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Slidell, LA

#1 Mar 3, 2013

MARK TRAINA not a RACIST, he's a "REALIST" here's PROOF!

This is a story about a New Orleans school psychologist whom the Southern Poverty Law center, in the course of a larger investigation into complaints about the school system's treatment of black and special education students, found was making decisions about which students should be diverted into "alternative" schools on the basis of race. I'll just pick it up here:

The Southern Poverty Center knows that these allegations are ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE!," Traina wrote in an education forum on NOLA.com , using his own name as he criticized the center's earlier allegations. "This is just another way to harass the Jefferson Parish Public School System. One only needs to read the Times Picayune to see who the real trouble makers are. Sadly, it is disproportionately young black males. Everyone knows that our jails throughout the United States are disproportionately filled with black people. Why would the rate be any different in an educational environment?"

He cited what he said are statistics about high incarceration rates among African-Americans and high crime in predominantly black neighborhoods.

"Even one of the best known Civil Rights Activists in America recently indicated (I won't mention any names) that it is MUCH safer to walk through a predominately white neighborhood after dark than in black neighborhood," he wrote.

"I live in Slidell land I MUST admit it is one of the safest places that I have ever lived in the State of Louisiana," he wrote. "All I can say is,'Thank God for Lake Pontchartrain.'"

His posts on Twitter are more heated, including a January comment that, "Young Black Thugs who won't follow the law need to be put down not incarcerated. Put down like the Dogs they are!"

In a March comment about an article on a violent incident in New Orleans, he wrote, "Quick someone call David Duke before the NAACP gets here!"

Remarking in March about the Republican presidential primaries, he wrote, "I grew up in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana - I am a Wallace Man at Heart!"

Heilman said the comments bolster the Southern Poverty Law Center's case, providing a rare glimpse into the personal attitudes of officials who work with troubled students.

"He has some, my take on it, some pretty clear biases," Heilman said. She said Traina has participated in meetings discussing individual student's cases with the law center.

"It's particularly alarming to have someone who works for the school system in a position of authority be pro-segregation," she said, referring to his remark about George Wallace, segregationist governor of Alabama.

Traina said Monday that he stands by his online commentary and that it doesn't apply to the functioning of the school system.

"I don't represent the Jefferson Parish school system," Traina said. "I represent Mark Traina. I make that very clear in my comments."

He argued some of the law center's allegations against the Jefferson system are unfair.

Ok, so what's the big deal? Nothing really. These stories crop up from time to time. But I chose to post it because it shows his racial bias so clearly --- and yet he also says this:

"Everything I said is fact-based, backed up by data," he said. "I don't have a prejudiced bone in my body. I'm not a racist. I'm a realist."

Of course. In fact, I think that most people you or I might call racist truly believe they aren't racists, but rather are realists. They simply think that the truth is that black people are dangerous and need to be kept separately from white people --- by white people. In his mind that's not racism. Racism is to him, by definition, an unfair accusation. It's interesting to see it laid out so clearly and openly.

Other than that, he's just another jerk who should not have the lives and futures of young black males in his bigoted hands.

digby 5/21/2012 04:30:00 PM

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