". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fifty years later, students recall integrating New Orleans public schools

At this moment Vaquero's attending a commemorative event - ceremony down in the Lower 9th honoring the girls who were the center of the battle to integrate New Orleans's public school system.

"Today at 9 a.m. -- the exact time that "The McDonogh 3" integrated the school 50 years ago -- three women and the federal marshals who once escorted them will unveil a state historical marker in front of McDonogh No. 19."
The shameful, ugly behaviors of white Louisiana at that time have never provoked an apology of any kind later down the line.

Rather, most white families that can manage to do so, have deserted the public school system all together. Now, the system is rapidly being privatized, via 'charter' schools and various other devices devised in the last decades that are essentially re-segregation of education, allowing smug middle and upper middle class people to defend pulling their kids from public education because it is a failed system.

Here in NYC with the massive loss of jobs for many middle-class parents, they are discovering what it means to trash and desert public education, now that they can't afford the fees to send their kids to private schools.  The tales of the ruses, subterfuges and temper tantrums to which these parents have resorted to get their entitled kids into the remaining good public schools, despite them not living in that school's district, would be high comedy if they weren't so representative of the ugly, selfish, stupid people this nation's citizens have by-and-large become.

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