Reine Duell Bethany - Author and Illustrator
My Blog

Undeserved EMplyment versus Hempstead Schoolchildren

The more I study the history of the Hempstead Public Schools, the more it looks to me as though the needs of the district's children succumbed to the fear of unemployment among some of the African American people on the school board and in the Village of Hempstead.
     I didn't believe it at first when some people claimed that the school system was ruined by decades of patronage, in which one particular school board member got herself into a position to hire unqualified applicants in exchange for portions of these applicants' paychecks.

How to Create a Gang Member (Or At Least Destroy a Child's Productivity)

Humans were made to create. When the creating is stymied, we start to die inside. Along with the sense of being killed comes anger.
     Kids are creative from day one. Too often, their creativity gets interpreted as infantile foolishness that, some fine day, will yield to adult sensibility. Thus, when a toddler between ages one and two makes up syllables and uses them like words, the "babbling" gets interpreted as an errant attempt at human speech. But that interpretation is inaccurate.

The Problem Wasn't the Black Kids

Hempstead High School was renowned on Long Island during the first half of the twentieth century. Students from nearby villages attended Hempstead High because they didn't have their own high schools yet. Hempstead had transport: the Long Island Railroad and a trolley system running west, east, and south. It built roads that cars could traverse and it had been a business establishment since its inception; Sammis Hotel sustained itself with Sammis descendants as propietors from 1660 to 1929. Carman Lush Pharmacy served at least three generations.

On Behalf of Hempstead

For the past week (Jan. 8-14), Long Island's premier paper Newsday, has printed headlines about the utter breakdown in the function of the Hempstead School Board. The focus on the school board's blatant failures to work in unity is, on one hand, long overdue, and on the other hand, off target.
     Hempstead has for so long been overloaded with section 8 residents and Central American immigrants that today's untenable situation is predictable. I don't mean to fault people who may need section 8 housing, and I certainly don't fault Central American immigrants who are leaving bloody gang warfare and natural disasters.

Student Unkindness Toward the Professor

I find that I can cope with student inattention, misunderstanding, or laziness effectively. What I find most difficult is student unkindness.
    Some students come to college with an immature view of professors.  These students are unkind, rude, undermining, and distracting. Their snide jokes tend to draw others into their disruptions. Whatever the professor is trying to accomplish in class, these students will take every opportunity to treat the professor as an inept outsider.

THE APARTMENTS ARE COMING. As of 1961.

In my work as village historian, I have been surveying the repositories of information about, specifically, Hempstead Village.Hidden on a top shelf in a vault, I discovered scrapbooks: four covering Hempstead events 1927-1943, and one with articles from 1961 to about 1965.
      A headline among the 1961 articles impressed me: APARTMENTS COMING TO LONG ISLAND. It was a Newsday article. It impressed me because Long Island communities at this very time, 2017, are organizing to resist a a mushrooming trend of new apartments.

Move over, Hurricane Harvey: Trump is a far more threatening disaster.

Not only did Trump pardon a criminal of a sheriff, Joe Arpaio, whose inhumane treatment of prisoners in Arizona did nothing to deter crime and everything to enforce racism. Now Trump has announced that he is lifting the ban on militarization of police weaponry that former President Barack Obama wisely imposed after the clashes in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. This move on Trump's part means that police could once more transition away from viewing themselves as part of communities whose citizens they help by fostering conflict resolution and by taking criminals off the streets.

TRUMP MUST GO

My history book on Hempstead Village has consumed me, as well as the wedding of our fourth child on August 5.
      But nobody can ignore the dreadful events in Charlottesville this past Saturday, when a rally of white supremacists and neo-Nazis arose to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee because of its symbolic endorsement of black slavery.
     Counter-protestors gathered in the morning while the alt-right groups also gathered. The encounters between them became so acrimonious that police separated the groups and canceled the rally.

Trevor Noah Talks About Racism He Experiences in the United States

Trevor Noah grew up in South America and moved to the United States after achieving fame as a hard-hitting comedian. He identifies as black, though his features could be mistaken for Hispanic or even Indian. If a man like this gets pulled over repeatedly by police when he has not committed any crimes or suffered car equipment failure, then racism definitely operates in police decision making!
http://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/trevor-noah-%e2%80%98i-have-been-stopped-by-police-8-to-10-times%e2%80%99-in-6-years-in-us/ar-BBCZM5u?

Hempstead School Board Mess

I have not been to a Hempstead School Board meeting since about 2002. I did not put my children into the Hempstead school system and did not give more than a passing shake of the head to articles in Newsday about contentious school board meetings.
     What I saw last Thursday, June 15, the last school board meeting before the year turns over on July 1 to 2017-2018, was embarrassing. The prime element evident was division, and I don't mean heated discussion among board members.
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