In “Dumb it down” by Lupe Fiasco, on the 2nd hook there is a sarcasm about kids beginning to think that smart was “cool” again, so he needed to dumb it down. In the education system and even in black culture itself, there is an alarming trend of black kids accepting lower standards in intelligence. Instead of smart being the norm, its looked at with apathy and disregard. But in the same notion “going dumb” is given the stamp of approval and self loathing has become a disturbing trait in black kids.
Thankfully, over the years this trend has been slowing, and there has been progress. The culture as a whole has not transformed enough and more work is needed. With the election of our president, the evidence shows that a lot of black youths perception about intelligence is rapidly changing. Being smart is becoming a lot more attractive, and it’s not being seen as “corny” or acting “white” anymore. This could be a big reason why so many in white America didn’t and still don’t understand the impact of Barack Obama becoming the 44th president.
It set off a ripple effect on the future of these same, once left for dead, black youth. They are resurgent and it’s spreading from community to community. When I’m at cafes, I am beginning to see more and more young black men and women studying engineering, law, and medicine. These and other fields that are outside of the typical sports, drugs, and entertainment that we usually get pigeon holed into. So today, we examined the journey these black youths take from small to big, and the obstacles they face.
There is an alarming trend going on with a lot of young black boys: Why do you feel so many teachers are quick to assume black boys have ADHD? Why is that the trigger reaction?
Countless parents are being referred to doctors simply because their teachers grow impatient with them. As a result, a lot of black kids are being doped up on drugs for ADHD, quite possibly because the teacher is just impatient. At my own child’s pre-school, I’ve observed some other children in comparison to mine, and there wasn’t much difference in behavior. It’s disturbing to see the same two kids at a school, with the same behavior, end up with the black one being “diagnosed” by a teacher, and not a doctor. Could it be these teachers are just low on patience and want their job to just be easier? Lest they forget they chose to teach kindergarten, which is at the height of most kids energetic stages. Before assuming something is wrong with your child, because the teacher wants it easy, get a second opinion. Do your homework! (no pun intended)
The Digital divide: According to a 2010 study, the amount of minorities with computer access skyrocketed. The study suggests though however, that blacks and latinos are 46-50% more likely than other races to access the internet for social networking or entertainment. But when it comes to research and career information it drops down to below 25%. What’s wrong with this picture?
Sites like bet.com, gossip blogs, YouTube, mySpace, Facebook, Farmville, Mafia Wars, ETC ETC the list goes on. The heavy minority presence on these sites is more than evident, and advertisers have of course taken notice. The question is have we? Are gossip sites really dumbing our culture down? Is our youth truly more interested in Khloe and Lamar than we are what’s happening in the middle east? These are things I think about when I hear a statistic like that and it is a bit jarring to hear. Although we make up such a heavy percentage of its use, we aren’t the ones reaping the benefits or profits from it. Food for thought……
With the election of Barack Obama, there are many in this country who now believe that we are in a post racial America. That programs like “Affirmative Action” are no longer necessary. What are your thoughts on that?
I had a conversation with a student in my journalism class about this topic. Her optimism while somewhat encouraging and admirable, was also a bit troubling because it’s the reason why so much “white rage” has been brewing about a black man in office. To paraphrase her question, why should a white person with the same qualifications lose out because the black person has to get in? Well, because if not for Affirmative Action, that white person and all his homeboys would be getting every job. Thanks to the old “good ol boy” system, the qualified black worker would be almost certain disenfranchised and skipped over. This forces corporate America to make sure they are being balanced and representing the diversity of the community it serves. The good ol boy networks still exist, but thanks to AA, it’s been broken up and many glass ceilings have been shattered.
A school administrator told me once, that Generation X is the last of the “Spike Lee” era. The last generation who had the social spark in them and operated with a sense of urgency and passion for social justice. The Millennial generation known as Generation Y, has yet to experience any significant event, with the exception of Obama’s election. Could that explain some young kids oblivion to injustice? What are your thoughts?
I remember events that shaped our youth, things like the Rodney King riots, the OJ Trial, the 9/11 attacks and the anger we all felt after watching “Do the right thing”. Mostly, because we all had witnessed some type of social injustice and it sparked something in us. We watched how the nation would be split and polarized over things like the OJ Trial. We watched white America fume in disgust because a black man was for once, not lynched by the justice system. Thanks to the brilliant skill level of a black attorney named Johnie Cochran (RIP) white America got a dose of what we’ve dealt with for years. Apparent injustice.. We still deal with it (Oscar Grant killed by Bart Police on VIDEO) We witnessed white America get pissed again when 9/11 happened and Muslims around the country were subject to racist, hate mongering, and suspicion by so called “patriots“. Most Gen Y‘s I speak to, like the girl from my earlier topic, seem to have a naive almost oblivious outlook on these issues. But could it be it’s because they’ve never had to deal with them?
The future for our youth is still within grasp, and it’s going to take a community effort to get them there and ready to compete. We have for the first time in a long time, a sitting president willing to do this and invest in this important concept. So I urge you to get involved in your communities and especially in the voting process. Due to some election results in other parts of the county, a newly revived GOP has been launching attack after attack on the poor and middle class. Education, as always with them is right in the crossfire. They’ll sacrifice your child’s education in a blink of an eye to keep affording their yachts with tax cuts. GET INVOLVED!!