By Dr. Sinclair N. Grey III
Racism isn’t simply defined by people judging others unjustly by the color of one’s skin. In a real sense, racism has to do with policies and laws that effect people in the worst way. To put it another way, when the ‘haves continue to exploit the have not’s’ racism is alive and well.
No matter what people to try to proclaim, we are not living in a post-racial world. Even with the election of Barack Obama 8 years ago to become President of the United States, that did not wipe out racism. Sadly and shamefully, the U.S. has become more divided racially since Obama was elected only 8 years ago and with the recent election of Donald Trump as President it has gotten even uglier.
What’s even more troubling is the fact that Black children are suffering academically in school. Even with parents working multiple jobs to provide adequate means for their children, the reality is that Black children are hurting.
According to a story published in the Atlanta Black Star, “A 2015 study found that racial disparities in school readiness, in terms of math, reading, and behavior are improving for all groups of children, “except for Black kids. A year later, USA Today reported that Black children ‘are nearly four times as likely as their white classmates to be suspended from school.’ An investigation from the same year, titled ‘Given Half The Chance,’ announced grimly that, ‘The 47 percent national graduation rate for Black males is nearly 28 percentage points lower than that for white males. In 10 states, the report said the graduation rate gap exceeds 30 percentage points.”
Because Black children face negative hurdles, too many people are pointing the finger at Black mothers, “The award-winning author of “Medical Apartheid” Harriet A. Washington blasts the racist tradition of demonizing “Black parents, particularly mothers, as medically and behaviorally unfit.”
Factors such as school resources, competent and effective teachers, and environmental circumstances are often overlooked. When factors such as these along with a host other issues are neglected, it’s always easy to blame the parent.
Joseph Gibson’s new book, “Why Nobody Wants to Work with Black Kids from High Poverty Backgrounds, offers a wealth of suggestions on how Black parents can fine tune their own behavior to help support their child’s educational growth.”
The time to break the school-to-prison pipeline must begin now. Undoing a racist system and providing opportunities for Black children to excel will close this gap quickly.