For a while, back in the early days of my Google Reader obsession, I loved GOOD’s online magazine. They had copious articles on education reform, which I gobbled up. But even before I had the social justice chops to understand why, their articles left me wanting more. They never seemed to really delve into the issues they brought up. After a few years, they changed their format to a completely unreadable angry spaceship of social media garbage, and I stopped reading.
I’m still hungry for education news, though, and GOOD, shallow and widget-happy as they may be, has an excellent Education Editor (Liz Dwyer). So when they posted a civil rights’ quiz my organization put together (demonstrating good judgment, in my opinion), I started to browse again.
And I found this: 5 Pragmatic Alternatives to The Sagging Pants Debate. And I rejoiced! Canning the debate about black boys’ butts and talking about actual systematic problems? YES. GOOD being pragmatic instead of just talking about how we should fund iPhone water purifiers on Kickstarter? YES.
And then I read the article. Oh Andre Perry. Oh Andre. Let me just say straight up that as a white kid from a tiny town in New Jersey, I’m, like, supremely unqualified to talk about issues in the black community. But even I can tell this is a bunch of impractical horseshit.
Let’s see what we’ve got here.
1. Perry wants neighborhoods to develop a “neighborhood wellness center that houses a nutritionist, physical trainer, conflict mediation specialist, and tailor.” Ok, I’m on board. He continues: “Standards of beauty, professionalism, style, and decorum are necessary and inescapable.” I think we’re veering into dangerous territory here, but maybe later he’ll explain why we need these things. NOPE. He instead chooses to JUMP OFF THE CLIFF OF TACT AND SENSE. “Most American communities are overweight, angry, and poorly dressed…our communities desperately need style doctors. Football jerseys are not semiformal. From hipsters to hip-hoppers*, folks are just getting lazy with their dress.” I’m sorry, what?