A coalition of organizations calling themselves Movement for Black Lives (MBL) has created a platform that they believe, if implemented, will be instrumental in improving life for black people in America. In it, they present six major demands:
- We demand an end to the named and unnamed wars on Black people – including the criminalization, incarceration, and killing of our people.
- We demand reparations for harms inflicted on Black people: from colonialism to slavery through food & housing redlining, mass incarceration, & surveillance.
- We demand investments in the education, health, and safety of Black people, instead of investments in the criminalization, caging, and harming of Black people.
- We demand economic justice for all and a reconstruction of the economy to ensure Black communities have collective ownership, not merely access.
- We demand a world where those most impacted in our communities control the laws, institutions, and policies that are meant to serve us.
- We demand full and independent Black political power and Black self-determination in all areas of society.
This post will single out reparations (item #2) for examination (others to come later).
Exactly what is the definition of reparations?
“The making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.”
Some African-Americans believe that they are owed reparations to right the wrongs that were caused by slavery and subsequent “institutional” racism.
Here is the first of their list of five reparations that they’re demanding. It specifically covers reparations related to education.
They say that reparations are due for: the systemic denial of access to high quality educational opportunities in the form of full and free access for all Black people (including undocumented and currently and formerly incarcerated people) to lifetime education including: free access and open admissions to public community colleges and universities, technical education (technology, trade and agricultural), educational support programs, retroactive forgiveness of student loans, and support for lifetime learning programs.
What they’re demanding is “full and free access for all Black people to lifetime education,” including colleges and universities. Note that they’re not arguing for free college tuition for all – they’re arguing for free tuition for black people only. How is that not expressly and intentionally racist?
Their complaint says that “Black people have been locked into segregated institutions that are underfunded, under resourced and often face severe health risk because of the decrepit conditions of their school buildings. The current racial equity gap in education has roots that date back to enslavement.”
They neglect to note that schools tend to be functionally segregated not due to racial directives, but due to their location. Most of these dysfunctional schools are in inner-city areas, areas that are also poverty-stricken and rampant with crime.
In many of these inner-city areas, a black student trying to learn is viewed as “acting white” and discouraged or ridiculed by the student’s peers.
Hiring quality teachers who will teach in inner-city schools can be difficult since they’re often treated with disdain and derision and must contend with disruptive students.
One only has to look at the worst of the inner-city areas, like Detroit for example: In the 2010 census, Detroit had over 700,000 residents. Of those, 10.6% were white and 82.7% were black. Detroit has been under democrat control since 1961 and was governed by blacks from 1961 to 2014. In 2013, Detroit filed for bankruptcy – the largest U.S. city ever to do so and Detroit’s schools are failing. That alone should dispel the notion that democrat rule and more specifically black rule is a panacea for what ails the black community.
In 2015, 21 large urban school districts participated in the NAEP tests in reading and mathematics. Among these 21 districts, the Detroit Public Schools had the smallest percentages of eighth graders scoring proficient or better in reading and math. In other words, Detroit’s schools are failing their predominately black students. Blacks have been in charge of Detroit schools for decades, yet it wouldn’t serve their purpose to find fault with schools totally controlled by black administrations. It is more politically correct to blame whites for the problems that Detroit has faced.
Here is their next complaint: “Black students are less likely to attend schools that offer advanced coursework, less likely to be placed in gifted and talented programs, more likely to attend schools with less qualified educators, and employ law enforcement officers but no counselors.”
They’re complaining that blacks have been receiving a second-rate education and at the same time questioning the lack of “advanced coursework” and “gifted and talented” programs? Has it occurred to anyone that fewer black students likely qualified for those advanced programs?
That should not be taken to imply that black students are intellectually inferior because of their race, only that most white students don’t qualify either (only 6-10% of students qualify) – hence, the “gifted and talented” descriptor.
And how does MBL propose to “fix” the educational problems faced by blacks? By encouraging resourcefulness and determination? By encouraging blacks to stay in school, study, and apply themselves? By passing up a “Black Studies” curriculum and instead concentrate on a field of studies that is viable in the business world?
No, MBL sees the solution as requiring taxpayers to pay the entire costs of education, including costs of housing, transportation, childcare, healthcare, and food. In other words, a free ride for blacks on the backs of taxpayers.
Here are their “solutions” that propose to repay blacks for past racist actions:
- We seek complete open access for all to free public university, college and technical education programs (including technology, trade and agricultural) as well as full-funding for lifelong learning programs that support communities and families. We also seek the forgiveness of all federal student loans. Policies shall apply to all and should focus on outreach to communities historically denied access to education including undocumented, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.
- Cover all living costs, including but not limited to housing, transportation, childcare, healthcare, and food for students attending public universities, colleges, and technical educational programs (including technology, trade, and agricultural).
- Fully fund and provide open access to K-12, higher education, technical educational programs (including technology, trade, and agricultural), educational support programs and lifelong learning programs to every individual incarcerated in local, state, and federal correctional facilities (juvenile and adult).
- Provide full access to all undocumented people to state and federal programs that provide aid to cover the full costs, including living costs, to attend public universities, and colleges, technical educational programs, and lifelong learning programs.
- Increased federal and state investments in all Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs).
How’s that socialism sound, friends and neighbors?