Rajesh Barnabas 
Member since Sep 4, 2015

Recent Comments

Re: “The complicated path to teacher diversity

Mr. Cala is a thoughtful educator and has walked the walk. With that said, I have to take issue with the subtext of what he accomplishes here in his essay.

I agree with Mr.Cala for the first 5 paragraphs.

When he says the boards screening of candidates (teaching and staff candidates) in executive session is crossing a policy line into the worst kind of micro-managing I have to disagree. First of all worst is a pretty strong word. I can see that word being used if the board was trying to tell the superintendent what kind of tie to wear, or I even think it would be worse to try to tell the Superintendent what cabinet members they should have. That is actually worse than wanting to micromanage teacher hires. Because we should be scrutinizing teachers more so than high level managers on Broad St. After all the Principals of schools ARE not elected officials or democratically in any way chosen by the students or the parent population. Whereas the school board members are and actually have a residency requirement to live in the City of Rochester. Only 5% of the administrative staff (the principals of the schools) actually live in the City of Rochester. I am not saying that those Principals and Superintendent shouldnt have a say in what teachers get hired, but I really dont think it hurts to have an extra dozen eyes scrutinizing what teachers are hired, especially by people who actually LIVE in the city and were elected by the population that LIVES in the city.

Finally the school board is sinking their teeth into a REAL education issue, one they have control over, and you want to NOW say they are micromanaging! This is so ridiculous to me. I am just surprised it comes from a very, very, studied and thoughtful educator.

Then Mr. Cala totally cops out on probably the most important civil rights/education issue of our time; the hiring of teachers that actually racially and residentially represent the students they teach. He says, this is an important issue, BUTBut what, not BUTS.This IS the only issue right now that we need to deal with. BUT instead, Cala lists a whole bunch of other distractions; we must not forget the other important factors that impede learning, blah, blah

Imagine if Rosa Parks back in the day said, you know what I should probably just move to the back of the bus, because there are all these other societal and systematic oppressions and factors keeping us down, and what is the point of me just sitting at the front of the bus going to change.

What if Martin Luther King, Jr. instead of organizing a march on Selma, he was told by white handlers said, Well Martin, democracy is so complicated, are you sure the denial of voting is the only factor in your oppression? I mean shouldnt we be looking at things like having books to read in every black childs household and nutritious meals. I am not saying voting isnt important BUT, there are just so many factors that lead to the denial of democracy.

Cala accomplishes his goal of diminishing the immediacy of this moment in history, he attempts to dilute the importance of the work of this very dedicated group of activists that actually live in the city of Rochester and work there that have put this issue of hiring black teachers to teach their children super seriously. I want Mr. Cala to understand the message he is sending and take ownership of that. The black parents, the teachers, the activists and FINALLY the board involved are trying to take ownership over their education. If we are not going to join them, we would all do well by taking a back seat to that priority.

When Mr. Cala says a diverse teaching staff is critically important, as is addressing the socio-economic needs his use of the word as is actually undermines his first clause, because as soon as he puts it on the same level as the other factors harming urban education. And no one would disagree that there are not tons of factors, no one has ever disagreed with that sentiment.

But there is a group that is taking action right now on this one front, and it is the Take it Down, Faith Community Alliance, and the Movement for Anti-racist Ministry and Action. And the board appears to be responding. Why of all times, if Mr. Cala is serious about action, would he get in the way of this? Why would he put out there that there are all these other issues to attend to in education rather than joining this fight? Or at the very least not talking out of two-sides of his mouth about it.

When he says Action, not talk, on ALL fronts is crucial it seems disingenuous, because no real change ever takes place on all fronts, that is non-historical or logical. Real action, real movements start when a group of individuals address one issue on one front at a time, and when that is accomplished move on to others.

5 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Rajesh Barnabas on 09/13/2017 at 2:01 PM

Re: “Anti-poverty group leader: It's time to act

1 in 4 women face severe and persistent sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the military. Maybe that is the kind of training Eric is referencing...

0 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Rajesh Barnabas on 12/22/2016 at 5:13 PM

Re: “The last word on red-light cameras

Here is another quote from the report you site above: "Evidence captured by the red light cameras is reviewed by the camera vendor and potential violations are forwarded to the Rochester Police Department where a swornofficer determines whether a violation has occurred."

Anyone who has ever run a business or knows how "vendors' work, they are not going to create data that indicates their product is unnecessary. Think for one second about this without your "oh poor people are against this, so it must be actually a good thing" blinders... No actually, the vendors can adjust what threshold of violation occurs per camera, so as to produce whatever number of quotas they need per camera...The vendor then hands the data over to the police.... That is why in certain areas, just an inch of your front bumper can be over the line and they give you a violation, whereas in other intersections, you can run straight through a stale light and get nothing... So yes even before the data arrives to city council and the police, it is already cooked by the vendor...

4 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Rajesh Barnabas on 12/22/2016 at 4:49 PM

Re: “This divided nation

I think it is pretty scary when the editor of the supposed "alternative" newsweekly says "I live in and work in a bubble, among friends, co-workers, and neighbors who are pretty much like me. A blue-city, blue-state, bubble, in my case dominated by Hillary Clinton Supporters." This is not just descriptive but a subjective perception of where she lives and the mainstream corporate political spectrum she entertains and endorses. WOW! I think the younger generation is saying to their democrat Hillary supporting elders "I just don't understand them," as much as they are saying that about the few Trump supporters we know. As the saying goes, you can't often teach an old dog new tricks. I don't see the elder generation ever understanding in their lifetime the thoughts or desires or urgency for a truly different political choice (which was represented by Bernie). So the lament that "unless average citizens like us find a way to understand each other..." is patronizing to us when if you did care or if you tried to understand you would have supported our efforts behind Bernie and/or third party candidates. But you don't and never will. We just have to wait until enough of you guys die off and register more of our young people to vote and get into movement building. That is the way the country will move forward, not by trying to communicate with your old liberal's expired leadership and wisdom.

3 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Rajesh Barnabas on 10/27/2016 at 3:07 PM

Re: “‘Not my problem’: reactions to the shootings

Please reference Animute's justification for the US using A-bombs and then get back to me about the topic of advocating violence. Posted by Animule on 08/07/2015 at 1:16 PM

Unfortunately, promoting violence does not disqualify one from holding office in the US. Case in point: all US presidents.

I was simply advocating self-defense.

1 like, 22 dislikes
Posted by Rajesh Barnabas on 09/04/2015 at 6:19 PM

Re: “‘Not my problem’: reactions to the shootings

The War rages on against the poor…

I find it tiring to confront the dual headed monster of ignorance and racism expressed in these responses to Ms. Towler’s essay, but nonetheless some things need to be put in perspective.

First and foremost, there is a war not on poverty but a war going on to create more poverty. It is waged silently by the top .01% and their notable think tanks: Fox News, Bob Lonsberry, Rush, Trump, and whomever else is able to take tiny non-factual chunks of information and chew them up into even tinier pieces for their vomit appreciating audience, ex. Don Sherman et al.

It is the historic practice of the elite to roll out tales of parasitic, delinquent and undeserving poor to deflect public anger from themselves. Not that Don is by any means of the 1% I am guessing, but neither were the majority of confederate soldiers who were duped into defending the plantation class pre and post Civil War. Today’s modern day confederate capitalists who argue that their anecdotal and “common sense” perceptions somehow “trump” the reams of empirical evidence pointing to an opposite reality are simply stonewalling.

We should no longer give these idiots our time but instead, our fists!

-Rajesh Barnabas
Green Party Candidate for Monroe County Exec.

4 likes, 25 dislikes
Posted by Rajesh Barnabas on 09/04/2015 at 4:39 AM

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