October 28, 2005

Message to white folk......

Every year around this time you tend to loose your damn mind. OK, you caught me… it is not only this time of the year but for some reason every year around Halloween white folk think it is ok to mock Black men and women in large numbers. So this is my warning to you, Dressing up like a Black person is not a suitable Halloween outfit, putting mops on your head in imitation of a Black person with Locs is not suitable, wearing a Black face will probably get your ass kicked. Putting on Sean John, Rocca Wear with some fake platinum around your neck and in your mouth while talking slang might earn you a beat down. This is not a threat just a reminder that should be giving to white folk who tend to get real silly on Halloween.

Thank You.....

October 14, 2005

Blaming the Black Poor; Part 979,467

Everything that is wrong with Black people is caused by the Black poor. This is the sentiment I get from reading op-eds, books, web-sites and Blogs of those who seek to either excuse America for the roll this nation has played in the destruction of Black people or seek to remove themselves from being part of the problem. One of the many things that the Black poor is being Blamed for now is the declining number of Black men and women in America because poor Black folk have more Abortions. This sentiment is mostly being espoused by the Christian Right, but not exclusively by them. The argument goes something like this, Since the Roe v. Wade decision in the 1970’s over 13 million black babies have been killed thus reducing the number of Black folk by that number, and the great majority of these abortions were had by the Black poor. One would believe that those who speak about this are Black Nationalist but that is not the case, their position is more centered on their opposition to abortion than it is their hope to rebuild the Black family and save Black people from extinction and because of that they have to frame their arguments against abortion such that it garners the attention of the Pro-Black crowd who will oppose any and everything that kills Black men and women.

As a self proclaimed Black Nationalist, when I hear that over 13 million of our people have been killed by any one thing or method since the 1970’s this disturbs me. I am equally disturbed by the anti-abortion crowd trying to win support by playing up the number of Black babies that have been killed when they have no real interest in saving Black people and the Black family. As a self proclaimed Black Nationalist I am anti or stand in opposition to anything that threatens Black people and the Black family, from our own pathologies to external realities barring down on us. This include but is not limited to drug use, drug dealing, murder of any kind, and black men and women passing up equally yoked Black men and women for a man or woman that is not Black. You see many of those Black folk who are anti-abortion that are using the argument; abortion has killed 13 million Black men and women, would have us believe that their goal in making such an argument is to express their deep concern with the decline in the number of Black people being born and living in America or give the impressions that their overly concern with the disappearing Black family. Nothing can be further from the truth.

If one is concerned about the Black populous and the Black family, they would stand in opposition to all things that threatened these two things and no one can deny that Black men and women choosing mates from outside our community is contributing to the destruction of the Black family. Also if there is a concern about the Black population decreasing than surely you can not Blame this all on the Black poor who have been beaten down over the years for having babies they were told they can not afford but now the Black poor are too believe they are solely responsible for reproducing children to stop the declining number of Black folk in America? Can’t have it both ways. The Black poor is continuously reminded that they are poor because they continue to have babies they can’t afford, or if they have a baby their chances of doing this or that is reduced and because of that the Black poor have taken it upon themselves to not become one who will be subjected to any odds that works against them having a prosperous life, so they turn to abortion.

Abortion itself is just one of many things that are responsible for the decline in Black people over the years. We can not forget about those upward mobile Blacks men and women who choose their careers over having children and in some cases over marriage. What is their role in the declining number of Black people, are they as guilty of this decline as the abortion having poor? One thing we do know, the ends of both realities is the same, no Black child is born. Look at the facts, upward mobile Blacks are in a better financial situation meaning they more so than the Black poor have the means to care for a child but yet many of them do not thus any wealth they attain in life will probably die with them or maybe a few charities will benefit from it. Then there are the upward mobile Black men and women that marry non Black men and women and if their children are not classified as Black and who knows what the census takers are doing in this matter, we again are faced with a decline in Black people. Blaming the poor for the decline in the Black populous because they are more likely to have an abortion puts the weight of keeping the number of Black folk living in the U.S. on shoulders that are already carrying more weight than it can possibly bare. Furthermore if we are going to address the decline in Black babies being born than it should not be limited to Blaming the poor, we must go after those upward mobile Black folk who do not have children and or have non Black mates less it appears one is trying to cloak their anti-abortion sentiments in a Black Nationalist cloth to get support from those of us who are Pro-Black.

October 07, 2005

Changing failing School Districts....

“Since we do not have a benchmark that can tell us how much Parent Participation contributes to a student’s success versus how much the lack of resources and lack of qualified teachers contributes to a child’s failure, why are we so receptive of the idea that it is family values, culture and lack of parent participation that causes children to fail in school.”

I wrote this statement and question over a year ago in a discussion on AfricanAmerica.org where in I asked the question, “What makes it ok to externalize good and success while the externalization of evil and failure is not ok.” This question was asked in an effort to help us better understand the roll external forces play in the failure we see day to day particularly in the public school system. Those who believe that Black men and women suffer from victim-hood will tell us the problem with our children in the public schools system is moral depravity, the lack of parental participation among many other things that seek to place the Blame for the problems with the public School system on the parents and the children. Those of us of a differing opinion will say; the lack of funding, under qualified teacher, low expectations among many other things is what is causing the problem, thus externalizing the Blame.

This is where many Black men and women part ways, there are those of us who fully believe in the internalization of failure and the externalization of it when the evidence points to something external being the cause. On the other hand there are those who seek only to place blame on Black culture and various pathologies that are not unique to Black men and women but apparently from their standpoint have an effect on us that it does not have on others which can only mean one thing “we are inferior to those unaffected by our shared pathologies”

I have argued the biggest problem facing our children education is School funding, incompetent and under qualified teachers and the curriculums that do not prepare our children for what they will face out in the world. To see if this is the truth one only need to look at those school districts that have made improvements and are no longer considered dumping grounds for the poor.

Take the Norfolk School district that apparently hit rock bottom around 1988 according to an article on US News and World Report Website. The Norfolk School District was a mess and the schools within the district scores reflected this fact.

“Just 38 percent of third graders passed the state's Standards of Learning, or SOL, test in English; 26 percent of eighth graders were proficient in mathematics; and a mere 18 percent of high schoolers passed Virginia and U.S. history.”

In comes the Black man John Simpson who believes in Black Children (Norfolk school District is two thirds Black) When John Simpson took over the school district in 1998 “67 percent of Norfolk's white third-graders passed the state English exam. Only 41 percent of the district's black third-graders met that standard.” In a few Short years Mr. Simpson had turned that 41 percent to 61 percent closing the gap by 23 percentage points, a major improvement “where progress usually is measured in tiny increments. How did he do it, what did he do, did he blame the parents? Did he blame the culture? Did he blame moral depravity? Mr. Simpson did none of these things because he knows these things are not the cause of what we see in the public school system today and he do not subscribe to white supremacist ideology.

What Mr. Simpson did do is some of the very things I have stated would solve school problems; he first shifted One million dollars from the administrative budget and put it in the classrooms, he then shifted some of the best teachers in the District to the neediest schools which openly says that he recognize the problems these schools are facing is with having unqualified and unprepared teachers instructing students. He then introduced standard aligned curriculum such that all schools were teaching the same thing and all students were being prepared for the test they were expected to pass using the same tools. He curtailed the practice of laziness on the part of the teachers (who could not or did not identify instructional problems until the end of the year when it was too late and the only choice left to the school was to hold the child back ) by having all instructional problem pinpointed immediately and remedied.

He also shifted the Blame to the teachers for the child’s performance as study after study even studies from Conservative think tanks have suggested; “the teacher is ultimately responsible for the child understanding instructions given in the classroom.” The teachers balked at such an idea of them being responsible but after being informed this would not be used as a means to fire them and more as a means to make them a better and more successful teacher, it took a while but they all came to believe it. The teachers and the school districts officials no longer say the things we still here a few Negro men and women saying and racist conservative white folk saying as noted by one Principal from the district; "We used to hear a lot of excuses--the kids aren't studying or behaving, parents aren't doing what they're asked--and no one says that now,” If you missed it here it is again…."We used to hear a lot of excuses--the kids aren't studying or behaving, parents aren't doing what they're asked--and no one says that now," Why no one is saying it now? because those things were never the problem and they are not the problem in most if not all poor performing schools in America.

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