Changing Education Paradigms: Divergent Thinking

A Broken System: Education

Black and Guilty

Why didn’t he go straight home? Why didn’t she put her phone away or leave the classroom, why did he run from the officer? All and more questions that have been used to rationalize or justify excessive force by officers and power crazed civilians who have  assaulted or killed innocent individuals. In the American public eyes, a Black victim has to be inhumanly unfathomable to be humanized; any character flaw is used as justification. Unlike White perpetrators who do horrific crimes; society tries to rationalize it by stating they have mental issues, maybe a poor upbringing, and other tactics the media goes to in order to show some humanity within a criminal. Interesting how Black victims are not afforded the same analysis.

The Child In Question

A lawyer for the 16-year-old student at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina who was seen in a viral video being flipped over in her desk by a school resource officer, says the girl suffered injuries from the attack, according to the New York Daily News.

The lawyer, Todd Rutherford, told the News that his client suffered injuries to her face, neck, and arm. He also noted that she lives in foster care.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced Wednesday that the deputy, Ben Fields, who worked at the school as a resource officer, has been fired. But the sheriff placed the blame for the incident squarely on the shoulders of the child, essentially saying ‘she started it.’

The girl who was arrested was known as the quiet type and non-responsive daily. She didn’t speak to anyone, from what the students stated. There goes the verbal combative non-sense people were trying to spin it to. She is in orphan, so what do excuse makers have to say now?

Here is what classmate Niya states:

I commend Niya for defending her classmate and not blindly following authority. Niya doesn’t know the student who was violently thrown like a rag-doll personally, but she knows the difference between wrong and right apparently.

Lastly, arrested for disruption in class; are you freaking kidding me? What type of asinine crap have we allowed to seep into the American psyche, where arresting kids for being disruptive in class is okay? People were mad at attorney general Eric Holder (who I am indifferent towards) when he said, “America is a nation of cowards”. He was right to an extent, there are many cowards in American society who allow this police state to not only do harm to adults, but now our children. On top of that, the cowards try to extract the brave accolades of other Americans who had courage like Martin L. King as a reason of why the nation isn’t filled with cowards.

For most students, the pipeline begins with inadequate resources in public schools. Overcrowded classrooms, a lack of qualified teachers, and insufficient funding for “extras” such as counselors, special edu­cation services, and even textbooks, lock students into second-rate educational environments. This failure to meet educational needs increases disengagement and dropouts, increasing the risk of later court ­involvement. (1) Even worse, schools may actually encourage dropouts in response to pressures from test-based accountability regimes such as the No Child Left Behind Act, which create incentives to push out low-performing students to boost overall test scores. (2)

Black people on American shores have always been seen as innately criminal. This assumption of criminality traces back beyond before the very birth of this country. Even after Americans won their independence in the Revolutionary War, blacks who tried to escape from or fight their way out of enslavement were seen as thieves, stealing their own bodies from someone else.

The assumption of black criminality bears out in a variety of ways. Blacks only make up about 13 percent of the American population, but account for nearly half of the country’s prison population. Blacks are six times more likely to be incarcerated than whites, and they are sentenced for longer periods and put to death at higher rates than whites who commit the same crimes. The penal system aspires to be a state-sponsored reform program, but prison doesn’t exist in its current form as an attempt to rehabilitate black people so much as to remove them from society altogether.

Maybe it was the bystander effect, as to why others beside Niya, stood up for her classmate. I not only have a problem with the officer, but the school administrator and the teacher.

The History of Major Slave Revolts; Americas and the Caribbean

The exact statistics of how many slave rebellions and revolts that took place are unknown, but historical records show there were many. American Negro Slave Revolts, by Herbert Aptheker concluded that there were at least 250 slave revolts within the United States alone prior to the year 1865, in addition to localized opposition. On record was also mutiny aboard slave ships, 155 on record; many success stories and many brutally suppressed mutinies.

According to African American Desk Reference, as early as 1522, slaves in Saint Domingue rose up in an attempt to create a African Republic; rebellious slaves destroyed the settlement of Santa Maria in Columbia.

Here are more recorded revolts.

1653 In Gloucester Virginia, a plot was betrayed by a man named Berkenhead (A White indentured servant); he was rewarded his freedom and 5,000 pounds of tobacco.

1658 Black slaves aided by Native Americans burned their masters’ homes in Hartford Connecticut.

1691 Mingoe, a Virginia slave escaped from his master; Mingoe gathered a group of followers and destroyed a number of plantations, mainly in Rappahannock County. The rebels acquired cattle, hogs and some guns. Sadly there wasn’t any documented account about their fate.

Discrimination against free blacks was more severe in Connecticut than in other New England colonies. Their lives were strongly proscribed even before they became numerous. In 1690, the colony forbade blacks and Indians to be on the streets after 9 p.m. It also forbid black “servants” to wander beyond the limits of the towns or places where they belonged without a ticket or pass from their masters or the authorities. A law of 1708, citing frequent fights between slaves and whites, imposed a minimum penalty of 30 lashes on any black who disturbed the peace or who attempted to strike a white person. Even speech was subject to control. By a 1730 law, and black, Indian, or mulatto slave “who uttered or published, about any white person, words which would be actionable if uttered by a free white was, upon conviction before any one assistant or justice of the peace, to be whipped with forty lashes.”

For more slave rebellions and revolts, go to Schomberg Center for research in Black culture; African American Desk Reference. 

Do The White Thing

Weeksville is a neighborhood founded by African American freedmen in what is now Brooklyn, New York, United States, part of the present-day neighborhood of Crown Heights.

If the skit was funny, I would have laughed regardless of the content and my beliefs on the subject. Not only was it not funny, but obscenely offensive. Not every neighborhood that goes through gentrification was crappy until baseless hipsters came. In fact, there were nice areas in Brooklyn before the wave of hipster sponges. A lot of areas were great, with middle class Black and Hispanic families. Anyway, to sum this up so it won’t take long; Jimmy Kimmel isn’t funny, there are Black people who are environmentalist, and this marginalizing of Black people/behavior in comedy is getting way too old/corny.

The Black population in Brooklyn goes back to 1840s in the village of Weeksville named after a Black man named James Weeks. New York continued to grow and Weeksville eventually became a part of what is now called the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.

Now, if a community was sitting on a gold mine and never treated it as such, never came together as a community and then bitched when other people come in knowing its’ worth; in that scenario I see no problem with it or people of all walks of life moving in. Everyone, or at least sensible people of all creeds want to live in a nice neighborhood. But hard-working people regardless of their ethnicity shouldn’t be pushed out while, apartments and homes sky-rocket to non-affordable prices.

According to the 2010 U.S Census Brooklyn has a Black population of 896,165 which is a drop from 939,316 counted during the 2000 Census. This drop signifies the migration of African Americans to outlying areas of New York City and those who are leaving the region all together. Today the communities of north and east Brooklyn are largely Black. The Flatbush area is also home to a large West Indian/Caribbean population. Although Harlem has the recognition, Brooklyn is a cultural giant in Black America. While gentrification has begun in Bedford-Styvestant and Crown Heights the Black population has been increasing in the easternmost part of the borough in the neighborhood of East New York.

New York City

Race: New Biographical Film About Jesse Owens

For me Jesse Owens is a hero, he was that inspiring symbol that one could persevere above any obstacle if they had a will that couldn’t be broken. He was self-sacrificing, determined and a visionary within a world many think we had left behind. Like many visionaries, society’s appreciative boaster of Jesse was short lived and even during the height of his Olympic win against Nazi Germany; president Franklin D. Roosevelt, never acknowledge Jesse. In Jesse’s own words

Hitler didn’t snub me—it was our president who snubbed me,” he said months after the Games. “The president didn’t even send me a telegram.

The trailer gives off a feeling that this film will give Jesse’s accomplishments the lenses/story-telling it deserves. Historical figures like Mr. Owens is desperately needed, to remind us that seemingly ordinary people can be extraordinary outside of the comic-book pages.

Black Teen Unlawfully Detained: Banking While Black

Some conservatives are attempting to paint Black Lives Matter as a war on cops, when we really have a war on Black youth. This is why I love the fact more and more Black Americans are starting not to care about what society thinks Black people should do when it comes to race. We are building strong coalitions to defeat systemic racism, while trying to fortify our own communities; of course Fox news and others would paint a different picture. They live in a bubble, which is why I don’t waste my time with people living in those bubbles any further; do you want the truth? Pop that bubble you are living in and enter the real world. Do research about the past and current plight of Black Americans, then we can talk. Outside of my community, I wouldn’t waste an ounce of my knowledge on someone who can’t take the time to do research on this important issue.

International Decade for People of African Descent

TRNN was in Harlem this week to cover the commencement of the UN ‘International Decade for People of African Descent.’ Activist Opal Tometi, Actor Danny Glover and President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro were among those who spoke. They encouraged Black activists to build solidarity with the over 200 million people who claim African descent in the Americas.

To watch the entire story click here:

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