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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Racist peanut butter sandwiches

This is part of why our kids aren't going anywhere near a Portland public school. Portland students don’t have technology, advanced math, science, Spanish – but they are pulling teachers away from overcrowded classes to have "Courageous Conversations" about race. As the kids say, GMAFB. As long as the school board is blowing money on horse manure, we're voting no on their construction pork menu.

And if Super Carole really wants to stop racism, she could stop taking Benson High School apart chunk by chunk.

Comments (45)

Alas, as part of the post-the-age-of-60 demographic, I had to do a search of the Intertubes to learn the meaning of Jack's reference to GMAFB!

So, for other non-natives to cyberspeak, the "filtered" translation is as follows:

I'm almost as old as oregbear, but I did know what GMAFB meant.

I read the article and rather than uncovering a racist under every crumb. My thought was, 'Heck give that kid from Somalia or that Hispanic kid a peanut butter and jelly sandwich - bet they love it'

It's just another case of when you go looking for something that you WANT to be there - you'll find it; especially if there is money attached to finding it. And we wonder why semi-functional idiots keep coming out of the schools. The real scary part is that these semi-functional idiots are then able to vote.

It would really be courageous to have conversations with parents of underachieving kids about how they need to be involved in and take responsibility for their child's success in school.

Cary +1

So, it's OK to say, "Maybe they eat torta. Or pita."

Imagine if he said, "Maybe they eat fried chicken. Or ribs."

Isn't this the same district that in the early 1990s taught that the Egyptians had flying machines some 3000 or so years ago? I seem to recall some discussion about that.

I think the Tribune's Jennifer Anderson knew exactly what she was doing. Go back to last school year and fish out the most outrageous example for the lede to denigrate the program and stir up the readers.

It reminds me of how Fox News seizes on an example. I can just hear Shep what's-his-name or Rush saying, "Damn it, they'll get my peanut butter sandwich when they pry it from my cold dead hand."
Then the Tea Party splinters off to form the Peanut Butter Sandwich party.

This is an opinion piece disguised as an article to please the Pamplin lieutenants who hover over the Tribune. Read the comments.

Here's one for you: "If this principal hates white people and American culture so much, why is she in our country?"

Next up: A bumper sticker with an American flag and the slogan: "Honk if you love peanut butter."

You've got to know when you're being manipulated and provoked.

Yes, but in this case it's representative of the truth. The Portland school district already has Lolenzo Poe and who knows how many other people on the pad to fret about diversity, or equity, or whatever racial equality is called in today's PC world. To hire even more "experts" and get in busy teachers' faces with white guilt when the academic program is crumbling is an outrage that deserves an unkind portrayal.

I cannot believe what I just read- really?
Who the hell gives a hoot about peanut butter....teach the kids fer crying out loud. Did they all lose common sense or what? And for the paper to make such a sickenly sweet article about it. GMAFB!!!

So Jack, if I understand your position correctly, you want to punish public school students - having them learn in second-class facilities - in order to send a message to the administration. Nice.

“Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”

Tortas are just a Mexican sandwich... :)

I think this article is a microcosm of American media because it's misdirecting our anger. I really don't think our problems stem from too much cultural tolerance.

Here's another example of the misdirection: The Fed has handed out 16 trillion since the meltdown in interest free loans to banks around the world. 16 trillion that will most likely never be paid back.
But most of the stories are about President Obama. He's clearly the focus of the anger - and that's partly to deflect from what Wall Street has done.

Locally, I'd rather read news stories about the effects of all this on our society. How it's lead to a nation where 1 out of 7 people are on food stamps. How it's led to an outrageous loss of future wealth to these school kids here in Portland - even as we prop up Merritt Paulson.

Sure, this program has some ridiculous touches, just as anti-sexism programs in corporations get snickers. But to focus on the ridiculous details while the bigger story goes uncovered?
Where are the stories about how these kids are getting ground up by the biggest economic fraud in history?

It's like the Fed and the 16 trillion. It's like all the stories yesterday about Dick Grasso's heroic response to 9/11 by keeping Wall Street open - while missing the real story: Wall Street has hurt the national security of America far more than any terrorist group could ever have dreamt in their wildest dreams.

These kids get used everyday to make a political statement about one thing or another. Today it's about how ridiculous and PC some of these school programs are. Meanwhile, the real story is what we've done to the future for these kids. It's not the peanut butter. It's the jam they're in.

if I understand your position correctly

I guess you don't. Or maybe you're just being an argumentative jerk.

Right now, Portland needs to spend money on academic program -- not bricks and mortar, and certainly not the PC drivel which is the subject of this post.

Imagine I moved my family to Greece and in school my kids heard this story problem:

"Christos had five pieces of baklava. He gave two pieces to Helen. How many did he have left?"

Is that racist? Would I demand that the teachers have a conversation about how using a Greek food in the discussion was intolerant of my American kid?

This is all nutty. And we pay for it.

It is kind of like swinging at a low hanging pinada. Or is that a torte? Or maybe a low hanging lutefish? Well meaning people can come across as real idiots after they talk to a reporter.

"Well meaning people can come across as real idiots after they talk to a reporter."

Are they (really) well meaning?
What is their (true) meaning, and why?
Is PC drivel their true objective?
Why not reading, writing and math?

With limited resources, PPS should focus, as in: "Portland needs to spend money on academic program(s)" and not PC drivel.

Just like the City of Portland should focus on city infrastructure (potholes), and not on SamRand follies (bike lanes).

Count me among those who agree with Jack.

I have to agree with Bill on this one. The people getting the most torqued out of shape about this, on both sides of the arena, are the sort so determined to display their butthurt in public that they walk around like Goatse proteges. As Bill notes, what is being hidden, or who is being influenced, by going out of their way to make this viral?

I thought GMAFB was a racist code hidden within a racist code for Give Me A Fine Burrito

Go back to last school year and fish out the most outrageous example for the lede to denigrate the program and stir up the readers.

BTW, Bill, you probably didn't realize that the word "denigrate" is racist. Oh yes.

You people think this stupidity is new ?
The administration is more concerned with not hurting anyones feelings than actually doing it's job and teaching children.

I am surprised peanut butter and jelly was used as an example since most of us were not allowed to send PB&J to school with our kids due to nut allergies in the new school rules.

The real deal is that this stuff is window dressing. No one is really doing anything to address the actual inequity in PPS. There is disparity in how children are TREATED and what the EXPECTATIONS are that are racially and economically based. Juvenile Rights Project has tracked the discipline disparities (where depending on the economic staus and race students are meted out very different consequences) If you have qquestions, look at a shutter Marshall High School while we are on umpteenth incarnation of Jefferson high School. I might mention that some of the loudest voices to keep it open would NEVER send their kids there.

As an involved parent (PTSA, classroom volunteer, fundraiser) believe when I say that it's not a secret that if you want your poor white, black, latino child to get an education you make sacrifices and pay for private or Catholic school if you want your child to have a fair shot.

My kid is a freshman at a well-regarded college (Not in Oregon) She wouldn't have gotten there had I kept her in PPS.

I couldn't care less about pita, torta or PBJ, the real story is that there is disparity that isn't about "THOSE parents don't care"

Next time I see a Somali or Hispanic kid in McDonalds, I'm going to ask them why they are so racist against themselves.

Too many chiefs and not enough Indians....OK, that is racist; let's say too many tribal elders and not enough first nations citizens?
However this old saw is phrased, the PPS has too many administrations, principals, vice principals, social workers, career specialists, diversity trainers, and other numerous hangers on who do NOT teach children in a classroom.
Those who do not actually teach should be fired and let then, hire teachers who teach! I would be willing to bet that music, arts, reading specialists and math tutoring could be restored enmass with the money not spent on these hacks who do not teach anyone anything.

I think it's classic that I speculated on Fox News jumping on this story before I knew Fox News HAD jumped on this story.

The administration is more concerned with not hurting anyones feelings than actually doing it's job and teaching children.

They definitely need to teach more people about how an apostrophe works.

What really bugs me about this principal isn't that she thinks it's racist to reference peanut butter sandwiches. It's that she thinks it ISN'T racist to keep kids out of that drumming class if they aren't black or Latino.

Oooooo, don't even get me started on the counselors and adminstrators. I recently wrote to the current administrator of a PPS middle school my kid attended several years ago in support of a wonderful teacher he was summarily dismissing. The parents were outraged and it was clear in our previous phone call that he didn't really care about input. The arrogance was astounding. And was reinforced by the cluster administrator in the most condescending email.

That's I hated the most. . . . the "we can do whatever we want, YOU go kick rocks"

Every time I think I have a problem with the teachers' union and that it should be easier to fire bad teachers, I remember that it will principals like Ms. Gutierrez who will be deciding which teachers are "bad," and which should get fired.


The lesson I learned with my recent exhcange with PPS is that they CAN fire teachers. Step 1: Eliminate position due to "budget cuts" Step 2: Find "magic Money" and create a new position and change the job description so the eliminated teacher cannot apply for it.

The educator pushed out of that Title I school was snapped up by a Westside school. My kid was so upset, "Schools like that NEED teachers like him, Mom"

And with that I am off this thread, because I literally could go on for years about PPS. Letting them have my kid for 7 years was my worst parenting decision.

"Take the peanut butter sandwich"

My father should be on that committee. I remember his quote:

"When I was a kid in Montana, I would've been g-d happy to have had instead of what we had to eat/wear/do back then."

Here's the formula: Take an example like this peanut butter sandwich comment, and then lead the readers to a big conclusion like we shouldn't have to apologize for being American.

Other examples: The ludicrous lawsuit that means consumers shouldn't have protection from corporations.

Or when a little 5-year-old boy gets thrown out of school for hugging a girl - or some other incident that's seemingly innocuous. (And I realize "innocuous" is racist toward the Inuit tribe of Northern Canada and Alaska.) Anyway... take that and indict the schools for being hyper-vigilant about bullying with a zero tolerance policy.

I know another...when a kid eats a breath mint pill and gets thrown out of school for goes on...

The problem isn't the ridiculous examples. It's the conclusions, that are usually misdirecting our anger away from real life. Read the comments after the article. Defending America's right to love peanut butter sandwiches. It's ridiculous - like an old Woody Allen essay in the New Yorker.

I think it's a substitute for real debate. I'm sure radio talk DJs all across America jumped on this, and are now using it to sell fear and persecution, even as our hard-won freedoms really are being eroded, and America really is under assault...but not from a sandwich.

My absolute favorite example: When Lars Larson was going to put a crucifix up on Pioneer Square as part of the War on Christmas. That was hilarious.

Hey, there's a way to resolve this assault on America!

Lars Larson and Victoria Taft should get naked, cover themselves in peanut butter and jelly and make love in Pioneer Square as a patriotic stand for the American way of life. Call it the Freedom Sandwich.

Okay, maybe not.

I just thought the peanut butter sandwich editorial/article was a deliberate distraction - a media manipulation of the public away from the real news. I'm not surprised it went viral.

What really bugs me about this principal isn't that she thinks it's racist to reference peanut butter sandwiches. It's that she thinks it ISN'T racist to keep kids out of that drumming class if they aren't black or Latino.

Someone I know used to teach at Scott, and confirms that Gutierrez has a massive racial chip on her shoulder. On the other hand, she forced through some much-needed changes, namely removing some teachers who should have been removed a long time ago. Scott draws from a high-minority, low-income catchment area, including from mobile-home parks along Columbia Blvd. The stories this former teacher has about the home lives many of these students come from are heartbreaking.

Many things can look absurd out of context. The reporter probably cherry-picked the peanut-butter sandwich example because it was pithy and memorable in the context of the training, but unfortunately it now looks facile in wider circulation. PPS does have big issues to tackle around equity, and sensitizing staff to cultural differences is not in and of itself a bad idea. But I do think it is fair to ask if the money spent lecturing staff about racial and cultural differences (which many, especially newer, teachers and principals are already well-aware of from their preparation programs) could have been put to better use, e.g., extra tutoring and enrichment programs for the struggling students at Scott.

The article is relevant because it's a big symptom of the PC disease that infects public education. There are people like the principal who need an endless stream of victims to justify their own buffoonery and failures. We have high drop out rates? It's because of racist code words in our curriculum. Please send me on all-expense-paid trips to educator retreats so I can learn more of these racist-code-words that I might not be aware of.

I'll bet the Chicago Teachers would be nodding and clapping in agreement while at the same time making anti-Semitic taunts at Rahm Emmanuel.

Rebecca of SonnyBrook Farm, I think it is time to use names concerning people's experiences like yours. If it is factual, then how can it be sueable? We need to start making people accountable because it isn't happening by any governmental bodies.

It seems to work for the Asian kids.

Too bad they no longer teach kids how to think, rather than what to think.

Gutierrez is one of a whole class of people who feed, monetarily and psychically, on the economy which exploits the differences between peoples. And while they talk the talk, they are, in reality, parlaying race and class differences into a vehicle for their own career advancement. Absolutely sick. Many of the people who feed off this malignant miasma, this institutionally imposed "multiculturalism", spawned by our leftist educators, are not biologically representative of the non-white gene pool they have made it their mission to champion. Many of the squeakiest people preaching about the equity grail, often look very, very white, while sporting Ethnically-suggestive names that help give them their pass to power, or some misty "family lore" that suggests some degree of non-whiteness, quietly communicated on employment applications, (see: Ellizabeth Warren).

Saw a three year old Somali girl in a hijab at the playground on Sunday, her mother in a burka, and I cringed. Said a prayer for Chris Stephens today, and stayed calm and carried on. Glad to know that at least one of our presidential candidates mentioned the phrase "free speech", recently.

Bill McDonald, you are right on. Pamplin arranged the article precisely to press Larson's Indignation BUTTON for racist bigots, guaranteeing that kneejerk kook then barks the banality to FOX, where it goes out to illiterate lowlife TV dopes and hatetalk hangers-on.

These last days of Larson, Limbaugh doing their hate America schtick is full-farce funny entertainment. Listen Larson any 30 minutes and you hear someone sounding medicated and straitjacketed in a rubber room. Hatetalk's problem is no paying sponsors; businesses now avoid 'like the black plague' having their product name heard anywhere in the hate programming. Hosts are going crazy going off the air. Larson's line of the day today was, "I don't believe in ridiculing anyone for their religion, like Mormons for example." I fell over laughing. BTW, the fastest growing spiritual group today is atheists, like me, who hear anyone propounding any organized religion as speaking self-ridicule.

Larson hates on unionized labor, and he especially hates educated teachers who learned the value of, and now practice solidarity. Teachers' union, however, is not a problem that causes failing schooling. Rather, putting 'class' back in classrooms is solved so simply: Parents must do it, by removing all television exposure from their child(ren) until at least age 10. Let a child stupify themself in TV for even the briefest time, and no school can save them, no teacher can teach them, unionized or not.

But parents don't want to take TV away from kids. Because that's too hard for parents to do. Therefor schooling goes on failing.

We are still talking about white privilege? My goodness...

You just proved why the reaction to the peanut butter sandwich crisis is such a crock. Your example, where you "cringe" at the sight of the two people in the park, isn't racial. It's cultural. It's how the people dressed.

You're exactly why I have no problem with this program.
Sure, it talks about race, but it's about tolerance for being different - racially, culturally, sexually, whatever. Let's say you were in a class with someone who made you "cringe" because of their cultural appearance. I would hope the teacher had some training in how to get you to be more tolerant.

As for the "racist peanut butter sandwich": Read the quotes from the principal. She's clearly talking about making someone from a foreign culture feel more welcome. She says Americans eat peanut butter sandwiches. Not a specific race...Americans. Then she suggests asking the foreign students what they eat. It just sounds polite. I don't hear her saying peanut butter sandwiches are racist or anything like that.

That's the BS trap everyone fell into because they wanted to fall into it. The reporter set the hoop up with the "racist whispers" line, and immediately half the country jumped through.

They got all worked up, which is what they wanted to do all along. They wanted to yell, "F You, world. There wouldn't be a problem if everyone was like me!"

Then they stared out into the distance and yelled in a mighty voice, "Peanut Butter Sandwiches are not racist. I don't care what anybody says!"


Noone should happily accept the institution of the burka, because it is a form of social and psychological enslavement, and no, we don't accept it as just some more good 'ole culture, or cultural difference. The burka is part and parcel of a culture that openly treats women as household servants, sexual property, and breeders. A culture which denies the most basic freedoms to its people, the freedoms to sing, to depict the human form in art, to criticize one's prophet, to change or abandon one's religion, to say incantations, or to move around freely.

Nor do we have to accept the notion that mass illegal immigration is anything but a form of indentured servitude, likely to have disastrous consequences to American social health and cohesion for generations, for all involved.

And we can oppose tax dollars spent on the agenda of forcing acceptance of everything on everyone for the same reasons, and shouldn't have to experience people calling us "haters" for it.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. You clearly have strong feelings about other cultures. How should you be allowed to express them in a classroom? What would happen if you were in a class with the people from the park the other day, or illegal immigrants? Should you be allowed to harass them? Maybe you think you're helping, but should they have to deal with a constant message about how bad their way of life is?

We're talking about a significant number of people on planet earth. Should you be allowed to beat them? What's the accepted behavior? Maybe paint a symbol on their desks to separate them from the cultures you don't find offensive.

This program is designed to help teachers deal with people like you. People with strong beliefs based along cultural lines.

You're ridiculing this principal while simultaneously, proving why this program is necessary.

Umm, Bill, cringing is not treating people badly. You can smile and push a three-year-old girl in a headscarf on a swing, and cringe, all at the same time.

So no, I try hard not to treat people badly, ever, with a single exception. When I see burka'd figures in the NYC subway, as I did in August, on notq one, but TWO occasions, THEN I let their male companion know that I am very uncomfortable about public transit, traditionally a target for terrorists, being used by unidentifiable masked people. I mention that this is precisely the reason the burka has been outlawed in numerous countries in Europe. Then, I take my camera out, and I take a picture of the guy standing next to his shrouded chattel. Around me, at least one person is nodding approvingly. And I try very hard to stay calm, serious, and not visibly furious, but rather, insistent and concerned.

Because you see, there are actually some red lines that require a little tough love (or, from your perspective, I guess it would be hate), and burkas in the NYC subway is one of them.

I wan't even thinking peanut butter and jam sandwich, but this whet the craving, off for a Dagwood sized one right now.


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Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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