Victim: One that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions: One that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment.
Pity: Sympathetic sorrow for one suffering, distressed, or unhappy: Something to be regretted
Tavis Smiley’s report on the failure of African American males must be commended. Unfortunately, what is debilitating for these young men is the very concept that Mr. Smiley has proposed, that they are victims.
When we speak of the victimization of children we must understand the perception that allows others, those who do not feel victimized, to pity those they believe are victims. The attitude that aligns with the perception is that these victims are regrettably incapable of “normal” reasoning and therefore require “special” attention. It is this perception and attitude that led to the overwhelming influx of African American males into Special Education.
Approximately one minute into the video Dr. Alfred Tatum, Director of the UIC Reading Clinic, states, “We look at these kids as if they’re expendable. W. E. B. DeBois said, “Don’t look at these boys as if they’re scorecards of achievement, recognize their humanity.””
When we move beyond the circumstances of the children we receive in our classrooms and recognize their humanity we allow them to be and become powerful human beings.
When we recognize that a child has everything necessary to be successful in this world we need only teach them how to access the knowledge and power they possess within.
When we teach children that they are powerful, not because of some outside force that they conquer with the help of well meaning adults, but because that is what we were all created to be, powerful, we will have truly reformed education.
So, if that is how simple the answer is, why is there so much failure? Because powerful people cannot be controlled!
It is impossible to convince powerful people that they cannot succeed, the video bears that out, history also attests to this fact.
When we become powerful adults we will be able to recognize the power within our children.
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