LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Rap, Rims, Rage, Rump-Shaking,

Lincoln said the following: “Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject that we as a people can be engaged in. That every man may receive at least a moderate education, and thereby be enabled to read the histories of his own and other countries, by which he may duly appreciate the values of our free institutions, appears to be an object of vital importance.”

Lincoln uttered these words over a hundred and fifty years ago. I send the same message
to today’s youth. In fact, the statement is of more urgency than it was in the days of

Many years ago, some wise men figured that a literate people would better serve the needs of this nation. In their esteem wisdom they said, “Lets make it a requirement that all children between the ages of six and sixteen, attend school.” They figured that education was so important that they would make children get some of it. Notice, I said make children get some of it.  They did not entertain the idea of giving a child or parent options on this education thing.  They simply said, “You will,” and did not bother to put in any exceptions. Even though most school systems have evolved into something that would hardly be recognizable by the original developers of a required education, the intent remains the same-educate the children.

Many forward thinking individuals and communities took it upon themselves to provide education for its children well before the law required States to provide education. This was a commendable act, but it left too many children out of the system. There were several reasons why many children were not educated before States were made responsible for it. One of the main ones was skin color.

Another was economic condition. A sparsely populated community was another problem. Children who did not live within walking distance to schools were less likely to get an education. 

On the surface, it appears that the desire to get an education has steadily fallen as educational requirements and the availability of it grows. This phenomenon must be explored, dissected, and reversed. How are we to do that? People, there is so much work to do. Most of us have heard the statement that you can take horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. We must find a way to make our children drink from the fountain of education. We now see that leaving them to their own devices has not worked. Somewhere along the way, we allowed our children to make decisions about education that they were not mature enough to make and we are now suffering the consequences. Most if not all children do not know what is good for them. They only know what is good to them. It reminds me of rat poison-the cheese in that is in the poison sure taste good to rats. We must get our children off a diet of Rap, Rims, Rage and Rump showing. It sounds and looks good, but it has little if any social redeeming value. Let us revisit Lincoln again. He penned a letter to his stepbrother that contained the following statement: “The habit of uselessly wasting time is the whole difficulty, it is vastly important to you, and still more to your children, that you should break the habit. It is more important to them, because they have longer to live, and can keep out of an idle habit before they are in it, easier than they can get out after they are in.

Young people, too many of you are just wasting your time, very valuable time that cannot be reclaimed.  Once it has passed, it is gone forever.  How many of you will look back ten of fifteen years down the road and wish for the education that you neglected to get? Take a moment and talk to the people who tried to make it without an education. Get an education. No one can ever take it away from you


Copyright March 11, 2006
This commentary written by L.C. Thornton, for The Peoples Voice Black Weekly News
To reprint With permission only, contact:
L.C. Thornton at


March 11, 2006 - Posted by | Black Youth, Educating black children, Uncategorized

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