Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rich, Black, Flunking... Why black children and subsequently black folks are failing.

Cal Professor John Ogbu thinks he knows why rich black kids are failing in school. Nobody wants to hear it.
The black parents wanted an explanation. Doctors, lawyers, judges, and insurance brokers, many had come to the upscale Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights specifically because of its stellar school district. They expected their children to succeed academically, but most were performing poorly. African-American students were lagging far behind their white classmates in every measure of academic success: grade-point average, standardized test scores, and enrollment in advanced-placement courses. On average, black students earned a 1.9 GPA while their white counterparts held down an average of 3.45. Other indicators were equally dismal. It made no sense.

When these depressing statistics were published in a high school newspaper in mid-1997, black parents were troubled by the news and upset that the newspaper had exposed the problem in such a public way. Seeking guidance, one parent called a prominent authority on minority academic achievement.

UC Berkeley Anthropology Professor John Ogbu had spent decades studying how the members of different ethnic groups perform academically. He'd studied student coping strategies at inner-city schools in Washington, DC. He'd looked at African Americans and Latinos in Oakland and Stockton and examined how they compare to racial and ethnic minorities in India, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and Britain. His research often focused on why some groups are more successful than others.

But Ogbu couldn't help his caller. He explained that he was a researcher -- not an educator -- and that he had no ideas about how to increase the academic performance of students in a district he hadn't yet studied. A few weeks later, he got his chance. A group of parents hungry for solutions convinced the school district to join with them and formally invite the black anthropologist to visit Shaker Heights. Their discussions prompted Ogbu to propose a research project to figure out just what was happening. The district agreed to finance the study, and parents offered him unlimited access to their children and their homes.

The professor and his research assistant moved to Shaker Heights for nine months in mid-1997. They reviewed data and test scores. The team observed 110 different classes, from kindergarten all the way through high school. They conducted exhaustive interviews with school personnel, black parents, and students. Their project yielded an unexpected conclusion: It wasn't socioeconomics, school funding, or racism, that accounted for the students' poor academic performance; it was their own attitudes, and those of their parents.


ALSO: Proficiency of Black Students Is Found to Be Far Lower Than Expected
Only 12% of Black 4th Grade Males can read with a standard amount of proficiency.

An achievement gap separating black from white students has long been documented — a social divide extremely vexing to policy makers and the target of one blast of school reform after another.

But a new report focusing on black males suggests that the picture is even bleaker than generally known.

Only 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys.


Folks this story interested me enough to post it solo. I’ve watched numerous stories about how blacks particularly black boys/men are failing in school and as I watch these stories I am amazed at the fact that people can’t figure out the problem.

Black are failing in school because they don’t give a fuck. Yes as horrible and as callous as that sounds it is true. Black parents don’t give a fuck about their kids achievements in education because they don’t demand that they achieve not only in school but in life in general.

Now I don’t want to make this an indictment on my parents but for most of my school life my parents were pretty hands off regarding my schooling. They were not on my ass as much as they probable should have been and as a result I did poorly up until the time I went to live with my grandparents.

When I lived with my grandfather I became motivated because I loved and respected him and I did not want to disappoint him. He talked to me about the world and how education was important, not that my mom and dad did not do these things but they along with everyone else assumed that because I was so smart that I did not need to be pushed as much.
My father was busy running an insurance company and my mother was working long hours. I am much younger than my brothers so I was like an only child and pretty much functioned alone.
In the early years I heard horror stories about how my dad would beat the crap out of my brothers for doing poorly in school but by the time I came around he had mellowed significantly at least as far as dealing with my schooling was concerned.

For those of you who read my Snoop Chronicles story I talked about living in the white world and the black world. Let me be blunt here, few of the black kids I hung out with were what I would call achievers. Their parents paid little or no attention to them.
The parents were always distant and dismissive and I would say that I rarely saw that the parents really loved their kids. Now keep in mind many of these black kids grew up in families where their parents were very well off so it was not like these kids were poor or grew up in broken homes all of my black friends grew up in two parent households.
However these parents did what most black parents do today give their kids “stuff.” Everything from expensive bikes, cars, clothes, shoes many of these black parents grew up poor themselves so they dedicated their lives to giving their kids a bunch of stuff rather than focusing on what was important and that was building a loving and respectful relationship.
Most black children don’t have even the most basic respect for their parents so they damn sure won’t give a fuck about any fleeting advice they might give them.
The thing was when these kids would get into trouble there were rarely consequences for their actions. I had more than a few of my black friends tell me straight up that their parents did not give a fuck what they did.
The family dynamic was superficial there was not real relationship there. These parents did not interact with their kids and thusly were not likely to pay any real attention to what they were doing in school.
Now this is not to say white parents had all the answers because I knew more than a few white kids who were just as screwed up but my point here is there was a clear divide between the black and the white families in how the kids and parents related.

Although my father and I did interact somewhat I had no real relationship with him because I did not like the chauvinistic way he treated my mother not to mention that I found him to be more than hypocritical on a number of issues.
My father believed that because he “made it” and because he moved his family into this upper middle class neighborhood infiltrating the whitey world that we “made it.”
It was all about how he perceived success. He told me once that “you don’t have to deal with the ills of racism like I did.” which was frankly bullshit but hey it was all about him.
Black folks are all about appearances which is why they are all into spending ridiculous sums of money on hairstyles, clothes, shoes, gold teeth, gold chains and other meaningless bullshit because it is all about how people perceive you rather than seeing you as a complete person.

The same reason why black are ambivalent regarding the quality of life in their neighborhoods or dismissive of idiot Negro politicians… what makes people think that they are going to be in tuned with their kids education.
Because black have played the victim role for so long it is easy for most to point the finger of failure towards a racist white educational system, oddly enough run by white liberals.

A year of so ago here in the Kansas City, Missouri school district the superintendent announced that the district was closing a number of schools and on the news you would see meetings filled with outraged black folks asking, begging the district to keep a number of these failing schools open… for what!? These parents totally clueless to the fact that these schools had been deteriorating for the greater part of a decade now that these schools are failing and the school system broke beyond repair now they decide to speak out.

When I was on a school desegregation board we were dealing with the effects of busing on children particularly black children black folks did not come to these meetings to discuss the problem because they did not give a shit.

When I served on a community policing task force to look at crime and how to get neighbors more involved black folks did not come to these meetings to discuss the problem because they did not give a shit.
One time we actually had several young black girls come to a meeting because they wanted to petition the utility company to add more lights to several streets that had more than their share of criminal activity.
Not even the parents of these girls came to the meeting which frankly pissed me off at the time. So I helped raise some money to raise awareness of the issue. I solicited the help of several neighborhood associations to help raise awareness of the issue and eventually these girls were successful in getting their lights. But the thing was when I went to more than a few black churches to raise awareness of the issue I was all but ignored.
Black folks just don’t give a shit, not about their neighborhoods, not about crime, not about their crooked scheming manipulative liberal Democrat politicians so what the hell would people think that they would give a shit about their kids education?

If their kid is an athlete well maybe they might pay attention because they see their seed as a meal ticket out of the ghetto but otherwise they could care less.
Here we have story after story about how the graduation rate for black males is 50 percent…. FIFTY PERCENT, this is outrageous, it is criminal, and you would think black folks would be marching in the streets in mass but nope you hear nothing, nada.
Black folks are all about enabling their kids allowing them to become useless members of society and excusing their behaviors and failures and all the while pointing the finger at evil whitey.

Back in the day when it was illegal and or dangerous for black folks to get an education black folks found a way to survive and endure.

Back in the day black folks lived in quality neighborhoods free of crime; they attended school and were successful. Black folks started and ran successful businesses and were engaged in the political process.

Now black folks are hapless, helpless and hopeless and as more and more black folks accept mediocrity and living a substandard existence you will see more and more black educational and societal failures.

The corrosiveness of liberalism has rendered black folks impotent. While black neighborhoods continue to be breeding grounds for crime and drugs watch as black folks continue to sit on their hands waiting for whitey to bail them out from their own ineptitude.

Want to know what is important to black folks go to a black gossip website and read the silly shit that passes for information. Black folks are not reading about the effects of the federal deficit or the problems of illegal immigration or how higher taxes destroy the economy.
The important news is what black celebrity is fucking around on his wife, or what celebrity is sporting booty implants.

We can tip toe around the issue and try to be politically correct about why black kids are failing but until black folks start speaking candidly about the issue this will continue to be a major problem.
Remember folks (and this includes you racist white folks I know love to visit my site) because I have this tendency to speak honestly about why folks who share my skin pigmentation tend to be fuck ups… Listen up… black failure is a societal failure. We all have a stake in turning this around because we all pay for it in the form of increased taxation because the more black folks are dropping out of school we all will be paying one way or another from needed increase police protection, more prisons, more welfare and social programs.

I will say this and it was many years ago, I know that many of the white women teachers I had did not like teaching black children and I could feel that they did not really give a shit about me. It was not until years later when I became involved in community issues and I told many of these young white teachers my stories that they said to me that it was not that they had problems with black children they had major problems with their parents because the vast majority simply refused to take their kids education seriously and rarely became involved.
Until this changes black children and subsequently black adults will continue to fall further and further behind in this society.

Old Stuff:

Monday, May 24, 2010
Don’t Mind Me… I just think society is deteriorating at an alarming rate…Thanks Liberals!


PeggyU said...

You may be on to something, Gaius, but I don't think it is the entire problem. I know of individual kids who have the focus to succeed in spite of absent parents - and most teachers love to work with these kids, because they appreciate the effort they are putting out. As repugnant as this may sound (and believe me, I view Obama as the worst of charlatans among other things!), Barack Obama does serve as an inspirational example (to some) of where education can lead. I once received a comment from a black kid who was excited about doing well on an assignment - because academic achievement was the ticket to success: Barack Obama said so! That kid told me he wanted to be President one day ... if he makes it, I hope he does a better job than his role model!

I also know of kids whose parents are quite involved who nonetheless fail (I have a story I will share with you, privately, about our own family's problems in that area!). I think the endemic failure you describe ties closely to cultural expectations, as opposed to parental ones, although parents certainly are responsible for perpetuating that culture. If a culture makes it acceptable, or worse yet admirable, to be defiant and ignorant, then that is what kids will aspire to in order to "fit in". Strong-willed individuals, who are unphased by social rejection, can rise above this ... but there are intelligent people who don't have the strength of character to escape, even though they may acknowledge the destructive nature of their behavior.

Gaius Lawrenitis Negris said...

Peggy I understand that there are examples of kids succeeding despite trying circumstances, and there are kids who become miserable failures despite the efforts of the most well meaning parents.
Maybe I am painting black folks with too broad a brush but what I write here is not based on some philosophical theory or some elementary college societal thesis, it is based on what I have seen first hand, I lived it, absorbed it, and experienced it. The sad thing is there are a lot more black folks who think like I do but they are either too scared or too ashamed to admit to this stunning reality.

Look I wrote about my own personal failure regarding my daughter. She is destine to become a long term welfare queen because she wanted to use her parents marital failure as an excuse to fuck off school. She started to associate with people who did not have her best interest at heart. But let me be clear, I failed her. Upon my divorce I should have stepped in insisted on raising her on my own and make her the priority.
Yup daddy was not there but those idiot Negro thugs she hung with certainly was there for her.
But unlike many other black kids she had numerous opportunities to finish school, had job opportunities and had plenty of family support but because she developed the nigga ghetto mindset success became fleeting and now she is sending her kids to the same fate.
My oldest daughter took her in, tried to support her and while she was suppose to be getting herself together talking about wanting to go back to school and so on she pissed the time away sitting at home on her ass and ignoring her responsibilities.
I actually had someone tell me that I abandoned her and I’m like fuck that. When the fuck does and adult become an adult, when the fuck does a human being decide to take responsibility for their life and their own destiny?
Black folks engage in the ridiculous notion that someone or society owes them something. I don’t have any problem acknowledging my role in my daughters shortcomings but at some point we all have to either piss or get off the pot as the saying goes.

How many young black men do you see driving around in shiny new cars playing the pimp role while their kids go hungry and neglected and all the while the grandparents end up supporting and raising the kids. Today in the black community grnadparents and even great grandparents are raising the kids because the lazy ass parents are out fucking around and partying because they learned very early on that they did not have to take responsibility for their actions because someone would cover for them.

The same mindset that went into that lady after Obama’s speech saying the she did not have to worry about paying her mortgage or putting gas in her car is the same fucked up mentality that keeps black folks dependent and forever holding out their hands.

Folks I don’t have to tell you this take a ride to the black side of town and see for yourself. We all want to tip toe around reality I just refuse to do it.

Anonymous said...

Gaius you are correct. As a black man I see the same self destructive tendencies and as I look around at deteriorating neighborhoods and the abandoned buildings where I grew up I feel ashamed and disgusted. Black people are their own worst enemy and far too many refuse to see the obvious. We all need to be more outspoken and blacks need to take more responsibility.
Keep speaking up and don’t be afraid to tell the truth.



PeggyU said...

Gaius - In our family it is the atmosphere on the reservation that has caused problems. My brother and sister-in-law need to just move, I think, since even though they have been VERY involved and supportive of their kids and have tried to enforce their principles at home, their oldest child has had some real difficulties and is off to a bad start in life.

PeggyU said...

Oh, and by the way ... Happy Veteran's Day! :)