Friday, March 26, 2010

A Literacy Test Will Not Solve The Problems of Civic Education in America

Saturday, the National Tea Party convention took place in Nashville, Tennessee. The person who opened up the event was former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo.

Now Tancredo was the guy who ran for President in 2008 on one issue immigration. As a paleoconservative, I can only imagine that he wants to keep America least that is my guess. However, it was his remarks at the Tea Party Convention that made me shake my head.

First, look at the video here.\

Tancredo told the audience that the country had elected “a committed socialist ideologue in the White House” because “we do not have a civics, literary test before people can vote in this country."

Interesting. Tancredo tried to clean it up by saying this afterwards:

"I do think they should have to know something about how the government works.” He suggested using the citizenship test that immigrants take — maybe, he said, voters could take it "verbally.”

And even Judson Phillips, one of the organizers for the Tea Party Convention, said Tancredo's speech was "fantastic."

Please look at his remarks on video:

To tell you the truth there was nothing fantastic about Tancredo’s remarks because they were offensive. For years, literacy tests were used across the South to disenfranchise African-American voters, who generally had illiteracy rates 4-5 times as high as whites due to historical discrimination and lack of opportunity. Unfortunately for Tancredo, the 1965 Voting Rights Act makes literacy tests illegal.

Even if I did attend the convention I would have never came back. You cannot be that reckless in your words and think people are going to support you. It's impossible.

Civic education is important but conducting a literacy test is NOT the answer. Urban conservatives push for civic education from K-12 instead of 9th or 10th grade. Civic education should also be available for adult education courses and should be taught with a balanced approach. Conservatives make the mistake of saying how liberal education is without presenting an alternative approach to education to balance out the equation. Tancredo failed to say this.

But then again, was this ever on his mind to begin with?

What is even more embarrassing is the number of Black Republicans who are silent on this issue. How come we have to be silent when Pat Robertson or Tom Tancredo make ridiculous statements with a lack of scholarship but when Harry Reid made his comments Black Republicans were ALL over him? Did we miss the memo? Both Reid and Tancredo are in the bed together and have no intentions of helping Americans. One is a Moron..I mean Mormon who comes from the period where Mormons thought Blacks were cursed and the other is anti-immigrant. Jesus, I cannot imagine what Tancredo thinks of Africans and Caribbean people in this country who are hard working citizens.

My point is if Black Republicans are going to point out the error of Sen. Reid then how come we have not said anything about Tancredo? Are you afraid to get your GOP pass revoked? Please, you better speak up against racism when you hear and see it. This is not the time to be afraid. The comments were disrespectful and silly. Literacy tests? This is the 21st century not Dixie in 1960. You cannot call yourself a freedom fighter when you allow such nonsense to continue in our party. To be this silent shows that we will allow anything to fly past our head. But if Obama, Reid or Pelosi said the same thing I can hear Black Republicans coming out of the woodwork like roaches saying how racist the Democratic Party is and etc. Kill the rhetoric and get on with the business of solutions not getting caught up on plantation politics. Here is a newsflash for you. There is racism in BOTH parties. So it does not matter if you call yourself a Black Democrat or Black Republican both parties are archaic in their thinking, keep people thinking in a box and keep people fighting against each other while we have serious issues to tackle in our community.

Tancredo also mentioned about the cult of multiculturalism. Did I miss something? Perhaps he was sleepwalking when he said this.

The latest breakdown of the Republican Party is this:

95% of the GOP are White.
2% of Blacks are Republican.
5% of Hispanics are Republican.

I can understand why Tancredo is hellbent on immigration not because of Mexicans taking jobs from Americans but because Hispanics in general will be the top population in the near future and that places the GOP at risk because people like Tancredo is against multiculturalism. Or maybe he wants to continue the Southern Strategy..which is why he supported the notion of literacy tests.

He need to get a clue. The world is changing and politics is not about Democrat or Republican per se. It's global. For him to not understand that tells me a lot about his character. And urban conservatives must dismiss him and keep him in the 20th century.

Politics can be a trap and a blessing if you know how to work it to a community's advantage. I personally do not participate in tea parties because that is not my calling. However, for those who do participate in it just be aware of the things that are being said.

Finally, as urban conservatives, we have our own platforms that we must go by not get caught up with other madness.

Our tea party = financial literacy.

Our method of change = Silver Rights on both a micro and macro level.

Our 21st century school districts = Charter schools.

Our educational choices = Vouchers and homeschooling.

Our economic empowerment zone = Educational empowerment zones.

Our higher educational models = Any university but we stress the importance of redirecting our HBCUs in the 21st century.

Our scholarship = The up and coming urban conservatives who have dedicated themselves to change the direction of our community.

Our Heroes = Booker T. Washington, Madame C.J. Walker, Marcus Garvey and Ralph Bunche and men like Brandon Brice, Dr. Timothy Johnson and Richard Ivory.

Our Sheroes = Madame CJ Walker, Mary McCleod Bethune, Alveda King, and women like Michelle Bernard, Shay Riley, Tiffany Shorter, Vanessa Jean Louis and Shirley Husar.

Our financial market = the Diaspora.

Our politics = Both domestic and global.

Our economic model = A relationship between government, business and technology. A model where we can establish our own credit rating system, our own debit card system and our own economic processing where we can make capitalism work for those in poverty.

Our focus = Freedom.

Our solution to social problems in our community = Creating a counterculture.

Our solutions to health insurance = Non-Profits with a working relationship with government and private business.

Our solution to family problems - Faith Based/non profit communities.

And if we had a literacy test it would be rooted in education to help young people read better not turning back the clock to Dixie in 1960.

Celebrate our own accomplishments and leave Congressman Tom Tancredo in 1960.

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