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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mayor Rybak on Don Samuels' "Burn it down" comment about North High School

"I disagreed with what Samuels said about North High School, but I share his outrage for a learning gap that has left too many African-American students behind in this city and in this country. I spend a lot of time in north Minneapolis and North High and I see amazing things happening there to address the learning gap and that help prepare our youth for the future. Don and I both support the reforms that Mike Favor is pushing and I think that North High School is becoming part of the solution, not part of the problem."

The Strib supports Don Samuels:

Cut Don Samuels some slack. What the Minneapolis City Council member said about burning down North High School was foolish and hurtful, and he has apologized for it.

But Samuels isn't the issue. He merely used a clumsy metaphor to express the frustration he feels -- and that the whole city ought to feel -- about public schools' inability to overcome the deep and abiding social deficits that too many Minneapolis children bring into the classroom, and then spread to their classmates.

I made the mistake of voting for Don Samuels in 2005. I will not be making that mistake again. I am not appalled by Samuels remark because he is "not black enough". I am appalled by his remark on the face of it. Students in North High would have been expelled for making similar remarks.