SCHOOL FUNDING vs. PRISON APPROPRIATIONS:
What do I mean? Well, have you ever wondered for example why, aside from demographics, why most, “not all,” but why most doctors across the country are often white or of Asian descent. Well it’s most certainly not because black children don’t aspire to be doctors or aren’t capable of achieving a doctorate. If that’s what you thought then please Google the recently publicized: College Admissions Scandals. And then look up surgeon Daniel Hale Williams, who in 1893 performed the first “successful” open heart surgery shortly after founding Provident Hospital in 1891. Provident Hospital was not only the first black owned hospital, but unlike other hospitals it welcomed an interracial staff, and provided a nurses training school for black women during a time when they were barred from participating in such programming elsewhere.
Then check out hematologist and surgeon Charles Richard Drew, who in the 1930’s when medical science hadn’t yet figured out how to preserve blood for no longer than a few days, he took it upon himself to set up the first blood bank after separating and discovering that blood plasma, which is the liquid portion of blood without cells, can be stored for much longer terms.
While we’re in the researching mood check out scientist and mathematician Benjamin Banneker, who amongst many more things is known as “the man who saved Washington D.C.. From memory Banneker planned the survey and reconstructed the blueprint for the building of the Nation’s capital city – Washington D.C. in as little as two days, after Pierre L’Enfant, a French engineer abruptly abandoned the project and took with him his drafted plans. After executing such an insurmountable task in so little time, this world renowned astronomer, Benjamin Banneker went on to print a series of ten annual almanacs, in which he accurately predicted solar eclipses and the movements of celestial bodies.
How about aeronautical mathematician Katherine Johnson, who graduated from highschool at the tender age of fourteen? Then went on to participate in advanced collegiate programs that led her to perform phenomenal works with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), by helping the country execute feats that never would’ve been accomplished without her assistance for many years to come. What are some of these accomplishments you may be wondering? Well for starters in 1959 she calculated the flight trajectory for the first American to go into space, and three years later in 1962 she verified the mathematics for John Glenn’s orbit around the earth, and most memorable and equally amazing if not more amazing, she calculated the flight trajectory for Apollo 11’s one and only flight to the moon in 1969.
And what about Thurgood Marshall-the Social Architect. He won numerous notable cases in private practice, one of which was 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education. Which challenged and overturned the U.S. Supreme Court’s long standing “separate but equal” standard decided in Plessy v. Ferguson back in 1896, and out of the 32 cases he argued before the United States Supreme Court he won 29 of them. Then followed his flawless record up with becoming a United States Court of Appeals judge who never had not one of his 112 opinions overturned on appeal — before earning the position of Solicitor General of the United States, and ultimately Justice of the United States Supreme Court of America.
And lastly we have billionaire Robert Smith, who recently paid it forward by paying off Morehouse’s entire graduating class of 2019 student loan debts. So hopefully this brief glance of contributions hidden amongst a sea of many more clears up any misconceptions of what blacks are capable of creating, achieving and have contributed to the advancements of this country. However, there’s a whole ‘nother class of students that you may never get to hear about due to the fact that their potential is often stunted far before it can even be nurtured and realized. And this class of students are the products of what’s known as the Preschool To Prison Pipeline.
Have you ever heard of it? In many districts funding for public school education has been etched away so badly that schools are getting shutdown left and right, and for the ones that do remain open, in certain communities teachers sometimes have no option but to spend personal funds on needed supplies, or set up school supply drives just to supplement the lack of resources allocated towards their profession. For more info Google wxyz.com; which is one of Detroit’s leading news stations for reports on school funding, and teacher hosted school supply drives that were orchestrated by teachers.
How does lack of funding contribute to this “so-called” Preschool to Prison Pipeline that I speak of you’re wondering? Well, it contributes because lack of funding leads to a lack of opportunities, and the lack of opportunities creates disparities in success. And as Thurgood Marshall stressed: whether it be by statute or through unspoken rules, the practice of separate treatment can never be equal. In an effort to avoid these unspoken practices you have individuals like Tanya McDowell and Kelly Williams; wherefore one of them, if not both found themselves sentenced to time in jail for simply changing a zip code to get her child into a good school district. While individuals of affluence who went to unacceptable extremes to get their unqualified children into college were sentenced to only a few days, if any at all. Now one thing that I do know is that our children are smart. Many of them have the ability to be lawyers, doctors, astrologers and more, but the reality for the ones caught up in the judicial system is that from day one many of them have been streamlined through the educational system and right into the prison system, or perhaps on their way, and here’s how it breaks down.