A protestor in Tulsa with two members of the local police force (Courtesy of the Tulsa World)
A protestor in Tulsa with two members of the local police force (Courtesy of the Tulsa World)

Faith in God. Faith in the community. Faith in the system. That is why Tulsa, Oklahoma, didn’t devolve into race riots after the shooting of a black man by a white police officer.

Many residents took to the pews, while other cities, facing similar issues, took to the streets with looting and riots. Tulsa, often called “the buckle of the Bible belt,” is different because of its faith. Southern Baptists and evangelical Christians play a significant role in the community of 400,000 people. Oral Roberts University has its campus there.

The ethnic makeup of the city parallels that of the nation. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, slightly more than 60 percent of the population is white; 15 percent is African-American, and 14 percent is Hispanic.

The city has had its racial troubles, including a major riot many years ago. The police have faced both positive and negative reviews over the years.

“This is tragic–and something all of us should spend time reflecting on so we can make a better nation,” the Rev. Teron Gaddis, representing the Oklahoma Baptist State Convention, said. “This is not a race issue, a Caucasian or black issue.”

The reverend is black. Had a white leader said the shooting of a black man was not a racial issue he would have been chastised for taking up the “All Lives Matter” banner.

Even The New York Times and CNN had to admit that religion played a role in keeping the peace. Still, the media provided wall-to-wall coverage of the upheaval in Charlotte, with only a passing reference to the peaceful scenes from Oklahoma, including a Black Lives Matter protester holding hands with a white and a black police officer.

Everyone needs to look at Tulsa as an example of how to stop racial division. Riots don’t work; prayer does.


Christopher Harper, a recovering journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law.

Not long after Roe v. Wade federalized abortion policy, Members of Congress led by Henry Hyde moved to prevent federal funds from being used for abortions. The Hyde Amendment was finally added to the Medicaid program as a rider to the Health and Human Services budget on September 30, 1976. The rider has been added in every federal budget cycle since then. The Hyde Amendment restricts – but does not altogether prevent – federal taxpayer funding of abortion.

Abortion providers have tried to torpedo the Hyde Amendment since the day it was proposed. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is a determined foe of Hyde. Slate quotes her as saying that it “mak[es] it harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights.” Clinton and candidates in step with her are prepared to coerce all taxpayers into subsidizing abortion.

Donald Trump is reportedly willing to support the Hyde Amendment, according to Marjorie Dannenfelser, chairwoman of Trump’s pro-life coalition. “Not only has Mr. Trump doubled down on his three existing commitments to the pro-life movement, he has gone a step further in pledging to protect the Hyde Amendment and the conscience rights of millions of pro-life taxpayers.”

Absent a presidential veto, it’s the Members of Congress who determine whether the Hyde Amendment goes into the budget. A presidential candidate’s coattails will have something to do with the makeup of Congress, though, so the views of the presidential candidates matter.

As the Hyde Amendment turns 40, and acting independently of any campaign or party, a diverse group of pro-life Americans led by Secular Pro-Life has launched the #HelloHyde campaign. #HelloHyde not only marks the anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, but also celebrates the lives of children born under Medicaid since the amendment was first used. The #HelloHyde campaigners want the Hyde Amendment to be not only protected but broadened.

More power to them. From the campaign’s web site:

Medicaid should cover birth, not death….

The Hyde Amendment’s life-saving impact is hard to overstate. Both supporters and opponents agree that the Hyde Amendment has prevented over a million abortions. The disagreement, sad to say, is over whether that’s a good thing.

#HelloHyde estimates that of the people born through the Medicaid program since the Hyde Amendment was enacted (“Medicaid kids”), 1 in 9 would have died in the absence of Hyde Amendment protection. That estimate comes from a recently released report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, which found that the Hyde Amendment has saved 2.13 million lives.

The #HelloHyde web site includes photos of  some of the Medicaid kids. I hope opponents of the Hyde Amendment see those photos, which might provoke some thought about which of those kids ought to have been killed at public expense.

 

Jean Claude: My salary is X, my expenses are Y. As long as my family is provided for… …I do not care where the difference comes from. That is my entire involvement.

Taken 2008

For NFL fans the name Dexter Manley brings to mind an 11 year career that included two Superbowl championships with the Washington Redskins as one of the most dominant defensive players in the league.

But for me Dexter Manley is the perfect example of what the opposition to Charter Schools in general and question 2 in Massachusetts in particular is all.

You see Dexter Manley had a secret and in 1989 he sat before a congressional hearing and revealed that despite graduating from high school and four years of college at Oklahoma State University, he was functionally illiterate.

It’s an important tale because we know Dexter wasn’t the only athlete to play out his big-time eligibility for a major institute of education as a complete and deliberate lie. It wasn’t that Dexter couldn’t read “Hamlet,” it was that he could barely read “Run, Spot, Run.”

He got out of Oklahoma State with second-grade reading skills. How can that happen?

It happened because it was a question of goals. In both grammar school and high school the goal wasn’t to educate Dexter Manley, it was to advance him through the system so that said system appeared to work.

Once he got to college on a football scholarship the goal for Oklahoma State wasn’t to educate Dexter Manley it was to make sure he was able, under the rules, to play football for the school.

In both those cases stats, not the education of Dexter Manley was the primary goal so Manley was exempt from the basic standard of knowing how to read.

And it’s not only standards of education that are often ignored for the sake of stats, it’s also standards of behavior with consequences that are sometimes fatal:

Trayvon was staying with Green after he had been suspended for the second time in six months from Krop High School in Miami-Dade County, where both his father, Tracy Martin, and mother, Sybrina Fulton, lived.
Both of Trayvon’s suspensions during his junior year at Krop High involved crimes that could have led to his prosecution as a juvenile offender. However, Chief Charles Hurley of the Miami-Dade School Police Department (MDSPD) in 2010 had implemented a policy that reduced the number of criminal reports, manipulating statistics to create the appearance of a reduction in crime within the school system. Less than two weeks before Martin’s death, the school system commended Chief Hurley for “decreasing school-related juvenile delinquency by an impressive 60 percent for the last six months of 2011.” What was actually happening was that crimes were not being reported as crimes, but instead treated as disciplinary infractions. . . .

And because of that goal of making stats look better rather than stopping criminal behavor Trayvon Martin found himself 200 miles away from home where he would meet a fellow named Zimmerman and his destiny.

And that brings us to Charter Schools as described by Thomas Sowell described them thus:

One of the few bright spots for black children in American ghettos have been some charter schools that have educated these children to levels equal to, and in some cases better than, those in affluent suburbs.

You see the primary goal is the education of the student and if that is the goal rather than simply advancing students your standards are higher and those higher standards both in terms of academic performance and behavior lead to better performance, which is why charter schools invariably produce long waiting lists of students whose parents wish to send their children there.  It also provides a safer environment.  It’s no coincidence that one critic of charter schools in Philadelphia that I interviewed commented that parents still prefer them because of an environment and discipline that made those inner city schools safe.

It’s also why the teachers unions are spending a fortune in order to stop them:

teachers unions are responsible for almost all the money donated to the anti-charter group Save Our Public Schools. The Massachusetts Teachers Association contributed $4.6 million in 2016, followed by the National Education Association with $1.9 million.

And those contributions are all about a goal that has very little to do with the education of students Thomas Sowell again:

That is a de facto declaration of moral bankruptcy in both cases, just as in the case of the Ivy League chemistry professor. In all three cases, it is a question of promoting one’s own special interests, while offering “favors” to blacks.

The Democrats’ special interest is in serving the teachers’ unions, which oppose charter schools and support Democrats financially. The NAACP’s special interest is in serving the same donors — and in keeping ghetto schools controlled by racial activists, as part of their turf.

It’s all about goals, and if your goal is about the education and development of students then charter schools and question 2 are for you.

Closing thought: How much additional motivation to perform do you think is generated for charter schools by the millions of dollars and the intense scrutiny that their opponents give them?