Date: 07/15/02

Subject: Bilingual Education

Stephen Krashen, Ph.D., seems oblivious to the blatant inequity and racist nature of his position, which clearly suggests native Spanish speaking children are UNABLE to achieve academically like other non-English speaking children. His position suggests native Spanish speaking children [brown skinned south and north Americans, but NOT White skinned Spanish speaking Europeans] are inherently inferior because, unlike the clear majority of people that came from Europe, Asia and, in particular, Africa, "these people" require "special programs" in order to achieve academically. Most importantly, absent from this issue is a need to distinguish "culture" from "education" which often conflict with each other.

Of course, I could be wrong...but I'm not. After all, I'm a Black person with a documented legacy of White people enslaving, denying, isolating, preventing and, oh yeah, killing Black people -including Black children - instead of providing the so-called benefit of "bilingual education." Based on our on-going educational performance, as an aggregate Black people clearly did NOT come to the U.S. speaking English, and despite the lingering ethnocentric and controlling nature of "White" academia the overall performance of Black students continues to fail, to trail, to languish under White rule. Bilingual Education is yet another name for the doctrine of "separate but equal." If not, then why is there a need for "it" for some and not for all?

The greatest test of an education is NOT that you have one, but what you do with it. My point? The Top 1% of people that "own" the United States [wealth], the overall "ethnic" character of the Fortune 500 [again, wealth and power], the demographics of the U.S. political, legislative, judicial, and law enforcement [power] has NOT changed and is NOT going to change anytime soon. The landscape of wealth and power in the U.S. continues to be filtered by "ethnic tokens" and not a demonstrated migration of diversity that would rival [Translation: Threaten] non-minorities. You don't need to be a high falutin Ph.D to understand class-based racism. Tweaking the educational system to enable some of the so-called "disadvantaged" people to progress doesn't change one damn thing...well, except that they can now talk about being oppressed in two languages! I suppose in some twisted way this is an improvement.

Get real.

The need to have separate but equal educational systems will become even more ludicrous as the U.S. continues to blend its cultural identity through ever increasing rates of miscegenation. Playing "favorite" to any one particular group will have far less acceptance in the absence of a numerically dominating ethnic group. Statistically, it's called the law of large numbers! Let's hope that Stephen Krashen, Ph.D. is paying attention and starts tracking a different set of statistics.

Trip Reynolds