Having your own children, or being in charge of the lives of other peoples’ children forces you to have a different perspective regarding the value of life. As a school leader, I am responsible for all of my students, including my son who currently attends my school. That said, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to hide my frustration with the total disregard for the lives African-American males in the United States. It seems as if every time I read the NY Times, log onto Facebook, watch CNN or Fox News, tweet, there is a new instance of blatant disregard for black lives.
Self-Admittedly, I was an open advocate for #Alllivesmatter two years ago. I had a tee shirt made, and I really thought I was on to something. My argument, which I now know and have accepted as fundamentally flawed, centered around the question, how can we hold police (mainly white cops) accountable for black lives, if we don’t hold ourselves accountable when we kill each other, referring to (black on black crime).
I’ve accepted this argument as fundamentally flawed because of several things, they are as follows:
1. Unemployment in what I call “first 48 cities” which are cities with disproportionately high murder rates. Joblessness equals hopelessness, hopelessness spawns desperation, which pits poor against poor, ultimately resulting in a sense of lawlessness. If you have no money, natural instincts put you in survivor mode.
2. Disproportionate sentencing for drug usage and/or drug dealing. Research supports the fact that the majority of drug dealers in the USA are white, whereas the majority of the folks in prison for dealing drugs are not white.
3. Education that has failed students. Traditional public schools usually bare the brunt when I write, but they are not the only culprits. Charter schools with zero tolerance behavioral standards, also perpetuate the school to prison pipeline as well. We must improve our schools, and make them welcoming for minorities. We much teach to multiple modalities, and differentiate the way we assess if learning is occurring in schools.
Moreover, I can speak at nauseam about how Blacks are fed up with unfair treatment. I can talk about the Charlotte riots, racists comments made by the Congressman Pittenger whose constituents are from North Carolina, failure of police to release video surrounding the death of Keith Lamont Scott. Here you have a wife who recorded her husband being killed. I would never want anyone to have to go through this. Yet this is the type of trauma that has been inflicted on Blacks for hundreds of years.
There are many more examples, Hashtags murders are what I call them, but the only way to end these hashtag murders is for whites to join the fight and outwardly state that the treatment of minorities in this country is deplorable, and as Americans we all deserve a better America.