Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Whitewash in South Philly

Whitewash in South Philly

You'll be shocked, shocked to learn that the school's district's long-awaited report on racial violence against Asian students in South Philly High is a complete joke:

Giles' report did not assign blame to school officials, but it did make recommendations for change, including banning hoodies at school, providing students with an anonymous tipline to report violence, and placing sufficient cameras at South Philadelphia High School. Some of the suggested changes, such as putting more cameras in place, have already been made.

Although students and community members say there has long been violence against immigrant students, Giles was directed to only investigate the incidents of Dec. 2 and 3, he said. He termed his work "a general overview and not a specific fact-finding undertaking as to individual student culpability."

And the punchline is still Arlene Ackerman:

Both Giles and Superintendent Arlene Ackerman said that it was important to focus on the future, not the past.

"It would take us another 10 years to find out all the intricacies of what happened," Ackerman said at a news conference. "Let's move forward."

There's your mantra for the 2010s, people: "Let's move forward." The CEOs who gambled and lost billions of dollars of our money on 4 a.m. casino bets are still employed and getting huge bonuses because, well, um, "Let's move forward!" Our highest officials can flagrantly disregard established laws and order waterboarding and other forms of torture, dragging America's good name through the muck, but seriously, nothing to see here, folks..."Let's move forward!" A racially motivated mob can rampage through a high school in Philadelphia for two days, amid a much longer climate of violence and harassment, even from adult staffers, and not only is no one from the school district accountable but none of the perps is even arrested.

Let's move forward!

No one could get away with this in his or her own life: Could you imagine having an affair or losing your kid in the mall for a couple of hours and telling your spouse nothing beyond "let's move forward!"? Good luck with that. But in our public life, no accountability is demanded of anyone. And people wonder why our public life keeps getting progresively more appalling.

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Will Bunch
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