Chicago Public Schools just announced that they will build a new high school and name it after our current president, Barack Obama.
This announcement of building a new high school is about a year after the announcement by the unelected, mayorally appointed CPS Board of Education to close the most schools in the history of the United States amidst massive community protests.
This announcement comes about one month after this same board of education agreed to give themselves $5 million to buy brand new furniture for their new offices.
This announcement comes one day after the puppets, I mean the handpicked school board by Mayor Rahm Emanuel agreed to fire every adult (teachers, principals, engineers, lunch workers, security, and custodians) in three elementary schools amidst community protests.
The new selective enrollment high school will be located on the north side of the city, which is nowhere close to where nearly all the 53 closed or "turn around" schools are located.
Kevin Coval, one of Chicago's great poets, wrote an article for CNN.com titled "Chicago A Tale of Two Cities," and in it he stated, "One white (city), one black (city). One for the rich, one for the poor. One for private schools, one for closed schools. A new Chicago for the saved and the damned. Gold coast heavens and low-end hells. It's biblical, binary."
This is not an exaggeration by Kevin Coval we all are watching this mayor blatantly create two cities. Rahm and his pal Barbara Byrd-Bennett attempt to use fancy buzz words like "rigor," "quality seats," "world class," and "21st century" to make their actions seem justified, but be real they do not care about kids.
I do not care if Barbara Byrd-Bennett happens to be black -- I don't think she cares about lower-income black kids in this city, no matter what she claims, and neither does our mayor. How can the students at the high school I work at in Englewood be receiving a "world class" education when we went without basic sanitary necessities like soap in the boy's bathroom for five weeks? How are my kids getting a "world class" education when we lost three teaching, one administrative, and three security positions this year due to budget cuts?
All Rahm and Barbara Byrd-Bennett care about is how to make profit off of lower-income brown and black children while giving more opportunities to affluent mostly white families. They build charters (that perform no better than public schools) on the south and west sides, but build new public schools or find money for public schools like Jones downtown and Payton on the north side.
Rahm and BBB are firing every adult in three schools and then turning those schools over to privately run AUSL to re-staff the very same buildings. AUSL who not at all coincidentally the president of the unelected school board David Vitale served as the chairman for until 2011.
What Rahm Emanuel, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, and prominent members of the appointed school board Andrea Zopp, David Vitale, Jesse Ruiz are doing to our city is a attempting to maximize their profits at the expense of lower-income people of color. Even though some of these school board members are black and Latino and represent organizations such as the Urban League they have sold out their own people and everyone in this city that values transparency and Democracy.
I'm well aware of the fact that me being white and calling out prominent black and Latino leaders is problematic, but damn, I think what they are doing is downright criminal and I hope one day that all the "leaders" of CPS, and especially Rahm Emanuel, are found to be guilty of crimes against humanity.
My Englewood students wrote about Mr. Wreck It Rahm and the blueprint that these "leaders" are unleashing on our city in their now famous poem with near 60,000 views,
"Step one: Take away our schools
Step Two: Put them out their home
Lastly: Destroy it all and
Deny Deny Deny
But remember, to always keep a straight face when you lie!
Try to pour the cheap paint over our eyes while stealing dollars from under our mattresses
There's not enough? Close their schools
But he's building a new DePaul stadium
Using our TIF funds to Transform the South Loop into the Promised Land of redevelopment
and some river walk
of course downtown
The paint is starting to streak.
Building a new Chicago or extending a new lie!
How can a city so in debt blueprint something so expensive?"
Rahm's plan is simple. Create a new Chicago one well resourced and another Chicago underfunded to be experimented on with charters and privatization schemes. One Chicago safe with lowering crime rates and another Chicago that is not even safe on Easter Sunday.
Yet for the mayor to continue make this plan a reality he has to make everyone believe that certain neighborhoods or areas of the city are better than other areas. He has to convince people on the North Side that people in Englewood (or insert any other South or West side neighborhood) are lazy, dangerous, and don't want to improve their neighborhood. By getting people to believe the stereotypes about huge areas in this city it allows him to keep doing what he has been doing, which like Kevin Coval said is creating two Chicagos.