Mark Naison: I wanted so much to be part of this team that I never openly protested. My protest, pathetic as it might seem, was complete silence. I just went out on the field and hit people, devoutly hoping my teammates would JUST SHUT UP.
Mark Naison: In the days that followed, the pain got personal. Three coaches I worked with in Brooklyn CYO, one of them the father of one of my son’s best friends, had died trying to save people in the Twin Towers.
Mark Naison: My grandfather, when he worked, was a presser in the garment trades, making extra income as a bartender and bootegger. He was a strong arm man for his union who fought gangsters from Murder Incorporated in the streets of the Garment district.
Mark Naison: Though some people died, others burned themselves out, and families fractured, the nation survived and we stumbled on without our political system collapsing.
Mark Naison: Huge numbers of her friends and family members, many of whom are civil servants, plan to vote for Donald Trump because they feel the growing presence of undocumented immigrants has destabilized their schools and communities.
Mark Haison: Imagine you took a representative group of country music fans, big, strong, proud, casually and sometimes skimpily dressed, and overwhelmingly white, and eliminated most of the men! That was the Garden last night.
Mark Naison: As I look at the American social and economic landscape today—with its huge concentration of wealth at the top, its swollen prison population and its shrinking middle class—I cannot help but see the influence of Bill Clinton.
Mark Naison: When I hear that Hilary Clinton plans to close public schools throughout the nation whose performance is “below average,” I think of those Bronx teachers.
Mark Naison: By the time of Barack Obama’s second term in office, community-centered pedagogy was so out of favor that no local school board in any major city dared promote it.
Mark Naison: Education activist movements organized in resistance to excessive testing have not persuaded parents in poor communities and communities of color that test resistance speaks to their needs.
Mark Naison: Being “white” was once a central feature of being American. Those who were able to become “white” had the fullest range of political rights and economic opportunities the rapidly expanding nation had to offer.
Mark Naison: After five years, you look around and you are a stranger where you once felt at home. None of the people who worked to bring back the neighborhood from crime and violence and disinvestment are still there
Mark Naison: But rather than creating unity among America’s diverse racial and cultural groups, this decline in living standards seems to have increased tensions.