Why Black Students Aren’t Prepared

“We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too. We can’t keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves.”  — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A few weeks ago, I cited from Jason Riley’s book, Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed, in which he explained why African-Americans typically support anything President Obama and his administration do, regardless of the damage it does — even when Blacks are more negatively impacted than anyone else. But, it isn’t the Obama administration that is the only problem. Liberal/progressive policies in general, and particularly those which are supposed to *help* minorities, no matter how well-intentioned, make it harder for Blacks to succeed in America.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t all fall on government’s shoulders. Certain elements of “black culture” are to blame, as well, though those are often enabled and encouraged by “progressive” attitudes. Take the matter of education, for instance. Citing anthropological studies of black students, Riley noted,

“The behaviors and attitudes to be avoided included, for example, enrolling in honors and advanced-placement classes, striving for high grades, talking properly, hanging around too many white students, and participating in extracurricular activities that were populated by whites.”

This is only exacerbated by academically disengaged parents and by a school system that sets lower standards for black kids and often passes students who don’t perform at grade level.

Nancy Pelosi marching with Congressional Black Caucus

Nancy Pelosi marching with Congressional Black Caucus

“Today’s civil rights leaders encourage blacks to see themselves as victims. The overriding message from the NAACP, the National Urban League, and most black politicians is that white racism explains black pathology. Ogbu’s research shows that this message is not lost on black youth. ‘Black students chose well-educated and successful professional Blacks in Shaker Heights and elsewhere in the nation as role models,’ he noted. ‘However, the role models were admired because of their leadership in the “collective struggle” against White oppression or in the civil rights movement rather than because of their academic and professional success or other attributes that made them successful in the corporate economy or wider societal institutions.’

There was a time when black leaders understood the primacy of black self-development. They fought hard for equal opportunity, but knew that blacks have to be culturally prepared to take advantage of those opportunities when they arrive. [See quote at top of post.] Today we have people trying to help blacks by making excuses for them…. Multiculturalists like Geneva Gay, a professor of education at the University of Washington – Seattle, tell us that black kids are underperforming in public schools because of how they’re being taught….

Gay said that if the U.S. school system would do a better job of accommodating the ‘cultural orientations, values and performance styles of ethnically different students’ instead of ‘imposing cultural hegemony,’ then black kids would ‘feel less compelled to sabotage or camouflage their academic achievement to avoid compromising their cultural and ethnic integrity.’ In other words, black kids are being asked to sit still in class, pay attention, follow rules, and complete homework assignments — all of which is a huge imposition on them, if not a racist expectation.

One major problem with this theory is that it can’t explain the performance of other nonwhite students, including black immigrants, who readily adjust to the pedagogic methods of U.S. schools and go on to outperform black Americans. Even black immigrants for whom English is a second language have managed to excel in U.S. schools….”

This only scratches the surface the subject, of course. And, obviously, there are engaged parents and there are Black students who perform well in school, despite hardships and negative influences, and go on to do well professionally. But, it is my understanding that they are, if you’ll pardon the phrase, in the minority.

I don’t know about you, but I find this all fascinating.

To be continued…


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