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Culture Of Survival

Stephen Clark could have been me, he could have been my brother but because we both are members of a involuntary migrant population here in the states we are family without a doubt. What this shows me, is the American system is recycling itself to a time in which the killing of an unarmed black man can be validated, authenticated and normalized. Jelani Day's case is not a recent trend or fad, nor is it normal what we are experiencing. This is a consistent BLACK family experience here in the United States of America. Too many of our most out spoken leaders have received a similar plight as the one offered to Stephen Clark and our community. Malcolm X once stated that “ If you stick a knife in my back nine inches, then take it out three inches, one cannot consider it progress. These are the current circumstances in which BLACK America finds itself in today, in which progress is measured by whether or not a officer receives paid administrative leave or not after executed a BLACK man in public. Time and time again for centuries we have experienced, in animated suspension, the deep hatred that has been poured into the psyche of indigenous people in north America by the wicked culture of a dominating class. When I say indigenous people this statement encompasses native Americans, BLACK and BROWN people which, have been disproportional disenfranchised in the western world.

Four days after the murder of Stephon Clark a publication by the Brookings institute was put into rotation. It explored the constructs of “ black women have similar odds of escaping poverty as white women until they marry black men”. Now as they may believe that this particular title is very catchy it is also reflective of the systemic racist pedagogy that youth are groomed into while being introduced to hegemonic instruction. This article does not take into account in its comparisons the psychological damage brought about by white men that has left the BLACK man with a shattered identity and a fractured consciousness, quick to bring in the economic analysis while reluctant to mention that poverty is man made and nature’s supply is abundant. That consequences of a over industrialized society are these particular ideas and the underlying violence and aggression that they represent. We live in a time in which a black man can be murdered in cold blood by a “peace officer” similar to conditions white men created for BLACK men in rural Mississippi, I know this is true based off of the oral history I was given from my grandmother when she expressed to my self as well as, her other grand children about her she became an orphan after her mother died giving birth to her. A few day later her father and uncle, James and Stanley Bearden were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan for a driving in a Nice car. If my grandmother was still alive she would say that not much has changed, we can work on the plantation until the good lord calls us home but in life we are still seen as subjects of Rome. To feel freedom one must first imagine it and see the vision come into fruition, what are ancestors were taught freedom was, was merely the trickery of the dominant class. We still have a thirst to be free and wish to take that path but, it seems that every generation must first fight for its own freedom as if it cannot be inherited from our parents. Stephen Clark was born free, just as free as a Lion on a African Safari or a Elephant at the Oakland zoo, objectively. This was shown through the state’s inability to see him as a private person and grant him with his inalienable right to life, similar to Oscar Grant, Likened to Mike Brown, Not to mention Orlando Castile, with consequences resembling Sandra Bland, identical to George Floyd and we both know the list goes on, for centuries.

As the society we have grown to know begins to fade away what will emerge is unfulfilled desires of the heart. What we have known as Western Imperial powers has been a brief commercial in the intergalactic movie of cosmic suspense. Though the last hundred years of the industrial revolution up until the current digital age have been catastrophic, it has shown us the need to lean upon health, wealth, wisdom and justice as cardinal principals for the future. Not substituting one for another but, rather keeping all four in perfect harmony with each other. I do not doubt that the pendulum will swing to effect the current plight that our world is experiencing to a expose our children and grand children to a more harmonious world. There is an old African proverb that remains true. It states that we do not inherit this world from our ancestors but more so, briefly barrow this world from our children. This type of insight will make one view our impact on the planet quite differently, it will also influence how we treat each other when we acknowledge that it is not so much what are ancestors have done that will shape our destiny but, rather what we do or don’t do as individuals that will effect the collective experiences of our youth. Malcolm X once made a statement that made reference to social reproduction and how educational institutions reproduce poverty. He stated that if you live in a poor neighborhood, you… have poor schools, when you have poor schools, you have poor teachers, when you have poor teachers, you get a poor education, poor education, you can only work on a poor paying job and that poor paying job enables you to live again in a poor neighborhood; so it is a very vicious cycle. How does this cycle effect our youth? If poverty is a social construct invented by the few to reinforce a social stratification similar to a cast system, what work has been done to raise children out of this cycle if according to the Brooking Institute that black men at large are stuck in poverty. How does our brothers being 'trapped' in poverty directly impact our ability to be emotionally and physical present to our family's, our wives and our children?

In reference to Stephen Clark, it was with out a doubt his impoverish predicament that placed him within the situation that ultimately provided him with a capital punishment prior to meeting with a judge or being tried by a jury of his peers for a crime no one today is concerned of. Assuming like Oscar Grant, Stephon Clark also received a education at a public school where state agents were the authority on what was worthy of learning and what behavior would be deemed appropriate. Malcolm X once stated that only a fool would send his child to the oppressor to be educated, we have all played the fool once. It has been a recent headline that two Caucasian women 'The Hart Mothers' who had been in a Roman'tic relationship with each other and actively sought out children of color to adopt. After word got out that children trying to escape because they were beaten and forced not to eat, they were reported by one of their children’s teachers, a mandated reporter. Children Protective Services opened a case against the women. Shortly after their run in with child protective services, the family was placed into a van, these two women under the influence, fled from their home in Portland to California in which another case was pending against them. For whatever reason these cases being opened by CPS led them to drive themselves over a cliff with their children along for the ride, a murder suicide that killed all the children that never existed in the wombs of these women. This is just one of the many examples of oppressive influence over youth and how they would rather lead these children to destruction rather than relinquish their governing power in these children’s lives. How is this any different than the cycle of poverty? It correlates precisely to the relationship foundational BLACK people have with America's ruling class. They would rather lead us to destruction that let us free. To dominate someone else’s child while acknowledging that this child is not biological yours, is to reinforce the ground work provided by colonialism. These women were colonist who choose to manipulate these children in the same manner that racist pedagogy has colonized the mind of children of color in inner cities all around the world. This is the same racist pedagogy that has ruled through the White House for centuries. A white house representative recently stated that the murdering of African American men around the country is a local issue and not a federal problem. The united nations has discovered another way of framing the deplorable treatment of African American men around the nation. Genocide has become an accurate depiction, the catastrophic relationship between Aboriginal families and the wicked Roman culture is a disease to the soul of Mother Earth.

The societal structure of this country will have to change if it is to evolve, we have inherited a nation that is materially rich but spiritually poor, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr. A nation without economic balance between its inhabitants is lush ground for revolution. The black man in this country has served as a sacrificial lamb since its inception. What must end is this metaphorical beast of burden that has been associated with our struggle for liberation and freedom. I could have been Stephen Clark because I am Stephen Clark, a father, a brother, a son and a husband. Our lives matter because our life symbolized the hour glass of this nation and if our pursuit of happiness, our right to fair housing and freedom to move uninhibited is not taken seriously then the time has run out for this country. The forces of nature that represent us will swallow up all opposition, we will see our enemies being used as our footstools. As the honorable Marcus Garvey stated “look for me in the whirlwind of the storm, look for me all around you, for, with God’s grace, I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for liberty, freedom and life”. While to some this quote by the honorable Marcus Garvey may seem far out, what he is acknowledging is that energy cannot be destroyed it can only be transformed, what we view as the elements, our in truth recycled energies that this planet uses to maintain its own animation. This particular animation is no different than the energy that gives us personality, characteristics and life. Our youth have the world at their fingertips and the universe in their hearts they have so much to offer but, guidance is needed, it will be prior generations collective efforts that will help secure their destiny, purpose and fate as 'the head and not the tail'.

My collective experience within the America’s behavioral shaping institutions have resulted in a very deeply felt but, undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder. To be a BLACK boy maneuvering through society without the code switching skills, not needed by the dominant culture, puts one at a great disadvantage. While addressing my participation as a youth within America’s dysfunctional educational process, I must also include the parallel reality that I experienced as an adult reentering these same educational strongholds as an adult. The mentality a BLACK boy has surviving the inner city shuffle does not correspond to an instructor from teach for America from a rural or suburban area. Their lived experiences do not mesh and the fairytales that have been showcased in movies like freedom writers are far and few. One of the key issues that we deal with within these institutions of social control is that the our BLACK boys and girls experiences within their neighborhoods are not valued nor are they seen outside the scope of criminality or deviance. Our culture of survival is not embraced but, rather confronted , in the words of the late J Edgar Hoover as the number one threat to national security.

It is not that black children are anti education, what is perceived as so, is in truth a social construct that damages the self esteem while trying to articulate the goals and outcomes of a racist pedagogy. Most children in grade school cannot articulate on a intellectual level what their needs are at the capacity where they can tell teachers what it is that they want to know or think they should know. The consequences of this in most cases are students who become disengaged with the instructors discourse and lose interest in the process. Without the students imagination being stimulated as a by product of education, children become diagnosed with an attention deficits and a host of other learning conditions. These particular learning conditions are not independent, when considering how the environment influences educational outcomes. For a BLACK child in many instances conforming is not even in a child’s mind and only through punitive measures does a child begin to embody the limitations placed upon their personal agency. The aspect of educational disparity that arises from this paradigm is a cultural bias at its very root.

I have been able to see first hand how the classrooms within inner city public schools have been evolving more and more to serve as a holding tank when considering special needs students. In one case I was asked to teach in a class that was determined to be under administrative segregation from the rest of the school. This means these students were not a part of the mainstream population but, still attended public school. When I entered this classroom full of young men, the first thing that I noticed was that these fifth graders were working on a coloring assignment that instructed them to picture what color clothes snow white had been wearing or if they had not seen the movie to just color in what clothes she could have been wearing, using their imagination. I’m not sure who developed the learning plan for the day but any child who rebelled against his process was sent to the back of the class in which a holding cell had been built into the classroom and this is where students were detained as a part of a punitive practice. The general make up of this class where boys of color and it was clear that the real process that they were partaking in was a sort of intellectual decapitation, a intentional subduing of their imagination and a fracturing of their consciousness. If these young men didn’t believe that they were bad then by the end of the school year they would have surely embodied this identity. These type of day classes usually have about four adults for every ten students in which there would be one man in the room who is responsible for putting hands on students who get aggressive or refuse instruction. The following year I continued to see s few of these same students at another school since they had been promoted to middle school. Unbeknown to them they were apart of a tracking system called 'Aries' and even though their choice to move from a flat land school to a school in the hills they did not necessarily receive a fresh start per se. Two of these students in particular who were twin brothers were placed back into a special day class even though they showed no learning handicaps. It was these students individual education plans also known as IEP that prohibited these student from entering into mainstream classes. From my observation the majority of students are not on an IEP and many don’t know what it is because it is not being promoted to them. So how do educational institutions and teachers discern between all their students and find one that fit within the need to have a particular plan that allows students to be tracked? What I have discovered is that students who have a a bigger challenge conforming to the contemporary one size fit all educational model that we have now are easily pipe lined into these alternative learning pipelines without their consent. All to often their parents are either confused or intimidated into believing that if their child is not placed in this alternative program that their child is at risk for failing out of school altogether.

The fact of the matter is that the current behavioral shaping institutions are failing the people they were created to serve. Often when working within the school system I would always hear staff complain about students walking the hallways and not going to class. To often the burden of proof is placed on the child as if one can be guaranteed, that learning is even taking place in the class. Most classes reflect the same holding tank mentality that was shown in the special day class in which, students were given worksheets and told to fill them out and work quiet and independently. Now this may be what the work force is currently looking for but, this type of classroom ethic suppressed the natural collaboration human beings participate in to solve problems. The creative spirit of children are being put to sleep by a devolving process that at best creates a drone for the state and the worst is reproducing children back into the violent cycle of poverty. The soul has the answers , one has to just silence mind. It amazes me how much small children will eventual find solutions to problems during play. This supreme state of mind progresses naturally if protected, it will not be schooled out of them.

Cultural congruence should be factored in when considering who is policing, teacher and governing over our community. Our sovereignty is not up for debate. We will continue to die or be abused at routine traffic stops if our existence is not understood as exclusively our own and sovereign. This will make the way we are engaged by people outside of our community address us with integrity. We must first create a cultural process that will guide our children's mind to fulfill their creative potential. What is needed now is teachers who are visible outside the school, this is not available through programs such as teach for America in which, teachers are learning how to teach at their students expense.

The function of American public schools is to reproduce inequalities to keep the status quo intact. The greatest lie that children of color are told is that Caucasian men have established all greatness that is able to be used in modern society. Often it is thought that parents who have children need to be front and center fighting for their children’s right to learn and receive adequate education for the future. What we have failed to realize is that society has been properly prepared for this type of conflict and is created to feed on it. I agree that BLACK children should be removed from the public educational process and placed within a cultural process designed for and by their community. This should be done offer our children the skills we need to survive and evolve in the western world. The descendants of Columbus and the benefactors of his genocide cannot liberate us from these atrocities we have been left to edure. None but ourselves can free our minds.

- Create Society

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