Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.– Mary McLeod Bethune
Within the first five minutes of the interview, Johnson introduces the topic of special education classes. He prompts the listeners to look at the cultural diagnosis of students who are placed in these classes. Majority of them are African-American and Latino males. Johnson argues this is true because majority of the teachers in the school system are white women, or women in general, who cannot control their male students. Because the minority male students are considered “too much to handle,” they are sent to the school psychologist, where they are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and placed in the Special Education course. “I believe A.D.H.D stands for ‘Ain’t no Daddy At Home Disease’.” This was one of my favorite quotes stated in the video, because I could not agree more. Based off of my personal experience, growing up with a brother who was implanted in the Special Education class in elementary school and then forced to repeat kindergarten because teachers still couldn’t understand why he could not learn how to read. The misdiagnosis of young African-American men in the education system is way too common.
I strongly believe, instead of teachers taking the time to invest themselves in their students’ well-being, they are quick to pass them onto the next person. Once these young men get kicked out of the school system because they learn differently or just aren’t interested in that particular subject, they then become a menace to society. They became the picture painted “black man” that the Anglo-Saxon’s feared. But what can we ask of a man who is forced to provide for his family at a young age and no one has offered to help him? What can you expect from individuals who are desperate for a way of survival?
I fear for my little brother’s future. Will he be able to provide for himself and/or his future family? Will he be forced into incarceration because of his lack I worry, because we live in a society where African-American men are set for failure.
How does America think their stereotypes on African-American boys effect their self-esteem? How can we expect them to succeed, when all their lives they have been told they wouldn’t?
To say everyone in this country is given the same opportunities, would be a bold-face-lie. Tell that to the Black boy born into a starving neighborhood, where everyone in the neighborhood is suffering from disease. He is not granted the same opportunity as his white counterpart who has never had to miss a meal, and doesn’t understand the definition of sacrifice and pain; who doesn’t understand what a grind or hustle is. So I am not convinced on this whole “equality” subject.
When is enough, enough?
As an African-American woman, I will one day give birth to an African-American son, whom I pray will be able to live in a society where the color of his skin will no longer define who he is as an individual. He will be able to walk the streets at night wearing whatever he pleased, without living in fear of being gunned down by a white or Hispanic man who uses the law that was meant to protect my son against him. One day we will live in a society where Blacks are no longer inferior to another race, not equal, but actually superior. Dr. Umar Johnson’s interview on The Breakfast Club may be the start to an amazing revolution.