Why are test scores and academic achievement of middle and upper class blacks still below that of whites and not much better than that of poor blacks, if race is not a disadvantage in America? Is it that blacks are simply intellectually inferior in genetic mental capacity or does the state of blackness still pose a disadvantage in this society?
I think that that is a simply way out for society focus on the measurable effects of years of oppression and discrimination as manifested in a deprivation of income and wealth...i.e. poverty. However, it is a totally false assertion to assume that income deprivation was the sole effect of years of oppression, for if you gave each and every black family in America half a million dollars, ten or 20 years down the line blacks will be in the same collective position they were in prior to receiving the money. Thus, correcting income deprivation will not increase black test scores and improve GPA's beyond a marginal change and I think we all know this.
Thus, to ignore the impact of being black in America and just focus on income and then just assume that all poor people grades are suffering due to income deprivation of the family ignores the other ways in which oppression has affected black people. The biggest effect of 300 years of oppression upon black people has been psychological and cultural and not economical. Thus, dealing with the economics in and of itself will not drastically change the position of blacks in this nation and affirmative action for blacks SHOULD be also about creating a pool of successful role models who have gained prominence via science and industry.
Most people who are not black cannot relate to the disadvantage of living in a world with a deprivation of success of people that look like you do. The world that black people live in is plagued by much more negative images of black people, than positive images of black people. Most of the positive images of black people in this world is dominated in sports and entertainment and thus it does not take a rocket scientist to realize why sports and entertainment has such a great pull for our youth, especially the males.
How does one quantify the effects of living in a world robbed of your history, your culture, your language, your racial-esteem and any images and models of black independent success? These things were robbed of black people from 400 years of slavery, colonization, exploitation and the robbing or controlling of all things of marketable value from black people and the continent of Africa. How do you begin to quantify and measure the psychological impact of all this upon the minds of black people?
I have evolved to firmly believe that what black people need the most in this world is an independent model of success of a black entity in this world, most preferably in the form of a nation...a prosperous and economically and militarily strong black nation. Such would give black people SOMETHING in this world to give confidence of the possibilities that come with being black. It would negate all the history of black inferiority and radically change the way black people see their possibilities and options.
Short of that, I think that Affirmative Action, if working properly, should supply a large pool of blacks in intellectual profession in America, so that the black youth masses will have images to aspire too other than sports and entertainment. Thus I believe that a primary goal of affirmative action should also be to deal with the positive image and occupation deprivation that has resulted from years of oppression. That goal would be accomplished by promoting qualified blacks in this society, regardless if there is more qualified "other" candidates.
Truth is always fraught with impediments. Truth agreed with is a blessed duet. Truth confronting beloved vice will sever relationships, perpetrate flight, and uncover murderous rage. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
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Noah The African in America