Thursday, June 28, 2007
Propaganda Surrounding The Supreme Court Desegretation Ruling
Last weekend I watched a documentary about a small town in Mississippi which struggled with years of racism and segregation in their public school system. Long after the 1954 Supreme Court Brown V Board decision the schools in Mississippi had not budged one bit on the issue of providing equal educational opportunities for African American students. The details of Black students receiving used text books from White schools all received with customized torn covers, ink graffiti on the covers and the frequent offensive racist remarks. The budget allocation for Black schools was a pittance compared to the White schools.
This historical tale provided a sound backdrop to the various biased media reports that I heard on the Supreme Court ruling which simply stated that public school systems are not allowed to use a student's race in voluntary school desegregation programs. For many of these reporters it was as if we were on May 16th, 1954 - the day prior to the ruling all over again.
I can only suspect that some reporters, including Black reporters believe that a majority Black school is inherently inferior to that of a White school. Few have proved the racist underpinnings of such a conclusion. Even if we were to accept their contention that such a program is required to allow greater racial understanding to take place the fact remains that a school that is currently 95% Black is not going to go back to 50/50. Over the life of the era of school desegregation schemes the overwhelming flow has been that of Black students migrating into majority White schools. White students when assigned to majority Black schools have a high rate of departure from the public school system. The end result of all of this is to send a few Black students out of their own communities into majority White schools while the neighborhood school continues to stumble along with respect to educational reform.
An important hour is upon us as a people. For the duration of our existence in this country we have fought a liberation movement - first attempting to obtain our freedom from enslavement and then our rights to live as equal Americans. It is clear and obvious to me that we are currently in a new phase. Where as the first two phases involved changing the behavior of White people who tramped upon our human and then civil rights this current phase is an internal struggle. The Black community must field a set of societal constructs in which our community institutions can produce the end product that we claimed to desire. Rather than changing the behavior of those outside of our community so that benefit will rain down upon us it is time to setup an infrastructure by which aggregate behavior of Black people is put in line with "progressive" goals to a greater extent.
Today we have racial leaders who promote their history of providing enhanced LIBERTIES and thus disposal of certain "conservative" societal constructs that serve to suppress, exclude or cajole toward producing a certain outcome. In the greater society many of these constructs were against the interests of Black people and thus in some cases these "Progressive Blacks" were right to oppose them.
Fast forward to 2007. I would argue that in many cities and towns "Da Man" is Black. The mayor, city council, police chief and dog catcher is a Black man. Where as previously there was a struggle against "Da Man" who did not have your best interests in mind as he protected the province of "White Supremacy" today it is the case that YOU voted for that person who now governs you. Thus is the protest model the appropriate use to use? I think not.
More directly with respect to the school systems - the operatives within the Black community have been complicit in protecting the educational distribution system as we have it today. Various reform programs that went beyond the cat calls for "more money" have been opposed by certain educational activists. Attempts to raise graduation standards or to deploy testing as a means of confirming the degree that is about to be bestowed upon an individual have been opposed. "Lack of money and resources " to deliver improved results has been the most frequent claim. Bloomberg spending more than $2 billion more in 3 years nor Bush spending more than $12 billion more per year nationally was not enough to satisfy the claim that more money is needed.
Today we are staring the need for fundamental change right in the face. Today on the local Black talk radio show the principal of a Black charter school that teacher poor children was a guest. While his under-resourced school was able to make the entire school proficient in both math and science on the state CRCT tests the Atlanta Public School System has failed to do the same in the past several years. Their administrators continue to get pay bonuses despite their incomplete work while the charter school's long term existence is threatened.
To be honest with you the problem goes deeper into the Black community than the average person is willing to admit. The average Black person is more committed to a particular dogma and the associations that are advanced within our community by certain operatives than they are committed to the notion of "By The Necessary Means". This is different than what Malcolm stated. "By Any Means Necessary" states that "we can take this where ever you want to take this, blow for blow. We can be as peaceful or as violent as we need to be in proportion to our adversary puts out". "By The Necessary Means" states that there are prescribed ways to achieve academic success. We need to toss our current loyalties and commit to the time honored notions of academic success. Repetition & Practice, Discipline & Character building, Reward for accomplishment, Healthy Competition, Shunning of behavior that works against our collective interests......all of these principles are the core of what is necessary to be reinstilled before our schools will begin to serve our racial development purposes.