Sunday, June 08, 2008

External Chase Versus Internal Demons, Part II

Consider part 1 to be a basic framing of my argument. The context being our collective consideration of where we stand on history's time line and where do we go as a people from here.

As I listened to the grand scheme for correction as put forth by the panelists at the assembly gathered to discuss the 50 year anniversary of the Brown v Board ruling their plan was made clear. They positioned themselves as missionaries but this time with good intentions. They are going to set up a fortress of structure and order that the Black people who are now shuttered outside of society's mainstream will be able to consume as a means of exorcising their current habits of ignorance and assume a more directed role in society as part of our nation's need to compete with other nations as the world becomes smaller. An "Urban Marshall Plan" no less. All of this sounds good....on paper and when spoken.

As I distill the essential elements of what they propose versus what I am proposing clearly the common denominator is education among others. This is no surprise because again - our end game is the same it is only the methodology and resulting consequences upon which we disagree.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that a major void in their strategy is the one in which they finally come to grips with certain popularly accepted practices within our community that are currently defended but which ultimately stand as an obstacle to the successful attainment of that which is commonly aspired for. You know what I am talking about - the things that should be significant but which end up consuming a good portion of time and attention: discipline problems and the reactions to them; standards of dress; consequences of failure. Ultimately all of these things are the cadre of choices that are made which define the environment upon which the people live. I have been to enough schools in a variety of differing communities to make note that the prevailing cultural environment contained with in is directly associated with that which the students, teachers, administrators and extended community bring into the school doors each day. It comes as no surprise that some are proven to be more effective than others at delivering the goods - quality education.

The people who have the "raining down" of resources theory to fix the problem are loathed to confront this key issue. They will take an "expand the police tape beyond the crime scene approach" - the consciousness that the young people bring to school with them are nothing more than the residual effects of that which the society has hoisted upon them. Their discarded state within the society there for has expressed itself in that which we see in the school. This serves to buffer these students themselves from assuming the order of the school as this has proven to be a necessary foundation for education to be consummated. Instead it serves as the mandate for yet another "boil the ocean" venture which says these children can't be expected to perform up to a certain level and most especially not to the level of their White suburban counterparts until they have not only equal resources as presented within the context of the school building which the government controls but also by some crafty intervention in their entire lives outside of school. Anything from the question of the types of restaurants that are in their communities to the types of jobs that their parents have which in turn serves to fortify the grammatical choices and their propensity to intellectualize certain matters or have them inclined to do things as they do it on the streets.

Notice again the expansive nature of their plans. (Please note - some people believe that I have a habit of setting up a 'straw man' in which I define how others see things and then I go about attacking that which I HAVE CREATED rather than that which is legitimately their position. I reject this claim. I believe that I spend enough time talking, watching, listening and other wise consuming the views of the masses as a means of fully understanding how the winds are blowing. I know that I am more right and fair in my analysis than I am wrong.)

They spend more time working to change the CONDITIONS surrounding the subject at hand than they do working directly with this person, having him to be the agent of change as the primary means by which he will be educated. In my view the call to drop those incidental things that ultimately mean little to the cause of education and in fact which might work against achieving one is the overriding attribute that needs to be executed on. Is that student in the mindset and discipline of LEARNING so that learning could even possibly take place in the first place?

After listening to some audio about the election season that is now in full bloom I had my beliefs advanced that Black people are in the mindset that it is society and America that must show that it sees Blacks as EQUALS. Along these same lines the purveyors of such sentiments don't seem to be able to detail what it is Black people who are on the other side of the "=" sign must bring to the table to show that we are equals as well. I fail to see how, for example mandating that Black children be bused to majority White schools proves that we are "equal". I can see that such a program shows our children that our CULTURE is inferior to that of White societies. We all know that while many Blacks went to White schools.....the notification that the Whites were to report to a majority Black school usually resulted in the White exiting the school system all together and going to a Catholic school or a private school.

Now fast forward to 2008 and let me use a personal story that has key relevance. Where as the high school that I attended was racially balanced about 25 years ago as it had originally opened decades prior as a means of allowing White kids an option to avoid having to go to an all Black school - in 2008 - this school BUILDING now houses a near 100% Black student body. We now see that it was not the FACILITIES or LOCATION that made it a quality school that who sent an above average amount of students off to college.

I recall during my days as a basketball player there - I would go into the gym all alone. I would go to the foul line and pretend that I was in a game with my team, the opposing team and the cheering crowds looking on. These EXTERNAL influences when present in real life no doubt were accepted in through my senses - hearing the crowd, seeing the 9 other people on the floor, smelling the sweat, feeling my heart beat from the though that the shot that I must make is so important to winning the game. At the end of it all - with about 200 other people adding their animation to my senses or me opening my eyes and realizing that I am standing there all alone......IT WAS STILL UP TO ME TO MAKE THE SHOT. This is an INTERNAL thing that I had to do in the end. Assuming that the referees managed the game that that which closely approximates basketball as much as possible - the burden is on my shoulders.

The same is the case with us as a people.

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