Are Black Children Too Stupid to Learn? Part II: Black and Asian People

I really liked the following comment by bretagne, so I decided to make it a separate post. This was in response to, “Are Black Children Too Stupid To Learn?

So, let it rip bretagne:

We can never have these discussions without re-inscribing tropes about Asian achievement.

As someone who has been teaching in the Korean school system for the past two years, at best, I’m ambivalent about the way in which we valorize (inflate?) Asian academic prowess.

The fact that some Asian students perform well on math and science standardized tests is not insignificant and should not be dismissed. But really, it only tells a part of the story.

The Korean education system (I have the greatest familiarity with Korea) is, in large part,a vestige of the Japanese colonial presence in Korea. There is a a heavy (disproportionate, in my opinion) emphasis on testing, and student grades are based almost entirely on mid-term and final multiple choice exams. So naturally, the entire educational system–from the instructional style of teachers, to the lucrative Korean test-prep cottage industry–is designed around this testing apparatus.

In my opinion, this has made for a very rote, flat, one-dimensional, excruciatingly boring, needlessly joyless and harsh, authoritarian educational experience. And while I agree with the commenter who said that learning is often difficult and time consuming, this is an entirely different animal. I have Korean friends (friends who performed well in the system, did well in university, and are now professionals)who describe their primary educational experiences as TRAUMATIC.

Anyways, the kids here become very good at gaming tests. You would, as well, if you spent 8 hours a day at school studying, and then another 3 or 4 hours after school at the hagwon memorizing and cramming test material. So naturally, when test day rolls around, the kids are well-prepared to regurgitate with aplomb.

But I question how much learning is really taking place in all of this. When I give my high school students an assignment or task that requires them to deploy creativity or think an original thought, they are stumped, paralyzed even. They prefer work that is rote and adheres to a rigid right/wrong binary. And I question if this paradigm is what will best prepare children to innovate and provide leadership for the world of the future.

I’ve also taught in an alternative high school that serviced students who would be labeled “at-risk” stateside. Many of the students were poor, came from dysfunctional homes, and a sizable portion were contending with untreated emotional and learning disabilities. Let me tell you: some of those Korean students could give the students at any urban black high school a run for their money. For me, this simply underscored the fact that underachievement is not cultural or racial, but highly correlated with socioeconomic factors.

This has been a really long winded way of saying that while there’s certainly a crisis with regard to the academic achievement of a sizable demographic of black children, we need to be discerning in terms of what we deem as solutions. And I would proffer that the solution will probably not be found in a wholesale emulation of “Asian” education systems.

There are certainly useful takeaways–namely, the notion of practice and effort making perfect. Asian people (E.Asians–Koreans, Japanese, Chinese) aren’t as invested as we are in the notion that one is a “math person” or a “science person” or whatever. In other words, they do not believe in some sort of inherent ability or inclination towards one subject matter or another. They believe that skills are cultivated, incrementally, over time, with immense practice, and under diligent guidance. In contrast, when American students, even at the elementary level, appear to struggle with a math concept, parents often throw up their hands and say, “Oh, well. Johnny just isn’t a math person.” It has been my experience that E. Asians tend to think that this is ludicrous. You work at things, assiduously, until you improve. Of course you aren’t born a “math person”.

But on the other hand, the Korean system is flat, lacks a certain dynamism, demands absolute obsequiousness from students, and really doesn’t stimulate the majority of students to think in a way that is innovative, critical, risky, or creative. And did I mention that most students find it pretty joyless? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Silicon Valley is located where it is. The hard science skills have to merge with a measure of creativity. This is what, I believe, should be the target for black children.

I will just say that if I were to raise children here in Korea, I would certainly not put them in the public system. More than likely, I’d enroll them in the nearest international school.

My response:

Tropes? Oh, okay.

Then, henceforth, let the exaggerations commence: Asian countries were at par, and sometimes even worse off, than African countries during the 1950s. (I know a good number did not receive independence until years later.) Look at most of ’em now. Except for perhaps a few, even the most die-hard Communistic and backward regimes, have realized that too much stealing from productive citizens, and keeping most ignorant, ends up starving the general population….

That progress didn’t happen overnight. Asian leaders thought about what works and put efforts into making it happen. And that took what, maybe a generation or two to get there? That is incredible. It cannot be discounted, dismissed or denied. Of course, it takes enormous energy (effort) to study, build, create and endure than to sit around and do nothing.

We are the ones that are forgetting what works: a rigorous and challenging education. And, of course, learning isn’t easy for everyone. Some people are traumatized leaving their homes, commuting, working, and just talking to other folks, but they have to do it anyway. Maybe some folks can go and live comfortably in their mother’s basement for the rest of their lives. Overall, life remains hard, brutal sometimes, and we’re all bound, at some time or the other, to even get our feelings hurt.

The Black Nation: Is This What Hell Looks Like?

However, let’s get real: If all of Black America were to leave, and form a separate nation, does anyone see it turning into a first world industrialized country? A second tier one? Maybe even third? What businesses could we turn to for jobs? Are there enough skilled people around who are self-sufficient? Who are entrepreneurial? Do we have enough: farmers, engineers, doctors, carpenters, or plumbers? Seriously, it’s not like we can live on barbers, hairstylists and fast food restaurants alone.

Don’t we take the nice and cozy stuff for granted – the infrastructure, electricity, education, police / fire / military protection (which is overwhelmingly provided by white men), in essence a stable society – because all the other groups are doing the work? ‘Cause all we seem to produce are people filling up jails, “entertaining” in the most demeaning ways, increasingly taking up social security disability payments – for “slow children” – along with a miniscule elite replete with great corporate and government perks. I suspect the country would be a basket case before even the week is out.

What Keeping It Real Really Looks Like

Asian empowerment, and I use that term deliberately, is real. And I don’t see a few laudatory comments as inflating their achievement(s). This is an extremely competitive world. A good number of Asians seem to understand the nature of this global “game.” Unfortunately, black people seem to function under the impression that we can infinitely live off of the goodwill of others forever – like well tolerated beggars and perennial wards. (And I ain’t talking about nothing new here, W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington dealt with this subject, black progression or regression, if you will, over 100 years ago.)

I don’t believe I’ve ever stated that Asians were perfect and invincible, but goodness, they rank at the top and we (black folks) rank at the bottom in American schools – and likely globally. So, who’s fooling who? And we import their woefully TRAUMATIZED brains to keep most of Silicon Valley, and various industries, afloat these days.

I would LOVE to see the Asian attitude towards education to be emulated and adopted by black people. However, the decision to make schooling more rigorous is up to the parents. And if they are content and satisfied with themselves, and their children, being seen by society (or the world for that matter) as “stupid” – so be it. Everyone else will gladly pass them by.

No One is Better Than Me

And before anyone gets me wrong: I don’t see any group as superior or inferior. I tend to look at things in terms of applied effort. I honestly feel a substantial portion of the population has given up (on life). It saddens me, and I sometimes lament the problem, but overall I don’t see how anyone can change a culture committed to a downward slide into …. what? I dunno.

We’ve had these conversations on these blog(s) before. Black people have a deep and enduring suicidal wish, like death-cult members, wanting too many sane folks to join them. This horror is masked by “black entertainment” mesmerizing people over trivial issues driven by low-rent morons and self-prostituting idiots; the notion of a utopian “black community” which can only exist on the back, sweat and tears of black women; or phrases like “that’s how we do” to make young women conform when she’s simply trying to define her own terms of freedom.

Don’t buy it. Stay alive and thrive.

Okay, I’m done. 😀

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Are Black Children Too Stupid To Learn?

Florida School System Gives Up on Black Children

Are black children really that hard to educate? Or are people who are supposed to be professionals, you know – experts at teaching, declaring that there’s an actual limit to black intelligence?

Are black children really too stupid to learn?

A nephew of mine believed he wasn’t as bright as Asians, and he was only in 2nd grade at the time. Who’s at fault for demotivating him from learning? If all black children hear is how stupid they are – why would they feel inclined to pay attention in school?

My mother pulled my brother out of a school system that declared him not-too-bright. She recognized B.S. and sent him somewhere else.

In high school, I was questioned as to who was writing my essays. Meanwhile, I was writing essays for my brother while he attended college. And he was studying to complete a degree in Mechanical Engineering, which is almost entirely nothing but complex mathematics.

Here’s the article source link: Florida Passes Plan For Racially-Based Academic Goals

A few excerpts from the news article:

The Florida state Board of Education passed a controversial plan to set reading and math goals based upon race.

On Tuesday, the board passed a revised strategic plan that says that by 2018, it wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of black students to be reading at or above grade level. For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent. It also measures by other groupings, such as poverty and disabilities, reported the Palm Beach Post.

JFK Middle has a black student population of about 88 percent.

… Florida Department of Education said the goals recognize that not every group is starting from the same point and are meant to be ambitious but realistic.

Robinson called the state board’s actions essentially “proclaiming racism” and said she wants Palm Beach County to continue to educate every child with the same expectations, regardless of race.

We all – especially mothers and fathers – should have the right to any and all learning alternatives. And these children should not be hostages to any group. The only pertinent issue is that they get an education which allows them to be self-sufficient and productive citizens.

This reminds me of the voter registration issue, where we are singled out as the only people too stupid to follow directions.

Frustrating, to say the least.

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Update: NY Times Article – Florida Defends Learning Goals

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November 4, 2012

Update: NY Times Article – How Do You Raise a Prodigy?

Money quotes:

There is no federal mandate for gifted education. But if we recognize the importance of special programs for students whose atypical brains encode less-accepted differences, we should extrapolate to create programs for those whose atypical brains encode remarkable abilities.

Once again, it falls to parents to advocate for their children’s needs, often in the face of a hostile or indifferent educational system.

Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, himself a conductor and a former wunderkind, remarked dryly, “If Beethoven were sent to nursery school today, they would medicate him, and he would be a postal clerk.

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Rape of Young Black Girls: Do We Ever Learn Anything From These Stories?

I would like to know. Frankly, I’m sick of knowing about these stories.* The reason is my feelings about what should happen to the perpetrators would fall under extreme cruel and unusual punishment. I’m all for sterilization, hangings, the electric chair, and putting the criminals to sleep like any animal that needs to be put down.

I would even air drop them down into war torn countries around the world, or have them put in those jails to rot away to get a taste of what real deprivation is like. They don’t deserve to be treated with any consideration of “human rights” – they lost that privilege when they committed a violent crime against a child.

However, due to the politically correct, idiot intelligentsia that never thinks of the victims or their families, along with their desire to show how morally superior they are, the punishment will never fit the crime. The sentencing will be delicate, plea bargained to a “lesser crime”, and the years doled out modest (always less than the actual sentencing).

The Details and Excuses Don’t Matter

As for the crime: I don’t care to know the minute details, the back stories, where it happened, why it happened, how many were involved or whether the victim was familiar with her attackers. The reality is young black girls are nearly always attacked, raped, brutalized by people familiar, or known, to them.

What I know of this case, like so many others, is someone’s baby girl was viciously and brutally attacked, and there are people (I use that term loosely) regarding this incident with an indifferent shrug. Or they’re more concerned about the well being or public regard towards the attackers. That’s how deep into hell certain “communities” have fallen.

There is no morality left.

There are folks who will expend more time worrying about the treatment of the perpetrators due to their race, their gender, whether they came from “broken homes”, and how the incident will reflect on the “community”. They will fling the usual monkey poo buffalo chips about racism (you know, the white man made them do it), poverty (jobs would have stopped them from being brutal rapists!), the girl at fault for being too fast, too sexy at 11 (she made them do it!), and the usual rabble about fair trials (’cause the “brothas” never get a break!).

It’s almost guaranteed we will hear that a majority of the attackers are “mentally handicapped” and have IQs of around 85 or room temperature. They couldn’t stop, because they were just playing follow the leader.

Despite the harshness of my crime and punishment stance, I believe every defendant is entitled to the benefit of doubt and the presumption of innocent. And if, or when, they are found guilty: hang ’em high.

Keep This in Mind: The Hell Pits Are Here to Stay

I’m sick of these horror stories, because I know within a few days there will be another, followed by another, and then another. It never stops.

I know it is hard for a mother (and father) to be around to protect their daughters. She has to work. Perhaps she has to take time to attend school on nights or weekends. Momma might even think a family member or friend is looking after her little girl, or assumes her daughter is safe among her own “friends.”

Black Women: You Have a Choice

Common sense should never be up for debate. Yet, there are people who just love, love, love to argue and drop major B.S. playing with the idea as to whether black women have the right to move away from the “community.” There is a mindset that all black women are community property. The black woman is the resource everyone in the “community” needs to help keep it going. There are always layers of excuses as to why she should continue to live in hell, in approximation to hell, or in this place that’s transitioning to hell, by helping to “fix up” what’s wrong.

In case anyone didn’t know: that is a black man’s job. If he and his boys ain’t willing: it is not her problem. Black women aren’t obligated to live in neighborhoods infested with criminals, because the residents sorta look like them or share cultural baggage. Marches, slogans, t-shirts, and pity parades for mercy wont change a damn thing.

‘Cause she cannot run away from her people. Right? I mean, really? Well, most of her peeps might be plotting to rape, rob, and possibly kill her. She has every right to run. And run now.

The only thing that matters is quality of life. It doesn’t include cowering in fear – or fronting like she’s fearless – from people that share a similar hue or phenotype while pretending there is a meaningful connection due to those factors.

With incidents like this, is it really worth it to stay?

I hope every mother (and father) who cares about their young black daughter(s) think about where they live, check the crime stats for the new neighborhood, and make that move. There are still cheaper, lower to low crime areas to live. America is a very, very, very big country. Hoodlums are not hanging out on every street corner.

There are safer places to reside.

Dear Mommas

Be vigilant. Be proactive. Please think about changing your life, make a move, because the one you save may be your own or that of your child.

*Note: the following are links to these types of stories. Thanks for the hat tips, Bellydancer.

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Super Strong Single Black Woman Syndrome

It is one thing to be proud of the mythical black Momma who purportedly raised her children, half the block, worked three jobs, and is a care taker of a sick mother, siblings, and grandchildren. It is another thing to assume that she is a happy Super Strong Single Black Woman, who seeks more people to take care of.

At some point, she will stop and scream from exhaustion, “I can’t do it anymore!”

People have to stop looking for black women to do all of the care taking. Black women have to stop being willing to take care of everyone, and saying yes to everyone.

You cannot do it all alone. It’s not working.

There’s so much wrong with this Associated Press story, I don’t know where to begin. I’ll just put the excerpts out there.

I’m not condemning the women. I can only wonder why some black women put such enormous burdens on themselves, and other black women, without having a life replete with healthy relationships that are helpful to them.

This story is about Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, 21:

An Army cook and single mom may face criminal charges after she skipped her deployment flight to Afghanistan because, she said, no one was available to care for her infant son while she was overseas.

So, what happened?

[Hutchinson] claims she had no choice but to refuse deployment orders because the only family she had to care for her 10-month-old son – her mother – was overwhelmed by the task, already caring for three other relatives with health problems.

The Army requires all single-parent soldiers to submit a care plan for dependent children before they can deploy to a combat zone.

Let me see if I understand, Hutchinson knew her mother was overburdened – those things don’t happen overnight. She joined the military in 2007. Momma was already occupied and busy. This young woman has a child with the “baby’s father”, and is surprised that when she’s deployed her mother couldn’t handle the infant?

Did she readily assume, like some black women, and other people, that Momma was a Super Strong Single Black Woman? Why couldn’t she ask, or get, the “baby’s father” to look after the child? Why was the only person in the world she could depend on was her already overburdened mother?

Hutchinson is no longer in a relationship with the father [of the child].

Is that how it is today? You cut the guy off, because things don’t work out? Or is it the assumption that once the relationship ends the only thing the guy was good for was sperm donation? Is it really that easy for the guys? Is this how women let themselves and their offspring be treated? Are they ever going to teach their own sons to be respectful and responsible to the mothers of their children?

Hutchinson’s son, Kamani, was placed into custody overnight with a daycare provider on the Army post after she was arrested and jailed briefly, Larson said. Hutchinson’s mother picked up the child a week ago and took him back to her home in California.

Hutchinson’s mother had to come all the way across the country to Savannah, Georgia to pick up Kamani.

Look at the load Hutchinson’s mother, the Super Strong Single Black Woman is carrying. I’m not surprised her daughter thought she could do it all alone, and then some.

She’s already having to care for her ailing mother and sister, as well as a daughter with special needs. She also runs a daycare center at her home, keeping about 14 children during the day.

If Super Strong Single Black Woman collapses from exhaustion, who will be there to take up her burden? Her daughter?

Where are the men in this story? Why are some black women doing it all alone? Why are they teaching their children that men aren’t necessary? Why are they involved with males who wont be men? 

The “Black Community” Doesn’t Exist

I see this as the tip of a “black community” ice berg. Once the Super Strong Single Black Women starts to go the way of the American Passenger Pigeon (it’s extinct), who’s going to be left to take up the burden?

The government cannot raise children, nor take care of any individual, or group of society, only family can. How is the “black community” supposed to function if there’s no one left to take care of it and its offspring?

By the way, my answer isn’t the search for mythical “black love”, it is for Super Strong Single Black Women to put their burdens down and learn to say, “Oh, hell no. I am not doing that ever again.”

Learn to associate, and form reciprocal relationships, with men and women who can help you and you can help them.

Being a black woman doesn’t have to mean a life of suffering from day one.

Let it go. You are allowed. You need no one’s permission to be selfish.

It’s a healthy impulse to look after yourself first, that’s the key to a long happy life.

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The False Lure of Sexual or Reproductive "Freedom"

I believe women have the right, and I wouldn’t criticize it, to fornicate with any number of men, women, and animals (where legal) if that is what they want to do. I believe the same rights also apply to men. This applies, obviously, to consenting adults, whatever age society believes an adult is. And as we are aware, the age of maturity is defined differently from state to state and nation to nation.

What I cannot tolerate, are monies taken from society to support individuals whose problems are caused by these behaviors. If adults are consenting, they have to live with the consequences of their actions.

I am aware there will be arguments made that while people are engaging in all sorts of licentious, and/or promiscuous sexual acts, they may be misinformed, and society needs to support them when it causes harm. No, not at all. If women want abortions after freely sleeping around, her lover, husband, boyfriend, or herself should pay for it. Society did not get her pregnant. Her man did. Society should not take on the expense of helping her to raise her child resulting from her freely liberated lifestyle. Is that a blanket statement applied to every situation? No, of course not.

Western societies with sexually empowered, promiscuous (or not) adults, are free to do whatever they want. People have fought for freedom from judgment. I concur. They are also free not to be subsidized. They also don’t want to know, or hear, about abstaining from sex, waiting for marriage, or staying monogamous. They claim all they need is more educational information, or not. They want to be able to procreate freely, and then have this entire chain of irresponsibility sponsored by others. The way I look at it, adults must, can, and will manage their lives as they see fit. Society is not obligated, nor should it be, to pay for all the mistakes of individuals.

If a woman wants an abortion, she can have it, as long as she pays for it. If she was told she would be sterilized, doesn’t that lower incidence of more abortions in the future? The same should apply to the man who impregnated her. DNA testing will find him quickly enough.

I’m all for the free expression of lust, and its non-procreative (copulating) engagement. However, if it spreads disease, I believe people should be quarantined for maliciously spreading it.

I believe in procreative freedom, yet it sometimes come with a price. A second abortion should automatically get one sterilized. Men who have a number of children, with multiple women, that are supported by the state should be sterilized. Why make the rest of society pay for unproductive persons? There are cult compounds with men impregnating multiple women (and very young girls) just to collect monies from the government. Children are important, a healthy, educated, and growing populous is important, but people who pay no consequences for their behavior need to be held accountable.

I believe in the freedom to have as many children as one wants without interference from the state. However, once you cannot afford to raise, clothe, feed, or shelter children – an individual invites interference from society (government, state). One’s freedom ends with the abuse of children; while they may be the offspring of one’s loins, one does not own them.

Therefore, the well being of children are separate from their parents. This is why so many are in foster care. The biological parents give the children up voluntarily, or were taken by the government for inadequate care. This is the result of irresponsible, and selfish individuals, not free-thinking, thoughtful and caring adults.

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