November 12, 2015
I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the American black man’s problem just to avoid violence.
– Malcolm X
As a political writer, many people upon meeting me for the first time assume that I do a lot of writing given all the newsworthy material coming out of Washington, across the country and around the world. In reality, I write very little while taking a long view towards the subject matter that I do cover. Since the shooting of the nine black churchgoers in Charleston, SC, I’ve taken a heightened interest in this incident given the fact that I’ve visited this charming city numerous times and that I got married on one of its barrier islands, Kiawah, in 2002. Following this mass shooting, I wrote to President Obama calling for an intervention into all the foul language, sexual innuendo and violence that’s being deliberately broadcasted on TV, most nights. I got no response from the White House.
Last week, while the president from the University of Missouri was being called upon to resign from his position by black students for apparently showing a lack of empathy towards black issues, such as, the shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, MO, I read a story in the Lagniappe, a local weekly, regarding a forum that was recently held by 100 Black Men of Greater Mobile (AL) on the issue of black children and education. 100 Black Men of Greater Mobile is the local chapter of 100 Black Men of America, based in Atlanta, GA, a civic organization and service club started in 1963. Today, the national organization has over 116 chapters and some 10,000 members. The mission statement of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. is…
“To improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans.”
I’ve long had an interest in education seeing that I had such a bad experience with school due to a learning disability. Some of the ideas proposed by those in attendance included charter schools, paying teachers better, recruiting better teachers…, but none of those ideas seemed to resonate with me as being the real answer. That sounded like more of the same just repackaged.
I made a phone call to a friend of mine who’s the mayor of a local municipality, and a likely member of “The 100” as it’s also known, asking him if he could put me in touch with someone involved with the forum or better, yet someone in the leadership of the Greater Mobile chapter. He offered to do just that, but after a week of waiting and no name, I’ve come to conclude that there’s lno interest by anyone in the club to hear out this white man. After all, what do I have to say to these successful black men about why a mostly white-run education system continues to fail their children? These are the same children who are outperformed by their Asian and Caucasian peers while tying Latinos, for dead last. “For more than a decade a slew of state and federal policies have attempted to narrow the achievement gap, but the gulf between whites and their black and Hispanic counterparts has remained steady and in some instances, widened.” There’s no future for the majority of this minority. It’s time to do something different, to think outside the four walls of the classroom.
While I may not have all the answers, I’m willing to challenge a broken system and their current policies and practices that continue to leave blacks sitting at the back of the yellow school bus. I write to forty-five world-class universities and along the way to building this audience, I consciously added the faculties from four historically black colleges and universities – Howard, Morehouse, Spellman, and Tuskegee. The commentaries that I freely share with Harvard and Yale Universities, I also share with all four of these schools. If the silence from this chapter, 100 Black Men…, is any indication when it comes to getting an education, maybe black lives DON’T matter!
100 Black Men of America, Inc — http://www.100blackmen.org/home.aspx
Education racial gap wide as ever according to NAEP, http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/student-proficiency-stagnant-race-gap-wide
Malcolm X quotes, Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/black.html#glYKwqFodcbZuefB.99
Racial achievement gap in the United States, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_achievement_gap_in_the_United_States
Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved. “Do #BlackLivesMatter?” by Ted Burnett.
My other essays and videos can be viewed at my website – http://www.tedburnett.com. I can be contacted via email at – email@example.com.