My thesis is that the soft bigotry of lowered expectations is a real problem. It arises subtly in many manifestations. E.g. [ul][li]Social promotion. Promoting students without expecting them to learn the material. Many inner city school systems have simply given up.[/li][li]Affirmative Action (certain aspects) When minorities are accepted by colleges without the usual qualifications, they are given the message that they aren’t as good, don’t have to be as good, and can’t be as good. High schools are given the message that they don’t have to teach effectively.[/li][li]Head Start Head Start is ineffectual at helping kids learn to read. Nevertheless there is great resistance to changing the program to fix this problem. Many influential educators actually oppose teaching these young children reading.[/li][li]Media support for inappropriate leaders Decades ago the media focused on moral giants, like Martin Luther Kink and Cesar Chavez. Today they promote moral pigmies like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.[/li][li]Bi-lingual education, multilingual ballots Immigrants, particularly Hispanics, are encouraged NOT to learn English. This is good for certain politicians who pander to non-English-speaking constituents. It’s terribly limiting for the people affected.[/li][li]Ignoring dreadful leadership of some African nations The international community, and especially the United Nations, have been harsh at attacking bad leadership in Western nations, e.g. the former Yugoslavia and Israel. But, they have been tolerant about bad leadership in Africa. This is fine for the tyrants, but it’s terrible for the people. [/ul][/li]
In some of these situations, the proponents claim that they are helping minorities or being kind to them. I disagree. Although TSBOLE isn’t as bad a overt racism, it’s subtle and hard to eradicate.
We should support efforts (such as President Bush’s) to fight the soft bigotry of lowered expectations.