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Same song yesterday

Pastor Rasheed Baaith

Pastor Rasheed Baaith

Same song yesterday

By Pastor Rasheed Z. Baaith

     A recent report from the US Department of Education, based on a survey of every school in America, all 16,500 of them, told us what many of us already knew. And that is racism still has a claw grip on children’s future. Especially in the arena of education.

There is so much in this report I’m not sure where to begin. For one thing there is the fact that children of color have less access to experienced teachers and 7 percent of Black students attend schools where as many as 20 percent of the teachers have failed to meet license and certification standards. They found that one in four school districts where the school population is “less diverse” pay their teachers $5,000 more than districts with higher Black and Latino student populations.

When it comes to suspensions, only 5 percent of white students receive suspensions compared to 16 percent of Black students and 12 percent of Black girl students received suspensions. That’s a rate “far greater than girls of other ethnicities and most categories of boys.”

Stay with me because it doesn’t stop there.  Students with disabilities are one quarter of the students schools referred to law enforcement or were arrested despite being only 13 percent of the 49 million students in America. One in four boy students of color with disabilities and one in five girl students of color with disabilities were suspended.

And when we talk of “students of color,” that includes all non-white groups except Latin and Asians. I need clarity on that. How can Latins and Asians not be included in students of color?  Especially Puerto Ricans; their blood line is Borinquen Indian, African and Spanish. As a matter of fact there are Puerto Ricans and Cubans who are so Black in complexion, they look African.  I’m told some parts of Cuba look like African villages and most dark skinned Puerto Ricans come from the town of Bayamon.  As for the Asians, America didn’t think they were white in WW II when they were putting them into concentration camps. What caused the change in thinking?

You couple this report with the racist verbal diarrhea Rand Paul has let flow from his mouth and the future for our children looks more uncertain than ever before. Paul’s dream is to eliminate any and all programs that are directed at helping poor and disadvant-aged people.  But especially poor and disadvantaged Black people.

Paul is a believer in Charles Murray. Murray is a conservative social scientist who postulates that African Americans are, as a population, less intelligent than whites. Murray believes this is due to genetic differences and that poverty remains a national problem because “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”

Paul agrees. He said recently, “We have this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working, and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.” Not a generation but generations. That’s a deliberate racist lie.

No doubt there are some Black men with that mentality but they by far do not represent the thinking of most Black men, I don’t care what inner city they’re in or how long they’ve been out of work.  Are there some numbers for Black men who are looking for work and can’t find?

Finally there’s this: if Paul and those who think as he does want to see structural changes in the inner cities they need to pour as much money, resources and quality personnel into the schools of those inner cities as they did in this warrantless war in Afghanistan, and do it in the same time frame; then they need to support a minimum hourly wage of at least $15.00 per hour.

If they do both, children in these inner cities will get the education foundation they need to have for a much better future than their present is and the adults in their lives will have a meaningful income. That if they can find a job and keep from being stigmatized by Paul. Think about it.


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