Texas Appleseed: Applying Socialism to the Classroom & Juvenile Justice
This article is an opinion piece from Bill Lockwood. Catch American Liberty with Bill Lockwood weekly at 11 a.m. Saturdays on NewsTalk 1290.
Texas Appleseed bills itself as an Austin-based “public interest justice center” to “change unjust laws and policies” involving Juvenile Justice. Specifically, the non-profit organization works to “dismantle unjust laws” that “unduly burden historically undeserved Texans”—by which it means that minority children are undeservedly punished within the school system at a higher rate than white children.
From a letter sent to the Dallas ISD last year, the TA wrote: “According to data from the Texas Education Agency, 6,802 Black students and 5,906 Latinx students were suspended out-of-school from DISD during the 2018-2019 school year, as compared to only 363 white students.”
Black students, it is pointed out, represented 22.6% of the DISD student population yet they accounted for 46.7% of out-of-school suspensions.
This disparity is enough supposedly to prove that the educational and juvenile justice systems are “systemically racist” against minorities. To enhance this charge the TA freely and frequently invokes the specter of George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police.
Texas Appleseed reflects the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) program that has been championed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. As a matter of fact, the Annie E. Casey Foundation is found on Texas Appleseed materials.
For many years the director of the Annie E. Casey Foundation , now its “consultant,” was Bart Lubow. Lubow is a former member of SDS (Students for Democratic Society)—a communist front organization from the 1960’s.
Like other Marxist-oriented agitators, Lubow, through the JDAI program (Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative), will “require states to work to reduce the disproportionate representation of minority juveniles in secured facilities.” The problem? Too many minorities are being punished because of white “racism.” The solution? Revamp the detention and incarceration procedures as well as school suspensions along “social justice” lines.
Social Justice has little to do with actual “justice” but focuses attention upon “outcomes.” Social justice advocates cry continually about unequal distribution of properties, of monies, of college degrees, and even jail sentences. Now, school discipline should be meted out by racial quotas.
As the late Walter Williams observed regarding Social Justice, “Outcomes of human relationships are often seen as criteria for the presence or absence of justice or fairness. Outcomes frequently used as barometers of justice and fairness are: race and sex statistics on income and unemployment, income distribution in general, occupational distribution, wealth ownership, and other measures of socio-economic status.”
In other words, no attention at all is paid to any underlying reason for differences among people of different races. Social justice simply assumes that different outcomes among people is the result of crass prejudices, favoritism, and white racism. This is exactly the unspoken assumption of Texas Appleseed.
What social justice and Texas Appleseed warriors refuse to consider is that differences in behavior among peoples, races, or subcultures is the result of diverse habits, personal choices, cultural preferences, and moral values honored by various groups in America.
For example, the out-of-wedlock birth rates for different racial and ethnic groups in 2008 was just over 40%. The breakdown of that statistic shows that among white non-Hispanic women, the out-of-wedlock birth rate was 28.6 percent while among Hispanics it was 52.5 percent and among blacks the figure jumps to a startling 72.3 percent.
Consider abortion. In 2005 the abortion rate for blacks in the United States is almost 5 times that for white women. Similar “disparities” are found in almost every measurable statistic. It is clearly evident that minority cultures are fostering immoral lifestyles to an alarming degree.
It would be expected from those types of statistics that school disciplinary problems would fall along the same racial lines. And that is exactly what we find.
Yet, Texas Appleseed wants us to believe that it is white racism which brings about disciplinary action. The unvarnished truth is that the fatherless black home and communities, for the most part, do not value ethical standards, and it shows up in the schoolroom as well.
School to Prison Pipeline?
Texas Appleseed also assumes that the higher discipline rate in school experienced by minorities creates what they call a “School to Prison Pipeline.” The underlying assumption here is that it is the schools themselves which are, by their prejudices against minorities, helping to manufacture tomorrow’s criminals. This is completely unfounded.
From the TA letter to the DISD:
“Through the use of exclusionary discipline and school policing, thousands of young Texans are pushed into contact with the criminal legal system each academic year from conduct that occurs in their schools.”
TA’s message? Quit punishing kids, especially minority students. It is the contact with the criminal legal system that is the cause of misbehavior.
Reality itself is far different. Our schools are becoming war zones, even at the elementary level, and not merely from outside influences. Children themselves are becoming more violent, completely disrespectful of adult authority, disdainful of private property and the personal liberties of others.
Illicit sex and out-of-wedlock births have become normal; sexual assault on school property is now an issue; drugs of all kinds are now commonplace in the halls of learning; gang activity dominates some schoolhouses; and teachers are being assaulted.
Bedlam actually reigns in many schools. Teachers are fleeing the classrooms and the rest are just trying to survive. And the majority of it stems from minority populations where it is most common for a child to grow up without the loving discipline or direction from a father.
No, Texas Appleseed, it is not a “School to Prison Pipeline” but a “Fatherless Home to Prison Pipeline.” The children are coming from homes into the school system with unprincipled conduct. Most frequently, removal of an unruly student from the classroom or from the school itself is the only alternative for a school that wishes to teach.