The Citizenship Debate?
There have been many negative and racial stereotype occurrences in my life that influenced me to become a writer and there are too many more numerous occasions to mention, at this writing.
My first impressionable racist occurrence came unexpectedly from a John Bartram High School, Philadelphia, Pa. public school english teacher, named Jack Farrow, who accused me of plagiarism when I sought his advice for the grammatical correctness of a poem that I had written.
He asked me several times, saying, "where did you get this from ?" I stated, "I wrote it." And he asked, "do you know what plagiarism is?" I answered, "yes !"
He stated he had been grading my class and homework for nearly two years, and that this poem in no way reflected my ability to write material of this type.
"You didn't write this!" "You "people" (African/Hebrew) aren't capable of writing like this", he implied. "I'm going to flunk you this term for trying to dupe me", he said.
He knew from my participation as an athlete in football and track, of my strength, tenacity, and quickness . . . that I meant what I said when I informed him that, "I will kick your motherfreakin' ass - if you even think about flunking me!
It didn't happen.
I should have expected something like this, he never gave me a grade above a 'C' for any of my work, thought most of it was deserving of B's and I wasn't going to let him fail me for something outside of offical school activity. This was one of several times we'd bumped heads about something, but I did not expect it to be because of racism.
Luk 6:22 "How blessed are you whenever people hate you, avoid you, insult you, and slander you because of the Son of Man!
Once he wanted to give another Black student a 'fair one' (a fight), if all of the students in the classroom agreed not to talk about it to school staff or other students. He told me and a couple other students who disagreed, that we were 'punks' in not being supportive to the terms of the fight. He harassed the boy in question so much that he began cutting the class which landed him in more trouble and eventually inducing him to quit coming to school altogether.
On too many occasions . . . the lack of parental support, racism, lazy teachers, non available tutoring, racial degradation, poverty, mental stress and peer pressure is the cause for the enormous high school dropout rates among our African/Hebrew youth. The silution to rectifying this abhorring condition is to start our own African/Hebrew schools.
The Amish, Jews, Chinese, Catholics, Quakers, Pennsylvania Dutch and many other ethnic group have their own schools . . . what's the hangup with African/Hebrew people?
Ezr 10:11 Now therefore make confession to Yahweh, the Sovereign of your fathers, and do his pleasure; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the foreign women.”
Gen 13:7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
Gen 13:8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
Gen 13:9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left
1Ki 8:53 For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Sovereign Yahweh.
He was the head coach of the baseball team and on three occasions when trying out for a baseball position, he never allowed me a tryout, saying, "I have all the people I want."
He was the defensive coach for the varsity footbal team and thought it was unfair that I was a starter at both the offensive and defensive end positions, the return and receiving team positions when I had not gone to summer camp like the other players (I was exempt for being a bedwetter).
I earned the right to those positions through my efforts (Praise be to Yahweh); I was the better blocker, the better tackler, better kick-off and return specialty team member and overall team player.
I was one of the smaller players in weight and height (176lbs/5'10") than most of the varsity members either in offense, defense, and the specialty squads but played all of these positions for three years and never missed playing one game, except for the last game of my senior year. I was to have an operation on my knee the week after this game and someone 'dimed' me out to the coach and he only played me in the last 2 minutes because of my knee injury.
I also worked a full time job after school - 5 and 6 days a week, 8 to 10 hours a day for 2 and a half years at a Horn and Hardart Restaurant chain - as a dish washer, up to a short order cook and later as a chef's apprentice.
This job was a life saver. The money I earned allowed me to buy the clothes I wanted to wear, by school tokens, my schools supplies, pay my graduation fees, yearbook, class pictures, breakfast and lunch, and all of life's other necessities and vanities.
Plus, I paid my mother rent . . . even when she was receiving four monthly checks for one other sister and me; two from SSI and two others from a pension fund after my paternal father's death. I never received one dime of that money for three years and in one of those years, I wasn't living in her household. I unloosed myself from my mother's dominance by running away when I turned 18 to live with my great aunt, Etta James.
I went to church nearly every Sunday. Did not attend my own prom but did attend another's. It wasn't all that.
Did not have a 'steady' girlfriend and at 18 - was still a virgin. Big deal?
I attended high school from1960 until 1963, during an era in time when our separate but 'equal' public school systems 'selectively' offered disfunctional educational programs with very limited and bleak prospects for any opportunities in the attainment of decent, sustainable employment for independently minded, young African/Hebrew American males who are victimised with being the last hired and first fired.
I had moved from the south in 1960 were education for African/Hebrew Americans was considered inferior because in the majority of these racist circumstances, public education in the South for 'Negros' was a segregated affair and was espoused not to be the 'equal' in qualification for 'Negro' children as was the educational benefits of northern schools.
Some will question all of what I write about and particularly my statement about 'selectively' disfunctional educational programs offered African/Hebrew Americans in the educational systems of this country.
Take my education for example. I wanted to become an electrical engineer but my mother let my white Jewish counselor persuade her into believing that a 'Negro man' would not be able to find employment in a white, professionally dominated electrical engineering career field and that I should transfer to a vocational school, Bok Technical High School and become a cook.
I did not want to go to Bok because it was deemed gang infested, so I subjected to the general curriculum in the 'selectively' disfunctional programs offered African/Hebrew Americans in the public educational systems of Philadelphia and throught the United States, and similarly enforced in over thousands of states in the south.
My mother allowed my counselor to convince her that my ambitions were too high - that the 'good ole boy' system would not offer the same opportunities to . . . a black man, with fair wages if employed and would not invest the time, energy, materials, and the technology to advance my skills and/or to become a member of their racist union or trade associations.
My mother was born and grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia (one of the first slave states) and had lived under racism in both the North and South and so . . . without reluctance, accepted the counselors opinion as the 'Gospel' truth. There were also other personal 'dysfunctional' concerns that influenced my mother's decision in denying the appeasement of my career choice, so it was then, that again, I had to take my future into my own hands.
I'd felt that there was more available to me than this option in the preparation for my desired quest with a rewarding and decent paying job. I wanted to share in the 'American Dream'. I dreamt of marrying, having a family, a home, cars, a fat bank account and my own business. I wanted to travel around the world visting exotic places, meeting exciting people and doing exciting things like parasailing, scuba diving, and hanggliding.
I had a desire for flying my own plane, captaining my own yacht, becoming a productive community leader, officiating as a non-governmental world ambassador and to living out the rest of my senior years as a farmer like my grandfather.
Another option that I tried was to attend a military academy. I'd thought about following in my fathers' footsteps and of making a career in the military. I had even contacted a counsler at the Valley Forge Military Academy
The counsler came to my house and talked with my mother about my admittance and eligibility. But she would not agree to this alternate educational choice either - citing I was a bedwetter even though the counsler infromed her that, "this wasn't a problem, we have and had other boys with the same condition and some had stopped wetting with medicare treatment." This was my mother's deceitful excuse to maintain control of the monthly checks she was receiving for my care, which she was misusing for other purposes. I did mind that is was used for the household, but I believe I was entitled to some of that money for my use too.
The disfunctional educational systems of this country either classify a high school graduate as generally or academically educated, if and when one graduates. To receive a general diploma qualifies a graduate for employment at anything but yet, 'at nothing'. All of this for the whims of greedy and vain merchants, the bankers, mainly the politicians, the academic and religious institutions . . . all whom impose racist dread, inflictions and disturbances in the economical, educational, political, and social life functions of African/Hebrew people.
I pressed on to graduate without any help from my mother and a week after graduating, was bound to San Antonio, Texas for training in the United States Air Force as a recipricating (propeller type) aircraft mechanic.
As I'd stated earlier, I worked a full time job after school at one of the Horn & Hardart Restaurant chains; first as a dishwasher, then a busboy, on to becoming a short order cook, a chef's apprentice and finally as a second chef. My boss was a great guy, he encouraged me to take cooking classes on company time and promoted me on qualifying in a particular cooking skill.
I did become a chef later in life, but on my own and through the blessings of Yahweh. Praise be to Yahweh.
There are and have been but so few unskilled or general labor jobs available for African/Hebrew men and women that employers demand and they require public school educators to provide available occupations to fill their job needs with employable recruits that need not necessarily be qualified for highly skilled positions or are chosen for the employers specific purposes. This is where African/Hebrew Americans and other minority peoples are employed and where there are no opportunities for better wages, benefits, security, quaity of life or advancement.
One too many conjunctures in the past and continuing until now with African/Hebrew people has been the passing over for employment or a promotion for a less qualified white candidate based on racism.
Most young African/Hebrew American male youth were not, have not and are not offered the needed tools in education that necessitate their qualifications to compete equally with other ethnic students. And those that are adequately prepared will not likely be employed for their knowledge, abilities, skills, and talents.
After some 56 years later . . . very little has changed for generations of young African/Hebrew American males and females . . . except that more are:
* on parole or probation
* orphaned and homeless
* illiterate and abandoned
* habitual criminals or felons
* mentally ill and handicapped
* alcoholics, drug addicts and/or dealers
* unemployed, underemployed and unemployable
* incarcerated in penial institutions more than enrolled in high school and college
Based upon the Preamble to the United States Constitution . . .
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
. . . and the indisputable facts with the past and present mistreatment of African/Hebrew people in the establishment for (in)justice in the 'twilight zone courts', profits from prisons the (13th Amendement) systems, their Domestic Tranquility (free from stress), their common defence from police abuse and murders, promotion of their general Welfare, instead of repealing ObamaCare, securing the Blessings (a desirable state) of Liberty (freedom from servitude or oppression) to themselves and their Posterity (future generations).
So, what class of citizen are we?