Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A contributor to the problem explains why there is a problem

Everyone sit back and enjoy, because that race-baiting buffoon, Jesse Jackson, has written a column for the Chicago Sun-Times, explaining the reasons for the dire straits in which many young black males find themselves in this country.

Jesse gets things going in the second paragraph when he says,
The crisis? Young American men who are African American and born into poor and working class households. These young boys are not making it. According to figures developed by the Schott Foundation, in an economy that requires more and more education, only 42 percent who enter ninth grade graduate from high school. The old blue-collar jobs that used to provide a family income, secure employment, health care and pensions are disappearing.
Those blue-collar jobs are disappearing for everyone Jesse, find another excuse please. That 42 percent figure takes my breath away. What are all these non-high school graduates doing with their lives? I feel lucky to have the lifestyle I do, and my wife and I both have Masters Degrees (OK, I don't officially have mine yet, but almost).

Then Jesse brings up the numero uno factor that continues to plague the black community:
These are children increasingly raised by a single parent. Too often they are starved from the start -- of adequate nutrition, adequate health care, adequate learning stimulants that are vital for young minds.
And whose fault is that Jesse? Is there some overlooked Jim Crow law I don't know about that requires a majority of black households to be headed by a single parent? By far, blacks have the highest rate of illegitimate births among races in this country; hovering right around 70 percent of all black babies born every year. This is a national tragedy. The ensuing poverty that Jesse describes has been shown in study after study to invariably accompany single parenthood. If you want to ensure that you will probably be in poverty, then become a single mother. Guess what almost 70 percent of black babies in this country are born to? That's right, a single mother. Tragically enough, this statistic includes Jesse Jackson. Several years ago he impregnated a single woman who worked in his organization.

What is most frustrating is that many people think this 70 percent statistic has always been how it is with American blacks; not so. Until the early 1960s, the illegitimacy rate among blacks was only slightly higher than whites, and the marriage rate of blacks was actually higher than that of whites. So what happened? The second half of the 1960s and the 1970s is what happened. The efforts of LBJ and a do-gooder Congress to "save" black people from themselves did nothing but grant incentives to blacks that encouraged too many of them to engage in self-destructive and dependent behavior, rather than self-reliance and responsibile behavior. Curse me for saying this if you like, but it still doesn't change the fact that blacks lead the country in illegitimate births, rates of crime, and dependence on public assistance. In the past, pointing out this fact has gotten me branded as racist. So go ahead and call me that if it makes you feel better, but in the meantime, this social pathology in the black community remains, and the question I am asking, and Jesse Jackson is asking, is what can be done about it?

The problem with Jesse's line of thinking is that instead of telling his fellow blacks who are not making it that they must start taking responsibility for their actions - good and bad - he continues to make excuses, essentially telling blacks that whatever happens to them is because of discrimination and is not their fault.

A perfect example of this is this line from his column:
In school, they face discrimination in discipline and in being slated for special-ed courses. They are underrepresented in advanced-placement courses that are key for college.
I am so sick of this mantra that black students are discriminated against in issues of school discipline. Just because black students are suspended at a rate that is disproportionately large compared to their percentage of the student population does not mean there is discrimination going on, any more than the disproportionate rate of crime that is being committed by blacks. More blacks are suspended, because sadly, more blacks misbehave. One of the reasons for this is because lefties like Jesse Jackson give black students a pass for their irresponsible behavior, saying that it is not their fault due to their status of poverty, or past discrimination, or the legacy of slavery and whatever else they can think of. It is pretty disingenuous for Jesse to speak of this matter of discipline when he went to Decatur, Illinois several years ago to defend some young thugs who terrorized people in the bleachers of a high school football game. It was a no-brainer that these students should have been expelled for their behavior, but there was Jesse Jackson, coming to town to "save" these "students" from the consequences of their own choice of behavior.

As for underrepresentation in AP courses, it is not for a lack of trying on the part of teachers and administration. Schools actively seek out minority students to fill the ranks of honors and AP courses, but the minority students often don't take advantage of the opportunity. As the old cliche goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

The solutions to all of these issues - discipline, crime, illegitimate births, single parenthood - are not something that our society can impose upon our wayward black citizens of whom Jesse Jackson speaks. This is something that needs to be changed from within. Bill Cosby has been going around saying the same thing, and for his trouble, he has been accused of "blaming the victim". At what point do we as a society show a little tough love and tell the "victim" that yes, much of this is your fault, and you need to take responsibility for yourself and fix it?

It's not a popular position, but it is most certainly a necessary one.

Good Day to You, Sir

2 comments:

George said...

I contend that the achievement gap is directly connected to misbehavior in the classroom.

I teach 62 African-Americans. When compared to the 25 Latinos, about a dozen or so Asians, one East Indian, a few Pacific-Islanders, and my two White students, I find that they are louder, more physical, use more foul language, get angry more quickly, and have more emotional issues that they bring to the classroom.

I often spend more time and energy trying to get them to focus, pay attention, stop talking, and misbehaving than any other group of students. I often sense my other students cringing in frustration as they see me once again try and correct course.

Another unique phenomena is how quickly some African-American students use the word "racism". Some will say that this teacher is racist or try and define some statement as racist. I find some using the word to describe other discomforts that they might be experiencing. There is just a heightened sense of racial tension (send a student out of the room who happens to be black and someone says "that's racist")

The ironic thing is how often my African-Americans students will mention that "Black people is the most racist people in the world" (quote from one of my African-American students; I've also heard it from others). I think some of my colleagues have a difficult time imagining a black person as racist. I think that some of my black students will use the word "racism" to test the waters; to see if you will cower in fear.

Just the other day it was declared by one African American student that "He must be black. Mr. Mimmen is the only teacher I know of who can send six black kids out of the classroom in one day and not get jumped. Mr. Mimmen must be black."

But I suppose in an age of relativism no culture can be labeled as degenerate, or at least not helpful. Much of what I see exhibited by many of my African-Americans is definitely not helpful. I honestly don't know how I could approve of behavior I see as such. Instead I see this behavior as the problem standing in the way of African-American achievement.

Darren said...

Mr. Chanman, you obviously don't like black people.

=)