Illinois School Holds Blacks-Only Student Event For “Affinity Grouping”

150px-OPRFHighSchoolLogoNRouseThere is an interesting controversy at Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park (outside of Chicago) where the school allowed students to hold a black-student only meeting. OPRF held a “Black Lives Matter” assembly on Feb. 27 but barred parents of white students who tried to participate. Principal Nathaniel Rouse (right), the assembly’s organizer, insisted he thought black students would speak more freely among members of their own race as what is known as affinity grouping. It might also be called racial segregation at a public school. What if white students wanted to engage in “affinity grouping” by excluding minority students?

The OPRF school board met to discuss the controversy and heard from dozens of parents, students and teachers who virtually all supported Rouse.

While I understand Rouse’s view that black students needed to discuss recent events among themselves, I disagree with the decision on both legal and pedagogical grounds. I believe it is far more important to have the whole community involved in speaking to such issues. Indeed, many of these parents appeared to want to come to express their solidarity and sympathy.

The controversy is reminiscent of the backlash against the Smith College president for being too inclusive in saying “all lives matter.”

SIsoyeSuperintendent Steven Isoye (left) also defended Rouse in saying that “It was clear to me that Mr. Rouse was trying to build a space that was safe space for our black students.”

OPRF English teacher Paul Noble was more forceful:

“Not everything is about us. Not everything needs to have our stamp of approval, much less our participation. Can we just check our white privilege for a minute? I don’t know why a white affinity group is necessary to make a black affinity group palatable.”

I fail to see why the question is one of “white privilege” rather than equal treatment. To call a demand for equal treatment as “privilege” is rather Orwellian. The privilege goes to the group allowed unique or exempt status in a given practice. If the school is saying that students are allowed to base affinity groups on race, I do not see why such groups would be only permitted for African American students. There is a reason why the law imposed color-blind tests that seek to establish neutrality and equality in the treatment of different racial, religious, and other groups.

While I reject the notion of “White privilege” as the reason for objections, there does remain the good-faith view of Rouse that this meeting was to allow a minority group to discuss contemporary issues among themselves. Although I disagree with the decision, I can see why Rouse believed that the highly emotional recent events warranted a special evening for just black students and parents to express shared feelings and viewpoints.

What do you think?

Source: Chicago Tribune

179 thoughts on “Illinois School Holds Blacks-Only Student Event For “Affinity Grouping””

  1. “Paul C. Schulte

    mespo – if there is ‘white privilege’ what do you call it when Asian students have 50 points deducted from the SAT score? Whites are the only ones whose score is not added to or subtracted from.”

    PCS, point of information: Asian parents compel their children into private SAT schools after regular public school hours and force their children to LEARN constantly some even require their kids to learn every definition in the dictionary; grab any book and learn whatever’s in it. It may be superior parental “discipline.”

    Some of the “Asian superior intelligence” you perceive may be a function of self-loathing, guilt and extreme lack of self-esteem on the part of “short people” – actually equal or inferior “asylum seekers” and parasitic immigrants who’ve abandoned their own country and countrymen. It may be a temporary phenomenon.

    P.S. America has been very, very good to Asian students who have flooded the free, public school system for decades. Free education is very attractive.

    1. Harry – it has been a long time since I have seen such a racist comment such as yours.

  2. Paul, the fact that I have a German name is often used against me on threads by certain commenters, some of your compatriots actually, why should you any different? With your authoritarian bent it’s fitting.

    1. Inga – if you actually had been following along, you would know I am anti-authoritarian. The last thing you want to do is give me an order. Ask me nicely and it probably will get done. Order me and it will be a cold day in hell. However, you and Comrade Ken like using the German language. You are just harking back to your childhood. I am not sure what his problem is.

    1. Inga – we are not going to have a repeat of your sock puppets, are we? Geez, that was a loooong weekend.

      1. Paul, who knows? Everybody else has them. Mine might want to come out of the sock drawer. Be prepared. 😜

  3. Actually she doesn’t like children much either from what I’ve heard.

  4. oldpoet, very good observations. I agree. The hippity hop culture has bred a lot of what you said. Also part of the black problem, & for people of all races, is the job market. Not enough jobs doesn’t help any one.

    The biggest threat this nation faces is in DC. Big govt is not the answer, it’s our largest most serious problem. Now big blowhard, err, brother, has wrecked our economy with cronyism, to much taxation & way, way, way to much regulation. The govt messes up free market capitalism, then the ‘progressive’ libs, like super hypocrite Michael Moore, come along telling us “capitalism doesn’t work”.

    Moore, like many Hooeywood ‘stars’, say “Capitalism is baaaad!” All the while Moore makes his propaganda films, sells them & banks the $$. Actors sell their acting talent & they also bank the bread.

    Meanwhile, back in the black communities unemployment is unbelievably high. Oh, no worries! Big bro will come to the rescue. Welfare, food stamps, phones…

    “Job fare” is not far off & will, if accepted & given some time, WILL ‘progressively’ lead to a new form of slavery. There are control freaks in govt who think they need to dominate & control our lives because we are to stupid to make our own choices.

    People need to look up The Depression You Never Heard Of. There is some very revealing US history & very important lessons there.


    1. @Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter and Cheerleader for Racism

      “Thank you!”

      You’re welcome, as your exposes of the Negro and the Homosexual are wonderful, but when can we see your Ein -Reich-ein-Volk expose of the Gypsy Trash?

      1. Comrade Ken – what is this thing you have for German? Should we be reading something into it?

        1. @Herr Schulte

          “Comrade Ken – what is this thing you have for German? Should we be reading something into it?”

          Herr Schulte, die deutsche Sprache is a beautiful and powerful language of a country with an extremely rich cultural but somewhat checkered political history, spoken and written by Germans from Goethe to Schicklgruber.

          Personally speaking, I identify much more with Goethe’s consciousness, but there are many in the world who seem to identify more with Schicklgruber’s anti-libertarianism. Those who have been characterized as “Zionazis” come to mind in this latter connection.

          Why do you ask?

  5. What happened to my short but pointed slam of Pogo’s constant harping about ‘lefties’? Deleted by the ‘righties”?

    1. Feyd Rautha – only JT has the authority to delete. For sure, no one on the left does.

  6. Here in America, as a race, black folks, especially younger black folks especially males are without any doubt at all, are the most racist people in this country! It seems that with so many, that color is always the first issue in everything. It is like with the policing issues that the media and racist trash like Sharpton/Jackson keep screaming about is actually a very small side issue. The biggest problem is their culture that they are choosing to create and to shove onto the rest of society. When your culture glorifies being a punk and a thug and act offended at the thought of getting off the streets and find a real job, and then do that job everyday then you are going to have run in’s with law enforcement. Until the racist punk culture is stopped, and it can only be stopped by mature black Mom’s and Dad’s and others within their own clicks the issues with police will not ever get any better. The biggest problems by far with police officers is that way to many are just punks, smart asses, immature, ego maniacs. Until their culture puts a stop to this huge internal cancer they will continue to have their profession vilified far more often than it would be if their immaturity and ego problems would be corrected but this also can only be corrected by honest and mature Supervisors, DA’s, and Judges.

  7. I am Scots, Irish & English, with a little Ethiopian & First American. ‘White privilege’? Never heard of that…& so on. 🙂

    Is there an ‘edit’ thingy here someplace?


  8. Our Girl Reporter is spot on regarding choices made by black & homosexual people. What she said about men giving each other aids [& a list of other stds] is correct. What she said about fatherless black households is also correct.

    I take it some of the posters here are also at AlterNet. AN is where I go to get my fair share of abuse when I tell the truth about some of the threads posted there, though I’ve not been at at the site for a while. Something along the lines of replies to her posts…

    I noticed that there was Rules For Radicals influence in some of the replies to her. Belittling her is NOT a substitute for a factual reply, but is a red flag indicating the poster is coming from a weak or indefensible position.

    I also noted that there was no refutation of the post about black slaveholders.

    If they want to, black people can be anything they want. Because many are trapped by lib dem progressiveness, some may have a more difficult climb, but IF THY SO CHOOSE, they can be as successful as any one else.

    Regarding how they are trapped, I’m thinking welfare, as there is more $$ from govt if the dad isn’t in the home. The drug & rap cultures haven’t helped them much, as a whole, either.

    Don’t forget, it was the Dems who fought equality for blacks.

    White privilege? I was raised by my Mom who had to divorce my alcoholic Dad. She didn’t have any special privileges. But she WORKED. As a waitress mostly.

    I am Scots, Irish & English, with a little Ethiopian & First ‘white privilege’. Never heard of that till more recently. Seems to be another part of the age old ‘divide & conquer’ strategy.


    1. SamFox

      Squeeky is awesome and she was sorely missed around here on her hiatus.
      There is somewhere in there in wordpress or you could write a little note to Darren Smith our IT guru and he might now

    2. @Sam Fox

      “Our Girl Reporter is spot on regarding choices made by black & homosexual people.”

      Yes, indeed. I was surprised, though, that she didn’t say anything about those degenerate Gypsies, with their weird customs and dialect and refusal to hold steady jobs.

      And with them moving around like they do, no wonder the housing market collapsed in ’08.

      1. @Sam Fox

        “Our Girl Reporter is spot on regarding choices made by black & homosexual people.”

        Yes, indeed. I was surprised, though, that she didn’t say anything about those degenerate Gypsies, with their weird customs and dialect and refusal to hold steady jobs.

        And with them moving around like they do, no wonder the housing market collapsed in ’08.

        Yes, That’s a brilliant remark Ken Rogers and I am not going to let it go because it’s nothing to do with Race and I am sick to death of you pandering to Dark Skinned people just because their Skin is Dark. I just came from a revival of the Dark Skinned people and I am one of the Frozen Chosen Presbyterians and I mingle with them frequently, do you? We were rocking out.

        The market collapsed because no one can balance a freaking check book.

        They thought the Great Depression was a Vacation and that Macroeconomics was a Party and Boom Bust would rule the day.

        1. @ Unhappiepappies

          “The [housing] market collapsed because no one can balance a freaking check book.”

          Well, I can balance a check book, and I know several other people who can, but you don’t think the Gypsies caused it, then?

          Maybe *that’s* why Squeeky hasn’t gone after them along with the “blacks” and homosexuals.

          If you don’t recognize several of Squeeky’s rants as racist and homophobic, I don’t know what to tell you, other than to take a look at your own postures.

          Wouldn’t “black” people I’ve identified as such have to read what I’ve written in order for me to pander to them, or can I somehow pander to them without our knowing each other?

          1. Ken Rogers

            I don’t know you and this a blog with free speech. You have repeatedly slandered me regarding my so called prejudiced against the civil rights of Black People and I am sick of it. Please cease and desist. You do realize that the blog is monitored and there are not supposed to be personal attacks on here. No one pays any mind to Squeeky except for Inga and they fight like cats and dogs and always have and enjoy it. They actually missed each other. I missed Squeeky.

            I am taking out the time to explain this to you because no one else will. They will just continue to haze you and laugh at you and jerk you around. I have some sympathy with that. Squeeky is known as a character around here. Do not take her seriously. Everyone on here knows she has a problem with Gays including the gays on here. This is the USA and that is her right. She has made friend with Sam because he saw through it. You haven’t Please do us all a favor and lighten up. I am the happiest person on the blog besides Squeeky and she was very missed.

            1. On 1, March 21, 2015 at 2:47 am happypappies

              I thought Sam Fox had written the post I was responding to, not realizing until I’d finished that it was from you.

              You once accused me of ignoring you and now of slandering you, when I’ve done neither.

              I think our best bet is to just agree that we disagree and communicate only with other people here.

              Sound like a plan?

          2. Comrade Kenny – what do Gypsies have to do with this discussion? And are they really the problem here that they are in Europe? Are you are “Traveller”?

      2. @Sam Fox That note above is supposed to be to Ken Rogers if you read it sorry


  9. BTW Schulte – here’s another correction of your ‘facts’…..

    Bill Ayres was NOT employed by the University of Chicago.

    Ayres taught at the University of Illinois – Chicago.

    1. Wadewilliams

      What are you blathering about now

      Ayers was a freaking criminal along with his wifey and I cannot believe they got pardoned as well as they finally passed a College exam

      You are reading incorrect facts because you are probably tired or inebriated

      Mespo Said

      Ok, Paul, here we go again to correct your dead-wrong version of history:

      University of Chicago statement:

      The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as “Senior Lecturer.”

      From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School’s Senior Lecturers has high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined.

      Yes Ayers was such a special case
      Ayers participated in the bombings of New York City Police Department headquarters in 1970, the United States Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972, as he noted in his 2001 book, Fugitive Days. Ayers writes:

      Although the bomb that rocked the Pentagon was itsy-bitsy—weighing close to two pounds—it caused ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ of damage. The operation cost under $500, and no one was killed or even hurt.[19]

      Ayers is a retired professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Education. His interests include teaching for social justice, urban educational reform, narrative and interpretive research, children in trouble with the law, and related issues.[3]

      He began his career in primary education while an undergraduate, teaching at the Children’s Community School (CCS), n. After leaving the underground, he earned an M.Ed from Bank Street College in Early Childhood Education (1984), an M.Ed from Teachers College, Columbia University in Early Childhood Education (1987) and an Ed. D from Teachers College, Columbia University in Curriculum and Instruction (1987).

      He has edited and written many books and articles on education theory, policy and practice, and has appeared on many panels and symposia. On August 5, 2010, Ayers officially announced his intent to retire from the University of Illinois at Chicago.[42]

      On September 23, 2010 William Ayers was unanimously denied emeritus status by the University of Illinois, after a speech by the university’s board chair Christopher G. Kennedy (son of assassinated U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy), containing the quote “I intend to vote against conferring the honorific title of our university to a man whose body of work includes a book dedicated in part to the man who murdered my father, Robert F. Kennedy.”[43] He added, “There is nothing more antithetical to the hopes for a university that is lively and yet civil…than to permanently seal off debate with one’s opponents by killing them”.[44] Kennedy referred to a 1974 book Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism, written by Ayers and other Weather Underground members, which includes a dedication to a list of over 200 revolutionary figures, musicians and others, including Sirhan Sirhan, who is currently serving a life sentence for Robert Kennedy’s assassination in 1968.[45] Ayers said he has never dedicated any book, including Prairie Fire, the book in question, to assassins.[46]

      What a piece of work

      Too bad he didn’t get prison time

    2. Wadewilliams – thanks for the catch on Ayers. Didn’t daddy contribute money to get him a job there?

    1. Inga – just to clarify the issue, half the time it is the Roman Catholic English oppressing the Irish and the other half the time it is the Church of England (Protestant) English oppressing the Irish. And they are still doing it today in the Northern Counties.

  10. Trust me, Schulte knows nothing about the University of Chicago. (Perhaps he has never heard of Milton Friedman.) He also knows nothing about history and needs some math tutoring. English Protestants have not been oppressing Irish Catholics for a thousand years.

    The man is a joke.

    1. Wadewilliams – your history of Ireland is very weak. You must either be Protestant or English or both to think the English have not been oppressing the Irish for a thousand years.

  11. Yes the real Squeaky Fromme had dreams about killing the President….hmmmmm.

  12. @mespo

    Oh, you are just mad about Ken living further in the past than you! I place your time marker at pre-Selma by a year or two. But, that is just a guess. Anyway, I was remiss above, with Max, and failed to provide some good meditation background for his internal debate. Sooo, here is something I heard on Sky.Fm one night, on the vocal new age channel. Sometimes I put that on to sleep by. . .

    Here are the lyrics, and some other mantras, too, at the link:

    Calma e tranquilidade sao as
    ordems do senhor
    Calma e
    tranquiladade para
    receber o amor

    This inner silence is the doorway
    to love

    and love is the door to
    eternity and tranquility.
    In this, we are one with all.
    Calmness and tranquility are the
    keys that open these doors.

    PS. If you want free radio, Sky.FM is great. I pay the $4.99 for the premium stuff, with all the extra channels.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

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