Sunday, July 30, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Sunday, July 16, 2006
But has desegregation really served the purpose it was intended to serve? A half a century later, are our children really reaping the benefits of integration? Sadly, I have to answer in the negative.
First, integration brought with it the loss of thousands of professional jobs for African-Americans, those of the teachers and principals of the formerly segregated black schools. Consequently, our children suffer because they do not see people who look like them in positions of power at school.
Second, the public school systems in most major metropolitan areas are still segregated, just not by legal mandate. As more and more of the white population conduct mass exodus to the suburbs, and those who do not move to the suburbs send their kids to private schools, most urban schools are filled with children whose families cannot afford to move to the suburbs or send them to private schools -- mostly black, and now, Hispanic children. And because the suburbs bring in more tax money and spend less on city services than the inner-city, suburban children end up having access to resources and opportunities that urban children do not have.
Additionally, just because a black child attends a suburban, or more privileged school, does not mean that child will do any better than their urban counterparts. Black children in mostly white suburban schools face a different set of problems than black children in urban schools, including racial and testing bias. For instance, in suburban schools that utilize "tracking" systems -- better known as advanced placement, gifted and talented, or the honors program -- black children are consistently underrepresented in the higher tracks because of a history of discrimination in education.
So what is the answer? I don't know that legally-mandated resegregation -- where black children are taught by black teachers -- is the answer to our problems, but the status quo is having a detrimental effect on our children.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Have you ever been out shopping and come across some black folks who are extremely rude for no reason? Or, have you ever experienced black folks acting like they've never been anywhere before? Fresh off vacation, I came back wondering why some black folks feel the need to be rude and obnoxious to people for absolutely no reason at all.
While I was on vacation, I went shopping in an area where a lot of cruise ships dock -- which brought a large influx of black folks to the area. While in one of the stores, I saw several black folks being loud and obnoxious, and acting rude to both sales associates and other customers. It's really embarrassing to me, because inevitably, people will attribute that behavior to all of us.
For instance, I remember being in Miami some years back. The weekend prior to my being there was Memorial Day weekend, which is a huge "Black" weekend in Miami. I remember getting into cabs and the cab drivers saying things like they couldn't believe I was being nice to them, and they were so happy the Memorial Day weekend festivities had ended because the people were extremely rude to them. Sadly, the cab drivers expected that because I was black, I would be rude to them just like the others were.
Why do some black folks act like they don't have any home training? I don't get it. For whatever reason, I always thought that black folks had more home training than everyone else; but that belief is seriously in question.
Maybe I'm just holding black folks to a higher standard, or maybe some black folks really haven't been anywhere and don't realize their behavior is rude and obnoxious. Either way, it's still embarrassing to me.