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What Bronx Schools Taught Me About Race

This is part of our continuing series of accounts by readers of how they shed the illusions of liberalism and became race realists.

I became a race realist at an early age. It is a lie when liberals say people are raised and taught to dislike blacks. I wasn’t. Blacks themselves taught me to not trust nor congregate with them.

I went to an elementary school in the Bronx, NY, from 1961–1966 which was mostly white and Jewish By the time I graduated, New York City had started forced school integration and I had to travel to a mostly black all boys junior high school. There were no school buses in the city so I had to take public transportation; either the city bus or train to get to the school.

I was in an advanced placement class which was composed of white Jewish kids who were in the same predicament as me. Inside, the class was safe and learning was going on. When it came time to change classes while walking through the halls, we would invariably get smacked on the back of the head by the blacks traveling in the other direction. They would all be laughing and jumping up-and-down. At lunch time we would get shaken down for our lunch money.

I remember the first day of school. There was a kosher deli on the corner. I went there for lunch and bought a hot dog which I put down on the table. I got up to get my soda and when I came back to the table, my hot dog was gone. It was like I entered some bizarro parallel universe.

After I graduated junior high school, I went to The Bronx High School of Science — a specialized city school where passing a test was necessary to get in. I studied hard to pass that test even though I was told that studying wouldn’t help because the exam tested your inherent knowledge. But I did not want to go to a regular high school and spend three years going through what I had just left. Even there, while they were only a miniscule percentage of the student population and didn’t have the numbers to do their usual harassment, they did congregate and sit with each other in the cafeteria at lunchtime and would invariably start food fights every now and then, throwing food randomly at the white students.

I became a teacher in the South Bronx. I taught there during the O. J. Simpson trial. The not-guilty verdict was announced on the loudspeaker (totally inappropriately) and the school cheered in a giant uproar. The Pledge of Allegiance wasn’t recited in the mornings like it was when I was a student in school. “The Star Spangled Banner” wasn’t played during assemblies but “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (the black national anthem) was. While teaching, I had to get a master’s degree. I went to Lehman College, part of the CUNY system. The students at Lehman were mostly black. They acted like the fifth-grade students I was teaching. They would come to class late, wouldn’t do their homework nor their reports. It was mind boggling.

I remember the Brooklyn riots when Blacks were attacking Jews and Mayor Dinkins held the police back in order to let the rioting blacks get the frustrations and anger out of their system. I remember the Rodney King and George Floyd riots, with no repercussions for the rioters. I remember the tearing down of the statues of great Americans.

I am the son of a holocaust survivor and America opened up its arms to allow my father to immigrate here. I always looked at America as a special country and it has a special place in my heart. It upsets me immensely to see what America has become, and I am glad I lived in the generation in which I did, when America was a great place to live. This is no longer my America.