At the root of public education’s generational failure to educate Latino and Black students in this country is the unrelenting not so subliminal message that these young people are inferior and cannot learn.
While it was bad enough when this kind of pernicious racism was practiced exclusively by Whites against Latinos and Blacks, what now makes it worse are institutionally de facto racist entities like the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which have succeeded in co-opting elements within the Latinos and Blacks communities to work in it to sustain this failed system by continuing to offer only the rhetoric of quality public education, while few within this institution – whatever their ethnicity – actually have a good faith belief in the inherent ability of these students to succeed like their more affluent peers of a lighter persuasion.
We no longer consider it politically correct to show negative ethnic stereotypes of minorities in present day media and yet the beliefs and images of inferiority persist to the present day in the minds of not only those who are old enough to have been raised and polluted by seeing Alfonso Bedoya in the Treasure of Sierra Madre with Humphrey Bogart or Butterfly McQueen from Gone With the Wind, but also in several new generations who have no real idea of the origins of the racist beliefs they have also been infected with and still tacitly accept no matter what their ethnicity.
Having less of an overt racist history, it is still possible in France at the Cinemateque at Chatelet Les Halles to see the complete historic record of this now censored “entertainment” in old television and film history no longer easily accessible in the United States.
One is caught between the horns of a dilemma in this country, because one does not want to continue to put forth the racist stereotypes of shows like Amos and Andy (which was actually performed by Whites when it was on radio). But this makes it almost impossible for those born after these shows were removed from the air to understand the context of a great deal of latent racist ideas in this country and its school systems.