The following letter was sent to Ms.Nyah Berg, Director of Integrated Schools Project for New York Appleseed, by Rocky Bonanno, a District 28 parent in response to “Integration jitters in Queens: We can’t lose sight of the ultimate goal here,” published by the NY Daily News on March 16, 2020. The letter has been edited for brevity.
Do you even care about education issues? If you are going to butt your nose into the DOE’s plans, and try to influence where children will attend school, then you better say you care about education issues infinitely more than race issues. If not, step away, get your head straight and pick another race fight elsewhere.
You might not know this, but you and I have the same enemy … the NYC Department of Education. It is clear to me that they are the Bad Guys, led by Racist Carranza. However, I conclude you don’t see it the same way I do. Here’s why…
I’m appalled at what happens at the DOE: the politics, the overreaching of power, the inequality, the waste of money, lack of transparency and everything that has nothing to do with education. I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit by and watch amazing schools, already with incredible diversity, in the northern half of District 28 be forced to give up potentially half its seats to children who are not meeting academic standards in their own neighborhood school for no other reason than the color of their skin. What kind of message is that? Telling 10-14-year-olds that they should go to a different school because of their color.
Do not mix politics and the education of children … ever. Once you do, you will see all sides of outrage from parents who want nothing more than for their children to receive the chance to work hard and be successful that every child deserves, and I do mean every … the colored children you advocate for, along with Whites, Asians, Hispanics, whatever.
Drop your righteous attitude and refrain from trying to tell people how to raise and educate their children. Why should I care what you think? You never present facts, or solutions, or worthwhile ideas. You only try to rally people and incite emotions and applause. You say only, “I think,” or “I feel,” or “I believe.” Well, Ms. Berg, who are you? Can I have your life story and the things that shaped you before I listen to what you think, and how it pertains to any child’s education?
The worst part of your opinion piece was that you insinuated that parents who are rebelling against the D28 Diversity Plan are not engaged in the conversation. Wrong! We have been engaged in the conversation from the beginning, speaking to the DOE, WXY, politicians, and the media. Apparently, all the conversations D28 parents have participated in to date don’t count in your eyes because you only want to acknowledge conversations that occur in DOE-sponsored, WXY-refereed steering groups that parents do not trust. We know a rigged process (backed by gobs of money) when we see it. Don’t ask us to trust the DOE, it’s not your place to do so.
Those conversations that happened outside of bogus DOE workshops are called public opinion. Try listening to public opinion for a change instead of blindly rebelling against it. If you actually take the time to listen to families, your highly-enlightened, intellectually-superior mind just might conclude that we have legitimate reasons to be against this Diversity Plan, and they don’t involve race. The race card is your creation, hence our outrage. But you don’t listen. You see White faces, and you are quick to judge. Hey, isn’t that racism? Oh Nyah, say it isn’t so.