Thursday, March 15, 2007

Minority-itis: A Disease Poisoning Students Statewide by I.C. Jackson


As I was watching the local news last night (a painful ritual that I endure despite the fact that even in superconservative Grand Rapids, the liberal news media is still king), one story particularly turned my stomach. My husband and I were so appalled that it actually made us laugh at the redundancy of it all. Yet again, we see another Michigan community plagued with “minority-itis”.

The Bimaadiziwin Program, a culture based curriculum for Native American students housed in the Lexington School of Grand Rapids, is being closed due to budget cuts and new state compliance issues. [Read more at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17620615/] The students, parents, and staff are naturally outraged because this alternative program is closing, and the kids feel like they have nowhere else to go. On the news broadcast, at least one parent commented on how her son was an at risk student who was almost ready to drop out of school when he attended one of the regular GRPS high schools, but has since thrived and excelled in the Bimaadiziwin Program. Then the cameras turned to angry parents and staff, complaining and standing on soapboxes, spewing their disgust at how the No Child Left Behind initiative is actually being used to leave these children behind. The climax? Cameras focus on the broken-hearted students who feel like being integrated into general population will ruin their chances of being properly educated and will even ruin their futures. One tearful girl cried about how her hopes of becoming attorney general are now gone because they are refusing to allow her to follow her dreams with this alternative program.

WHAAAAAAAAT? Are you kidding me? Are you doggoneit KIDDING me? While we felt bad that these kids felt bad, we were almost drunk with contempt for these idiot adults who continue to inject our children with the virus hereby known as “minority-itis”, the disease that produces psychotic hallucinations in the minds of all infected, convincing them that without special treatment and special rights from Uncle Sam they have no chance to compete in the real world. But you know who these Native Americans sound just like, don’t you?

That’s right; they sound like us. They sound like most Southeast Michiganders did in November when they FINALLY overturned Affirmative Action. I was waving a victory flag, and my friends and family couldn’t believe what an “Uncle Tom” I was. They couldn’t believe that I would celebrate as the big bad Republicans (and you know I am one) took away our hope for young Black students trying to reach for a better life. GIVE ME A BREAK! Since when did Black students need special treatment in order to succeed? Oh that’s right, since the Black Nationalist movement when we decided that America owed us something and we shouldn’t have to work as hard as everyone else because our ancestors and forefathers had to work hard against their will and/or in spite of their human rights. That’s laziness at its worst; we of all people should know better. A work ethic is necessary for any people in any age, despite what injustices were perpetuated against previous generations. But that ever so contagious minority-itis has got us thinking that we are somehow handicapped, and we aren’t strong enough or smart enough to compete despite whatever societal obstacles still exist. And apparently, the Native Americans here have it, too.

Now don’t get me wrong; culture based education has its place, and apparently it can be helpful. I received some myself growing up. However, who told you that it was Uncle Sam’s job to provide such special education? If you want your culture taught in a closed environment, don’t you think it’s your job as whatever community you are to provide such services? Why does this program have to go completely down the tubes just because the government will no longer pay for it? Why can’t the parents pool together and create an after-school model of the program to supplement these children’s education? And why are they so afraid of going to regular public school? It will only give them a much needed dose of reality. If they face racial prejudice there, then at the very least they will know what to expect from the rest of the world. If, as I suspect, their racial heritage is not going to make that much of a difference, then what is the big deal? If being segregated is still that important to them, why not work to get a charter school just for them? Why do people infected with this virus believe that it is anyone else’s responsibility besides theirs to provide for this need that they have? SIGH...

It’s a shame that minorities (which by the way is a distinction that really does more harm than good in and of itself) continue to teach their children that without special treatment, they can’t make it. Local news stories are flooded with these sick people all the time, calling anything that doesn’t suit their palette or provide them with special attention an injustice. So should I stop watching the news? I don’t know. What I do know is that unfortunately, there is no antidote for this disease. The mind has to want to fight it with its own antibodies of enlightenment. There has to be a desire to think for one’s self instead of allowing those administering the poison to think in one’s stead. It took me a while to move from Left to Right myself; I just hope that these kids can find their way as well.

I.C. Jackson is my conservative sister holding it down in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hit her up at icjackson1913@gmail.com.

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