LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Someone is looking down on us.

I truly believe that the man whose life was taken at a very young age as he attempted to make life better for all mankind would be visibly shaken, were he to observe current behavior in this nation. It would especially sadden him to see young black men sauntering about with their pants dangling off their butts. He would wonder what in his teachings contributed to their behavior. He would look at the rampant violence taking place in our communities and just shake his head. It may bring a few tears to his eyes.  He would ask the question: why has my message of non-violence suddenly lost its flavor and been replaced with all kinds of unimaginable violence?  The sheer number of violent attacks and victimization of innocent people would deeply trouble Martin. Yes, I am talking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He might, for a fleeting moment wonder if his work and dying was all in vain. After all, much of what he fought and died for has been lost and replaced with all kind of stupid acts.  Martin fought to see all had access to the ballot box. Today’s voting percentages are dismal and shows no sign of improving.  There are those who think not exercising the right to vote is no big thing. Yet they continually grumble about what takes place in the world of politics.  Fact is; ignorance is the biggest impediment to exercising the right to vote.  Martin fought for equal access to a quality education.  Guess what. Taking advantage of the opportunity to access good schools and take advantage of what lies within has been lost to the Hip Hop culture and mass media.  Little effort and emphasis is put on getting a quality education. Education opens minds and doors.  Martin understood the purpose for getting an education. As Richard Tawney put it, the purpose of education is not happiness, social integration, or political system. Its purpose is at once the discipline of the mind for its own sake.  It is often said-a mind is a terrible thing to waste; so is time. Waste neither.

Martin would look at the makeup of the family and wonder; where have all the fathers gone. As the song says;” has anyone seen them? Society looked up and they were gone.”  Where are the fathers? Look around. Many are the ones wandering the streets with their pants dangling off their butts. Martin would wonder if they would ever become a real men and not just grown boys.  Somehow, someway, many of us have lost our moral compass. As Lewis Mumford, American writer so aptly put it: man’s chief purpose…is the creation and preservation of values; that is what gives meaning to our civilization, and the participation in this is what gives significance to the individual human life.

Martin was a man of peace. His message was always one of no-violence. He felt an educated and enlighten people would make more gains than a people utilizing violence as a means of seeking improvement in their stead in society. Gandhi preached the same message.

 

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January 21, 2011 Posted by | Angry black youths, Black Youth, Decline Of The Family, Educating black children, Respecting learning Institutions, The Black Family, The Black Man, youth crime | Leave a comment

Things must get better

Academia has spent countless hours trying to get at the root causes of blacks, especially black boys poor performance in school. On the surface, it appears they are not putting forth the effort to do well in school. Some people question their intellectual ability to do better in school. Are they doing the best they can? This is doubtful. One young school age black boy said they have difficulty dealing with distractions. He said girls and sports take their minds off class subject matter. His sister, who was a part of the conversation, said it is very difficult to motivate black boys. Factor in an insatiable appetite for cell phones and baggy clothes, sports and music; distractions from schoolwork become more acute.
Is there easily recognizable factors negatively influencing black boys ability to learn and graduate from high school? Entirely too many people underestimate the negative impact the Hip-Hop culture has on our children. It has a devastating affect, especially on the black community. It has highjacked the minds of millions. I, along with many others hope this recess from reality will end and end soon. Many young black boys, ill prepared to cope with difficult yet expected obstacles inherent in one’s quest for education, knowledge, wisdom, manhood and independence, are fully in the grips of this thing called Hip-Hop. Many black boys total outlook on life changed with the invasion of Hip-Hop. Their family values changed, so did their behavior toward the opposite sex. Interest in obtaining a good education, which usually leads to decent jobs, waned. Disdain for self-improvement, self-motivation and self-support is apparent. Constructive behavior, the expected norm, has been replaced with harmful behavior. Behavior in many black communities has many people scratching their heads as they search for solutions to the problem.
There is a role for all concerned citizens to play in resolving this quandary for the last time. Surely a people who went virtually into the bowels of hell to end slavery, Jim Crow laws, gain access to decent schools, end Separate but equal laws and a myriad of other situations which denied equal access to public education, can get together and fix the pitiful graduation rate. Has the black community lost the desire to insist that their children perform well in school? Has it given up hope in the face of unrelenting pressure from sources that do not have the best interest of black people in mind? Has the black community caved under the pressure of Hip-Hop and the mass media? Does it ignore what is taking place in the community? Has disinterested children caused parents to become disinterested in the necessity of getting a decent education? One thing is certain-things will change. Question is, will things change for the better, or change for the worse. Those who have a vested interest in educating our youth, including the youth themselves had better get off of their butts and get about the business of improving graduation rates of all American children-especially black boys. It will not fix itself. The problem cannot be adequately addressed until it is clearly defined, no matter who or where it points. Merely tossing more money at the situation does little to resolve it. Placing all of the blame on school systems and asking them to rectify it is wrong. Affixing all of the blame on family structures and communities sounds good, however, we know the problem goes deeper than that. It is a societal problem fueled by many things. None of the problems seems insurmountable. It will take time-lots of it and effort to correct this terrible blight on black boys, black families, black communities and our educational system.

September 10, 2010 Posted by | Black Youth, Educating black children, Respecting learning Institutions, The Black Man, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Save the children

Dumbing down!
Recent pictures and stories portraying the state of school age black boys is cause for alarm in all sectors of American society. Graduation rates are as low as 25% in some cities. A 25% graduation rate suggests something has gone wrong. How and when did graduation from high school at this rate become acceptable? Who in our society are responsible for improving graduation rates? Is there a simple fix, or is it so complex, current educational systems, society, parents and black boys are not capable of fixing the problem?
Anyone paying any attention to what is taking place in our institutions of learning knows there are innumerable problems-problems scanning the entire spectrum of educating black boys are monumental and troubling. Who is to blame for black boys dismal rate of graduation from high school? The blame game has run its course. Therefore, another course of action is required. Individuals, school systems, parents, black boys, society and any group not mentioned in this article must accept blame where it is appropriate. Each group or individual must actively seek ways to rectify problems it or they are responsible for and have necessary authority to do so. Many people put the onus squarely on the shoulders of school systems. Those blaming school systems, suggest schools are not set up to deal with the special circumstances many black boys interject into a school system. A portion of society blames the homes from whence black boys emanate. They feel black boys growing up in fatherless homes come to school ill equipped to understand and accept disciplinary and behavioral requirements required in learning institutions. A significant segment of society blame the entertainment industry. Hip Hop music, videos, and those manufacturing clothing for youngsters is blamed for many of the ills of society-especially the attitude, aptitude and behavior of black boys. A small number of people put the blame squarely on the backs of black boys. This group feel black boys are no longer capable of being motivated to learn and look for any excuse to drop out of school.
It is foolish to even suggest there are easy fixes. It has taken years for this problem to reach its apex-if indeed it has. It will take time-lots of time to regain control of the many components of the total educational system. Remember, a child’s education begins well before it enters into a school setting. Problems will certainly arise if this fact is not taken into consideration. A child must not be allowed to enter a school environment ill equipped to accept imposed and expected disciplinary and behavioral requirements. How a child behaves in school is usually an indication how it behaves in the home.
The problem will not fix itself. Immediate action is required. Mere rhetorical words at this junction are useless. It may be years before appreciable improvement is noticeable. However, now is the time to address this problem-head on. We must stop the blame game and get about the business of getting it done. It will be painful, costly and all involved requires sacrifices.

September 6, 2010 Posted by | Black Youth, Educating black children, Respecting learning Institutions, The Black Man | Leave a comment

Try thinking for yourself for a change

Thomas Cooper: 1759-1839 American educator, scientist, and political economist penned the following: A strong suspicion prevails that the human intellect has been kept in fetters by men who have boldly assumed superior wisdom, that their dictates might pass without inquiry-men who professedly deal in concealment, darkness, mystery and who fatten on human ignorance.  What he said resonates loudly today.  Listen to the chatter emanating out of Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN). Thomas Cooper made this observation long ago. I wonder how he would word it today, if exposed to the propagandized rhetoric flowing out of above-mentioned media outlets. Are Limbaugh, Boortz, Hannity, Beck, Savage, Levin, Cunningham, Ingram and other unnamed blowhards, the kind of people of who he speaks? Would he say without any hesitation” These folks feed, and get rich by taking advantage of human ignorance. “  People often call CTR program and give the commentators all kind of lavish praises.  They express their gratitude for the knowledge gleaned from Talk Radio and Fox News Channel.

Henry Ward Beecher, American Clergy-writer coined the following: whatever is almost true is quite false, and among the most dangerous of errors, because being near truth, it is the more likely to lead astray.  He also said: precise knowledge is the only true knowledge, and he who does not teach exactly, does not teach at all.

CTR and FNN strive on half and almost truths. Their rhetoric has the same characteristic as Non-alcoholic beer. Non-alcoholic beer smells like regular beer, looks like real beer and cost about the same. However, it is in reality, a weaken version of real beer. Its alcoholic content is minimal. Listen closely to CTR and FNN content. There is something missing in most of their programming-namely, the whole truth-Truth this nation and the world needs badly. Slanted truth and outright misinformation are the last things we need-especially when this nation tries to solve so many monumental problems. 

We are fighting two wars, providing military protection for untold nations, dealing with the oil well problem, trying to solve the Mexican Border/illegal immigrant problem, Recession problem, national debt problem, social security and Medicare problem, unemployment problem and a whole host of lesser problems. It is time these outlets (CTR &FNN) make some genuine effort to help solve problems and not doing everything in their power to overtly and covertly exacerbate problems.  James Fenimore Cooper: 1789-1851 American Novelist penned the following: the press is equally capable of being made the instrument of elevating man to the highest point of which his faculties admit, or of depressing him to the lowest.

It is all about ratings, listenership and income for CTR &FNN. Take a moment and look at the readership of the Voelkisher Beobachter Newspaper when the Third Reich controlled Germany. It eventually had a large following, as does CTR & FNN. Question remains-does a large following indicate quality of product?  The Voelkisher Beobachter Newspaper was a tremendous success as is CTR & FNN. Saddam Hussein had a huge following. Simply put, just because many people are listening and adhering to the philosophy expressed on these outlets does not mean what they purvey is sound and good for this nation.

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Politics, Respecting learning Institutions | Leave a comment

Pathetic

As I searched for words to adequately describe young black boys walking around with their pants sagging off their butts, several came to mind. Disgusting, pathetic, asinine, mental retard, stupid, lost; uninformed, misguided and unlearned are a few of the words that define their dress and mannerism.   The way they dress is certainly disgusting since it is revolting and repulsive. Their dress is asinine because it is stupid, unintelligent, and idiotic. How they dress is uninformed because it suggests a lack of education, ignorance, and unawareness of public perception. Does mental retard take this subject a little too far and suggest something that is not remotely possible in these folk’s lives. Is it irresponsible to suggest that folks that wear their pants dangling off their butts are lacking something in the intelligence department?  Mental means intellectual and retard means held back.  Put these two words together, and you get my point. Intellectually, these folks have not matured to the point where they perceive what is wrong with the way they dress.

The black community must get serious about eradicating this problem-this eyesore.  The way our young boys dress reflects badly on the black community. The mere fact few blacks have made public statements condemning our young boy’s dress should be a cause of concern.  Is the black community comfortable with the way its young boys dress? Does black communities’ want this picture displayed on the Internet, television and in printed media? How does it justify it seemingly non-concern about how the world perceives black boys?

I am at a loss to explain why a problem with such a seemingly simple answer has become so complex. It does not take much effort or imagination to pull up your pants. Has the mere fact that we are allowing our young boys to set dress codes and standards exacerbated the problem? Why has the elders and parents in the black community allowed young boys to usurp their authority?   Blacks who were active in the civil rights movement during the fifties and sixties took on issues and people they felt were harmful to their causes. Never mind the threats of violence and other forms of intimidation-they never gave up. Why have the black community given up on taking back the streets from their boys. Why have black communities become comfortable with what takes place therein?

There is a time to all things. It is time to reestablish the normal pecking order in the black community. Boys must again be put is a boy’s place, and black men must behave in a manner that places them at their rightful place in the community. Black men must be providers and the protectors. They must not shirk either of these responsibilities. One does not have to look very hard to see what happens in homes and communities when men are no longer in their rightful place.

June 4, 2010 Posted by | Black Youth, Decline Of The Family, Educating black children, Respecting learning Institutions, The Black Man | Leave a comment

A sacred place

Consecrate

An individual by the name of Scott penned a short article titled Dedication.  The article puts into perspective the purpose of schools. The article spells out in plain English why schools exist and the role they play in the lives of children. The writer says” lets consecrate the school building.” When you consecrate something, you sanctify it. Not only do you sanctify it, you also set it a part and in some sense make it holy. Making it holy suggests purity and hallowed ground-an institution that is not to be defaced, abused or misused. Schools are to be revered-revered for what they offer our children, communities and this nation. The writer sees schools having a high and holy purpose. What is this purpose? The purpose of schools is to provide a place for our youth to gather and receive instructions in knowledge and training in virtue.  Schools are not places to just show up and spend the day doing absolutely nothing to prepare oneself for the future. Schools are places of learning-learning what one does not know and learning how to behave as one does not know how to behave.

 

Can one truly say our children find what they need in our schools? Are schools devoid of issues that make teaching and learning difficult? Does violence in our schools and our communities contribute to the poor academic performance of many of our kids and the schools they attend? What can and should be done to create an environment in our schools that is conducive to getting a proper and enlighten education?

Can one say without any hesitation and reservation that the majority of our children truly understand the mission of schools? Do they really understand why they are required to attend school? Judging by behavioral patterns, dress and general attitude of many kids while in school; serious questions arise why they think they are in school.

Many things are passed on in schools. Children learn from books. They also learn from observing the behavior of their teachers. Learning also takes place when children observe the interaction between parents and teachers. When children see a parent all up in the face of a teacher, it leads them to think it is acceptable behavior. The character and scholarship displayed by a teacher sets examples for kids. Given this fact, it is imperative that teachers be at their best behavior while in the presence of children.

The author summed up the article by saying the following” may these rooms always be pervaded with an invigorating atmosphere of mental and moral life, and may no child pass from these schools to higher grades or to the outer world without having been made more intelligent, more thoughtful, more courageous, more virtuous, and in every way more capable of wise and just, of useful and noble living. To this end, may the blessing of God be upon child, and parent, upon pupil and teacher, upon principal and superintendent and upon every one whose influence in any degree affect the work of education as it shall be conducted within these walls.”

Simply stated, the author is saying, and I agree whole heartedly, do not mess with our schools. Do not tinker with them in any way that will diminish their ability to train our kid in the way they should go. He further emphasized, do not let them leave the confines of these institution without learning the important things in life. Learning the ABC’s are certainly important. However, if you do not know learn to properly use gained knowledge, it is of little use.   Someone said experience gathered from books is of the nature of learning; the experience gained from actual life is the nature of wisdom; and a small store of the latter is worth vastly more than any stock of the former.

Let us put our schools and what takes place within back on the pedestals back they truly belong. We can no longer let our schools take a back seat to the teaching our kids to Hip Hop music, gangster rap and the streets. Our kids deserve better. Our schools deserve a higher place in the training and upbringing our kids.

June 16, 2008 Posted by | Educating black children, Respecting learning Institutions | Leave a comment