), I would consider it normal for the class to look to me and an honor to be able to educate them about it. It seems in the BLS case, it's damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Regarding the student whose mother won't allow travel to Dorchester, perhaps she is just following the advice of the Japanese consulate.

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If slavery is being discussed

If slavery is being discussed, how is "your people's history" being ignored?

It may astonish you to learn that there is more to black history than slavery. You're welcome.

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Have you ever been in the minority in school?

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Like were you ever really the only Irish-American in your class?

When you are the only, or one of the few members of your group, other people sometimes do treat you like you are the entire race or religion or whatever and need to answer for or explain everything.

It's not the greatest offense in the world - I'm more interested in the supposed brushoff the headmaster gave the student with the folder full of racist tweets - but it does get a little wearying. I got that one because for two years during middle school we lived in a small town where Jews were just a tiny minority and the chai I wore made my religion pretty obvious (and that sort of thing was the least of it, but that's another story).

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I got called out as a Jew

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several times at BLS, mostly by black kids. I don't know why--I'm not Jewish but I probably looked Jewish-ish and was pretty much an uber-nerd--and it was never really aggressive but still...quietly menacing. This was back in the early 80s and it was a tougher school overall, I'd say. I certainly wasn't clued into why there would be any distrust or animosity between blacks and Jews--I'm still not totally sure what that was about. But racial/ethnic and neighborhood friction was definitely taken more for granted then.

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Clues

Some say there's a Secret Relationship...

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When I was in school, I was

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When I was in school, I was often the only Catholic in class, so I was called up to explain, for example, the Pope. And being good fundamentalist Christians, they wanted to hear the Biblical rationale (which most Catholics are pretty bad at providing). I certainly felt forced to defend my faith against skeptical eyes.

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the study of history may be enrich present understanding

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Since BLS is very academically focused, it is quite likely that black students with some greater depth of knowledge than most high school students, would be aware of the Nation of Islam Research Dept. book from perhaps 25 years ago titled "THE SECRET RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BLACKS AND JEWS". There are some excellent lectures by Black History Professor, scholar, "Tony Martin" who has since retired after many years in the Black History Dept. at nearby Wellesley College. I believe his lectures, of which there are only a few, on YouTube are enormously interesting and informative for anyone with an interest in American history. Also, there is online and on his website a substantial article by Dr. Kevin B. MacDonald, a now retired professor of Evolutionary Psychology,on the history of the US Immigration policy and law and the vying efforts to mold it since the latter quarter of the 19th cen. until 1965 when the Immigration Law and Policy was definitively changed to be an agency of anti-racism and has served to, through legal immigration policy, remold America into the [perhaps utopian] vision of a Multicultural Society. As a direct result, so-called 'White People" i.e. the white people of northern or NE Europe who settled/created the American nation and who were 90% of the population in 1965, are officially scheduled to be a minority by not later than 2042 per the US Census Bureau 2008. I wrote 'so-called' white people as there is currently an academia based meme that is pushing the notion that 'whiteness' is an invention of [post?] colonial America which is a thesis much worked out by one Theodore W. Allen of Brooklyn [see wiki page]. Though his terminology uses class struggle jargon that is not favored today, many find his work useful if re-phrased with modern Cultural Marxist terminology. One other note, teenagers are bursting with hormones and energetic youth, and the future, as the present, will be fraught with mutual adjustments of varying ethnic subgroups of America from time to time misunderstanding or annoying each other; and to make a Big Deal of teenage bad-mouthing may be a far more destructive thing than the mean spirited moments of teenage rudeness.--By the way, I went to English High School across the street back when it had an English manor house façade and oil paintings in the entrance hall of odd looking 19th century headmasters with bad hair and was boys only. It prepared students for life in the late 19th century

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I never stopped to poll the class...

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When you are the only, or one of the few members of your group, other people sometimes do treat you like you are the entire race or religion or whatever and need to answer for or explain everything.

---
Black history at BLS is never discussed but when a crucial period in black history is actually discussed at BLS, people have the audacity to look to a black student for perspective. Um, ok.

I recall a tearful TV interview with Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi whose mother was born in a Colorado concentration camp established by Democrat FDR to imprison innocent Japanese-Americans during World War II. Although I had heard of Japanese internment, the Yamaguchi interview caused me to learn more about it and realize what an atrocity it was. Rather than take offense, perhaps the African-American students could use the opportunity to educate and influence others.

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Oh, O...

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you are so good at deflecting the issue. And I believe the young students are indeed taking an opportunity to educate and influence others (and folks such as yourself).

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