Friday, February 4, 2022

What Will They Do?


I want you to watch this video. It's only a little over 12-minutes, so I know you can do it. I especially want you to pay attention to the part about Baltimore, MD schools and the students they produce. I will bring that together with a note from our nation's past.

Prior to our War Between the States it was illegal in much of the country to educate black people. This was especially true in the South, but that didn't stop people like Thomas J. Jackson from teaching young black children to read, despite the fact that he could have gone to jail for doing so. One of the big concerns among the Radical Republicans, who were pushing for full freedom and citizenship for freed slaves was their education. Now that they are free how will they be able to participate in our society if they can't read, write or do math? Thus the Freedmen's Bureau was established.

Chief among the Bureaus duties was setting up schools, not just for children, but for adult blacks, as well. In fact, the freedmen and women themselves contributed greatly to establishing these schools and MAKING SURE THEY WERE ATTENDED! They knew the importance of that education and they did not have to be forced to go. Despite poor resources, lack of supplies, and an antagonistic view from many in the white communities around them, the children and adults made every effort to attend school as often as possible. Walking great distances in many cases to get to the closest school. They wanted that education, they knew how important it was.

Now then, look at student bodies today in places like Baltimore, MD, Richmond, VA, Chicago, IL, and see how that attitude toward education has changed. Indeed, the local school administrations have a lot of responsibility for this, but in order for students to learn they have to WANT TO LEARN! They have to see it as important to them and their future. Their parents, or whomever is responsible for them at home, must also assume their responsibility in this mix. You ask any teacher today, who is willing to be honest and doesn't fear losing their job, if they see a "determined to learn" attitude among the majority of their students, especially in many urban areas. That's right, I said it, and you can call me any names you want to, but you know damn well I am right.

As a historian and teacher this has been a constant source of frustration for me. When I would put together a lesson for my class, one especially geared toward my black students (In many classes I had no white students), a lesson designed to help them understand the past and their ancestors and what they went through, only to have it ignored, because "I don't need to know that stuff." Tucker Carlson asks a poignant and necessary question at the end of this video. How will this inability to read affect those children? What kind of future can they expect? They will no doubt demand more pay at whatever job they may get, a higher minimum wage!, but if they can't do the job or grow in the job, because of their lack of education, what will they do?

It is long past time that the public education system in this country stopped playing "woke games" with our students and their futures and got back to a traditional liberal arts education. TEACH them what they need to know to succeed. If they learn and do well and can become a productive, self-supportive citizen, then their self-esteem will be just fine. You can believe that.