Uncle Ben decided to launch a broadside at the Black Community again in a piece for USA Today entitled Ben Carson: #BlackLivesMatter misfire. In the piece, Carson offers a number of “solutions” to the problem he sees a relevant to the “misdirected” black community…
Let’s have some fun batting that around. Dr Carson in black….My response in blue.
Let’s head down to the board of education. Teaching is a tough job and thank God there was a teacher who convinced me that I was not dumb, but our schools are failing and we have no power to abandon them. The actions of rogue police officers take black lives one at a time. Our public school system has destroyed black lives not in the ones and twos, but in whole generations.
The schools don’t teach and our children don’t learn. Too many public schools are controlled by teachers unions focused more on the convenience and compensation of adults rather than the education of children who started out far behind. Their failures don’t kill as quickly, but they do kill as surely as a bullet.
To begin with, the U.S. public school system is hardly the abysmal failure portrayed in the conventional conservative wisdom (yes, I know that is an oxymoron). The international comparative data is skewed, by vocational tracking in Europe (all American high school students are sometimes compared to select Gymnasium and Lycee students in Germany and France) or geography (the entire U.S. is compared to the Shanghai metro area, rather than to all of China — the French educational system would look pretty bad, if it were compared in its entirety to Westchester County, New York). Further, most of the right wing analysis of “failure” of inner city schools misses 3 points –
- Comparing inner city poor schools to suburban middle class or wealthy districts is inherently going to result in those poor schools “failing”. A more apt comparison would be to compare those inner city schools to other equally poor rural areas such as Oswego County, Kentucky – which is 99% white, 95% Republican, and 95% of the residents are on Food Stamps.Indeed, the lowest “performing” schools in America aren’t in the inner city – they are in the very red, Republican South.
- The Republican solution has been (as usual) to privatize schools systems through Charter Schools. The ugly fact is that these Charter schools have not only been systemic failures in terms o survival, but when they are subjected to the same testing regimen and measuring stick as the Schools they supposedly are replacing – the perform worse. When exactly are Dr Carson, and his fellow white conservative backers going to take responsibility for the tens of thousands of young black lives their misguided racism has ruined?
- Those inner-city schools do not educate a majority of black kids. Indeed, they don’t even educate a significant minority. Only about 7% of the total black population in the US still lives in urbanized ghettos. Now – while we might dismiss the ignorance or racism of a white conservative in not really understanding what the black community is, or it’s dynamics…Dr Carson is supposed to be an educated man and the wherewithal to correct that racist stereotype is well within anyone’s capabilities who cares to look..
Let’s confront the entertainment industry that lines its pockets by glamorizing a life where black men are thugs and our women are trash. Let’s tell them we plan to start talking with our wallets.
It is time for them to pick on someone else because we have had enough. Demeaning women is not art, and it shouldn’t be profitable. Neither is glorifying violence and equating prison time with authenticity. Straight Outta Compton, #1 in movie theaters, is just the latest example. You only have to watch the trailers.
A day late and a dollar short. There already is a substantive movement to clean up some of the entertainment industry. There is a fairly strong kickback against members of that industry who have promoted the misogynistic, violent images. But you have to ask the question – why is it only black musicians or artists who are guilty? No white musicians or artists promote the same imagery? Perhaps Dr Carson need listen to his fellow candidate Donald Trump’s comments about Megan Kelly. And I wasn’t aware Donald Trump was “passing”. We live in a society where white college fraternities believe it is OK to rape and objectify girls…But I don’t see anyone spouting that it is a “problem with the white community”. Lastly – who buys that Hip-Hop music? 80% is bought by white kids.
Let’s go down to city hall. Living behind a door with three deadbolts is not living in freedom. Being too scared to walk around your block at night is not the pursuit of happiness we were all promised.
I know Dr Carson doesn’t get out much beyond the bubble of white racist Republicans who fawn over his absolution… But BLM and other black organizations are taking on City Hall every day. Moral Mondays ring a bell? Moral Mondays Georgia? Ferguson, Mo?
Let’s go over to the crack house. We need to tear it down. Profiting from selling poison to our children and destroying lives must not be the ambition of our children. These monuments to our destruction deserve our active scorn not our silent acceptance.
“Crack House”? How so very …90’s. Hate to be the first to tell you Dr – but the current “epidemics” are Meth…And Heroin. And the folks being affected are in large majority white and suburban or rural. This is the sort of racist stupidity that is just jaw-dropping.
We should go to Washington. For decades they have fought the “War . on Poverty.” Poverty won. We lost.
Over 19 trillion dollars has been wasted, but can anyone identify a single battle won as a result? We certainly have not helped the poor “lift themselves out of the ruts of poverty” as Lyndon Johnson promised — far from it. These programs have been a great American failure.
In 1960, the black poverty rate was 65%. Under Bill Clinton hat sunk to under 20%, and now hovers in the 20-25% range. Uncle Ben has been drinking that funny Kool-Aid again. And of the “purported” $19 Trillion number hawked by conservatives – 80% of that was poured into The Great White Ghetto – and that isn’t even talking about other majority poor white areas of the country. The idea that all this money was poured into the black community is the typical racist flim-flam of the racist right. Below is a simple map of the areas with the highest concentration of people on Food Stamps and “Welfare”.
The “Solid South”…Indeed.
We should have a talk with the Democratic Party. Let’s tell them, we don’t want to be clothed, fed and housed. We want honor and dignity.
We don’t want a plan to give us public housing in nice neighborhoods. We want an end to excuses for schools that leave us without the means to buy our own houses where we choose to live. We want the skills needed to compete, not a consolation prize of Section 8, Food Stamps and a lifetime of government paperwork.
Finally, we need to go over to the Republican Party. We need to tell them they have ignored us for too long. They need to invite us in and listen to us. We need to communicate and find a different way.
There are many things to be angry about when you are consumed by hopelessness. Bernie Sanders isn’t one of them.
Two simple answers to that in graphic form.
This is a county by county map of percentage of poverty and welfare participation –
County by County Food Stamp Enrollment shows most Welfare recipients live in the “Red Zone”
SNAP Enrollment Rate (%)
Lastly…If conservatism worked – wouldn’t the Red States be richer?
I mean….Just sayin’…