“A riot is the language of the unheard,” the Rev. Martin Luther King said.
What gets lost in translation is the logic that motivates rioters, whose inability to articulate their frustration finds expression in rocks thrown at police, looting neighborhood stores and setting fires. What causes such actions?
What are some of the reasons that we have riots!
In the history of America social justice and digital equity are a problem. Baltimore is the most recent manifestation of a riot. I remember driving home to Washington DC, with the fires spiraling up to the sky. I had fear, but I knew that the fires would not affect me. There are people who have no choice either way. The riots took place and people suffered even more difficulty because they destroyed the places that served them. I did not live in the ghetto. But I had friends who did.
In case you don’t know about the Washington Riot
The death of Martin Luther King caused the Washington Riot.
By the time the city was considered pacified on Sunday, April 8, twelve had been killed (mostly in burning homes), 1,097 injured, and over 6,100 arrested. Additionally, some 1,200 buildings had been burned, including over 900 stores. Damages reached $27 million. This can be estimated to be equivalent to over $175 million today.
Aftermath from the riots
The riots utterly devastated Washington’s inner city economy. With the destruction or closing of businesses, thousands of jobs were lost, and insurance rates soared. Made uneasy by the violence, city residents of all races accelerated their departure for suburban areas, depressing property values. Crime in the burned out neighborhoods rose sharply, further discouraging investment.
On some blocks, only rubble remained for decades. Columbia Heights and the U Street corridor did not begin to recover economically until the opening of the U Street and Columbia Heights Metro stations in 1991 and 1999, respectively, while the H Street NE corridor remained depressed for several years longer.
Walter Washington, who reportedly refused FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’s suggestion to shoot the rioters, went on to become the city’s first elected mayor and its first black mayor.
Baltimore is a tame riot compared to the DC riot. On Friday, April 5, the White House dispatched some 13,600 federal troops, including 1,750 federalized D.C. National Guard troops to assist the overwhelmed District police force. Marines mounted machine guns on the steps of the Capitol and Army troops from the 3rd Infantry guarded the White House. At one point, on April 5, rioting reached within two blocks of the White House before rioters retreated. The occupation of Washington was the largest of any American city since the Civil War.
We have not just for blacks but for other groups, uneven education and a misinterpretation of the way in which schools must work to prepare students for the future.
The unrest and difficulty with police? It has been a simmering cauldron of hate. Hope has disappeared for many. The chant? We’re young , we’re strong, we can march all night long.
The youth of Baltimore says the Washington Post are worse off than poor youths in Nigeria and India.http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/30/heres-one-way-baltimore-teens-are-worse-off-than-poor-youths-in-nigeria-and-india/
Mary McLeod Bethune (U.S. educator and activist, 1875-1955)
What does the Negro want? His answer is very simple. He wants only what all other Americans want. He wants opportunity to make real what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights say, what the Four Freedoms establish. While he knows these ideals are open to no man completely, he wants only his equal chance to obtain them.
If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves and allow those responsible to salve their conscience by believing that they have our acceptance and concurrence. We should, therefore, protest openly everything…that smacks of discrimination or slander.
The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.
We have a Prison Pipeline
When did this “school-to-prison pipeline” process start?
Multiple forces were at work producing a perfect storm. Starting in the 1960s working class blue-collar jobs disappeared and vocational training in schools largely ended. During the 1970s economic downturn inner city minority schools became chaotic as a result of cuts in funding that have really never been restored. In the 1980s the crack epidemic undermined families in inner city communities and began to fill up the jails. In a world without work, crime became the main employer. Instead of addressing social problems, our society stiffened laws and stuffed people into cells. Private companies went into the prison business and became hungry for profits and raw materials. In the 1990s a conservative coalition that blamed the victims cut into government social welfare programs that were keeping families afloat and the situation worsened. A new zero-tolerance ideology justified tougher laws, mandatory sentences, and stricter treatment in schools. Following 2001, new police tactics like stop and frisk and new technologies that were supposed to protect the country from terrorist attack were used to systematize the punitive nature of inner city minority schools and school-to-prison connection. Add to the mix curriculum organized around boring Common Core test prep drills. The overall affect was to accelerate the exodus of students of color from schools. Not just blacks, but minorities in general.
HISTORY and Conflict
In history some would say that the choice between W.E.B Dubois who wanted schooling for blacks and Booker T. Washington who had a different viewpoint.They clashed and Booker
For those who do not know history, Du Bois rose to national prominence as the leader of the Niagara Movement, a group of African-American activists who wanted equal rights for blacks. Du Bois and his supporters opposed the Atlanta compromise, an agreement crafted by Booker T. Washington which provided that Southern blacks would work and submit to white political rule, while Southern whites guaranteed that blacks would receive basic educational and economic opportunities. Instead, Du Bois insisted on full civil rights and increased political representation, which he believed would be brought about by the African-American intellectual elite. He referred to this group as the Talented Tenth and believed that African Americans needed the chances for advanced education to develop its leadership.
Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community.
Washington was of the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants, who were newly oppressed by disfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1895 his Atlanta compromise called for avoiding confrontation over segregation and instead putting more reliance on long-term educational and economic advancement in the black community.
The technology revolution has bypassed most minorities.
We have in rural, urban, minority and distant communities a dropout problem.
Franklin Schargel wrote this ;
” “America’s School Dropout Epidemic By The Numbers” about America’s dropout problem. I would like to add my opinions about why children drop out of school. I am a professional educator who served as a classroom teacher, school counselor and school administrator in the New York City school system for over 33 years. I believe that there are five major reasons why children leave school:
1. The students themselves
They make wrong decisions. They get involved with gangs, drugs/alcohol, get pregnant and commit crimes. Many have a poor school attitude and are frequently bored by school. They are disconnected to their families, school and life. They do not see the reasons they need to go to school. They are not involved in school activities and lack self-esteem. Some have been promoted lacking skills needed for promotion. Some have undergone major illnesses and have missed too many days of school and have been informed that they will be held back. Because of many of the conditions listed above, they have been suspended and have fallen behind in their work and see little purpose of returning to school.
2. The family they come from
There is often a clash between the family values and those of the school. Frequently, their parents have dropped out of school themselves. The students come from families from low socio-economic backgrounds, where there are many other children. Older children often have to go to work in order to supply the family with much-needed funds for basic family needs or need to stay home to take care of younger siblings so that their parents can work. Many children come from non-English speaking homes with high mobility. Single parent homes have become the norm in the United States. Many children are products of divorce, separation or, sometimes, family violence. hey are not being raised by parents, but rather by aunts, uncles and grandparents. Families are not meeting some children’s basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.
3. The community they come from
Many children live on the wrong side of the tracks in places where education is not valued, where drugs, gangs and violence abound. And where schools are low-performing, they often lack community and health support.
4. The schools they attend
The schools are toxic to student learning, students, parents and staff. Students are suspended for minor infractions (such as “talking back to the teacher”), or placed in “remedial classes.” The schools have a culture of low expectations. They lack adequate guidance counseling. The curriculum is not relevant to the needs of the students being taught. Passive instructional strategies are being used without regard to individual student learning styles.Teachers are not trained in the latest teaching/learning/technology techniques. Funding is based on property values so that low-income neighborhoods receive less funding than wealthy neighborhoods. Because some states pass budgets in a less than timely matter, teachers are not hired in time producing over-sized classrooms.
5. The teachers they have
The least-experienced, least classroom-trained teachers are often assigned to the most difficult schools. They enter the field with the expectation that they have been adequately prepared by the schools of education with the skills they need and they haven’t received. (See Arthur Levine, “Educating School Teachers”) They are leaving the field faster than colleges can prepare them. The teacher “dropout rate” is higher than the student dropout rate. Forty-six percent of teachers leave the field within five years. When asked why they leave, a majority state that they haven’t been properly prepared, have had increased demands placed on them because of high stakes testing and are not getting adequate support from their supervisors in dealing with classroom discipline.
Like all generalities, there are exceptions to the information provided above. But, by and large, the statistics bear them out.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/franklin-schargel/the-real-reasons-children-drop-out-of-school_b_4093876.html
The problems of the youth apparently have not reached the ears of the general public except through the riots. Shame on us.