The Evil Underbelly of Equity

“Everybody has asked the question. . . “What shall we do with the Negro?”; I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us!”

These words written by legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass in 1865 spoke to the challenge that our nation faced concerning more than 4,000 newly freed slaves. America was torn as it tried to discern the next steps about its liberated Black population, regarding those that still wanted slavery, and those that had bravely fought against it. Douglass represented the mindset and the collective resolve of the latter. “Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us,” he continues. “Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall!

I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature’s plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!”

This was a reminder that many took heed to, despite the narratives. Even then, Douglass and many others understood, that If Blacks were to succeed, it would be due to their not being helped nor hindered, but simply allowed to do so.

On to 2022.

Countless policies and programs from numerous politicians have come and gone, promising to lift the status of Black people, claiming equity as the goal, only to find that those plans did more harm than good.

Current case in point:

On May 26th , Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRF) board members decided to implement a plan known as “Transformative Education Professional Development & Grading.” According to a report in the West Cook News, this plan will, “require teachers next school year to adjust their classroom grading scales to account for the skin color or ethnicity of its students.” Without question, such thinking clearly reflects the “equity components” mentioned in CRT and other racially based curriculums. The subsequent reading of the story is even more disconcerting:

“Teachers and administrators at OPRFHS will continue the process necessary to make grading improvements that reflect our core beliefs,” the plan, set to begin in the fall of 2023, says. The article notes that according to the Illinois State Board of Education, 38 percent of sophomores fail the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The failure rate was 77 percent for Black students, 49 percent for Hispanic students, 27 percent for Asian students, and 25 percent for white students.

That’s quite the difference!

Margaret Sullivan, associate director at the Education Advisory Board, which consults colleges and universities, said teachers have to recognize when “personal biases manifest.” “Teachers may unintentionally let non-academic factors, like student behavior or whether a student showed up to virtual class, interfere with their final evaluation of students,” Sullivan said.

Fiorenza called for the changed after releasing a report that showed a spike in “F” grades in the 2020-21 school year. “OPRF’s administration will adopt language that makes and keeps the system visible and continues to name racism as a complex interconnected structure,” the report said. “We must recognize the unique challenges faced
during the pandemic intensify the need for a systemic approach to confronting the racial and socioeconomic discrepancies often experienced by our underrepresented student population.”

There are those of you that might suggest that this isn’t a real problem or simply a non-issue. After all, what’s the harm if a Black kid from a rough neighborhood gets a leg up because he or she is Black?

Let’s consider for a moment Frederick Douglass’ position.

Unlike most Black leaders in history, Douglass had been a slave for more than half of his life at the initiation of the Emancipation Proclamation. As such, he understood more than most the trials that Black faced in pre and
post slavery America.

He also recognized the realistic possibilities that they could and would succeed if given the chance. In other words, even with Jim Crow, Black codes and the KKK as ever-present threats, success for those determined to achieve it, while certainly facing hinderances, were without limitations. However, these Chicago students under the direction of  Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning Laurie Fiorenza would never understand that level of resolve.

According to the report, “OPRF will order its teachers to exclude from their grading assessments variables it says
disproportionally hurt the grades of Black students. They can no longer be docked for missing class, misbehaving in school, or failing to turn in their assignments.” This and other dangerous policies will further ensure that students of color in Chicago and elsewhere will be judged by the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character.

Putting Into Practice

One of the hardest things to do as parents is to let our children ride a bike alone (minus training-wheels) for the first time. Many of us grappled with simply the thought of initially loosening our grip, because we knew in some
small way that we had started the process of sending our children into eventual adulthood. Nevertheless, we let them go.

Why? Because we recognized that our job is to prepare them to do-and allow them to do so. Until institutions like OPRF, as well as politicians and like-minded organizations understand the value of allowing all persons-including students, to succeed(or fail) based on their own merit, these individuals will never reach or achieve their true potential, let alone realize for themselves the empowerment that comes from succeeding. Not with a handout or a hand up- but simply the access with to the open door.

What’s the solution?

It is easy to jump to the front of the line, when those in the line step out of the way, or winning a race becomes simple, when the other runners are restrained. There are, however, few things greater than knowing you got the position, the promotion, or even simply won because you gave all you had to make it happen-and it did!

At Seekingeducationalexcellence.org, we strive to inspire. In addition, we provide our youth with the opportunity and tools to succeed and point them in the right direction. With critical thinking, a strong resolve and boundless
desire, the sky is the limit. Being judged by the content of your character, not the color of your skin?

Dr. King, I do believe you were on to something.

20 Comments

  1. Only a brain dead Liberal could come to the conclusion that giving unearned grades to a student will help his/her SAT scores. This is a A+ example of the Liberal’s subtle racism at its best. Just an added reminder no one and no thing is equal to the finest degree. Say that they are or working to make it so means nothing in the final analysis.

    1. I agree 100%. There is a difference between equity and equality. One should be given the opportunity to learn through hard work. Imagine those who graduate or obtain a degree and given a position for which they are not qualified when another who also applied for this position has been an outstanding candidate due to their experience and excelled in their studies.
      Be Carson is and example .

  2. The public schools are destroyed by the far left loons agenda and run by this now called regime. It is not going to get any better folks.

  3. I studied history and the accomplishments of black Americans went on unnoticed for far too long. The day the Civil War ended black folks, former slaves, moved or tried to move, into the main stream. Despite being locked out of many things many persevered and made their way quite well, some better than their white counter parts. There’s no getting around the fact that black Americans no matter their accomplishments, their fighting in our wars, got kicked in the teeth at every turn. This country, we, were young and had some growing up to do; it’s a story every people and civilisation has gone through. But what’s more unfortunate, as well meaning as it was, is the constant meddling, tinkering, that’s gone on as if we could somehow make it work for them. Black folks were completely capable of making it work, it just needed time and some nudging of their own, not us. I have to refer to Thomas Sowell on the damage we’ve done:
    The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state.

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  6. “Everybody has asked the question. . . “What shall we do with the Negro?”; I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us!”

    They should have packed them back onto ships and sent them back where they came from. Look at what has happened by doing nothing and letting them run amok: BLM, White women raped, welfare, crime, rap-music, not to mention all the whining, fake hate crimes, ghettos, diversity/inclusion, weave, nails, 10 kids by 9 different daddies & etc.
    Since they were sold into slavery by their own kind and transported on ships owned by Jews and Mozlems, why don’t they:
    1. Go to Africa and try to find the tribe that sold their ancestors to the slave traders.
    2. Get their reparations from those people.

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  9. Ok, so only whites have to do homework, behave in class, and show up on a regular basis? Clearly a case of discrimination based upon race if there ever was one. How in hell are the people making these recommendations allowed to do so? They should be charged for hate crimes against whites and abuse of white children as well as minority children. They are doing neither group a favor, but instead are promoting racial hatred.

  10. All of mankind are created equal. We all are born ignorant. It is the responsibility of the parents to bring up a child in the way that they would have him/her to go. Bring up a child on welfare and they will not depart from it. Bring up a child as a fool and they will not depart from it. Bring up a child as a wise one and they will not depart from it. This is not a race issue. This is a humanity issue. All come into this world as a blank computer. It is up to the mother and father to program their children’s brains. Children that have a mother and a father in the house are generally the supreme ones. This is also the GOD WAY!! Many today are still enslaved,, except today it is to welfare, which destroys lives and creates enmity between people groups. Sorry!!! But if you are going to steal money from one group to give to another you are promoting enmity between people groups!! TIS TIME TO WISE-UP, America!!!!

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