Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Pure Science of Segregation

Copyright 1959, by D.C. Heath and Company

These illustrations are from the book, "Science for Work and Play" by Herman and Nina Schneider. The book was part of the California State Series and published by the California State Department of Education, Sacramento, 1959. The illustrators are Cheslie D'Andrea, Malcom Harvey, and Marguerite Scott.

According to the Encylopedia of Chicago, "redlining" is the practice of arbitrarily denying or limiting financial services to specific neighborhoods, generally because its residents are people of color or are poor. Here's an example of state-sponsored "redlining" in science education.

It's a good thing that the civil rights movement and affirmative action were just around the bend from this book's publishing date in 1959. Otherwise, we might have been stuck in this doggerel for who knows how long...

Pure Science

Look at this community
All so tight
Inbuilt immunity
Science pure as white

Look at this school day
The Lord made it right
Among books none outweigh
The Bible pure as white

Was this the nineteen fifties
All smiles and delight
Only outskirts, far from cities
Burbs pure as white?

-- by "Blessed Am I?"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Proverbial Chutney

Mr.Goosen's gone windsurfing in Mali. I'm his PDA. How can I help you?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Islamophobia Rears its Ugly Head Again

An exclusive from Indian Roller Correspondent, Itinerant Little Leprechaun (ILLE)


Earlier this week, the news media was agog with the details of a prominent TV executive who beheaded his wife after an altercation in Orchard Park, NY. While it made sense to highlight this horrific crime of domestic abuse, was it really necessary to capitalize on the religion of the accused, which happened to be Islam? Indeed, before the specifics of the case were established by the courts, media headlines screamed out that he was a "Muslim" man. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Yahoo News
Muslim TV exec accused of beheading wife in NY

U.S. Muslim TV network founder charged with beheading wife
  • Miami Herald
Prominent Muslim man beheads wife

Using the same logic, if the media chose to emphasize the religious denomination of every newsworthy individual, here's an indication of how some prominent crime-news headlines of the past might have appeared...

  • Senator Ted Kennedy
Catholic Senator Escapes Manslaughter Charges for Drowning Incident
  • Timothy McVeigh
  • Bugsy Siegel
Jewish Casino Owner Accused of Murdering Police Informer
  • Joseph Smith
U.S. Mormon Founder Adds 14-Year Old Girl to His 30+ Wives
  • Dylan Bennet Klebold
Lutheran Minor Causes Columbine High School Massacre
  • Andrea Yates
U.S. Evangelical Christian Mother Drowns Her Five Children