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Est. April 5, 2002
April 28, 2016 - Issue 651

How Could Black Folks Abdicate
Educating Our Children
White Missionaires?


"If you can control a man's thinking you
do not have to worry about his action.
When you determine what a man shall think
you do not have to concern yourself about
what he will do. If you make a man feel
that he is inferior, you do not have to compel
him to accept an inferior status,
for he will seek it himself."

I’ve spent years in an urban “Black n’ Brown” school district, arguably the worst between LA and KC. Of course the schools are economically segregated and therefore racially segregated. Some schools being integrated forcibly appear racially diverse in overall make-up, but are truthfully racially segregated in all classes, particularly “the 3 r’s” core-classes. I’d argue much of the nation’s schools resemble this “lite” form of 21st-century American Apartheid.

Illusions of equality.

This form of racism is camouflaged under the guise of “advanced classes” e.g., gifted/talented, International Baccalaureate, college prep courses, etc. In my school 90% of the White students, who “most” of course are potentially brilliant . . . their day is an extra hour a couple of days a week . . . while the Black n’ tan kids stampeded out of the building celebrating their early release - yet they’re high school students reading at a 6th grade level, doing 5th grade math, couldn’t tell you the countries which make up “North America” and have no ideal who Marcus Garvey, Albert Einstein, Huey P. Newton, James Brown, Angela Davis, George Washington, Harriet Tubman . . . tragically their vast-ignorance is endless.

Look, I’m going to suspend with the diplomacy, decorum and tact, and give it to you straight, no chaser: you'd have to be delusional to not believe the vast over-whelming majority of Black students are obviously “underprepared, if not ill-prepared” by their parents and home/neighborhood for a cold, hard cruel life in a competitive America. This sabotaging commences in the womb with shaky prenatal care and continues from that moment on - breast feeding thru high school.

The White student’s home, which was most likely “prepared” for his arrival is full-of reading/educational items as well as the modeling of parents who’ve degrees, hobbies and interests. His life is planned and structured from day “one.” Unfortunately there's little about our babies births which is strategic and planned, and that shows throughout our lives. We’re left-to rumble, stumble, tumble, fumble and bumble along. Far-too many Black kids never have an “age of innocence“- just a childhood. The average Black child hales from a fatherless home, where mom is likely under-educated and underemployed if employed at all. Nobody reads e-books nor watches the Smithsonian Channel, C-SPAN or the news.

The typical black lifestyle stifles Intellectual curiosity . . . .


Halt me when I’m lying, not merely hurting’ your feelings with the unfiltered truth. It’s not about inferior DNA, but rather a lost, rudderless contemporary Black culture, our collective psyche has been stripped-down to the small-minded, simple-minded bare-necessities we see in our music, dress, films etc., etc.

Ignorance is bliss.

3 dozen dead in Chi-town and it’s- biz-ness as usual, but when one dirty White cop kills a Black kid who’s been “bangin n’ slangin” for years… it’s genocide. Really?

How do you keep a secret from a Black Person . . .? Put it between the covers of a book, they’ll never look there.” How tragically true and pathetic is that lowly adage? Nonetheless it reflects noted Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s “The Mis-Education of the Negro” - “If you can control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.”

We know our place.

See, somehow this era-of Black intellectuals and activist have been able to dismiss the importance of what the world, for what all-eternity has concluded is best and vital - a more stable, secure, traditional nuclear family, along with a formal education.

Nevertheless, with 75% of Black children being born into families which look nothing like the Black families of a hundred years ago, say 1917, we’ve “regressed.” We’re 3 or 4 generations into this babies having babies having babies dysfunctional cycle and we’re saddled with the coinciding academic achievement rates over the last few decades which have plummeted, while the number of Black men in both prison and living in “big momma’s” basement at age 37 has doubled - Black America continues to try to defend the indefensible, rationalize the irrational and justify the unjustifiable.

We simply need to “get our shit together,” at least start there with what we can control. We can’t control White people.

It is Black people placing our children in harm's way, knowing this is a semi-hostile land, and still we undermine our own chances.

Upon years in public education, I’ve never really seen anything which could be described as active Black parental involvement. Seeing Black folks ”involved” in school/ PTA - as rare as a winged-unicorn. And I don’t mean showing up at the basketball game. Seeing Black dads is akin-to seeing falling stars. However, momma coming-up to the school to see “why dey baby be in trouble . . .” wanting to know what some staff member “said to the baby to make dey baby go off” on some vulgarity laden tantrum . . . well now that's commonplace.

This year I worked in a program where out of 20 students on the roster, 18 Black, two Latino - only one was living with two parents - he was a boy abandoned by White mom and Black dad who was adopted by two White women.

I no longer ask our Afro-American children “where’s your dad? “

This is the average, everyday, run-of-the-mill extremely flawed, conflicted Black student. In the school I’m currently at - roughly ⅓ to are branded “Special Ed.” Some correctly, some not. I can only shudder at what New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston . . . etc., look like.

These are our “born at-riskBlack children which we entrust to, at best White neo-“Missionaries” who “mean well,” who’ve had to read a few books and take a few seminars to see Black kids as human equivalents. There’re even a few good, decent Negro Whisperers, but sadly the rank n’ file range from Rednecks to Lord Trump Storm troopers to Dr Doolittles who believe they have a gift - being able to talk to the “animals.”

Trust me, I’ve seen them all.

Now recognizing the landscape of America, I’ve come to what I can only reckon is an well-informed if not enlightened philosophical position; the rise in Afro-American high school dropouts and decline in college/tech school-bound high school graduates results from the before mentioned ills n’ woes within the Black community, coupled-with the absolute worst, most-damaging and counter-productive “advancement” Black people ever went along with; the abdication, the relinquishment of the supreme responsibility of educating, intellectualizing i.e., enlightening our children to White educators whose outlooks on Black folks range from respect and empathy on the one hand to “indifferent,” “disconnected,” and “resentment” to “cloaked hostility.”

I’ve labored in the primitive cold mine industry of urban public education for almost 20 years, now, after years on the “front-line,” I’ve concluded it's unwise, ill-conceived and irresponsible to intrust the education of Black children to White-led and orchestrated school boards, to White administrators and White teachers who’ve dramatically, dramatically different opinions of every damn-thing which matters within our national/global society - when compared and contrasted with the basic, standard common views the vast majority of Black folks maintain.

I’ve dealt with White staff who’ve defended the use of the term “Nigger” as a handle applied to everyone, where “broken Ebonics” are regarded as our Black American “native tongue,” as is “sagging” and dressing like “go-hoe” dancer is apart-of our national garp. This wouldn’t have been permitted by the segregated “all-Black” school staffs of the 1950’s.

White America, on a whole, has little “empathy” for Black folk’s precarious plight, be that disinterest derives from ignorance or hate, either way - most White folks are “indifferent” when the question of equality and fairness for Blacks is raised. I’d venture to say, on a whole most don’t have our “best” interests at heart, while most maintain “gutter-low” standards for Black students and staff. I can say with impunity that White folks, at best have “different” expectations for Black people, while honestly I’d submit they’ve lower, lesser, more meager expectations for Black people based on WASP America’s collective belief we’re an intellectually inferior people with a subpar culture which lacks morals, values and high standards.

Yes, I believe that's a widely shared perspective within White America.

When will, if ever Black folks recognize these “disunited” states are muddled down in a 100-plus year racial cold war.” For all practical purposes let’s confess this - most White Americans regard Blacks, Latinos and other Americans of color as, if nothing else - the “opposition,” and to be honest we’re deemed the enemy, “Public Enemy #1” by millions. Black America’s entrustment of our children's education to primarily White folks is especially naive and unrealistic considering most European Americans see themselves in some form, shape or manner being “at-war” with Black, Brown, Red and Yellow people.

America is ten months pregnant, ready to implode.

How, why would Black people intrust what’s supposed to be your most valuable possession - your child, their education to our races former oppressor/current opponent, antagonist - enemy ?

As if, as if I say, they’d have your child's best interest at heart? Never in the history of the US have they.

As if most White people would diligently strive-to educate Black children … so that student would be “better-prepared” and “groomed,” better able to “compete” with their white children for those limited breadwinner careers which finance the ever-more elusive American Dream. This mentality isn’t at play in any other facet of American Life; workplace, housing, health-care, policing or finances.

Here’s the issue; It's difficult for most Whites to even see Black children as . . . children. At least 3 or 4 times a year there’s some investigative journal which has determined White professionals treat Black people in differing, “lesser” way than they do their White peers - from Emergency Room doctors to bank loan officers - be they infants or the elderly, degreed or homeless.

The historical, traditional ingrained WASP belief that Blacks, being “barely civilized” savages - this all-American sentiment provides the rhyme, reason and rationale for fearing Black children. That fear created the pre-school to prison environment; security/police/ psychiatrist/social workers; well-intentioned missionaries to ill-willed Confederates masquerading as stern taskmasters - all working to get and keep Black people tagged, monitored, checked, observed, under surveillance, watched . . . overseed.

And we all know it.

Listen, take my word - predominantly Black schools in urban environments across this nation aren’t in the business-of transforming unrefined black coal into diamonds, however the system is diabolically constructed to warehouse Black and Latino students. Schools have been hand-crafted, in a cold and calculating manner to do just slightly-more than prepare Black and Brown youth for little more than the lowest-levels of US society; Wal-Mart workers on the high end, Boot Hill on the low end, while penitentiary life is is a possibility for 50% of all Afro-American males.

White politicians and school officials have crafted a police state where police, stationed at schools, literally escorting Black n’ Brown kids from the schoolhouse to the courthouse. They’re no playground fights any longer, it's “aggravated assault.” And please understand the staff is comprised of 29 year old White kids from suburbia and rural America - half of them are scared to death of their students, intimidated, frightened of what they see as a student body representing and hailing from a “quasi-primitive” culture. I’ve seen snotty nose 6th graders punk 'n intimidate 40 year- old White guys.

Like so much of White America, White teachers are “scared” of Black kids.

The entire mental health team at 3 different schools I’ve worked in, where Black students are prominent were comprised of 90% female White head-shrinkers, who within US society are the polar opposites of their Black students. The distinct differences mandate a disconnection and the resulting ineffectiveness we see in all numbers and categories. I’ve argued with well-seasoned academician veterans about the dire need for Black teachers and coaches in urban schools - I’ve had administrators tell me they don’t think it's necessary “what’s the difference? I can relate to them just like you.” The same guy was shipping Black kids out like UPS.

Being afraid and punked-by Black students who’re mildly interested, hardly motivated, lacking hopes, dreams and goals. Kids who sense and see the cultural disconnection with a “fearful and loathing White faculty. I can recall when the midle school I was at during the 2008 presidential election - you saw much more Hillary bumper stickers than Obama stickers … and supposedly public schools are the “final bastions” of White liberalism … I’d beg to differ.

Compounding the situation; your 90% White staff in a 75% Black n’ Brown school aren’t diehard Liberals, especially the “aging” teachers. I’d love to know the percentage of White folks who work in public education and will vote for Trump or Cruz.

Public education isn’t designed to mass-produce competition for White America. It Is to provide low-level producers, service and retail workers, i.e., consumers. Schools are crafted-to warehouse the masses and elevate the few who can navigate their way out n’ up into “mainstream USA.” However, now interject the racial hostility Whites harbor for Blacks, coupled with the well warranted distrust and resentment Blacks maintain for WASP America . . . and gee, it’s no wonder the system is failing, miserably-so.

And we all know those Black students academic lackings really demand they stay at school until midnight . . . . I wholeheartedly have concluded there’s enough blame to go around. No human element of a child's education is innocent spectator. Everyone's hands are dirty.

Let’s walk n’ talk, meander through reality; With racial integration came the end of schools being a village that looked and sounded like your family and neighborhood - trust is the key element which is absent, empathy, sympathy and respect - instead it's either pitiful “low” expectations on one end or on the other never spare-the-rod or you’ll spoil-the-child . .. so throw the book at them.

Just as Jewish and Asian folk maintain their own private schools/”Saturday Schools” which are designed to propel their children into the outer-limits of space. We Black folks should’ve been doing so for the last century or so. Black colleges aren’t enough, we need Black-led public schools where the staff and faculty are sympathizers and cheerleaders for Black children.

Black America could benefit from a national, coast-to-coast online “home-schooling” institute which assist and enriches our children's educational experience. WEB Dubois and Booker T Washington Institutes in every state, offering Black Children an education fashioned and tailored-to their background and instituted by Black men and women whose aim is to both make Black scholar’s academically competitive, and who ‘ve the child's best interest at heart. Columnist, Desi Cortez, was hatched in the heart of Dixie, circa 1961, at the dawning of the age of Aquarius, the by-product of four dynamic individuals, Raised in South-Central LA, the 213, at age 14 transplanted to the base of the Rockies, Denver. Still a Mile-Hi. Sat at the feet of scholars for many, many moons, emerging with a desire and direction… if not a sheep-skin. "Meandered thru life; gone a-lot places, done a-lot of things, raised a man-cub into a good, strong man, produced a beautiful baby-girl with my lover/woman/soul-mate… aired my mind on the airwaves and wrote some stuff along the way." Contact Mr. Cortez and BC.




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