How it destroyed me as a black student
Why have I never been to school?
After reading Dr. Ricky Jones’ latest column, “How America’s School Systems Are Destroying Black Students and Educators,” I wonder why so many black students and educators have fallen victim to one of the biggest pitfalls. murderers of the United States.
I am still in the system. And the system destroyed me.
I have written several columns on the subject of educational reform. I wrote about my experience as a black student in the post-Brown v. School system. Louisville Board of Education and I shared different ways of overcoming racial dilemmas today.
It will not be such a column.
Going to college during a pandemic and a racial uprising has radically changed the way I view our education system, and I have no interest in further legitimizing our largely illegitimate system.
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Education is the most powerful investment in our future. Families around the world will donate an arm and a leg to send their children to a “good school”. Individuals will incur huge debts for this promise of a healthier, happier tomorrow.
And the resulting “student debt crisis” is far from race neutral. A White House report shows black students are more likely to borrow, borrow more, struggle with repayment, and default on student loans than their peers.
I’ll give you a second to reflect on your racist rationalizations about why black people are a financially inferior group. After concluding that systemic racism has somehow caused black people to acquire inferior financial behavior traits that can be corrected by financial literacy (eye rolling), I will show you, firsthand, the destructive tendencies of our school system.
Yes, race influences how teachers view their students’ potential for academic success. Yes, our school system has a long and horrible history of racial segregation. Yes, black students across the country exist in classrooms dominated by white students and white educators, and yes, black educators face many professional insecurities and the same sense of alienation.
But what does this tell us about destruction? What does this tell us about the feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness that students of color face at much higher levels than their white peers due to the mental burden of systemic violence. There are a myriad of studies to support the claim that racism has a direct impact on mental health, but that’s not my point.
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We could say a lot about these researchers and the facts and claims of their studies, but I’m fed up with studying black people, like we are scientific anomalies that can be corrected with a new health report or a new one. task. Obligate.
Many of you are well aware of our destruction. The question is, do you really care?
Everywhere I look people are hurting. My friends. My class mates. My peers. Myself. Drug and alcohol addiction, combined with the hyper-consumption of dopamine-focused social media feedback loops sold to us by billionaire tech companies surround us so that we are no longer invested in the cure, but rather in self-defeating adaptation.
Institutions worry about their human capital and run different lectures and variations of self-care programs as if we were inefficient machines in need of a new self-maintenance update, instead of self-aware people – even realizing the cruelty of an archaic education system that prioritizes competition and production over critical thinking and genuine care.
Did I go to school to learn how to survive?
Within this system, you learn who matters. These children, forcibly removed from their class by state agents, who protested loudly against their situation, did they matter? Did the kids who failed to meet academic standards, failed to meet athletic standards, failed to meet beauty standards, did they matter?
Columnist Bob Heleringer once viewed me as a “manifestation of the poor quality of public education in our community” and that I obviously had no idea what the word “fascist” meant. really supposed.
Once he saw that I was a “recognized” scholar at a higher education institution, I was then given the benefit of the doubt.
I never chose to go to school. I was forced by law and my parents to attend. I mean, imagine the violent consequences if I had said, “No, I don’t want to wake up at 4:30 in the morning and travel around town learning to meet the standards of my peers and teachers.” We can save the traumatic reality of the school-to-prison pipeline for another day. ”
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I went to school and became exceptional. I beat all the odds. My parents allowed me to invest in a bright and comfortable future where I will have gained the benefit of the doubt in a world where my skin color automatically denies me such a right.
I have earned the right to say that I am not one of the poor and miserable “others” on the streets begging for handouts. I am America’s bright future. I have become another symbol of neoliberal progress where my title and “recognized” name will give hope to those in desperate need of food, safety and shelter.
And so I became destroyed. More myself. But another tool of oppression.
Quintez Brown is a writer for the Courier Journal. He studied philosophy and Pan-Africanism at the University of Louisville where he was an MLK scholar. He can be reached at [email protected]