The 1st Lady does her share of Uncle Tomfoolery >:/

Posted: 2013/05/18 by Punkonomics (@dearbalak) in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From Charles Davis

More rappers, less business leaders

Addressing graduates at Bowie State University, a historically black college in Florida, First Lady Michelle Obama on Friday said the reason more African-American children don’t go to college is because they’re lazy:

“Instead of walking miles every day to school, they’re sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper.”

Now, I ain’t black. I am, in fact, painfully white. That said, I do have access to some facts, courtesy the October 2012 study, “Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress,” as reported by The New York Times:

¶ Among male high school dropouts born between 1975 and 1979, 68 percent of blacks (compared with 28 percent of whites) had been imprisoned at some point by 2009, and 37 percent of blacks (compared with 12 percent of whites) were incarcerated that year.

¶ By the time they turn 18, one in four black children will have experienced the imprisonment of a parent.

¶ More young black dropouts are in prison or jail than have paying jobs. Black men are more likely to go to prison than to graduate with a four-year college degree or complete military service.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I am not at all confident this metaphor works but I’d say it’s the mass-incarceration chicken. If kids aren’t going to college, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it has less to do with Nas and the Playstation 3 than it does with one or more of their parents being imprisoned, the lack of good job opportunities in America’s urban centers, and the absolute shit secondary schools that the urban poor often have no choice to attend.

Curiously, though, it appears the president’s wife would rather blame black culture than the institutionalized racism that manifests itself in mass incarceration and an official unemployment rate nearly twice that faced by whites. The notion that black children are too busy basketballin’ and hip-hoppin’ and shit must poll better.

  1. mizdoss says:

    Entitled to your own opinion…HOWEVER, I thought Bowie State was in Maryland, not Florida. Also, it’s wise that you choose your words wisely when speaking about BLACK ppl and you are not BLACK. The first lady can comfortably speak on her opinion as to why there are so few black ppl attending college. I took the part of her speech that you posted to say that black ppl aren’t attending college because of the acceptance of comfort in the black community of not working harder to achieve goals. I’m not sure why you call her speech Tom Foolery. I took it as a motivational speech, to pressure young graduates to influence their community. I took it as a speech that commended those students for not accepting mediocrity, and working towards higher goals that can have an impact on their community. I know several ppl who graduated from college that came from a single parent home, an incarcerated parent and impoverished background.

    Those factors you listed as to reasons why so many black ppl are not achieving higher education are EXCUSES. Sad that many black ppl use these excuses to encourage their lack of success and motivation. These are very legitimate factors that oppress success. I strongly believe that I am apart of a POWERFUL race; That if we can overcome slavery, segregation, discrimination, mental oppression and racism. We can overcome the beaten down communities, the low poverty schools (in which I teach) and any other hindrance that comes about.

    Just a lil of the TRUTH


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