WASHINGTON: The offensive statistics of “public school to prison” crisis among Black Americans are a testament to displaced parental priorities. However, the intensity of parental excuses of business will get Black mothers and fathers off the hook.
Active parenting fills the gap between our children, public education and the prison system.
Poor schools, inferior teachers and reduced school lunch programs alone cannot explain the continuing academic failure of Black American youth. There are many negative influences. However, parents who do not take young children by the hand to the library, the museum, even the zoo to learn about the world around them are at the greatest fault.
Parents who do not teach their children to read, appreciate art, discuss history, debate politics are at fault.
The educational inequity of low-income communities
While low-income communities do have fewer tax revenues to invest in education the astronomic rates of functional illiteracy of millions of blacks cannot be blamed on poorly-funded public schools. Or on inferior or biased teachers, or a vast racist conspiracy against Black youth.
The failure of black parenting is one of the main contributing factors for millions of Lashawns and Michelle’s becoming socio-economic-collateral-damage and recidivistic jailbirds. Parents who fail to be proactive in instilling in their children academic and community discipline and a love for learning are the cause.
As a student of history and well-versed in the saga of Black-Indigenous people in America, any sincere and knowledgeable person knows that the most significant stumbling block preventing gifted people from seizing their share of the promise of this nation is internal. For the emotional and dishonest Black reader who cannot cope with introspection and direct criticism, it might be best to take note of my name and omit reading my columns, because nobody gets a pass with me.
Education inequities in the United States
Those of us who are adults can admit that there are serious educational inequities across the United States based on class, region, income, and, yes, race. However, race, class, income, and area do not prevent a mother or a father from taking the time to read to their children. Nor do they stop them from making a trip to free public libraries, lectures, exhibitions, or faith-based educational-cultural activities.
In Washington, D.C. there is a greater chance of seeing an Australian Emu at the National Zoo than local Black community and civic groups taking youth to the National Smithsonian museums. Even though the admission to Smithsonian museums is free. There are no Jim Crow signs or other obstacles, other than themselves, to passively teaching their children.
Most of Washington’s museums, galleries, libraries are free to the public.
They are air-conditioned in the summer and heated in the cold months, but often the majority of the Blacks that one sees in many public spaces are out-of-town tourists, international visitors, or indigent persons seeking shelter. I am sure there is a skilled race pimp or mediocrity apologist who can devise a way to blame white people for this phenomenon.
But the reality is that parents do not take the time to take a young person with a talent for art to the National Museum for African-American Art. Do they even know that such a museum exists?
Beneath the headlines about prisons and premature death and racial disparities is the pebble of illiteracy. That stone rests in our shoes, causing each step to be painful. Many of our most embarrassing members of the Black collective are those who have not mastered the ability to read and write.
Sorry, neither Minister Farrakhan nor Al Sharpton, despite their gifted oratory, can justify so many Black parents never taking time to impart the skill of reading to their children.
Education begins and ends in the home
No doubt, race pimps will argue that the public schools should be the first line of defense of making sure that all children know how to read. However, we are teaching children ill-prepared for schooling was the only challenge that teachers—even in the best-funded schools—faced this would be a significant undertaking.
Ironically, the rate of literacy for Black youth has been declining for 50 years. Yet ideological idiots removed phonics from many school districts. Distracted and disinterested Black parents should be fighting illiteracy as strongly as they protest high-profile police slayings.
Leading to the questions:
- Why were Black youth were able to learn to read and write in tar-paper shacks from 1865 to 1965?
- Why did the literacy among blacks decrease post-civil rights?
- What evil spell bewitched Black people to cease to invest time in making sure that their children learned to read?
- How do modern schools with computers, gyms, lavatories, smart classrooms, state-of-art cafeterias, and degreed teachers fail Black youth so thoroughly before the third grade?
In reality, schools and teachers often fail in direct proportion to the failure of parents to assume the role of the primary instructors of their children. For decades, too many Black mothers and fathers have outsourced the totality of their children’s education to inferior teachers and failing schools.
What continues to keep Black struggling parents from changing the fate of their children?
Since the late 1960s, many Black parents have fallen captive to a culture of hedonism, materialism, narcissism, consumption, and license that was twice pulled-up by the roots.
One of the most toxic invasive species that has invaded the mindset of Black Americans is feminism. This dangerous anti-child, anti-family, and anti-male ideology has done more to destroy the young than a vast Armada of Trans-Atlantic slave-trading vessels.
The deafening of Black women as mothers
Before the 1960s, Black women were the primary teachers of African American youth, and motherhood was a respected institution. However, radical and liberal feminists duped Black American women into viewing womanhood, motherhood, and being married as involuntary servitude. This has damned millions of women to incomplete and unfulfilled lives.
Feminism led many to radically devalue motherhood and to view nurturing children as a demeaning waste of time.
Many Black women now believe that the State is responsible for the care and education of their children.
Therefore, whether a child learns to read depends on whether the parent takes a role in the education of the child. Recognizing this is not an elective activity. It is a prerequisite of being a good parent. Perhaps the simple equation of militant black feminists mothers + alienated black fathers = at risk black children provides a partial explanation for the falling Black illiteracy rates.
Illiteracy that leads too many black youths becoming victims of the profitable mass incarceration complex.
The school to prison pipeline can be cut the minute Black fathers and mothers throw-away their plasma televisions and turn off their cell phones. When parents invest their time, energies and resources into teaching their children the value of learning and reading.
Black Americans must give pre-school and collective support for continuous learning a status of importance in their homes and community.
Black youth learning black history
There needs to be home education on the black leaders that have led our communities. Instead of the beautification of black entertainers from sports, popular music, popular culture, and puerile entertainment.
Such a shift in cultural pursuits would pay significant social dividends. Black parents teaching black youth would change the fate of a people. A people long overdue for and deserving of their place among other accomplished people. The adage of white racism is blocking our intellectual advance is as current as eight-track tapes.
If sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta were able to teach their children to read, there is no excuse for Black families to treat parenthood as an exercise in procreating prison-clogging fodder.
The time is now for people to discover the greatest aspect of freedom can make the best choice for oneself. And one’s progeny.
About the Author
Randy Short is the Washington DC Political Director for BlakPAC
BlakPAC website link www.blakpac.gop BlakPAC twitter @realblakpac