Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Because dad instigated this one...

Dad sent me the link to an article about Hillary Clinton seeking assistance for minority students to help them overcome their education obstacles. While visiting Liberty City, a historically black neighborhood on the outskirts of Miami, Hillary claimed that Bush's "No Child Left Behind" isn't helping black students raise their test scores.

"More needs to be done to prepare children for school and to get parents involved in their education" said Hillary Clinton.

Well how is this Bush's fault? One of the biggest problems for young black students, especially in the inner city is the large number of fatherless households. Without a father figure, many of the boys have no role model to teach them how to stay on the right path. Many face pressure from their friends. Many girls, without a father figure, and with a mother who likely works many hours making barely minimum wage, wind up alone much of the time and perpetuating the cycle of hooking up with a young man who has no future, doesn't care about one (who also likely comes from a fatherless home), winds up pregnant more than once, and by the age of 21 has several children, sometimes by different fathers, and she has no education, and lives in the same poor neighborhood she herself was brought up in.

I'm not saying this happens to all black youths but in the inner cities, but for many this is their life. They have to fight to get out, if they can get out at all. And to get out they have to want to get out, and many don't because they have no one to tell them they can do it. What they need is more social programs (or at least better support of the ones that already exist) which support the family and encourage responsibility among young black people. They need programs which support and encourage families to stay together during hard times. They encourage girls to abstain from sex and drugs and encourage boys from getting into drugs and gangs. These programs could help young inner city black youths (and all youths for that matter) to seek out hobbies and other interests which inspire curiosity and creativity, and which motivate and educate them, which keep them out of trouble and on the right path. And these programs don't have to be restricted to youth either. How about helping the single mom who has already made her mistakes in life and have four kids and no father at home? Help this woman get an education so she can better herself and make a better life for her kids. And the young black men on the street who are no longer youths themselves? How about programs which help get them into rehab, put them to work, help build their self confidence and sense of responsibility?

I know programs like this exist but we need more support for them. We can pump millions into communities but if we're not pumping it into the right things, it's all just a waste of money, time and most importantly---LIVES.

Education is key. We would have less homelessness and poverty if everyone could be supported and encouraged to get an education. I don't care what kind of education, be it academic or trade.

I don't imagine for a moment that if Hillary is elected, anything in Liberty City would change. Why is it that we have to put off solving the problem till someone takes office? I don't think we need Hillary in office just to solve these problems. They can be done by the people who live in these neighborhoods and people around them who care. And there are many who care.

Yes, Hillary cares, of course, after all she's running as our second black President.

And by the way, soon after she left the poor folks in blighted and desolate Liberty City behind, she attended a $100-per-ticket cocktail reception in Hollywood, FL, and then a reception which cost $2,500 per person.

I wonder if she took any of those Liberty City residents with her?

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