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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Latin Teacher Job Opening

A belated, final entry in last week's bad education/bad writing trilogy, part1 & part 2.

I caught the end of an interview last week with a local high school teacher who was saying, on-camera, that he thought that slavery had been a good thing for blacks, and that black students were generally inferior in mental capacities.

No Confederate battle flag in the background, but there might as well have been.

This guy, a PhD, teaches (OK, taught) Latin at the High School closest to our house. The issue first arose in a discussion of slavery in ancient Rome (germane to the class) which the teacher then turned to a discussion of differences between John C. Calhoun and Andrew Jackson over states' rights (perhaps more germane to history class--big topic in SC.) The teacher is then reported to have made comments that slavery may have benefited those enslaved. (If germane, should/could have been presented as "some folks believe this, others believer that, how would you react?")

But folks who spend their time defending the glorious Lost Cause don't tend to do balanced presentations of opinions (my opinion, with which you may disagree.)

Back to facts: Here are quotes from an on-camera interview with our local CBS affiliate: (if video link doesn't work, see the story here.)

That truth, at least according to McCuen, is that black people are inferior to whites.

"Intellectually, yes they are," said McCuen. "This has been confirmed over and over, and this is a generalization. Again, there are some blacks who are more intelligent than individual whites. But as a rule, that is true. I-Q tests prove it over, and over and over."
Don't get me started on statistics. I am not convinced that IQ tests yield a result that identifies who is and is not intelligent. They identify people who do well on what the tests measure. They identify people who use their minds in the ways most highly valued by the designers of the tests--but these modes are not the sine qua non of intelligences. Additionally, IQ scores do not identify inferiority anymore than they define superiority.

More from the story, which the station reported got >200K hits and comments, esp. after Drudge picked it up.
News19's J.R. Berry asked McCuen, "Do you think slavery in America was a good thing? "Yes," said McCuen. "In America there was a rational assessment saying listen, if we give these people freedom right as they are and you have to go back to see how they were, you can't assume they were like us.

J.R. asked, "How were they?" "They were coming out of the jungles," said McCuen. "They had been enslaving each other for centuries in Africa, and in terms of being used to rule of law, they knew none of that."
I'll skip further analysis---you can Google "American Renaissance" and "McCuen" and read more that this guy wrote "From Occupied South Carolina." Lots of folks are suggesting that the school should have done a bit of Googling before hiring this guy three years ago."

Late update from when I first drafted this blog--the school has located a new Latin teacher.

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