I was perusing the April 2021 quarterly issue of NEA Today, the by-product of the nation’s largest teachers union. To be clear, I didn’t do it by choice; rather, a colleague foisted it upon me and pointed to a featured article repeating the trite goal of hiring more teachers of color, particularly black males. Like United Airlines, which believes hiring more black pilots will somehow make the flying experience better and safer for passengers, the collective misguidance coming from the masses of indoctrinated teachers and the largest public-sector union in the country is aiming to not only water down the profession as a whole, but prolong black student failures by not naming the real issues.
The NEA Today article, titled “Why We Need More Black Men in the Classroom” by Sundjata Sekou, rehashes the same talking points of white people being too represented in the profession and the damage that all white folks have on young black and brown bodies. A few one-liners from the article include:
- “For a crash course in segregation, look at who teaches our students.”
- “As a group, Black boys are usually at the bottom of statistical categories that measure educational attainment. This educational crisis starts the moment Black boys are born into a racist American society that applauds their athletic abilities yet shuns their intellectual capabilities.”
- “At the root of it all was America’s struggle—our nation’s inability to deal with the legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery, Jim Crow, “separate but equal,” and racism. These maladies are in the DNA of America and imbued in every system, including the education system.”
Got it? A majority-white nation that features a majority-white teaching staff is now segregation. Black boys are born into a racist American society. America has never dealt with its past. For this author’s complete cluelessness on the evolution of American society and its leadership on abolition, inclusion, and legal rights for everyone, I officially offer him the first-ever Ilhan Omar Award – for being the most ungrateful immigrant of the year. Yes, to top it all off, this fool has benefitted from life in America and in return for our welcoming graciousness and vast resources he has learned only to hate us. Remember, people like this everywhere teach your kids.
Instead of ingesting his vile assessment of American society, it would be a lot easier to ask a college student – usually a white female – why they’re majoring in education, and there are only ever a few responses. The classic and immediate comebacks are “I love kids” and “I want to make a difference,” while the more contemporary response is “I want to fight for social justice.” In the bizarro leftist world, this is all code for “I want to oppress black boys.”
Here is the real question, though: Even if Sekou and others like him got their wish and eradicated whites from society, does anyone think that replacing every white female teacher with a black male teacher would solve every ill of the black community?
First, both the nation’s student body and teaching ranks are majority white, and yet white pupils across the country continue to achieve mixed results. Even the whitest, most affluent districts in the country can barely achieve 90% proficiency on math and reading. This strongly suggests that no amount of parenting and schooling can make up for individual motivations or abilities. Second, in Maine (the whitest state), just 44% of students are at or above proficiency in state reading tests. Amazingly, disaggregated by race, white students perform worse than their peers – just 43% of white students show proficiency on the same exams. Shouldn’t white supremacy lift these students out of mediocrity? Third, we have real-world data on black-majority student and staff programming. Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which for the record got a huge bump in guaranteed funding from then-President Trump, are arguably the greatest control group possible.
Consider the following: In 2019, the national average for black students’ four-year graduation rates was 48%. At HBCUs, the black graduation rate makes just a modest climb to 59%. Given the narrative of harmful white supremacist teaching and the inabiility of students to “see themselves” in the classroom or with their peers, these numbers certainly shine a different light on “representation.” One would think that all black faculty and student peers would foster limitless achievement. As an aside, it’s comical that the nation’s first HBCU was named after, and retains the name of, the very dead and very white William Wilberforce.
On top of everything else, as soon as whites fled the hallways and classrooms of all-black institutions of learning, they would immediately be labeled racists for leaving. They’re racists when they teach black kids and they’d be racist if they left them. It begs another question: At what point will enough Americans wake up to this incoherent whining?
As with all things leftist, the call for more black male teachers in the K-12 classroom setting is a red herring in the public discourse on black student struggles. The real issue, of course, is the dissolution of the nuclear family. The issue of fatherless homes stares down the great majority of black youths and it is ruining generations of otherwise capable and deserving young people. Fatherlessness, not white teachers who get into the profession because they love kids, is the root cause (as Kamala Harris might say) of the black community’s general failures in the school experience.
Studies have shown that single-parent families, on average, witness diminished social and academic achievement in school. Students from single-mother homes are more likely to be disruptive in school and as they age are more likely to be suspended or expelled. None of this information is surprising nor new; in 1981, a literature review concluded, among other things, that “the father’s role (or lack of it) makes a difference in children’s behavior, especially boys.” As it pertains to the black community, 72% of black babies are born to unwed mothers and just 17% of black youths will “make it to high school living exclusively with their married mother and father, according to data detailed by The Federalist.
Broader statistics on fatherlessness are both astounding and depressing. For example, 85% of imprisoned youths grew up in a household without a regular father figure as did fully 75% of long-term correctional facility inmates. Before he had a coming out party as a deceptive, racist, and hypocritical ingrate, Barack Obama was preaching to black churches that “children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.”
None of this is to pick on the black community. Yes, black fathers matter. But, all fathers matter. Every child, especially boys, need their father. That being said, in 2021 the epidemic of abandonment of what Larry Elder calls a “moral and fiduciary responsibility” of men to be present in their chil’ lives more greatl;y affects young black boys. Doesn’t Ibram Kendi and his CRT coterie always talk about disproportionality? Well, there is a disproportionate amount of cowardly and immature black men who bail on the baby momma.
In terms of solving real-world problems, spending more money and offering diversity of hiring practices are not real-world solutions. They sound good to vapid, brainwashed morons, but they are neither practical nor effective. In United’s cases, the best pilots – regardless of race – translate into the safest airline. In public education’s case, the best teachers – regardless of race – translate into the greatest hope for student outcomes. Schools can only do so much.
Even the best teachers cannot replace the unique role a father plays in a child’s life. Nor should they have to. It’s time fathers everywhere manned up.