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Free 2 B posted after 3:00 which is well after the time that most elementary schools get out.
Thank you for further accusing me (I am not Free 2 B) and your repetitive plagiarism of information that has next to nothing to do with the current debate. I don't understand what you are trying to prove with that police log. I guess I have to admit that you are correct. Crime does exist on the streets. My goodness, I'll try to be safe.
Once again I challenge YOU to give us an alternative to our lifestyle and a way of obtaining it.
You say that I condone of this evil. But I ask you, how else can we combat the "evil" of the fight starters? Another way that was as effective I would support fullheartedly, but there doesn't seem to be one and you sure aren't giving us one as I suggested. If you want to end street crime forever, you have to combat it at its source. It's source is poverty, not the school system. Again, blaming us students, the so called "thugs", the schools or the adults does nothing to solve our problem. Yes, we all know that their is crime in the world and it is bad. You can stop telling us now.
Two of the students threatened on this board had many opportunities to stop attracting anger from their fellow students but all they did was instigate more and more until the breaking point where they came on this board and started insulting all the students here, including myself (who may I remind you never posted a threatening message). They haven't been to school this week and I can tell you honestly that it has been perhaps the most enjoyable, relaxing school week of my four years at Berkeley High because while I'm sure that they were talking about me, my friends and everyone else at BHS behind our backs at home, we knew that there would be no more unnecessary violence in their names for the time being. You cannot even comprehend the number of people (I'm sure the administration was tired of them running to their offices to report threats that they had so eagerly lured to themselves) who were pleased by their absence.
You say yourself that you are not a parent of a BHS student. And you blame the schools for crime. You say yourself that there are many parents who refuse to put their children into Berkeley and Oakland public schools. They blame the schools for their own fear. But when I, a Berkeley High student who has been going to Berkeley public schools my entire life and a parent of a Berkeley High student say that the school system is safe and not to blame for crime, you dismiss our opinions. Why? Because our views are based on actual experiences, yours on newspaper articles. The East Bay Express chose to write an article on 2 out of control parties. I assure you that if they could've written about more out of control parties, they would have but there simply aren't enough out of control teen parties. They haven't written any articles on the kick it at some girl's house that ended with her friends getting home safely. They don't tell you about the party where a fight almost started but it was ended before it began by responsible Berkeley students. Let me assure you, parties like the ones I wrote about here are by far the most common at Berkeley High. This article gave Berkeley High School a very unfortunate bad reputation (which is why people were so angered by the writer of the article), it perhaps even gave the entire public school system of the Bay area a bad name. Partly because a few kids didn't want to put in the effort to not push someone over the edge of self control.
I support our "thuggish" culture at Berkeley High because it keeps people in check. Threats are not given out before they are basically asked for. Trust me, nobody threatened to assault those kids leading to them offending those who threatened, it happens the other way around. If you try to piss people off, they will get pissed off. Much like my personal philosophy, "thug" culture doesn't start shit, it ends it.
If you want to actually make an impact on our culture, you're going to have to do something. As I said, and someone before me, if you want to prevent crime you have to pretty much solve the problem of poverty. If you've got a way to do that, AND IT DOESN'T INVOLVE SIMPLY BLAMING PEOPLE OR POINTING OUT PROBLEMS, I'm all ears. But until then, you're argument is not with me, the other students of Berkeley High or even parents like Free 2 Be who are willing to condone my opinions and behavior. We know what really goes on at our schools, we laugh (quite literally. Many students at BHS have actually laughed at this article) at the false impressions you are fed by articles such as this one. You are trying to relate the problems at school, which we have demonstrated that we are perfectly capable of handling ourselves, with a much larger problem with a much deeper root. So stop blaming us for street crime and start fighting poverty if you actually want to make a difference.
Kristen, I'm going to reiterate myself one last time so that people may finally understand what I'm trying to say. (Free 2 B got it down. I wonder who your bhs student child is because I want to confront them and congratulate them on having a parent that actually understands the current "thug" culture situation)
Kristen, you can blame anyone you want to, but when it comes down to it, you aren't solving anyones problems. You're pretty much asking us all to stand together and use our magic powers of protest to fight against a culture that is becoming dominant and we as students (and at least one understanding parent) have accepted as the way things are. I'm not supporting random acts of violence (and I took my word back a while ago, they happen, I'm capable of admitting when I'm wrong) but I am supporting methods of preventing violence that would occur in schools simply from somebody insulting someone physically or emotionally and the resulting retaliation.
And as for your talk of minorities, I am half white and half asian. My freshman year, I enrolled in CPA which is known as perhaps the most predominantly african american small school in Berkeley High (There were around 5 other non-black students in a P.E. class of around 50). No one has ever accused me of being a ghetto asian or white boy but I was still able to function safely in my classes and voice my opinions. I don't believe in God and I got a little bit of questioning as to why I have my disbeliefs but in the end, I was able to voice my minority opinion around a majority of people who you might have called "thugs" (I wouldn't say they were thugs, most people in BHS are in fact nice people and friendship or at least a "chill" status with them is not difficult to obtain at all. All it requires is not being a DICK).
I voiced a number of opinions and facts that were not agreed upon by my classmates in CPA (for instance, when asked to approximate demographics of the U.S. I said that our country is around 10% black after people had said percentages such as 30, 50 and even 99. I heard a lot of teeth sucking but when our teacher revealed that the U.S. is around 12% black, I heard things like "Oh, he's got it" and "he's pretty smart") I am a regular advocate for no affirmative action but the so called "thugs" don't give me crap for it.
I have given advice on how I am able to function safely within Berkeley High, but apparently, you do not see them as good enough. Free 2 Be has already confirmed that they require almost no effort to abide to but as I see in your hopes for the future, apparently you wish for people to be able to call others racist names, physically assault them in a demeaning manner, insult their intelligence, etc and get away without consequences. Well fuck that. If you're pointing out a problem but not actually giving us a solution to any of its aspects, what do you expect us to do, hope for the Berkeley policy of holding hands and praying to magic rainbows to solve our problems for us? If it's alright with you, I'd like to have the so called "thugs" as guardians of society rather than nothing at all.
Michael Krasnor (don't be afraid to use my real name when addressing me, I'd honestly rather you know who I am)
Oh my goodness, just stop. Please.
The n-word is a work in progress. It is being de-sensitized so at the moment, only black people may use it. However, maybe someday in the future, we may all use it, if it is not replaced by "bruh" by then. Think about how the word became a taboo word. Follow the entomology. You could turn any word into an insult if you really wanted to. For instance, if you heard a black person calling another black person "brother," you could go so far as to claim that brother is being used in a derrogatory manner. One could claim that it implies that blacks are uneducated in sexual education and as such have massive amounts of unprotected sex with many partners meaning that the two men, could in fact, be brothers. At the moment, the n-word is used by african americans to reference other african americans in the same way that bros call each other "brah." Some see it differently, but some will always see it differently.
And what I got from your explanation of why some people attack others is that they do it because their "victim" gives a bad name to their group. For instance, if a successful black business man saw Flava-Flav walking down the street, he might attack him and I would feel that he was completely justified in such an act.
And as for the "urban ghetto black underclass": the words you mentioned are also rampant elsewhere. For instance, the other urban ghetto underclasses, the urban ghetto middleclass and the urban ghetto upperclass. If you hadn't noticed, it is not just public school students who use such words, we accepted the thug life willingly because it makes sense and out of control teen parties are very rare unless you're watching Maury.
And as for why we accepted this culture: SOME of the music actually sounds nice (rap isn't all offensive, listen to jurassic 5 for instance, or Kanye if you want something "newer"), the common use of the derrogatory language serves to desensitize such words so that now teens have a larger situational vocabulary that they can use without facing gasps (sometimes you've just gotta inform your friends that somebody is a bitch, it helps the community stay as bitch-free as possible. And that last use of the word bitch was the verb form) , and finally, the sometimes violent culture serves to keep our schools sparkly and clean of shit stirrers (they know who they are).
And my name is Michael Krasnor. I'm not a coward as someone suggested. I really don't care who knows who I am, I'm just speaking the truth.
I'm going to make this as simple and clear as I possibly can and respond to you, Kristen, and others who I'm sure share your ideas, one paragraph at a time.
About people going to jail. I was trying to say that people who get released from prison always find it extremely difficult to find a way to function within our society. (ever try to get a job right after you get out of prison? no? neither have I but apparently it's nigh impossible to get a good one) And as for the programs that certain prisons provide which teach a trade to inmates, you have to look at it from a realistic point of view. Koppel did a story on those programs. While they may teach a trade to inmates (welding seemed to be a popular one) the inmates still find it nearly impossible to find jobs because their training is not very advanced. Who would you rather hire, the person who learned how to be an expert welder from a trade school and has a clean criminal record or the guy who just got out of jail and knows just the basics?
You go on to suggest that what I do to not get into trouble has gotten me in league with the devil but again I must repeat myself. What I do has never been called "morally wrong" by others before. In fact, I personally believe that not insulting people's intelligence, their families, ethnicities or their gender is morally right, if anything. The guidelines that I have suggested have done nothing to hinder my life whatsoever. Well, I guess technically I can't frequently indulge in the lovely art of insulting people and I don't go to parties people do not want me to go to but in all honesty, I don't believe that I'd want my child delving into such activities either.
And finally, how is my solution to some aspects of this "problem" any less effective than yours? You are telling us on this board to "demand adherance to social norms or face the consequences." Well, I guess I'll be the first to say that this "thug-infested teen culture" of ours is now the social norm. And you are correct, if we cannot adhere to the rules placed within it, (my guidelines are some of these rules), we must face the consequences (for lack of a better term, an ass-whooping). Telling us teens that we should stop letting ourselves conform to this society doesn't solve a damn thing. What are you hoping for, for someone like me to start advocating a revolution against "ghettoness"? No way. I like this system because I can function safely within it (I follow the simple guidelines) and it keeps the real bullies and assholes from doing what they just love to do. The opposite of the existing system is one in which people are allowed to say whatever they want to whoever they want, with total disregard for the feelings of others. I like living in a community where people can't just slap me in the face and then insult my brother and myself and I'm aloud to defend my honor in a socially acceptable way. I like going to a school where little kids who post messages on message boards criticizing people's grammar and questioning their intelligence when they in fact, do not even truly know the people they are criticizing don't come to school anymore because they are afraid of retaliation. I like living in a community where adults who threaten and accuse students don't gain the support needed to be on the city council because they are no more mature than the teenager they attempt to bully around. Surprisingly I actually feel safe in this system so I don't believe that we need a change.
I'm not a cynic, I'm a realist. And if you can't deal with our system, and you're only solution is to try to get one of US to change it, then honestly you're left with two choices: learn to deal (it's really not hard people), or go somewhere else.
Thank you for your thoughtful concern Kristen,
In response to your comments, I have this to say. Your hopes for urban teen culture are impossible. While this is tragic, it is true and as such there is no use fighting against it. You suggest consequences for those who commit crimes to help turn their lives around but you know as well as I do that going to prison, for instance, makes it nigh impossible to "turn around." And think of repeat offenders too. They may face consequences but they will never willingly turn their lives around.
Your information on Oakland schools was unbeknownst to me. I'll be sure to stay out of the Oakland public school system. At Berkeley High, no fights last very long. If something gets stolen, and a teacher or security sees who did it (which is very rare) you get your stuff back.
The adults on this board seem to all be arguing the same point, that we as students allow this system of violence to go by without even wanting to fight against it. But neither are you. As I said before, blaming people isn't helpful at all. You can say that we let people get into fights and steal things, but that will not prevent it from happening. You keep on saying that the adults failed us but do you really expect us to succeed where you have failed? We won't. What we can do, however, is learn to function safely within this society. I have pointed out a great number of common sense strategies to help people stay as safe as possible within our community and there isn't any more we can do but follow them. You may talk all you want about what is wrong with us but if there isn't a way to fix it, don't tell us to. People just need to learn how to deal. It's not hard at all.
Oh, and If I may make one point clear:
bitches is not an all encompassing term used for females. There is a difference between a bitch and your standard female.
There are two types of bitches, angry ones and happy ones. Happy bitches hope to someday dance in rap videos in thongs and bikinis. Angry bitches are people (not neccesarily women) who complain and say hurtful and insulting things.
You see, we might use the word "woman" if we are trying to be polite when referencing a bitch but we would never use the word "bitch" to reference a non-bitch woman. The thing is, when the people on this board say "bitches" they mean exactly what they say. They are referring to bitches, not women. We as males would not call a woman a bitch or ho for instance and not expect repercussions unless, they were in fact, addressing a bitch or ho.
If you must know, I was concussed, not jumped. But so long as you brought that up, I'm going to accuse someone, completely out of the blue with no evidence whatsoever. It was your son and his rugby friends who did it, wasn't it? You sent them after me because you I argued with you.
No, I probably did do something that called for the concussion (it had to do with something I got too close to that I probably shouldn't have) but the funny thing about a concussion... you just can't seem to remember what happened when you wake up.
And while your accusation may have started with a simple question "did you egg my house?" you got downright dirty when you told (you didn't ask) my dad that I sent someone to do it. When you told him that you would drive by our house to see if one of our cars was used in the vandalism, you went too far. So now I'm a primary suspect because I argued with you. You know, my mom was worried about me on Monday. She actually thought you'd follow through with your threat and send some people to jump me. So who exactly is bullying now Laura? The kid who's trying to inform people about proper party safety or the mom who threatens and falsely accuses people who don't agree with her?
Oh, and by the way, don't worry about my mom. She cooled down after I told her that I'd be alright. I told her that if you did anything to put MY family in danger, I'd retaliate in the way that you probably expect a Berkeley teenager to act. So, if your son gets shot one day, know that it wasn't me. However, if you send someone to kick my ass or whatever you want to call it, and they turn up with a closed windpipe and some broken bones, That was most definately me.
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