In a recent article, Ben Carson, who considering a bid as a Grand Old Party presidential candidate, offered several strategies for improving race relations in the United States. The recommended strategies came on the heals of town hall meeting held in remembrance of the Martin Luther King holiday. Ben Carson’s recommendations involve improving relationships between the community and law enforcement falls short of what is necessary to improve race relations in the United States.

According to MCCLATCHY DC, Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, stated “I think we have to talk to both sides on this” …. “We have to talk to both the police and the communities. Because both of them have to accept some degree on humility. both have to agree they’re not perfect. Perhaps police can adopt some different techniques. He offered praise for the police–”let’s not…make it sound like all the problems are in one area. We have problems throughout our society.” Ben Carson continued by stating, “We need to create a relationship between people because You’re always gonna have suspicion when that person is a stranger.”

In order to improve race relations, we have to eliminate it at its root. We can eliminate racism like we eliminate weeds. Readers Digest recommends 11 ways to kill weeds which include, baking soda, Baking Soda, bleach, borax, herbicides, carpet scraps, salt, shower curtains, undiluted white vinegar, full-strength white or apple cider vinegar, vodka, and WD-40.  These recommendations, like many of the other recommendations designed to improve race relations, are designed to eliminate the weed as the surface. To completely eliminate weeds you must eliminate it at the root. To completely eliminate racism you must eliminate it at the root too.

One of the greatest challenges with weeds are they are unwanted in specific regions for various reasons. An important reason is that they interfere with food and fiber production in agriculture, wherein they must be controlled in order to prevent lost or diminished crop yields. Other important reasons are that they interfere with other cosmetic, decorative, or recreational goals, such as in lawns, landscape architecture, playing fields, and golf courses.

Weeds also provide benefits. A number of weeds, such as the dandelion (Taraxacum), are edible, and their leaves or roots may be used for food or herbal medicine. Burdock is common over much of the world, and is sometimes used to make soup and medicine in East Asia. Some weeds attract beneficial insects, which in turn can protect crops from harmful pests. Weeds can also prevent pest insects from finding a crop, because their presence disrupts the incidence of positive cues which pests use to locate their food. Weeds may also act as a “living mulch”, providing ground cover that reduces moisture loss and prevents erosion. Weeds may also improve soil fertility; dandelions, for example, bring up nutrients like calcium and nitrogen from deep in the soil with their tap root, and clover hosts nitrogen-fixing bacteria in its roots, fertilizing the soil directly.

Like a weed, improving race relations has challenges and benefits. Racism is a problem because it causes discrimination against people for reasons that have nothing to do with their abilities or loyalties. This means that the ability of some people to contribute their best to society are lost, and because of the resentment that this irrational discrimination produces, there is more unrest and less stability than would otherwise be the case.

Racism benefits the dominate race. In America the benefactor of racism is White privilege. White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit white people in western countries beyond what is commonly experienced by the non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. These privileges are unearned and are distributed based on values of the dominant group, which in the west is white people.

The foundation for White privilege begins in the education system. It begins with the rejection of Black values of preschool children by White teachers. The rejection of Black preschool students results in disciplinary consequences that are far much greater than their White counterparts. According to the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, Black preschool children represent 18% of school enrollment while representing 48% of the out of school suspensions. White preschool students represent 43% of school enrollment while representing 26% of the out of school suspensions. The same pattern continues for Black students.

Black student values continue to be rejected by White teachers resulting in the over disciplined of Black students when compared to White students. Blacks are three times more likely to be suspended from school when compared to Whites. The average quantity of Whites who are either suspended or expelled is 5%, while the average for Black students is 16%.

When students are deemed a legal challenge for schools, the first agency that a school administrator will call is the police which now sets the stage for the challenges that many Blacks such as Eric Garner and Michael Brown faced. Black students represent 16% of the student population while representing 27% of the students referred to law enforcement and 31% of who are subject to school related arrest. White students represent 51% of the student population while representing 41% of the students referred to law enforcement and 39% who are subject to school related arrest.

The only way to improve race relations in the United States is to eliminate classroom racism (Elcloomism) by promoting positive teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

 

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