by Wakiti Muhammad
It’s October and students in public schools all across the nation have settled into a new school year. The new school board members have taken office and the new principal has made his presence known, but the verbiage sounds quite familiar, and the old politics seem to be lingering around. While the band plays and the homecoming queen waves, the annual budget shrinks and the class size doubles. In the midst of new classmates, new books, and all of the new standards and objectives set, there is one fact that is becoming more and more apparent. When it comes to public education, the more things change, the more they remain the same.
When pregnancy and suicide rates are competing, when teachers are too busy seducing students to educate them, and when there are more assemblies on homosexual acceptance than college preparation, our children are left suffering. In a society where 49 million of us are considered functionally illiterate, our children are ill-equipped to create a reality for themselves and are being forced into an endless pool of educated beggars, desperately seeking a plantation to belong to. They are left delusional, placing their trust in a system that has already destined them to fail. The evidence is undisputable. Public education is a façade. It is nothing more than an indoctrination of western civilization’s belief that mastery is only reserved for a select few.
The true purpose of education has always been to mold, cultivate, and train individuals in order that they may use their gifts and abilities to maintain and further enhance the society in which they live. What is the condition of our society? How is the current educational system preparing our youth to improve the quality of life for future generations? These questions can be answered by mere observance. Recent reports conducted by the NAACP show that over 33 states have increased their prison spending budget while decreasing their annual spending for schools. California alone outspends all other states in incarceration, and yet ranks 48th in yearly education spending. This is a blatant indication of the type of destiny this government has deemed for our children. By all accounts, by all measures, the school system has failed us.
In his book Torchlight for America, The Honorable Louis Farrakhan, National Representative of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, stated, “If America does not wake up and recognize the consequences of perpetuating the current system of education, then the country’s fate is sealed.” Undoubtedly, there have been many who have committed themselves to changing public education into the type of education that our children need and deserve. Countless educators and advocates of the past and present have given their lives and courageously fought for an equitable, purposeful education that reflects moral principles and self-sufficiency. They have stood alone and we have abandoned them, allowing them to take the full weight of a burden that rightfully belongs to us all.
It is time for us to stop allowing people who never believed we were qualified to be anything more than slaves to decide what goes in and out of our textbooks. We can’t allow our children to be used as human monopoly pieces being sold off and bartered to the highest bidder. We can no longer be pacified with polite superficialities, while the creative minds of our babies our dulled to sleep. At the end of the school day, when there are no more balls left to be thrown and no more grades to be forged, all that’s left will be the writing on the blackboard. And it reads just as distinctly as a Michael Jackson lyric, “They don’t really care about us!”
(Wakiti Muhammad is an administrator at The Elevated Places located in Missouri City, Texas. Follow her on Twitter @WaktiMuhammad and Read more about the school at http://theelevatedplaces.com)