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Academia, White Racism, and the Miseducation of Our Youth In America - Keeping it Real By Larry Pinkney, BC Columnist

Recently, I had the honor of being in communication with a Black woman who is a feminist, a political activist, a college instructor, a Ph.D., and a prolific published writer. She reminded me of a serious and unacceptable crisis being perpetuated by white America against Black and other youth of color in America on college and university campuses, all in the name of racial equality and gender parity. All of my quotes in this article are from this aforementioned sister, unless otherwise specifically indicated.  

To be blunt, the fact is, today we Black and other people of color are having to deal with systematic educational apartheid on the high school, and especially college, and university levels throughout America. This applies to both instructors and students alike. The reality is that there is a "blackout" of for-real, serious, tell-it-like-it-is Black instructors, in addition to Brown, Red, and Yellow instructors, who are attempting to teach our youth the truth about ourselves, our histories, and our ongoing intensified struggles today. The recent despicable political and academic lynching by white America of Indigenous professor Ward Churchill represents precisely what is being deliberately carried out in high schools, colleges, and universities throughout the United States of America, against Black, Red, and Brown students.

As the above-mentioned prolific Black sister recently stated regarding so many hypocritical, white apartheid lynchers in academia, "For the last seven years or so, they have become vicious about protecting their narrative of innocence. They do not want me or any radical near white students and certainly not near the black students who come to higher ed[ucation] thinking that they have it made and refuse to challenge racism. Black faculty, the few left, capitulate so as not to lose their jobs, homes, cars, and expensive clothes! Worse, whites have taken over Black studies and white women teach and write (they have control over the journals) about black women authors...there are white chairs of African Americans studies and white women have taken hold of Black women's literature as if it is their own. Black women or men who bring the history of oppression and resistance, bring a political consciousness to academia, or what they call 'an attitude' are not wanted." Indeed, this is "an insidious way to annihilate Black people."

Thanks to the economic, social, and cultural racism of this nation, it is difficult enough to have many of our Black, Brown, and Red youth even finish high school and successfully continue on through college and/or university. Yet, plantation academia in the America of the 21st century has intensified in its insipid efforts to miseducate and destroy our youth and destroy their political, cultural, and social consciousness. The very survival of our peoples is at stake in this matter. The best and most effective way to protect our youth and our young people is to tell them the truth. Tell them what they are up against and what they must challenge and change in order to ensure our survival. Our very humanity is at stake in this struggle.

It is no wonder, then, that our adolescents, our twenty-somethings, and even many of our thirty-somethings, etc., do not know the important, sweet, and powerful essence of what it really means 'to be Black,' [reference Black Commentator :To Be Black In America: An Unflinching Necessity, April 19, 2007, Issue 226 ] today - in 21st century America.

Plantation America is a reality on our blocks, in our communities, and in the institutions throughout this nation, whose goal is consistently to misinform our peoples and continually instill a sense of ignorance, disunity, and self-hatred in Black, Brown, and Red people, while simultaneously putting forth the fallacious notion of white America's innocence.

Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Mary McCleod Bethune, and so many others did not struggle for our people to be miseducated; we will not sit idly back and allow this to be carried out against our people in the 21st century. We must give and demonstrate true knowledge of self, discipline, and revolutionary love to our youth, not to mention a huge daily dose to ourselves. The realness of this is self evident. 

It is the obligation, duty, and necessity of us in Black America to challenge and confront Plantation America, its 21st century male and female masters and mistresses, as we seek to build a better tomorrow for ourselves, and most of all for our offspring. This is the meaning of keeping it real in this context: doing all that we can to struggle against the miseducation of our youth. They are, after all, the posterity for which we struggle; ultimately it will be they who save or allow this planet to be doomed. Contrary to racist myth, the essence of Black Power ultimately will be to guide humankind, kicking and screaming if necessary, in concert with other peoples of color toward fulfilling its own humanity. Miseducation will simply not be accepted for ourselves as Black people, or anyone else.

The struggle continues.  

For another view of the education issue, check out Dr. L. Jean Daniels' Represent Our Resistance column this week entitled: Black Face in the Halls of Higher Education. Columnist Larry Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.    

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September 13, 2007
Issue 244

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