There are very few things that are as vile and predatory than cheating young black students out of a decent education. There are two things that quickly come to my mind when I ponder this subject. There is also a third event that has developed in the last few years. Let's begin at the beginning.
When school segregation was ending as the civil rights era was beginning to yield results, two groups got together and concocted a scheme. In order to quickly integrate schools the idea of school busing evolved. It seemed like a good idea to many who thought by having their children sit next to white people, their skills would automatically improve. Those who stood to gain from this were bus manufacturers (many more buses will be needed) and unions that would increase their membership through the numerous number of bus drivers. So, groups such as the NAACP and others were encouraged to lead the charge for school busing.
The busing was pretty much one-way. Whites weren't going to send their kids on a bus to sit with black students. When two-way busing was being forced, the white students enrolled in private schools even if they had to quickly build the private school.
You know how sometimes you just know something, even when you have no proof? Call it a "feeling" in my gut or the past being a predictor of the future. But whatever it was, when I heard about 7-year-old Tiana Parker, who was being harassed by her school because of her locks, I just knew this wasn't some wild misunderstanding by an all-white school board with no understanding of black hair.
It easily could have been, and I kind of hoped it was. I've learned to process hate. I haven't quite wrapped my head around self-hate.
As it turned out, dear Tiana's antagonist was a black woman, Deborah Brown. Based on on the picture circling the Internet, Brown wears her hair in a weave or a wig that imitates the texture of natural hair. In the charter school named after her, Brown's dress code denies black children the right to wear natural styles such as dreadlocks, Afros and other "faddish styles." Oh, the irony.
President Barack Obama stepped on a big limb when he threatened "limited action" against Syria because the country's leaders allegedly used chemical weapons against their own people. There are international bans against the use of chemical weapons, with Syria one of the few countries not supporting the ban. Chemical weapons allegedly killed more than 1,400 Syrians, and the ongoing civil war may have killed as many as 100,000.
President Obama announced his willingness to act on Syria's domestic chemical intrusion before Labor Day, but he has backpedaled and asked for Congressional approval. What will he do if Congress says no? Will he face the international community conceding that he has less power than he thought, or will he go ahead and take military action without congressional approval?
Reportedly, U.S. troops in the Middle East were ready to follow the orders of the Commander-in-Chief before they got orders to slow down any action. Perhaps President Obama is finally listening to the sentiment of the American people, who, according to several polls, do not support action against Syria. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and dozens of other members of Congress sent the president a letter urging debate on any military action against Syria. Does the urgency of a strike against Syria recede over time?
Organizers of the two recent marches on Washington – one called by Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III and the other engineered primarily by King's sister, Bernice – almost stumbled over one another praising the diversity of their respective marches.
However, not one addressed the elephant in the room: Why was more emphasis placed on bringing in groups that were not part of the push for jobs and freedom in 1963 than assembling a broad coalition of black leaders?
To be even more direct: How can you justify excluding Minister Louis Farrakhan? After all, he managed to draw more black men to the nation's capital on Oct. 16, 1995 than the combined crowds at the 1963 March on Washington, the Sharpton-led march on Aug. 24 and the Aug. 28 commemorative march. In fact, the Million Man March at least doubled their combined attendance.
"You see a lot of teachers judge and stigmatize their students based on where they come from. A lot of my teachers thought that since I was from the South End of Louisville and I grew up in Section 8 housing that I wasn't capable of doing all the things that I did, and the first time that I really felt like I was someone, it was the first time my fifth grade teacher actually pulled me to the side and said, 'What can I do for you to help you as a student?' And I ask my students that now. I pull them to the side and I say, 'What can I do as an adult to help you?'... I feel like every time I talk to someone, I should instill something in them, and I want that in return. And that happens just through treating people with love."
– Janol Vinson
In the past 50 to 60 years our environment has become progressively more polluted, which has resulted in a larger human toxic burden than ever before. Chemicals are being produced, tested and introduced into our environment at a frightening rate. It doesn't matter where we are or in what part of the county we live, everyone will have some level of exposure to toxins.
These invisible toxins are in our prescription drugs, household cleaners, alcohol, tobacco, and over-the-counter drugs. It is virtually impossible to keep our bodies free of these substances, unless of course we live in a bubble.
Our bodies are composed of many organs, but our liver carries the greatest burden. The liver has the task of disposing of foreign substances, as well as body-produced hormones. We can assist in this process by providing our body with enough of the proper nutrients to help the liver function.
Fifty years, half a century, five decades – a milestone by any standard, and a sufficient passing of time to allow for deep reflection and measurement of one's relative position and progress with great expectation of significant growth and accomplishment.
One might simultaneously reflect in some disappointment with a lack of forward progress and achievement and even more so with a retardation of growth during a space of 600 months.
Understanding of both are necessary to answer the most urgent question of today: Where do we go from here?