Southwest Fresno Leaders Criticize Hiring of White Teacher for Gaston School’s Cultural Studies

Hannah Furfaro, Fresno Bee, July 28, 2014

With just weeks before the new Rutherford B. Gaston Middle School opens in southwest Fresno, community and church leaders are calling on Fresno Unified School District to reconsider its hiring of a white teacher to instruct African-American, Latino and Southeast Asian studies there.

At an early morning news conference Monday, a small group of concerned citizens led by Rev. Karen Crozier met in front of the school on Church Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

People at the gathering said the new school, which is the first southwest Fresno middle school in decades, needs teachers who reflect the ethnic and racial background of its students.

Crozier and others were dismayed to learn the person hired to teach the school’s three cultural studies classes is white. District officials initially considered hiring a teacher of color, she said, but ultimately hired Peter Beck, a former teacher at Hoover High School.

“We’re just saying what the community wants. We didn’t fight for a white male or female teacher to educate our babies,” Crozier said. “We still are at these racial fault lines, and we want someone who will be able to think critically about those racial fault lines and how do we help heal, to restore the problems that have existed.”

District spokeswoman Micheline Golden did not confirm any details about who the district interviewed for the position.

But she said Beck was the best pick for the job and one of only four teachers in Fresno Unified with experience teaching the three cultural studies classes he’ll be responsible for at Gaston.

He has a decade of experience teaching Latino Studies courses and two years of experience teaching African-American courses, Golden said. Beck also has led Hoover’s Men’s Alliance for four years, a leadership class for at-risk teens. Golden did not know how many years Beck has taught Southeast Asian studies classes.

{snip}

Golden didn’t directly answer questions about whether the district made any efforts to hire teachers from ethnic or racial minority backgrounds, but said job candidates are evaluated based on their experience, certifications and education.

{snip}

One of Beck’s former students, Sabrina Fink, said it was “heart-wrenching” to hear he was the subject of the dispute.

Fink, a 2002 Hoover High graduate who is Hispanic, said she remembers Beck’s enthusiasm and inspiring teaching style from taking his Chicano studies and Mexican history class. He’d frequently bring in speakers, write quotes and statistics on the whiteboard about Hispanic youth and organize culturally sensitive projects on traditional Mexican holidays.

“He inspired all of us,” she said.

{snip}

Rev. Paul McCoy of New Light for New Life Church of God said he met Beck this month at a meeting with one of Gaston’s principals and found him “highly intelligent.” He’s qualified for the job, McCoy added, but said, “we told him it’s not about him.”

Late Monday night, Beck confirmed through email that he met with McCoy and said he’s made an effort to meet with other members of the southwest Fresno community since late June. He said he has not met with Karen Crozier but plans to do so soon.

{snip}

The concerns are far from personal, McCoy said. Hiring teachers who look like the students they teach simply helps ensure sensitivity about topics related to race, he said.

The district’s latest report to the state shows 122 teachers–or 3% of the teaching force in Fresno Unified–are African-American. Just more than 22% of teachers are Hispanic, 64% are Caucasian and 8% are Asian. About 9% of children who attend Fresno Unified schools are African-American, 65% are Hispanic, 11% are Caucasian and 11% are Asian.

{snip}

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  • MekongDelta69

    Then we demand that only White people teach any substantive course (i.e. Non ‘Oppressed Studies’)

    • APaige

      Well I did take an African American chemistry class. “Yo it like take this stuff here and mix it here and bam sheeeettt be foaming.”
      My Black Studies math class was great: 2+2=fo.

  • Community activists outraged whenever anyone hires any white person to do anything.

    This new school in this school district and this class will probably be mostly Hispanic, so why are black activists complaining and not Hispanic activists? That’s a rhetorical question.

    • propagandaoftruth

      What would have happened had a bunch of whites protested the hiring of a black for any reason?

      • First off, only one white person would have showed up, and then after that, they would have carted me off to the loony bin.

        • propagandaoftruth

          I’m surprised the messianic democratic totalitarians haven’t picked up that Soviet era tactic of political oppression, “politically insane”.
          Seems like the next logical step for a totalitarian government that must not appear to be the abomination it is. To kindly deal with it’s most dangerous opponents by hospitalizing and curing them of improper thought, mental illness.

          Watch for it – “racism” the mental illness.,. and the lovingkind liberal progressives who just want to help…

  • Truthseeker

    If this White teacher is smart, he’ll realize that all the work he’s done trying to uplift non-Whites is to the ultimate detriment of not just his own people, but himself. They ultimately want to overtake us, and once Whites like him are no longer useful in helping them get there, they’ll be kicked to the curb.

    • Pro_Whitey

      He could take up White Studies with the knowledge of how much of what he currently teaches is a pile of lies and spin. He could help whites unlearn a lot of bad stuff.

    • They can’t possibly overtake us, as they’re about as bright as small-appliance bulbs.

      • benvad

        God I hope you’re right.

    • benvad

      They never “GET IT”, do they? I’m starting to think the real idiots are whites.

      We enthusiastically seek out to defend the other against our own, it’s truely a sickness.

  • Luca

    Attention Rev. Karen Crozier, I am sure I have heard a quote somewhere that went something like: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

    Perhaps you might remember that if you can set aside your monumental, blatant, racist hypocrisy for two minutes.

    • They don’t give a damn about what “Doctor” MLK said or didn’t say. He’s just someone they use to bash and demoralize whites with.

      Only whites are expected to adhere to society’s ‘colorblind’ ideas.

    • MBlanc46

      “[S]et aside your monumental, blatant, racist hypocrisy for two minutes.”

      Never happen. Not for two nanoseconds.

  • haroldcrews

    The alternative to white supremacy isn’t meritocracy since that is effectively de facto white supremacy. The alternative is black supremacy.

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      There is no black supremacy, but there is such a thing as black biological and intellectual inferiority. Blacks can only rule over western societies when genetically defective, pathologically altruistic whites elevate them to positions of power.

      • haroldcrews

        I’m obviously speaking of black supremacy in the sense of possessing legal privileges otherwise meritocracy would not be a form of white supremacy.

        • Einsatzgrenadier

          Well, supremacy isn’t the correct word for it because the white man is the one pulling the strings.

          • haroldcrews

            Contrasting white supremacy with black legal privileges doesn’t have the same rhetorical effect as contrasting it with black supremacy. There is more than one way to measure supremacy than the “biological and intellectual”. Your inference of a genetic supremacy in regards to what I wrote above is just that – your inference. It is not a necessary inference.

  • ncpride

    Oh, how silly and naïve these people are. Who better to teach their colored children how ‘evil’ Whitey is than a guilt ridden, self loathing, brainwashed, ‘privileged’ White person?

    • Paleoconn

      Excellent point. Unless of course these people are just interested in filling cushy jobs with their own kind.

  • The President of the University of Texas at San Antonio makes this argument all the time–the university must recruit more women and more Mexican faculty because the majority of the university’s students are female and Mexican.

    Never explained is how this mojo works. Why can Mexicans learn, but only from other Mexicans? It’s bee ess. It’s just a way to provide jobs for otherwise unqualified minorities. In Romo’s case, his La Raza Mexican pals.

    I’ve been hearing this silly argument for at least 20 years. The reality is that nonwhite teachers and professors simply do not have the same level of brainpower and communication skills as whites do. But whites also have high standards on average. Standards that blacks and Mexicans cannot meet. So get rid of whitey and put in D’Jwan so that little Shitavious and Jesus can beez learnin hims sheeeet.

    • LHathaway

      20 years indeed. You may be younger than I thought. This isyet another idea that’s been put out by the ‘sensitive’ people quite often: Only an accultured and nuanced educator/manager/social worker can properly serve the needs of X community. White’s on the other hand, need those who don’t look like them in order that they can better tolerate diversity.

    • If their argument is correct, then Mexicans could best learn in Mexico.

      • Yep, but they claim that Texas is legitmately a part of Mexico, along with your home state of Colorado and the entire southwest. When the spanish settled here, there were I think maybe 4,000 mexicans living in Texas. Not much of a claim, if you accept the idea that you only get to claim your nearby environs as belonging to you.

  • kjh64

    Can you imagine what the reaction would be if White parents at a mostly White school demanded a White teacher for their kids and wanted to get rid of a Latino, Black or Asian teacher? Yeah, I know raaaaacist.

  • JP Rushton

    This guy dedicated himself to teaching feel good courses about other races.

    He deserves what he gets. I don’t feel bad for him at all.

  • Typical. Another phony black “reverend”.

  • White people shouldn’t be teaching negro or brown . . segregation the only way

  • Caucasoid88

    Beck wants to teach cultural studies. Beck just got the lesson of his life.

    • Usually Much Calmer

      Perhaps in a few years he’ll write an AR piece?
      Your dog is cute.

  • MBlanc46

    White Americans need schools and businesses and cultural institutions that “reflect the ethnic and racial background” of us.

  • WR_the_realist

    “We didn’t fight for a white male or female teacher to educate our babies,” Crozier said.

    You didn’t? I thought that was what Brown vs. Board of Education was about.

    Imagine if white parents got their “reverend” to oppose hiring a teacher because he is black. I can easily picture the months long outrage expressed on all the major media.

    • frank

      isn’t that reverse racism?,where is the news, where is Jesse Jackson, where is Al Sharpton?

      • Spikeygrrl

        There is no such thing as “reverse” racism. This is RACISM pure and simple, practised against Whites by non-Whites.

        • WR_the_realist

          And just as often practiced against Whites by elite Whites.

          • Sheik Yerbouti

            Yes indeed. Without white traitors, none of this would be happening.

          • Spikeygrrl

            I know what you mean…but limousine liberals are seldom “elite” by any useful definition of the word. We have GOT to quit letting our opponents define the language of the debate!

    • They didn’t “fight” at all.

  • dd121

    If they think blacks should only be taught by blacks why did they have that civil rights push a few decades back to integrate with whites?

    • Dale McNamee

      Because the prevailing thought was that black students would somehow become “more intelligent” in being in classes with white students…

      That idea really worked out, didn’t it ? /sarc

      • dd121

        It goes to show that libs didn’t understand the concept of IQ 60 years ago, and they still don’t. It’s in the genes and ain’t changing by associating with whites.

        • Dale McNamee

          They don’t think… They emote… Thinking logically is beyond them…

          I was about 14 when this idea was initially “hatched” and I could see that it wouldn’t work…

          They are morons, plain & simple !

  • ViktorNN

    I love stories like this.

    This is the logical outcome of all the anti-white bee ess that white liberals and their non-white lackeys have been spewing all these years.

    Now the rising brown tide has real power and guess what? They don’t need you white boy. In fact, they’ve always hated you and laughed at you.

    Want to be relevant and make a difference for your real family, white man? Have some pride and join us.

    • M&S

      I look at the dark sunglasses and the thug looks and I think Mafia or CIA. Malcolm X had such power once and the notion that this lady has that much muscle giving ‘presence’ to her little speech is about the only thing relevant here.

    • Usually Much Calmer

      Oooh. ‘Have some pride and join us.’ I’m stealing that one too.

      Ya’ll are awesome, AR community!

  • bubo

    Garbage in, garbage out. I’ve never heard anything good about Fresno. Most of the chicanos want to grow up to be bangers.

  • JackKrak

    “Reverend Doctor”…..

    Ok, whatever.

  • Ed

    The irony here is the teacher is probably some radical far left white guy that hates white people more than these clowns do.

    I’m picturing a Tim Wise clone.

    • Paleoconn

      For sure this Peter Beck specimen is a liberal. That said, Wise is not White.

  • Usually Much Calmer

    Black men in ties and sunglasses are HILARIOUS! They know what’s up. Yup. They got it all figured out. You can tell they know what’s going on because they look so cool. With the ties. And the sunglasses. I’m impressed and a little scared at the same time.

    HA!

  • Paleoconn

    Any White person vying for a job like this deserves ridicule and contempt. Peter Beck, lookd good on ya.

  • Dale McNamee

    Did anyone notice that the racist foghorn wore an Egyptian Ankh and not a cross ? Some “Christian” !

    Also, notice all of the guys wearing sunglasses, like the New Black Panthers ? And striking “intimidation” poses ?

    It’s ironic that these cretins are calling for re-segregation of a school…