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Roy Douglas Malonson, Publisher of African-American News&Issues
Roy Douglas Malonson, Publisher of African-American News&Issues

We MUST Understand

This just in…The “school-to-prison pipeline” is a reality for African-American youth.

How real? Check this out.

A Federal Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights released a report last week that shows that black students are suspended and expelled at a rate that’s three times higher than their white peers.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder have urged educators across the country to move away from practices that suspend students for minor infractions and disproportionately affect minority students.

Those results from the first comprehensive survey in nearly 15 years of civil rights data from the 97,000 U.S. public schools show they remain marked by inequities. It confirmed things we already knew about how the education system feels about educating Black youth.

What should it say to African-American parents, legislators and community leaders?

Inequality is the issue!!!

How many times do I have to say this before Black people get it?

We MUST Understand that the inequality in the education system in America is failing young Blacks.

You may not believe all we say, but at least consider the facts. Facts that are clear enough to show that Black children in the education system have a target on their backs.

The sad part about it is the inequality has Blacks labeled even before they attend preschool.

Even our babies are victims of the years of history, stereotypes and an education system that is programmed with a special set of instructions to keep as many African-American children from reaching their full potential in life.

Many Black youth are being set up for a hard fall that will either line them up for prison or put them in a funeral procession.

How is this done? Look closer.

Giving a youth a juvenile record is the beginning of the end for that young person. It takes away his freedom to think, steals his dreams and squashes hopes of getting athletic scholarships,college acceptance letters and even can affect general employment opportunities.

By training him early to report to juvenile courts and probation, it introduces him to a whole new culture of courts, judges and attorneys – all making decisions about his future. The eventual end of that cycle is a loss of independence and a life of crime, prison or unemployment or underemployment. These frustrations lead to other issues, including family violence, abandonment and failure to pay child support.

It is a cycle of failure that starts when these school administrators execute their “perfect crimes” of destroying Black youth.

Some of the real criminals responsible for hurting our babies are sitting in our classrooms, in principal offices and are running on-site police departments for school districts.

The real story is how White school board leaders and administrators are selling these racist stereotypes about our youth and principals and teachers bwho have taken it and declared war on Black youth using their tactics to “bully” our children.

James Eichner, a managing director at the Advancement Project in Washington said when it comes to racial disparities in discipline, research has shown that black students are more likely to be treated harshly for more minor offenses, and that implicit bias often leads adults to perceive black children as older and more threatening than whites.

I agree with the Attorney General Eric Holder who said “A routine school discipline infraction should land a student in the principal’s office, “not in a police precinct.” And definitely not with a juvenile record.

We MUST Understand that these inequities inflicted on our children are  “socially divisive”, “educationally unsound”, “morally bankrupt” and “economically self-destructive.”

Question is: What is the Black community going to do about it?