Positively Speaking-The Truth of the Matter
Some shit just makes you cuss from the very beginning. That is how I feel about most of the things going on in the world right now. Yep, I have my worries to contend with, but I have to be conscious of what is going on around me and the things that will affect my family.
Specifically, the killings of Black unarmed men and women. The lack of concern regarding jobs for people of color and of course, education. It is a damn shame that we have children in school who can barely read. It is a damn shame that we have school systems telling our children that they are honor students, but they don’t know where to put a comma or a period in a sentence. It is a damn shame that the people running the school system and the people teaching in the education system are not people of color in communities where there are more people of color than any other types of people.
I had this conversation, sort of like a fireside chat with some of the other individuals in the community that I see around the neighborhood and all of us agree, but none of us know what to do. When I look at the situation, and I think about what I am saying or how I am viewing things it almost, and I must admit, sounds like I am seeking segregation. NO! I would not want to be segregated. What I do want though is to have people with voices who live in our communities, have significant ties to our communities and who care, really care about our communities and the people who live in our communities. In the City of Chicago, you have to live in the city to work for the Community College, Police or Fire Departments. Do you know how big of a City Chicago is? Just because you live in Chicago does not mean that you know the culture of the Southside, or that you understand the deep seeded fear that Blacks have had for the police since the great migration. Just because you teach in an inner city school, does not mean that you understand that most of the children come from a single parent home, not because the men don’t care, but because the men have not been cultured (notice that I did not say taught) to care. The culture has been ripped apart for hundreds of years, and there is no bandage that can hold it together. There is no quick fix to the issues at hand. What has to happen and I do mean soon, is that Black men and women have to, must be given equal pay for equal work. Without it, our community and our schools and our family unit will continue to fail.
Our schools must be given the same equipment, textbooks, and expertise across the board. Mayor Emanuel thinks he is doing a good thing by saying that starting in 2020 children must have a plan to graduate. That right there tells me how disconnected he is from the reality of Brown folks in the City. Sometimes the plan is just to graduate. Does the Mayor realize that most Brown men don’t even expect to live long enough to do that? I think he needs to have a plan that no Brown people will be unduly murdered in the City for the next three years and then we can talk about other plans. If you don’t have an expectation to live and if your life is not viewed as valuable, then why on God’s beautiful earth would you have a plan for after high school?
Teenagers can’t even get jobs at McDonald’s in many communities because grown folks need the jobs because even though they have graduated from high school, junior college, four-year college and in some cases even graduate school they still cannot find a decent paying job. When we do get a “decent” paying job it is so far from where we live that we have to commute an hour or more each way leaving latchkey kids at home. Sometimes, the buses don’t even run where we need to go and the commute requires walking miles, not blocks, miles, so you are tired before you even start and past that by the time you make it home.
Mr. Emanuel, we need a plan to better the aspects of the households that the children come from so that the children can have better outcomes. Without this, you are doing nothing. So, what will become of the children that don’t have a plan come 2020? When there are no jobs and the children are disappointed? What happens when the military can only take 10 for the month, and the Brown children are not in the number? What happens when the Brown children score categorically lower on ACT and SAT exams because of the social promotion and teaching to primary standardized tests take place, so they are unable to get an acceptance letter to college? What is this plan? It sounds like you want to run a select group of people into the ground further so that when mediocre jobs come along, we can be overly gracious for them and thank the ones providing them since we didn’t meet the so called standard. This plan sounds like forced slavery to me. Why? Because there will be no choice for our children but to accept the mediocrity of whatever job may come along or they will never get their high school diplomas, pushing them further down the economic scales that already have bricks on them. We don’t accept your plan, and we ask that you go back to the drawing board and think about what it is you are doing.
I have a plan and a dream, and they both look the same. I don’t plan on seeing any more Brown people killed in Chicago or any other major city in the United States. I have a dream that there will be no more killings of Brown people in the City of Chicago or any other major city in the United States.
I want a promise, and I want someone to keep that promise. Not for me, but for the Brown children growing up who are already a step behind the plan because of the education system that is forced on them. They don’t get enough sleep because schools have been closed down and now they have to be bussed. They don’t get enough to eat because there are limits on money in the household and therefore limits on food. They don’t have enough to do, so they do nothing and slowly sink into that cycle, and it becomes what they know. It is not the fault of the children or the parents. We are not a lazy population of people. We know that from hundreds of years of working from sun up until sun down. We are not looking for handouts. We know that from being given only the scraps of what was left over from the big house. We are not asking for anything that we don’t already have a constitutional right to. We shouldn’t have to ask for it in the first place, but since you insist, we are asking, have asked and now down right insist that our inalienable rights be granted. What are other people so afraid of? If we are who you say we are, and we can only do the limited things that you say that we can do, then why are you afraid to free us? Cut all of the chains. If the expectation is only knee-high, then don’t worry about it making it to our heads. I dare you to level the playing field and inflate the ball.
Stop the police from shooting us and when they do it anyway because they will, put them in jail just like you would do if we shot one another. When they kill us, make them feel what we feel, FEAR. Until these things align, there is nothing to talk about. Your plan will not come to fruition until other things are fixed in areas that you choose to ignore. When you are pinned up against the wall, you can sink and be beaten, or you can come out fighting with all you have. We are tired of being beaten.