Love is a verb (My apologies to Anna, Ashley and Shawna, and all English teachers.)

“Our whole life is a meditation of our last decision—-the only decision that matters”

                                                                                                                                -Thomas Merton

 

     It is always the last act of concern, of kindness of attention that matters, for it prepares us and commissions us toward the next set of acts. We can’t “bank” the last good act, love requires us to keep working, and to keep working at and on it. Love is a verb that simply can’t be solely verbalized. There must be some kind of action to: make and “keep it real”. God is love. But God is the opposite of “inaction”; He is in a real sense all and every action; love therefore is without meaning, if it is without action. We are reminded during this Lenten season that “God so love the world that he gave….”. Can we love without giving, without the giving of ourselves? And so if the person “doesn’t get it”; perhaps the reason is that you didn’t send it!. I just spent the entire day yesterday,( and to be continued today); doing heavy labor, and working to help a friend. I was taught that: “anything worth doing, is worth doing well”. For some reason my mind keeps returning to that Mary, Mary “reality” show segment on adultery (a pivotal question was asked by the sister: “did you not love me?” The husband had the “look”; you know the look English teachers. The one that says: “No, you did not call on me(after all, I am slouching in the last row in the last seat, in the back of the room) to respond, when I did not even pick up the book last night, let alone read the assigned pages”)…How can we give our best to others, when we don’t even bother to give our best to ourselves?

       Perhaps, the hardest lesson: How do we get someone (or a people) to believe that the: “Best Effort” is the minimum of what they themselves deserve, and should expect? Why is not working hard to make someone feel secure, comfortable and happy not the acceptable norm? Are we in the age of “effortless” friendly/family-relationships? The main act is not Mary, Mary; rather it is the  “Me & My”  show which has taken center stage in this world, and is very much the center of our religious-worship experience (They preach that :“God wants you to be rich (and therefore); and others poor”); at least one pastor was  being honest when he said: “The poor will always be with us, I just don’t want to be one of them”.  It is as if God’s thinking and power is so small (like our own) that the idea of everyone having an enriched and empowered life never crossed His mind! Sometimes I feel  like my species is extinct, and for some strange reason, I miss the bus, and I am just hanging around waiting for some social-archeologist to dig me up…..( oh, sorry again English teachers, that is, to excavate me)

Addition to my “bucket list”……

 

Sibling Day? Ok, that’s it, I have seen enough….adding something to my bucket list: Invent a “recognition day”

 

“Sibling Day”? Karl Marx never imagined that the entrepreneurial class would continually come up with buying and spending ideas on such massively creative  scale. Is Hallmark gearing up? With  the traditional days of historical recognition(i.e. President’s, 4th of July, etc.) having been transformed into: “Shopping extravaganzas”; what’s left but to “invent days”. And we have been “programed” to focus our concern, care and kindness into single celebratory days. Valentine’s Day (full disclosure, I am not crazy, I am not fighting against it!:-) relieves too many of the responsibility of showing how much we appreciate and care about our love interest on the other 364 days of the year. “You get this wonderful attention, for one day, and then I go back to……” Although I am discouraged by the idea of a “Martin Luther King Birthday Mattress Sale”; I am optimistic that at some point (or maybe not); people (sanity) power will prevail. But Marxist (any left?) should not raise their hopes up too high; I am sure that the entrepreneurial marketeers will  be able to adjust to that new reality, and figure out how to make the new reality, make money. In the mean time I am going to contribute to the problem by “inventing” my own day (my own, as it will “Festivus”, for you Seinfeld fans). And so I hereby establish:

 

BLESSED DAY!

BLACK

LATINO

ENGINEERING

SCIENCE

STUDENTS

EDUCATION

DAY

 

And why not? Here in the south they are already ahead of the game and practicing the BLESSED Day greeting: “You’ll, have a BLESSED day now!”

 

Why is the “bad” ending not our fault, when we purposely advertise for, and accept lower standards?

 

Flipping through the channels yesterday in the hope of finding something to “watch me” while I iron for a few hours. I stopped at a segment of the Mary, Mary (un)reality show. Now I know why so often I feel like  it is me who is living in an unreality. The theme was spousal infidelity. My  thoughts: It is, in a very real way “her (their) faults” (it seems that the sisters share the experience). I am listening to the husbands “explain themselves” in the segment, and I am wondering why these women expected a different outcome then the one that emerged? Why are they with these men whose (proclaimed) principles are so different from the gospel music they sing? Men who are making nonsense (no sense at all, I desperately tried to follow their “logic”) in  place of sound spiritually  guided judgment. God’s thinking and purpose concerning marriage is never discussed; and so what was all of that “praise and worship” music about? It would have been better (for me) as a consumer of gospel music if I was never exposed to their husbands; I (thinking positively)  imagined that they were married to strong (or at the very least settled) men of God, but now…… Is the obvious absence of a spiritually sound plan in their professional lives (now pouring out their personal business in a reality show, filmed speaking from bed no less) reflective of their disconnection from a solid and serious man of God in their private lives? After listening to these two men speak; and then listening to how articulate the women were*; I can’t imagine that “infidelity” was not one of the many negative possibilities on the list, prior to marriage. How often have we “recruited” (invited) people into our lives based on the standards we have established, either consciously or unconsciously. And so why is it that we expect a different outcome then the one we expected?

 

*I admit to a professional predisposition here, as I believe that there is a linkage between language (speaking) and thinking (ideas formation); educators will recognize this as a major Vygotskyian theoretical principle

ARE WE “FULL OF OURSELVES”, OR FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD?

 

     Over the years I have had many parents come into the principal’s office and in exasperation ask: “Who has occupied my child’s body, I don’t know this person!” In those cases it is simply the teenager responding for better, or for worse to their transition out of childhood, and into adulthood; it is all happening at the same time in the same body. And this phenomena is as strange to them as it is to their adult parents (who I am often  forced to remind them of their own adolescent angst, contradictory behavior and developmental struggles.) But what are we to make of adults who “change up” on us? Can we really know another person, when so few of us resist a deep examination of our own lives?  We are often surprised (for good or bad) when we think we know someone, and the “opposite” or something “different” happens. And we are correct to use adversity as a good revealer of a person’s true character. But what about success; does it not also expose our true character to the world? I was for some reason thinking about Dr. Ben Carson this morning, and how he is so very different from the person I met many years ago. I invited him once to speak to students because he brought with him a personal example of hope and possibility for young people. “Here in the flesh”, I told them, “is that person you read about; not a fictional character; but someone who was very much a seemingly ordinary  young person, with all of the ordinary challenges that many young people face; who grew through hard work and dedication into an extraordinary adult.”

    But what happen to him? These days he expends his energy  and talents in the service of those who only live to hate President Obama and all in this country who look like him; those who are inspired by the President’s life story. Young people inspired by a wonderful role model, in the same way they were inspired by an earlier version of Dr. Carson. Could this just be an ugly expression of “crabs in the barrelism”? The idea that the Black community (unlike the White community) can have only one success story at a time? One “great” writer, One “great” painter, One ”great” scientist, one “great” leader. Dr. Carson seems to have abandoned his former calling of role model, and instead opts for a roll in the mud.  His words are no longer  filled with encouragement and inspiration, but rather focused on denunciations and denigration. The great danger that threatens our eternal lives, is that moment when we place our own egos on the altar of our worship. The world has the capacity of making us feel: “full of ourselves”; a self that is spiritually unfulfilled and empty. This is a story of the dangerous nature of satan who can, if you are not vigilant, take you off the path of righteousness. You can become a bitter despiser; and turn away from a work that called young people into the goodness of believing in themselves, sad…… This is a man who has no shortage of intellectual skills, but intellect is no help to our souls when it is put in the service of evil. And so we can only pray that God protect us from the evil intentions of satan;  to guard and empower our hearts to do what is right and good, in a world so lacking in goodness and righteousness.  

THE FALSE AND DEBILITATING EXPECTATION OF NEVER- CHANGING FRIENDSHIPS PLACED ON YOUNG BLACK MEN & WOMEN

“Stardom Doesn’t Change Where You’re From: Amid reports of gang ties, the Eagles cut DeSean Jackson. I grew up with him. I believe him to be a good person. I also know why NFL players from inner-city neighborhoods like mine in L.A. keep friends from when we were nobodies”

 

Thanks (Diona Howard-Nicolas)….Thanks D; as the author correctly states in his opening, we may not have all of the facts in this case. There is always a danger when taking a stand that you perhaps don’t have all of the information, and I am really not sure what information that the Eagles organization have in their possession. I think however I part with him on the idea that Black “celebrities” or “non-celebrities” must labor under a different set of social rules. It is very natural to lose and gain friends as one moves through life. This may have less to do with “looking down” on folks, and more to do with a change in social and professional interest. Perhaps you joined a sorority, professional organization, become a parent or developed an interest in bowling, gulf or archery; these actions may create a new set of friends that match your present interests in life. This is quite different from going back to the old neighborhood and ignoring and disrespecting your old friends. Further, this goes both ways, when I became a highly visible educator in the community; many of my old teenage buddies respected and understood what that meant for how I wanted to represent myself in public. For example: I once went back to visit my old neighborhood and an old friend said: “Michael I read about what you are doing with young people; I can’t get into your car.” I never inquired as to why, and he never offered, but I suspect that he was in the possession of “something”, and he did not want to hurt my work in the community. On that day I felt that we were mutually respectful of each other. I am always alert to the “double-standards” Black folks must face in America, and so why are we forced to have the same friends for life; as a sign of our “keeping it real”, or “not selling out”. Are White folks ever accused of “not keeping it real?” My thoughts as I grew into manhood was less about keeping it real with my old neighborhood buddies and more about how I could transform the neighborhood for the better by creating opportunities for the children of my old buddies to enjoy success. I wanted to make a significant contribution to the positive and empowering educational life of my community… If “celebrities” committed to similar acts then I would not care what their old, or new buddies thought…

 

P.S. You are absolutely correct in asserting that the phrase “nobodies” is very problematic; understanding as we do, the link between speech and thought; but I also submit to you that the use of the phrase is also very revealing as to this unfair psychological  burden that  “successful” Young Black Folks must carry throughout their lives. One is actually “somebody” prior to joining the NFL, earning an acting part on Broadway, signing a record deal, etc. Our “somebodiness” is God given, and we can only enhance or diminished it by how we act regardless of our job title. This fundamental misunderstanding of the importance of an identity outside of a “job title” is troubling. It also is symptomatic of a core concern; is it: “I play for the NFL, NBA, etc. and therefore I am?” Or is there an “I am” who’s chosen area of expertise is the NFL and NBA?  We critique and perhaps even (To continue the metaphor) penalize Black professional athletes utilizing the wrong criteria. Why is maintaining an old lifestyle useful? And can the multi-million dollar corporation called LeBron James; really and authentically just act like any “brother in the hood” (whatever that means)?  It is as if these young men and women are being called on to pay some type of emotional penance for having achieved some level of success in a chosen area of their expertise. It is simply a case of unfair treatment. I want to judge them on what they  do of a positive nature with their money and influence.

http://mmqb.si.com/2014/04/02/richard-sherman-desean-jackson/

WHAT (ON EARTH) IS SHE WAITING FOR?

“Just one day after (Baltimore Ravens football star) Ray Rice was indicted by a grand jury in Atlantic County, N.J., for third-degree aggravated assault against Janay Palmer, the couple reportedly tied the knot.”-NY Daily News

 

      BG is right (again), we wait in vain for the “unnatural” to emerge. What we see and (sadly in this case) feel is the truth speaking to our spirit. And so what are we waiting for, a change that will never come? These are foolish thoughts of fantasy, not acts of  faith. People are more likely to be captives rather than captains of their own histories, and so how do we change history, and in particular a personal-history other than our own?  Hope for the best, yes but……There is a type of “unearned” hope, that is really a form of “necro-worship”; hoping that something that is dead can give birth to something that is alive. People meet us at our “point of acceptance”; the level of disrespect and diminished capacity for which we accept as a “normal”, comfortable and emotionally compromised existence. “Could we do better?”; this whispering doubt-question is planted firmly in our confused feelings generated by low selfesteem. This is not what we boldly boast to the world; but rather how we, when alone, really feel about ourselves. For so long I have been fascinated by an earlier scientifically linked  social-hypothesis I heard often, that suggested that: “opposites attract”. My skepticism (back then) was based on my incomplete understanding of how  physical science concepts translate in the world of social science. But there is some sense making  here. It would make sense if only for reasons of efficiency, for  a “taker” to find, and “hook-up” with a “giver”; for the “cold hearted” to find the “warm-hearted”; for the simple-minded to find the wise; and in this particular case for the physical abuser to find a willing and accepting recipient of physical abuse. But all of these scenarios  seem beneficially one-sided. This could suggest that the: “taker”, cold-hearted person, the simpleton and the physical abuser are correctly seeking their ideal mate and match. They would correctly and honestly state: “I see nothing wrong with this relationship”. And in a sense, they would be right, for how would it benefit a “taker”  to link up with another “taker”; they would never find a moments rest as they constantly engaged in strategies, to “get-over” on each other, to make sure that they take more than they give to each other. And as strange as it may sound (after reading the biographies of people like Hitler, Stalin and Mao);  I have learned that even the  most “publicly cold-hearted” person wants very much to be the recipient of warm-hearted personal attention.  The simpleton joined to another simpleton would find it impossible, even if you combine their two simple brains together (two  simple brains together don’t follow the additive rules in mathematics); to successfully solve the difficult and complex problems they may encounter. And the “bruising abuser” definitely is not interested in someone who will go: blow for violent blow with them (the video of Ms. Palmer after she was literally knocked out by Mr. Rice was  disturbingly painful  to watch); they are alas, not looking for a capable opponent to meet them in the middle of the ring, they are instead looking for a victim incapable of putting up a good fight. And so, if one side of  these  twisted relationship equations is ok with the situation; it then falls on the one who is on the losing side of the relationship-equation to exit, in mathematical terms to create an inequality by their absence! If your weakened presence is strength to another…. Run. If your shame degradation, and dismissal is uplifting to a partner…Run. If your sadness, disappointment and discomfort is a form of uplifting comfort and happiness for another…Run.  If there is a disrespect and disregard for those things that lift and strengthen your self- esteem….Run.  This life is short, and believe that you have choices. You can choose life;  and if you choose life, your choice should be for the primary and sustaining nurturer of life… love. Develop a “self-love”, not  a “selfish love”; an ability to give and receive that which is good, inspiring, encouraging and empowering to yourself, and to another. It is not a love as it  may be defined by the silly participants in some “reality TV show”; but rather it is the “real-reality”, as it is expressed and defined by God: That  someone  sees what is inherently wonderful  and beautiful in you; and then makes every effort to bring that wonderful beauty inside of you, into full spiritual maturation and fruition…What then on earth, are you waiting for?

NO CHARACTER WITNESSES FOR THE POOR…..

Two case studies of a leadership gift that keeps on taking; and the mislead who just keep on taking it… “…About three dozen friends and supporters of Cunningham attended today’s hearing. The judge heard from several current or former officials at various child advocacy agencies inside and outside Alabama who asked for mercy or leniency….” (1)  And no one (save the prosecutors) was there to ask for Mercy, Leniency  and Justice for the poor people who were permanently harmed by her actions. (2) And, having “lived” in public housing, it should have given the mayor a view and an incentive to help those in the greatness need; once he moved into a powerful and influential public housing home as an elected official.

 

“Patrick Cannon, who rose from public housing to become mayor of North Carolina’s largest city, was arrested Wednesday by the FBI and accused of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes – including $20,000 in cash delivered in a briefcase last month to the mayor’s office”—Charlotte Observer 3/27/14

 

“Gayle Cunningham, the former executive director of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, was sentenced this afternoon to two years in prison for her guilty plea to charges related to the theft of nearly $500,000 from the agency…”—Birmingham News 3/27/14

  

        The end of an era, is in many ways the beginning of the end of so many believing in the meaning of this life being wholly (and unholy) captured in the gathering of material wealth. Perhaps, the time has come for all good persons to recognize that we have passed into a new era of extreme Black self-centeredness. This new Black leadership reality suggest that one should not just simply ignore your struggling brothers and sisters; that is, to fail, in a biblical sense, to  become their keepers and protectors. Rather, this new movement  would suggest that in fact, one should steal from those who can least afford to be stolen from; and who suffer the most from a derelict leadership style. And here we encounter the primary problem; those Americans who are poor, disenfranchised and in the greatest need of principle leadership, find their greatest needs abandoned at the worst possible moments. It’s a time that you: Get what you can, as much as you can, and hurt any who can’t get out of your way! In one of the articles  the main  perpetrator was earning $150,000/year plus benefits.  Why I wonder, could she not live comfortably on a  150K salary in the state of Alabama? The great Bob Marley once sung that: “A hungry man is an angry man”; meaning that the desperately hungry poor are angry enough to act outside of the “legal” parameters erected and supervised by those who exploit them; and who because of that exploitation, are themselves “well-fed”. But none of the bad players in these two sad stories seem chronically impoverished or hungry; and so the question is, why?. If the last 30 years has taught me anything it is that the era of the African-American  servant leader, the era where leadership meant that you gave much more than you received, the era where you sacrificed your personal wealth and wellbeing on behalf of the despised, the oppressed and the downtrodden, is over. Where are the Fannie Lou Hamer, The Medgar Evers of our world; the too numerous to name or count millions, who saw the “cause” as a reason to make hard  sacrifices, not as a way to make hard cash. It is so difficult for me to recognize this age, or to even recognize how I could even fit into its ethos. Sometimes I feel like I have been awakened in some distant frightful future for which I am strangely unaware, estranged and a stranger to everyone around me. Where is the historical-philosophical continuum from the Civil Rights/Black Power era?  Are we at the place where it is every individual for themselves, and their biological families and friends? There seems to be  no honor, no commitment to values that transcend the crude acquisition of the base “creature comforts”. It seems (my thinking lately) that what is missing is so fundamentally easy; and so independent of the ability of “White America” to influence or blame; it is  our thinking on those things having to do with morality and ethics. I recently had a discussion with a friend concerning what I think is one of the most fraudulent and misapplied ideas of the modern era. The idea that these types of “thefts” constitute a conspiracy by “White Folks” to “set  Black leadership up”. Beyond the fact that I believe that this view grants White America too much strategic planning power. For how in this age of highly decentralized and instant electronic information flow can this “conspiracy” be accomplished? How in the era where the NSA can’t even stop a midlevel bureaucrat  like Edward Snowden from releasing major classified document concerning the high level spying methods by the National Security Agency(NSA) toward US citizens and our international friends; be capable of keeping quiet a “conspiracy” of the magnitude that  could stretch from NYC, DC, Louisiana, to North Carolina  and also make its rounds in Birmingham Alabama? No, these criminals (who happen to be Black) are no more being “set-up”, then a bank is setting up a bank robber simply because it exist as a bank. These folks are no modern-day version of “Robin Hood”; they are not out to funnel money from “the man” to the suffering masses; no, they are nothing but flat-out thieves caught stuffing their pockets; colorless in their immorality, and shameless in their ability to only see “color” as an opportunity to exploit those whose interest they claim to represent. Their behavior is worthy of a social-psychological study; for these criminals are not the hopelessly undereducated, unemployed young Black man selling weed on the corner; these folks actually have an education, jobs with a more than adequate income; is this the greatest expression of: “Black on Black Crime”? The Republican-Tea-Party-Right-Wing leadership crowd make their intentions clear; they don’t care about poor people, the health or any other type of care for the poor. They want to return Black people in this nation back to an era when the rights and aspirations of Black America (Called: knowing and being in their place) were ignored at best, and destroyed and brutally trampled at worst. The mere presence of a President Obama is an affront to their philosophy of White American exceptionalism, entitlement and exemption from the rules of fairness. Understandably, they see their leadership (elected or otherwise) as an instrument of denial, denigration and disenfranchisement. But, I wonder; what on earth are these “Black (phenotypically speaking) Leaders thoughts on the role and purpose of leadership?  Do the plight of the suffering poor ever cross their twisted  minds? Just what were they thinking; and, what are they thinking now?

Folks preparing themselves for a terrible “Hair-After”!

 How Far (have we fallen?)……Too  Far!

“HOUSTON –  Police say four women captured on camera stealing hair extensions were identified after they reportedly tried to use social media to sell the products…”

 

Everything is unnaturally wrong with this story; the thieves, as well as the products they stole… The bright and redeeming moment are those people of conscience who turned them in…What a journey from Harriet Tubman, Fannie Lou hammer, Rosa Parks and Dorothy Height to this…. Just sad….How far we have fallen…..Thanks for sharing Kyna..This is my (sad but hopeful) inspiration for the day…We have a lot of work to do!

 

http://www.khou.com/news/crime/4-women-accused-of-stealing-15K-worth-of-hair-extensions-from-south-Houston-shop–227746401.html?fb_action_ids=10202108861138173&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=feed_opengraph&action_object_map=%7B%2210202108861138173%22%3A487850001312835%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210202108861138173%22%3A%22og.recommends%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Yawn…..Just Another Black and Latino Children lose Educationally Study….

    ”Racial minorities are more likely than white students to be suspended from school, to have less access to rigorous math and science classes, and to be taught by lower-paid teachers with less experience, according to comprehensive data released Friday by the data released Friday by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil RightsDepartment of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.”—NY Times 3/21/14

Really?

     We need an educational version of: “Come on Man!”. I just wonder how every year these types of studies are presented as: “new information”; as the conclusions/results are so reflective of the: “facts on the ground”, that have so obviously been present for so many years. This is the equivalent of the weather person telling us it is raining, in the middle of a rain storm! I used this type of data in the first proposal written for the Science Skills Center, Inc. in the 1970′s. I was successful in making the case that the U.S. could not depend on the then present and steady flow of skilled foreign workers, or the “birth-rate” (trending down) of US White males to meet the scientific technical realities of what was beginning back then to be a very intense Sci-Tech driven society and workforce. “Black and Latino (minority) students”, I preached, “Would at some  point grow to be the majority of our student population; and could a  nation survive and/or thrive socially, politically and economically, if it so poorly educated, and rendered “workforce unprepared” a  majority of its students.”  A brief study of world economic development history would suggest that the answer is no. But beyond the national interest problem, there is the individual disappointments of so many children in our nation; the huge collection of career “Dreams Deferred”*;  the frustrated and angry unused talent. And the creation of a class of Americans, who while living in a modern and highly industrialized America, were in every way living in the “marginal dead spots” of the nation, in some form of a “developing country”, dependent on outside aid for survival, lifestyle.  The continued Black and Latino student inaccessibility to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses will create a life-long  disconnection from  a very STEM focused future economy.  Most Black and Latino children are attending K-12 schools to essentially major in disenfranchisement and  obsolescence. We have in many ways squandered the efforts of those who marched for equality; by continuing to subject our children to a second class, separate and inferior education. We have terribly failed to continue to carry the freedom torch for those who passed it on, in the hope that we the recipients of their sacrifice, suffering and struggle; would offer at the very least, half of their efforts. Folks died, were brutalized and went to jail so that we could act freely; and now we are enslaved by the most powerful of confinements, the  mis/uneducated imprisoned mind. The “suspend them” from school and/or class early and often philosophy, prepares Black and Latino young people (particularly males) for a career path to the criminal justice system; they are learning early to think, act, feel and respond like inmates. Unfortunately we don’t have the services of a snarling  segregationist sheriff or the half-wit opportunistic politician standing and blocking the school-house door. For sure the “villains” are a diverse group of deniers: A not serious appointment to the leadership of the US department of education, the shenanigans and buffoonery of clueless Black dominated school boards; and in many school districts, the “minstrelosity” of mediocre and inexperienced Black (phenotypically speaking) school building and school district leaders, stumbling aimlessly over the future hopes and aspirations of children who look like them. The “solution”: Parents are offered “half-a loaf” of something that looks like a good education, if only they turn their children into commodities, and offer (sacrifice?) them to the profit-making charter industry. Black and Latino children (particularly when they fail academically) live only to feed one “corrective” industry or another. I wonder what nation in the world would accept this level of educational war against their children, and just “move on” to the next celebrity/unreality TV show, sporting event, movie or record release? How we have allowed our children to be treated is perhaps the worst Scandal of all!

 

*What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
                                                                                                        -Langston Hughes

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/21/us/school-data-finds-pattern-of-inequality-along-racial-lines.html?ref=education

 

 

 

 

THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR CORRUPTED AND LOW STANDARDS FOR LEADERSHIP; OR YOU GET WHAT YOU DEMAND!

“Marion Barry endorses Vincent Gray, calls him ‘a man of integrity’ who deserves second term”Washington Post 2/20/14

Don’t laugh; sadly this is going to work!

     Ironically, yesterday a parent from DC sent me an article about the parents at a specialized DC high school, with a sizable White student population, fighting for a quality education for their children; why was I not surprised and how many times in my career have I seen that movie? But I have also seen the ‘’comedic” version of the same film captured and summarized in the comments made by the late/great Colombia University professor Eli Ginzberg: “Black people get the short end of the stick”, he would in succinct honesty say often. But, sadly it is those same Black people who very often select (Or “choose”, as in a Carter G. Woodson context) the “short-end of the stick”; particularly when the short-end of the stick is painted black!

        I know what you are thinking about this endorsement; but you should throw common sense and logic out of the window; this endorsement will actually work in D.C.!  A lot of people have asked me about this Washington DC acceptable level of corruption phenomena. And, I must admit that it at first baffled me, that is until I lived there for a few years. Like most Americans my view of Marion Barry was captured and fixed in that hotel-crack video.  I watched that video and thought: “this is definitely the end of a political career”. And I and many Americans who had similar thoughts were terribly wrong. Living in DC I learned over time to keep my mouth (and my “logical” questions about moral and ethical leadership shut down), In part  because I just ran into too many people in DC, people who I mistakenly thought should “know better”; essentially, not know better. And what did I hear someone once say: “when you know better you do better”. Do not make the mistake (that I once made) by thinking that this endorsement is directed to the uneducated and informationally challenged of DC. Know that a sizeable number of Black professionals and Black folks with college degrees love Marion Barry and will follow his lead. During my 5 years in DC I have seen multiple Investigations/indictments of Black elected city officials, with two actually being carted off to jail. A public school system, under Black governmental leadership (modeling NYC’s failed effort in the Bloomberg era) that makes a practice of denying Black and Latino children the fundamental right to a quality education. DC is a town that comes very close to the neo-colonial model found in too many countries in Africa and the Caribbean. In short: A Black Face in charge; while Black people face the greatest amount of suffering and exploitation. There is also the neo-colonial principle that says: “public service” means private, friends and family enrichment. And like all corrupt neo-colonial leaders the “race card” is an essential part of their playbook to stay in power. “The (White) Man” can conveniently serve in the role of allegedly “setting up” these leaders up for failure, even if it is clear that these black leaders set themselves up by their greed, immoral and unethical behavior. It will be interesting to see how the present mayor makes the case for: “The man made you think I did it”; when the lead prosecutor is an African-American, as is the Attorney General and the president of the United States. I would however, not count him out. We have learned to accept so little from those who are so well unprepared and unworthy to lead us. Ironically, one of the persons running for mayor, who happens to be White (Tommy Wells), was one of the few elected officials I spoke to about the philosophy, methodology and leadership of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics- Career Technical Education program (STEM-CTE); who I felt was at least able to intellectually follow the conversation. I lost the Black elected officials I spoke to somewhere around the beginning of my explanation (educators you know: “the look” on the faces of students that says: “I am physically present, but mentally absent”). If intellectual capacity, ethical/moral behavior and a vision is not on our “check-off” list when selecting a leader, then we (and more importantly our children) indeed get what we least deserve and need. I know some will say that all politicians are “no good”. But is that the standard? And is simply “no good” what those who are the most (highest concentration per population) disenfranchised, the most un/under employed, the most impoverished, the most harmed by the social service, education and criminal justice systems, really need? If anything our leaders should seek and be held to the highest ethical and moral standards in the nation; for the many barriers to survival and success that we face are for sure, the highest in the nation.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/marion-barry-endorses-vincent-gray-calls-him-man-of-integrity-who-deserves-second-term/2014/03/19/132cdac0-af6d-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html