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Englehart angers citizens with Losers raise losers comment

The Hartford Courant took down a blog post in which their staff cartoonist Bob Englehart criticized the Governor’s plans for inner city schools by stating that dysfunctional inner-city poor minority families tend to raise dysfunctional inner-city poor minority families. But that wasn’t his choice of words. The offending phrase that is causing the ruckus is, “losers raise losers.” You can imagine the comments didn’t sit well with a lot of folks.

The paper removed the blog post and Bob has posted an apology.

Courant columnist Colin McEnroe wrote a response that doesn’t excuse Bob’s choice of words, but attempts redirect the conversation back to the topic of how to deal with education in poorer areas.

His choice of words was terrible, but was Englehart THAT far off in his comments? I had a similar set of thoughts — framed less invidiously — during the governor’s Wednesday speech. Here’s the truth (as I see it): Kids in Simsbury and Wilton are born on second base, and they spend their school years rounding third and barreling for home as their parents pace the sidelines with stopwatches. And those parents are up in the faces of school officials making sure that system works. Hartford and Bridgeport kids are more likely to be born at home plate with a one- or two-strike count. They are the (sometimes literally and sometimes metaphorically) grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the students whose inferior schooling was never adequately addressed in the reform movements of the 1930s…or the 1960s…or the 1990s. If you could apply the concept of compound interest to inferior medical care, unsafe neighborhoods, psychological demoralization, environmental injustice and myriad other social ills, maybe you could quantify the thick impasto of disadvantage enjoyed by today’s fourth or fifth generation urban person of color.

Community Comments

#1 Gerry Mooney
@ 4:55 pm

These jerks watch too much TV. I have to wonder if they even KNOW any of the people they’re writing about or if they’re merely reacting to the received wisdom from the media. They come off as white suburban males who are just sick and tired of hearing about poor people.

#2 Mike Peterson
@ 5:17 am

McEnroe’s response is pretty solid, but, honestly, he could have cut all but two sentences and made the point more clearly: “Bob is a cartoonist. When he expresses himself in writing…well, let’s just say he’s not necessarily any better at it than I am at cartooning.”

The new trend of cartoonists blogging about what they mean has had decidedly mixed results. At best, it dulls the impact of the cartoon. At worst … well, this is the result. An awful lot of talented cartoonists should probably shut up and draw.

Wit’ all doo respeck.

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