Milwaukee Public Schools have reverted to segregation. The majority of black students in Milwaukee attend a school that is over 90 percent black. From this statistic many people are screaming racism is the culprit. Why are blacks so desperate to go to school with whites? Does it really matter that there are no whites in a school? Will white students make blacks read better?
In the book To Be A Slave by Julius Lester, there is an interesting entry that relates to today’s dilemma. The slave felt that if he was near white people nothing could harm him because the whites were so powerful and smart. This seems to be the mindset of black people today in the free 2010’s. Many scream the white schools have better equipment and facilities. This may be true but some of the greatest black minds came from segregated schools that had nothing.
There are two ways to look at the view blacks have. One is to understand the slave mentality that has permeated the mindset of black people in America. The slave narrative mentioned is typical of the thought process of blacks in the USA today. For some reason black people feel if they are around whites they are living, breathing and eating better. Blacks feel safer around white people because it has been ingrained in their mind from days past.
It is hilarious to watch the sad chase of whites by blacks in America. White people have always tried to distance themselves from black people with real estate and violence. But like Chancellor Williams once said, “Like a dog that you’ve kicked to run away and turn away thinking it’s gone. You turn around that dog is still following you.” That scenario is how black people follow white people, not only in education but also in life.
The other is to look at the victim role black people have identified with in the USA. Black people have been the target of some of the most atrocious crimes in history. How has this impacted their development? Black people have developed a victim mentality. Just like a victim black people are powerless because they think they are powerless. Because of the powerless mentality, black people seek shelter with what they view as strong. White people today epitomize the image of strength in the world.
No one can argue that black people seem to crave the assurance and accolades white people may give periodically. One of the craziest images from the marches of the past was of black men holding signs saying they were men too. If you have to hold a sign telling the world what you are, who are you trying to convince? This ties in with the need to have white students with black students. Will white students make black test scores go up? Well if you go by slavery then black people did whatever whites told them; so if white students tell black students to read, this may work.
Many pundits claim white schools have better materials and facilities. This is a classic ploy to divert the focus from the real problem. The problem isn’t books, school buildings or white students in a classroom. The problem is what black people are sending to the school every day in the form of children. Until black people stop complaining about what they don’t have and utilize what they do, they will continue to fail. You don’t need to read a lot to work in fast food; some of the registers have pictures on them.
Frank James IV © 2014
The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Communication, its staff or management. Being Frank is a bi-weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.