MSNBC's Ronan Farrow, Lisa Bloom Try to Connect Trayvon Martin to Racial Bias in Preschool Punishments
Just when you thought it was finally safe to watch news programs and be free of any references to slain black teenager Trayvon Martin, along comes Monday's edition of Ronan Farrow Daily in which the MSNBC host and a legal analyst linked Martin's tragic life and a new study to claim he was a victim of a system that punishes African-American preschool children three times more often than their Caucasian counterparts.
After Farrow called the report “shocking, and I really mean this, shocking,” guest Lisa Bloom declared that “Martin was suspended three times” during preschool for minor violations, which makes him “a perfect example, unfortunately, very sadly, of this trend.”
“While black children comprise 18 percent of total enrollment in preschool, they make up 42 percent of preschoolers who are suspended at least once,” the liberal host noted.
“Having grown up with black siblings, having heard my sister get called 'the N-word' when she was just a little kid, this is heart-wrenching on a personal level,” he continued before noting this problem “also has repercussions for the fabric of all of our lives.”
Farrow then turned to Bloom, a legal analyst and author of the book “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It.”
“I cannot even wrap my mind around the scope of these stats and how early this discrimination appears to start,” Farrow stated. “What do you attribute that to?”
“Let's keep in mind this is a Department of Education study of all 97,000 public schools in America, so it's a broad study and not done by some radical outside group,” Bloom began.
She then stated:
To me, this is the primary reason why there's so much racial inequality in America. Most kids in America today go to segregated schools, and we know that kids in majority black schools get about $733 per pupil less funding than kids who go to majority white schools.
Kids in black schools are less likely to have teachers who are competent and proficient. The schools are often tumbling and toxic. Toilets don't work. I mean, the list just goes on and on. We cannot claim to be an egalitarian country as long as we allow this to continue.
Farrow then asked: “What are kids that young even getting suspended for?”
That's a very important point. We know from a lot of psychological studies that African-American boys in particular are perceived as more hostile and threatening than white boys who engage in the same behaviors.
I think that this huge rise in suspensions and expulsions of African-American boys is in large part a result of that.
She then described the reasons Martin was expelled: “Suspended for tardiness? Are you kidding me? Suspended for one incident of graffiti on a locker and suspended for marijuana residue in a baggie? And I drilled down on his school's own rules, which don't provide for suspensions in two of the three situations that occurred for him.
“Trayvon Martin, who has come to represent so much, is also possibly representative of this startling trend,” Farrow agreed.
During the final minute of the segment, the host turned to his second guest, former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, and asked what he thought of efforts by senators and attorney general Eric Holder to dismantle the so-called “school-to-prison pipeline.”
The African-American member of the GOP replied that he hopes it's possible for the creation of a “standardized national punishment system” or “a set of guidelines so that kids aren't just expelled arbitrarily,” are successful.
Steele then agreed with Bloom that the preschool disparity should be dealt with primarily on the local level. “At the end of the day, it's what happens in the classrooms,” he said. “We can talk about the federal policy, but this is very much a local issue.”
Fallow concluded the segment by promising to return to this topic since it “clearly has a profound effect on all our viewers.”
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC hired the “boy wonder” and Barack Obama adviser last October. Three days after he began his weekday program, Farrow was given a “Cronkite Award” for outstanding journalism.
Sadly, this segment on Ronan Farrow's program shows that liberals have yet to move beyond the fact that George Zimmerman was found not guilty of the Florida teenager's death and will use anything to resurrect interest in their black icon. We can only wonder what the basis of their next attempt will be.