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Paladino: The Politics of Agitation

“Agitate, agitate, agitate!”

—Fredrick Douglas

Agitation is a persistent “annoyance” that eventually evokes a response. Most people prefer a less dramatic and less confrontational approach. This approach has been the path chosen in Buffalo for over 50 years, yielding progressively worse results. The Buffalo Public Schools are rated one of the worst in the nation, with an astounding 28 of the worst schools in the country located here and fewer than 20 percent of black males graduating. As a result, Buffalo is the third most impoverished city in the country.

Many want our failures to remain a secret similar to that of a family enabling its alcoholic father. Carl Paladino’s confrontational approach has drawn media attention that causes discomfort in many. Place Paladino’s statements in the context of the Futures Academy, Public School 37, which has fewer than nie percent of eighth graders who can pass standardized math, English, and science tests, and then ask yourself whether we should continue to keep the secret or if agitation, agitation, agitation, resulting in attention, awareness, and action, is not the better path.

- Mike Madigan, Grand Island

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