Wente Watch

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wente goes downstream

Wente bashes immigrants in Germany again. They don't push their kids, they hate women, they don't value education, their kids are lazy thugs who don't want to fit in. Blah blah blah.

Does Wente even know, or care, what a Hauptschule is? It is, again, a concept virtually unknown in North America. Most schools here have streams for students of different abilities (in my day, in Ontario, they were called "advanced", "general", and "basic"); Germany has entire schools for that purpose; the university-bound Gymnasia, the technical Realschulen, and the no-hoper Hauptschulen, which for all practical purposes educate kids for a lifetime of low-skill jobs and unemployment.

Hauptschulen have a higher number of kids from poorer, disadvantaged backgrounds, and not surprisingly have more problems. Furthermore, schools in the former East Germany have many more problems than those in the West, again caused by the region's high rates of poverty and unemployment.

Wente could have argued, (as some conservative West Germans do) that decades of communism have left easterners poor and lazy. She doesn't, probably not because it is a ridiculous argument, but because they are white, and in her mind beyond reproach. Cherchez le nonwhite.

Of course, the real problem is the ghastly German system of segregated schools, a holdover from the old European class snobbery, something that would be unthinkable in Canada and even in the United States tolerated only by subterfuge. Canadians believe in public education, and they believe in educating rich and poor, white and nonwhite, in the same schools. And by and large, they are succeeding.


  • No class snobbery in North America? Rich and poor attend the same schools?

    99% of the time I agree with you against the neoliberals who write in to defend Wente and bash you, but you do have to take off those North American cultural blinders and travel a bit.

    By Anonymous lagatta à Montréal, at December 09, 2006 6:24 p.m.  

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